How to bring island decor to your English home.
Have those balmy nights abroad got you lusting after a total decor overhaul? But not quite sure how you can bring that island-vibe back to your quintessentially English home?
Look no further….I too faced the same predicament when I moved back from the tropical shores of Australia in 2017. Having travelled across countless countries over the last 10 years, I knew I had to bring elements of my travels into my very British home.Your home reflects your personality, your experiences & your interests; you deserve to let them shine in the confines of your own space.
Here are a few ways to cleverly and confidently incorporate island-inspired decor into your home…
1. Bring it back to nature.
Create a foundation of natural tones and textures in your decor to replicate nature. Subtle hues make it easy to style with motifs from other cultures. If you want to modernise, add touches of gold with lighting or homewares, like this Antique Gold Tray. The trick to natural colour palettes is to choose your base-tones; are they grey/cool or brown/warm? This then dictates which natural materials will work in your space; brown undertones lend themselves to rattan & jute, whereas grey undertones compliment stone & rustic ceramics. Large plants make for a statement and also purify the airspace- there is nothing like bringing nature inside. Check out Botanica Studio for stunning houseplants.
TONES - off-white, tan, beige, greige, terracotta, earth.
MATERIALS - cotton, linen, hemp, jute, skins, merino wool, rattan, ceramic, stone, mango wood, macrame
TO DO: Pick a base tone & 3 natural materials to work with.
2. Work with what you’ve got.
As much as we would like to pretend to, you may not live on the beach and you most definitely don’t live on a tropical island in Indonesia, so it’s important to work with what you’ve got! That means not overloading your space and turning it into that Pinterest board you have been lusting over. For example: Georgian cornicing and high ceilings lend themselves perfectly to oversized rattan pendants like the Hanoi Pendant, however rattan furniture may look a little more out of place. If you find your home doesn’t suit that boho-island look, opt for smaller touches like artwork, throw cushions and vases. Our favourite is Moroccan Cactus Silk. Find the balance of incorporating elegant hand crafted pieces that fit your space; go bold but keep it simple.
TO DO: Identify the type of space you have and what will work in it.
3. Don’t lose your own signature style.
Everyone has their own style and that’s what will make your space unique. Mine is heavily influenced by coastal life in Australia. I then have an innate interest in travel which has shaped the way I style with the trinkets I bring home and the jewellery I wear. If you want longevity in your island-inspired decor, don’t overdo the ‘trend’-based accessories (I’m talking about those 10 vases of pampas grass you have…). Choose your style - are you Bohemian mishmash? Are you travel-inspired trinkets? Are you Scandi-minimalist? Or are you boho island beach club? Inject your own taste into whatever you choose.
TO DO: Make a moodboard of your signature style, a moodboard of your chosen style & a moodboard of them carefully combined.
4. Keep it simple.
Think holistically - it’s all about balance, not overdoing it. Balinese style is never too busy and neither is island life. Replicate that feeling of calm. Start with all neutral bases, I love a pure white all over as it’s a blank canvas and immediately makes your space appear brighter. It’s all about bringing in the light to create that sunny island feel, then if you want depth you can add this with furniture and accessories. Get rid of those heavy curtains or blinds, let the light flood in. The key is to think multi-textured - do not make every single piece of furniture rattan or every single vase display pampas grass. Combine linen or cotton, with wood or stone & rattan or jute.
TO DO: Look around your finished space and take one piece away.
5. Shop ethically and authentically.
We can’t all source our homewares from a life of worldwide travel, so when you’re shopping locally here in the UK there are a few things to bear in mind. The shops are full of ‘boho’ homewares these days and they are mostly made cheaply, poorly and unethically. Try and steer clear of these if you can. Quality is key to getting a sophisticated bohemian-style. The idea is keeping it as natural as possible, so keep it authentic. Try hunting at your local flea market, online marketplaces, & antique shops. Why not have a story behind the pieces in your home? During my first trip to India I watched a clever craftsman making pearl-inlaid furniture which I vowed I would purchase one day. I then sourced a piece in the UK 4 years later.
TO DO: Think outside the box when you are next shopping, visit that flea market!
Ideas to get you started…
Turn your outside space into a beach club with a pergola and collection of rattan pendants.
Tile your bathroom with a bold Moroccan mosaic tile.
Collect a tile from each city you visit and tile your kitchen or bathroom.
Don’t forget to tag us in your island-inspired decor!
Leave a comment