Tropical and Beach Theme Decorating Tips

Going to the beach is a happy and relaxing activity, and those of us fortunate enough to live near a beach will often spend many hours in the summer watching the waves, swimming in the surf, or sunbathing with a good book. But whether you’re landlocked or just wishing that the weather would clear up, you can incorporate elements of the beach into your home.

What do you love?

The purpose of decorating isn’t just to create a beautiful home, but to create a home that speaks to you. What aspect of the beach do you most enjoy? What type of beach do you love to visit? A Hawaiian beach is likely to evoke memories of rich, vivid flowers, lush tropical greenery, and tide pools inside dark, volcanic rock. Thus, a design to remind you of Hawaii’s beaches would probably have darker, richer colors with a lot of dark green and black. On the other hand, the southern California beach is a relaxed, laid-back environment, and your memories may revolve around surfing or sunbathing.

Photographic Inspiration

One of the best ways to create the feel you’re looking for is to use an existing picture to inspire you. Maybe it’s a picture that you’ve taken, a postcard you’ve seen, or a picture in a book or on the Internet. If you’re looking at a digital photo, you can use a free online tool at easyrgb.com to convert the color’s hex code into a paint color. If it’s a photograph or postcard, you can usually scan the color at your local paint counter. You can use the picture or matching paint chips to select fabrics, paintings, artwork, and other décor items.

Making it Unique

Everyone has a slightly different approach to tropical and beach décor, and your own approach should be unique and interesting. Look for new or unusual ways to bring the beach indoors. An old surfboard can make a sculptural piece or be hung on the wall for wall art. Seashells and sea glass can be added to simple jars for a decorative item, or they can be turned into a mosaic. Sea glass in particular makes a lovely mosaic and can be used to add a mosaic top to a coffee table or end table.

Not Just Colors

For a room that speaks to the tropical or beach theme, it’s not enough just to have tropical colors. Professional designers will often focus on elements of design like “lines” – the way the objects curve or are shaped. For example, a surfing theme would incorporate elements of surfboard design, like bold elements, stripes, and curved edges. Tropical designs might look to birds or fruit for shapes that are round instead of angular. By matching the lines as well as the colors, you can enhance the beach feel and atmosphere.

Don’t Neglect the Small Stuff

Smaller accessories and decorations are often overlooked in a room makeover, but these small elements make a big difference in creating the kind of atmosphere you’re looking for. Jars of sand or seashells, small sculpture pieces, and small upholstery pieces like throws or accent pillows can make a room look much more finished and complete.

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