How To Create the Modern Tropical Look

The new Modern Tropical look is a soothing, clean, updated version of the more vibrant tropical décor we usually think of. It still uses natural wood and rattan furniture pieces accented with pops of classic island patterns, but this new look can be simplified to a few sleek and special pieces within an airy, white, or sea-toned space.

Use the wood, rattan and jute rugs as your beach-neutral tones (think of driftwood and sand colors, bleached shells and natural stone). Add accents in hues like bold clear orange or yellow or blue (ceramics, textiles, artwork) in a very spare, very curated way. Keep it simple. The look will be fun, but updated.

Of course, you can still opt to turn on the sunshine in the bold Classic Tropical style. Or pull in cool blues and green palm fronds for a South Seas Tropical Escape. Or, do a pink-and-green Tropical Cocktails look. Create your own twist on the Modern Tropical living trend. Your only goal: a relaxing space that makes you feel happy, like you’re on vacation.

Our menu of Modern Tropical Décor must-haves can be your starting point. Mix and match the pieces to create a tropical escape that’s right for you:

Augusto Chair and Ottoman • Naples Dining Chair • Paloma Bench • Skye Backless Stool •

Rachel Ottoman • Leila Outdoor Pillows • Palm Springs Outdoor Pillows •

Pretty in Pink Flamingo Party Outdoor Pillow • Maggie and Zara Parrot Outdoor Pillows • Bradford Hanging

Lanterns • Elliot Lantern • Pineapple Lights • Tropical Palms Outdoor Rug • Quinn Basket

Weave Outdoor Rug in Natural • Perrie Mirror • Mali Quilt • Linen Quilted Coverlet •

Column Planters • Pearson Planters • Sadler Table Lamp • Visionary Floor Lamp

  1. I will be moving soon and plan to have a sun room that I want to do in a Tropical design. Can I mix yellow and pink together and get the same look. I have a yellow antique glass lamp and two yellow chairs (bamboo look) that I want to include in the room. I appreciate your feedback. Thank you. Pam

    1. Hi Pam: Absolutely! Like you, we always love the idea of a fresh yellow-and-pink take on the tropics. Mixing the natural sunniness of yellow or butter hues with the color associated with flamingos, fizzy grapefruit cocktails and beachside sunsets is always a fun way to go. When decorating with color, we like to recommend following the “rule of three” – using your main color (in this case, yellow) at least three times in a room. Since you have the yellow lamp and chairs, consider adding as your third item wall a rug or artwork with the same yellow tones. To bring in your secondary touches of cheery pink, how about pillows or a few vintage vases? Another idea for both the rule of three and uniting your palette: try a floral rug with tones of both yellow and shades of pink, like our modern easy-care Corrine Area Rug or our Garden Indoor Rug in Buttercup, which has a lush feeling like a fantasy garden in the tropics. Depending on your yellow tones, perhaps try our Piper Outdoor Rug in Mustard. Or go for a bold pink/neutral tile pattern with texture as your foundation: our Percy High-Low Trellis Outdoor Rug is perfect. You can see all our rug choices online. We’d love to see a photo of your new tropical space when you’ve put it all together!

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