Characterized by its reliance on bright, beautiful colors, wooden accents, and the seamless integration of the outside and the inside, there’s nothing quite like Caribbean interior design to bring a sense of buoyant vibrancy to your home. Which isn’t, of course, to say it’s so loud and in-your-face you’ll end up with a migraine if you live with it too long. More than anything else, Caribbean interiors offer the kind of relaxed, tranquil living spaces that are guaranteed to relax and unwind you within minutes of stepping through the door… and where better to create a relaxing space to unwind than the bedroom? If you’re keen to pay homage to the classic interiors of the Caribbean, here’s what you need to know.
Go Bold with Vibrant Colors
If you want a neutral living space with stark white walls and a minimalistic design, the tropical vibe of the Caribbean style isn’t for you. If you want bold, vibrant colors that draw on the turquoise blues and greens of the Caribbean landscape, then it definitely is. Caribbean style is are all about making it look, and feel, like your home is simply an extension of the outdoors (although if you live in a busy metropolis where the only nature you see is the colorful locals, you may have to take some leaps with your imagination). As Beach Bliss Living recommends, base your color palette around the vibrant hues you’d see on a trip to the Caribbean, introducing as many shades of the sky and the sea as you can. If you really want to up the tropical vibe, some bright pinks, canary yellows, and cheerful corals will do the job very well.
Keep Things Crisp with Textiles
The bedroom is a great place to introduce some of the crisp fabrics that are at the heart of Caribbean design. When it comes to the colors and patterns of the materials you choose, you’ve got some great options to play with. Caribbean interiors love a big, bold pattern: geometrical designs are huge, as are floral abstract patterns. Color-wise, a popular option is to create a juxtaposition between stark whites and bolder hues. Try dressing your bed with a white sheet overlaid with a colorfully embroidered blanket that brings in some of the more playful shades of the Caribbean color palate. The contrast will look striking enough to make the bed a real focal point of the room and inviting enough to make you want to kick off your shoes and snuggle down for a snooze.
Keep Things Natural with Wood
As mentioned, Caribbean interiors are all about pulling a little bit of the outdoors into the indoors… and how better to do this than by making a feature of one of the island’s most abundant natural resources? Wooden furniture plays a huge part in Caribbean design, and fortunately, it’s as easy as pie to incorporate into the bedroom. Bamboo, rattan, teak, wicker, and pine are all popular options for furniture and can be mixed and matched to your heart’s content. A huge teak bed with elaborately carved bedposts (a great place to hang some gauzy material or even a mosquito net for an authentic touch of Caribbean flair) make a great central focal point. Add an antique chair upholstered in a tropically patterned material, an ornate dresser, and beaten and battered armoire (as a general principle, don’t worry about how much “weathering” your furniture has had. Caribbean style is all about incorporating elements of the old with elements of the new: if your furniture looks like it’s passed through multiple generations of hands and has just as many a story to tell, then so much the better) and your Caribbean style bedroom will be well on its way. Just one more step to consider before you get there: the flooring. As with furniture, a natural material is favored when it comes to flooring options. Stripped wood (you can choose to go as dark or as light as you like, depending on what best compliments the rest of your room) is a great choice, as is scrubbed, polished stone.
Get Tropical with Plants
No Caribbean room is complete without at least a few leafy greens, and the bedroom is no different. Add as many potted plants as your room can reasonably handle without turning it into a jungle. Be sure to mix things up with a wide variety of shapes, sizes and different types of foliage. Cut flowers are also a great addition: raid your local florist for dramatic displays of hibiscus, bird of paradise, anthurium, bougainvillea, and chrysanthemums. As well as looking delightful, they’ll add a gorgeous fragrance to your room as well.
Just as the islands themselves are a glorious hotchpotch of different cultures and traditions, so too is Caribbean interior design. As Decoist notes, look closely at Caribbean interiors and you’ll see traces of Dutch, English, Spanish, French, African and English influences everywhere. The end result is an eclectic, adventurous style that can be easily incorporated into any home, and personalized to create your own unique little piece of paradise. Want a rustic, beach-style bedroom with a calming vibe? Then keep the vibrant colors to the accents only, opt for furniture in simple designs and lighter, distressed woods, and keep fabrics as light and gauzy as possible. If you fancy a more traditional, opulent bedroom, go for elaborate, intricately engraved furniture in dark wood and don’t hesitate at going all out on those big, bold colors.
Get Creative with Decorations
Now you’ve got the key features of your Caribbean style bedroom sorted, you can start having some fun with the decorative flourishes. Pottery is a big trend in Caribbean interiors (and are the perfect planting vessel for a few of those plants you’ll be bringing in). Other great ideas to add some island magic include a few large, colorful paintings based on a floral theme, a woven pendant lamp, and a seagrass rug or two scattered over a bare wood or scrubbed stone floor.