We all have our escape dreams and despite the fact that we are all so different, we envision wonderful tropical islands piled up with blooming begonia and long, golden beaches.
What if we told you that you can actually do this from the comfort of your own home? Let’s consider the possibility of designing houses in the Caribbean style:
Inspired by coastal designs, Caribbean interior design boosts the energy of different cultures and it seems to be abundant in terms of color to spark your imagination to work.
The interior design in the Caribbean must be authentic and rooted in the habits of the people who actually live on islands. The special thing about the style is that it has nothing to do with topics: it is about the feelings and state of mind of the person who is in this place.
Image source: Lauren Christine Henno
The rules are simple: everything should stay simple, airy and light. A Caribbean setting is designed to relax you, which is why it mainly relies on soft, neutral colors, natural materials and comfortable furniture. The end product of your work has to be something that you will actually avoid.
Image source: Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc.
I bet there weren’t any walls in your original Caribbean plan, but they are here and you have to figure out what to do with them. While a standard blue and white scheme is a distinctive choice, we recommend using more vibrant palettes, including lime, coral, yellow, or peach.
A very important moment is to focus on the outdoors and that makes green a great choice too.
For moments reminiscent of sea water, use light blue tones or crispy, warm white. You can even use one color overall, provided you want to play with multiple shades and tones.
However, it is better to use two colors most often (for example, to paint walls blue and ceilings white). Light butter with canary yellow is very typical of bold Caribbean homes.
Artistic souls are advised to paint natural elements on the walls (trees, flowers, or even birds) and not to worry if their skills do not go as far as the accuracy of an experienced paper.
Instead of drawing, you can hang pictures, cover cracks with interesting paintings, or even buy a pre-made Caribbean wallpaper.
When it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, we recommend bright mosaic tiles that are illogically attached to every wall.
Image source: Meridith Bear home
Sand is not a good option for a floor, I’m sure you will all agree. If you want to keep it bright, go for bright brown or bleached pine and use materials like stone and tile. The floor may seem cold at first, but a light-colored carpet is perfect to warm up the ambience.
Image source: Wood master builder
The first association of tropical islands is sunshine, and you need to recreate it with your lighting fixtures.
Make sure every corner is properly lit (large floor lamps are cut for this purpose), or be brave and experiment with colorful lampshades depicting Caribbean life scenes (turtles swimming in the ocean, people doing things in the market buy etc.). This is the bizarre solution you could ever do.
Image source: Fairfax & Sammons Architects
Durability and functionality are most important here: follow the logic of direct sunlight and use natural fibers such as rattan, bamboo or wicker. Hang baskets with bold patterns, ideally against white lidded boxes, for a more sophisticated look. Avoid anything that looks artificial, especially minimalist paint solutions.
The good side is that you can find plenty of beds, tables, and sofas made from these materials that look absolutely exactly like real Caribbean ones. When they are darker, cover them with bright and interesting fabrics.
The upholstery should be alive: if it’s wood, make it mahogany. Whatever you choose, remember that comfort is a priority – it should be natural, but also functional.
Image source: Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders
Caribbean stands for crispy textiles, for example white as a background for colorful embroidery or other saturated textiles.
What could be perfect for creating Caribbean vibes is sheer canopy fabric – it looks amazing on your curtains and bedposts, looks like a resort, but also protects you from creepy crawlies that distort your sleep.
Image source: House of Jade Interiors
Whichever way you choose to cover / expose your windows, remember to let in as much sunshine as possible. That limits your choices to neutrally dyed, lightweight cotton, custom curtain panels, or linen curtains.
Sand-colored synthetic wood shutters are Caribbean as well as bamboo / rattan blinds in rooms with similar seating. The colors should remain calm and neutral.
Image source: Saint Dizier design
Most likely you have your list of Caribbean accessories planned, and if there is one thing on each of your lists, it is either seashells or coral.
But why not go a step further? If you’re artistic, use your creativity to incorporate authentic Caribbean artwork such as paintings, photographs, or unique media combinations that look differently like Caribbean life than an article in a cheap travel magazine.
Try tracking down real-time scenes like a portion of ethnic cuisine, a portrait of a child playing on the beach, or just a bowl of tropical fruits. This goes for your walls, tiles, dishes, flower pots, and any other suitable surface.
Image source: Joseph Bergin Architect PC
Greenery and plants should not be underestimated in any way. They are paramount in Caribbean homes, which means you need to make up for the lack of lush blooms or tropical flowers that cannot be grown in your area.
A good way is to buy tropical greens that are resistant (there are leaves that can last in the water for weeks and that are extremely affordable!).
Image source: Showcase kitchen & bathroom
Kitchens are perfect for experimenting in the Caribbean, especially if you decorate them with bright, positive colors and eye-catching Caribbean accents.
A good idea is to paint walls light green and add gingerbread siding to make the room look more island-like. Curtains should be playful, and that includes carpets, towels, and tablecloths.
The rule of liveliness also applies to furniture: there is no reason to protect your storage space from a splash of lively orange that can certainly give you the Caribbean atmosphere you want!
Image source: Sharp design studio
As with walls, other elements can handle some neutral tones (especially white and creams). Another color that looks great is brown, even if it’s not that festive.
However, considering that this is your home and you are meant to live in it, you shouldn’t sacrifice functionality for a good and playful look. The ultimate purpose is to keep the balance between the two.
If your sofas, tables, rugs, or cabinets are bold, contrast with a neutral element. It could be wooden chairs, wooden tables, turquoise carpets, or any other element that comes to mind.
Image source: A children’s room
If you are really traveling to the Caribbean you need to understand that Caribbean culture is the result of many generations of changes and modifications. It accepted elements from French, Dutch, English, Spanish, and African life, and this shows just as clearly in the interior as it does in the music and cuisine.
This is a good thing as you have a variety of options and ideas to bring the tropical vibe into your home.