Tropical Chic Decor Makes You Feel Like You're On a Stylish Staycation at All Times

This style balances maximalism with relaxation in the most stylish way.

Boucle couch with palm tree pillows, wooden coffee table, chic books

Julie Soefer

Warm sandy beaches, beautiful blue water, palm trees swaying in the breeze: It might be the dead of winter, but tropical chic decor is bringing a little taste of paradise to homes everywhere this year.

This bold style goes all in on fun colors, patterns, and plants and aligns with 2024’s theme of all things maximalism. But this aesthetic isn’t just for those who live by the beach. In fact, its mood-boosting effects might have a more dramatic effect in the Midwest than Miami. With the right design direction, anyone can channel a little fun in the sun through their homes.

To help us build our own island-inspired retreat, we talked to a design pro to get all her best tips for bringing a sophisticated take on tropical into your space. Read on for the style antidote to the winter doldrums.

Why Tropical Chic Is Trending Now

"We've seen the tropical design aesthetic become more popular with the rise of social media platforms like TikTok," says Dominique Coffman, VP of Design, Design West. "It's no surprise that this trend has taken a resurgence as its theme creates a reminder of a tropical escape and can provide a certain ambiance that makes people feel like they are on vacation in their own home."

While dated versions of the tropical trend might have been best suited to a vacation home, the reimagined take on this maximalist, chic aesthetic means you don't have to live in a warm climate to partake, making it more universally appealing. 

green lush tropical dining room monstera cuttings
Carmel Brantley

Tropical chic also pulls in several overarching trends from the past few years—from the big, bold prints of maximalism to the plant-heavy aesthetic of a bungalow, so it feels both familiar and fresh.  

Incorporating Tropical Chic Decor Into Your Home

West explains that you can introduce a taste of the tropics anywhere "by choosing elements that can adapt to different climates," she says. "Bamboo or rattan materials can work in different settings while still keeping with the tropical decor theme, for example. Adding layers of texture through plush throws or cushions can also provide comfort during colder seasons."

Of course, you want to keep things chic and sophisticated—so West recommends you "balance tropical patterned prints with neutral tones to keep the space from feeling overwhelming." To give your space a dynamic feel, layer patterns and textures like wicker and bamboo to "create more of a chic, eclectic look and feel," she says. As a bonus, many of these materials are eco-friendly.

window sitting area filled with plants
Adam Albright Photography

And you can never go wrong with lots of plants: Many palms and other tropical varieties thrive indoors year-round, so no matter the season, you have a taste of the outdoors.

For a small space like a kitchen, introduce a few little pots on your windowsill—though we love the idea of a "statement plant" in your living space to create focal point. If you live in an area that doesn't get too cold, you could even put a large plant in your entryway for a dramatic first impression.

To emphasize the chic aspect of this trend, West recommends you "add vibrant colors and bold hues to elevate the aesthetic." And if you want to go high style in your tropical paradise, try a little sparkle.

"Include gold elements to add glamor to the space," she says. These metallic touches can be added everywhere, from the hardware on your cabinets and dressers to dramatic metal lamps to complete your maximalist dream home.

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