Totally Tropical Taste – Interiors With a Twist of Lime

01 May


Think tropical and style, and you are probably taken to the image of your uncle Ted after one too many Pina Coladas singing Barry Manilow songs in his favourite Hawaiian shirt.  Well let me help you fight that thought….

Transport your mind to the shores of the Caribbean, moving your way all the way through to the South Pacific. Think of British Colonial India, indulging in a good book – “A Passage To India” perhaps.  Think about engaging with the nature of the tropics “palm trees”, and natural materials such as teak, rattan and linens……

Style Guide Tropical Paradise

As with all interior styles you can be subtle, bringing in plants in their natural form, or in the form of fabrics and prints.  Wood panels in crisp whites and plantation shutters. Keeping it natural……but….

….before you get a little bit too relaxed don’t forget the colour of the wildlife and botanical specimens, together with the calypso carnival atmosphere that encapsulates these tropical regions.  For those who want a bit more of a twist, an interior that shouts a little more TOTALLY tropical taste, here are a few thoughts for you… (I think Uncle Ted would be proud!)

Florence Broadhurst

I could not think tropical wallpaper without thinking of Sydney’s wallpaper queen Florence Broadhurst.  Her range of Cockatoo wallpaper certainly packs a tropical punch.

..or a little splash of Bamboo Latice

Bonnie and Neil

Bonnie and Neil was created by Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie, who work out of their Brunswick studio in Melbourne Australia.

They classify themselves as compulsive hoarders – Bonnie has a background in textile design and naturally has a love of vintage fabrics, and Neil a designer and furniture maker has a love of timber. bonnie and neil creates hand made functional and decorative pieces that combine both of their skills.  The hand painted cockatoo lamp below would go equally well in a subtle white room or side by side with Florence’s bold print for a true tropical hit – remember a clash of bold prints is the way to go according to the fashionistas.

Hand painted ceramic cockatoo lamp with hand printed linen shade

Or for those who like to add a bit of up-cycle, you could incorporate their handmade reclaimed Tasmanian Oak shadow boxes which are printed in botanical or geometric designs.  The oak has been reclaimed from houses across Victoria. They highlight that “the beauty of each box comes through in its dents and imperfections”. A perfect little tropical storage place.

Reclaimed Shadow Box, Large, Rosella

Wooden storage cubes, red set

Wooden storage cubes, red set

Chloe Croft

UK designer Chloe Croft has a clientele ranging from Pop Stars to Opera Singer. She has also created work for de Gournay – the world’s finest producers of hand painted wallpaper, silk and porcelain.

Chloe has recently combined her passion for animals with her vibrant and elegant style to create a collection of animal portraits.  Each portrait is created from hundreds of painstakingly cut strips of parchment.  it is from these originals that she has transposed the images onto homewares such as the cushions below.


Or add a bit of fruit with Escape To Paradise’s range of homewares. Such as their kitch Polyresin Silver Pineapple

Silver pineapple to scale Silver pineapple to scale  Front view of the Oasis Cushion.

So have a little fun and embrace the carnival….. on with the colourful journey………….


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2 responses to “Totally Tropical Taste – Interiors With a Twist of Lime

  1. This Sydney Life

    May 1, 2012 at 7:44 am

    I love the way you pull together a theme so beautifully, BCD. Fantastic. Cockies are my new favourite after this post. I love that Bonnie & Neil lamp… and the Escape to Paradise pineapple… I now want a place in the sun (Northern Q’Land, perhaps?) to design my own wee paradise full of totally tropo’ stuff. 🙂

    • birdcagedesign

      May 1, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Thank you TSL. Glad you enjoyed ….. I needed to be reminded of warmer climates so may join you in QLD. The lamp is great isn’t it… really quirky. If you like the Cockatoo “Have you met Miss Jones” also has a ceramic cockatoo light….


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