Philosophical writer and YouTube creator covering the topics of simplicity, homemaking, and the romantic vintage lifestyle.
The Budget Friendly Way to Experience the Tropics within Your Home
Home décor sites may feature luxurious patios and bulky furniture, yet you don't need to spend much money to give your retreat an island feel.
Some of the ways to create this oasis include:
- stocking your pantry with tropical foods
- playing relaxing Caribbean music
- creating a bathroom spa oasis
- styling your backyard for a fun beach feel
- wearing bright airy clothing
Read on for details on how to build a seaside escape within the comfort of your own home.
Stock Your Pantry
For an island theme have pineapples, coconuts, mangoes, strawberries, avocados, papaya's, fish, shrimp, rice, and tortilla's for healthy wraps. Occasionally search Pinterest for "tropical meal" ideas.
Stock up on an abundance of banana's, an inexpensive fruit, which can be frozen for making healthy and yummy smoothies. Frozen tropical fruits are good to keep on hand for last minute ice cold blended beverages.
Decorate Your Kitchen with Tropical Fruits
A whole pineapple will serve both as a decorative piece for the kitchen, as well as adding to your healthful diet. Line your kitchen window with a few mangoes and a chain of exotic silk flowers. Invest in a couple of large wooden serving bowls for grouping colorful fruits. No matter what theme you already have in place, these bowls will add a burst of color and island festivity to your kitchen.
Coconut scented lotions, homemade sugar scrubs and mango hued candles can give you the feel of staying at a sandy beach resort. The article "How to create a tropical décor bathroom retreat" explains that by simply changing your wall color, curtains, and towels you can create a tropical feel without remodeling. The most fool-proof method is to select a neutral shade. Add a glass filled with sea shells and bring in green plants.
Bring the Tropics Into Any Style Home for a Staycation
You may have a country theme or modern shabby chic abode, yet long to experience a tropical style vacation within the comfort of your home without the expense of traveling to a spa resort or bed and breakfast. This is simply done by changing up a few things in your home. You can bring out seasonal wooden chimes and over-sized green plants from storage. Have your menu planning reflect the culinary palette of islands fruits and seafood. Research Hawaiian and tropical recipes. Pick up coconut scented body wash and add a shimmering golden lotion. Wear clothing that you would bring to a resort such as exotic flower patterned shirts in bold colors, or vacation white.
Green Tropical Smoothie
View a Beach Scene Web Cam to Bring the Ocean in Your Home
One quick way to create a mental escape is to view a beach web cam such as the Lauderdale by the Sea. Knowing that your watching the ocean waves crashing "live" can add a serene ambiance. Occasionally glace over at the web cam streaming as you do your daily tasks.
Tropical Themed Clothing
At anytime you can give yourself a sense of escape by dressing in tropical fashion. Look for Hawaiian shirts, bright colored wraps, and tops. Flowing patterned sarong wraps give instant island style. Seashell jewelry, comfortable lays, and a bold flower clip will give you the illusion that you have flown over to the islands. Natural edible coconut oil will moisturize and feed your skin while giving you that suntan lotion sensation.
Tropical Chicken Skewers
If you've ever walked through Adventureland in Disneyland, you may have heard the steel drum live bands. Choose Caribbean music such as Bob Lyons, Steel Drum Gold and play on low to create a lighthearted tropical atmosphere. Perhaps you wish only to hear the sounds of the ocean, in which case a nature sounds track would provide the perfect audio backdrop to your haven. Music which features Cuban beats or smooth jazz may help you to visualize this island experience. During the spring and summer months take advantage of the natural sounds surrounding your home (unless you live in a highly urban apartment building) open your windows and cherish the natural ambiance of chirping birds and chimes.
Backyard Tropical Theme on a Budget
Try these embellishments to add backyard beach charm:
- Hang a hammock.
- Dangle wooden chimes for rustic ambiance.
- Place a fun directional beach sign on a tree.
- Buy an inexpensive thatched tiki umbrella for shade, which is a great alternative to a full tiki hut.
- Use tiki torches for lighting. Purchase solar powered versions for a safer alternative.
- Display synthetic or natural palm trees.
Whether your designing the master bedroom or guestroom with an island theme these tips will get you started:
- Stick with white, blues, greens, wood, shell and bamboo.
- All white bedding is classic for the vacation theme.
- Display one large seascape artwork piece.
- Group seashells in a bowl.
- Hang fishnet from the ceiling with scattered starfish.
- Place a family photo in a seashell frame.
- Install a ceiling fan.
- Canopy the room with a couple of giant tall plants.
Island Style Decorating on a Budget
Perhaps you've decided to permanently change the theme of your home. You don't need to invest in Tiki Bars or install a new deck to transform your home into a tropical theme. In the article Decorating Tropical Island Style, the author recommends using bamboo, native masks on walls, tropical flowers and plants, and bright floral patterns.
Begin by minimizing as much clutter as possible. Knickknacks and excessive decorations that don't contribute to your theme should either be donated or stored away. This will help to generate a sense of calm as well as placing the emphases on key pieces.
Take a Quick Mental Vacation to the Beach
When you have five minutes to yourself, lay down, close your eyes and visualize the perfect beach. Get inspired with fresh ideas from photographs on istock or Pinterest. Feel the weight of the sand going through your toes and the refreshing ocean breeze. Hear the hypnotic sound of waves gently crashing against the shore. Imagine yourself lying in a hammock completely relaxed.
Fight the Winter Blues by Bringing the Island Experience into Your Home
If you live in a climate that gets four seasons you may be familiar with the lower energy vitality that is associated with winter. One key reason is the lack of sunlight which penetrates through the eyes. Have you noticed that you feel more energized simply by opening your window to let the light in, even though you did not directly stand in the sun? A natural way to cure "Seasonal Affective Disorder" SAD, is to allow natural light into the home through open window curtains, and to take walks outdoors even during the cold.
It is often advised to travel to an exotic local or fly off to a warmer climate for a week to combat winter fatigue, yet this is not always practical. During a long chilly overcast season add a little cheer and boost to your step by walking out in nature. The natural light will lift your spirits while giving you vitamin D.
Creating a tropical getaway within your home for a week may be just the welcome change you need for added vitality, boost in mood, and renewed energy.
© 2014 Rain San Martin
Rain San Martin (author) from Fort Wayne on June 27, 2014:
Torrilynn, Yes the clean slate is the most vital step toward creating any theme. Yet its always a work in progress. "Progress not perfection" is my housekeeping motto.
torrilynn on June 24, 2014:
making your home feel like a tropical retreat starts with having a clean and well put together house. than adding a few touches of a few things. thanks for the hub.
Rain San Martin (author) from Fort Wayne on June 24, 2014:
Jackie, I appreciate it.
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 23, 2014:
Great article; very informative and well done. Interesting and attractive. ^+
Rain San Martin (author) from Fort Wayne on May 30, 2014:
Thank you, I aim to be practical.
Rain San Martin (author) from Fort Wayne on May 30, 2014:
Thank you and good luck on your beach gardening Hubs.
trailrunner7 on May 29, 2014:
Great ideas and very "doable"! I especially appreciate that everything you suggest is budget friendly and simple!
Beach Gardening on May 29, 2014:
I loved your ideas and can't wait to borrow a few of them:)