Add the spirit of the islands to your home with ideas from these inspiring spaces.
1 of 60Photo: Tria Giovan; Stylist: Elizabeth Beeler
Become One With Nature
The fresh green and yellow linens in this guest bedroom on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, along with the mahogany doors and windows, echo the lush landscape outside. Adding a small potted plant to the bedside table literally brings the outside in.
3 of 60Photo: Linny Morris; Stylist: Sunday Hendrickson
Get Cohesive with Color
This master bathroom’s shimmering Moroccan tiles are a softer take on the vibrant greenery outside and create a relaxing tone for a long soak. The light green tub—instead of a traditional white or cream—unifies the space.
Get the Look: The tub and fixtures are from Waterworks.
4 of 60Photo: Mark Lohman; Stylist: Françoise O’Neill
Style with Shutters
Many island homes feature exterior shutters that can be opened to take advantage of tropical breezes, or closed during rough winds, but this living room puts a fresh twist on the classic element by incorprating a painted shutter into the décor.
5 of 60Photo: Annie Schlechter; Stylist: Elizabeth Beeler
Add a Cheery Hue
Sea urchins are affixed to the bright yellow wall of this Jamaican master bedroom, adding a fun layer of ocean-inspired texture. The rest of the room, decked in neutral tones, balances the wall’s bold color.
6 of 60Photo: Linny Morris; Stylist: Sunday Hendrickson
Incorporate Natural Elements
This Maui bedroom is full of island style. The ceiling’s exposed rafters and bamboo ceiling, carved bedposts, and nearly floor-to-ceiling windows give the space a Swiss Family Robinson-like feel. Light blue bed linens lend a watery accent that reflects the home’s oceanfront location.
The Thorsons designed the poster bed that their friends at Duck Soup then had made in Bali. Linens are by Lisa Galimberti.
A neutral color palette and uncluttered design make this Bonaire bedroom feel like a peaceful spot for relaxation. The airy canopy lends a touch of island style without detracting from the room’s modern aesthetic.
8 of 60Photo: Mark Lohman; Stylist: Françoise O’Neill
Emphasize the View
This vignette—in a bright beach house on Anna Maria Island, Florida—cleverly features a circular window in place of a more traditional mirror or piece of art. The buffet’s playful curves and distressed finish provide a nice contrast to the clean, geometric lines of the window.
Get the look: The living room walls are painted White Dove byBenjamin Moore.
The bold, leafy pattern on this South Padre Island, Texas, banquette creates a tropical atmosphere. Bright eggshell paint, vintage tiki stools, and folding director’s-style chairs further enhance the effect.
11 of 60Photo Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, Stylist Elizabeth Raines Beeler,
Create the illusion of an impressive poster bed (without the price tag) by attaching a mosquito net above each corner of the bed. Woven seagrass and rattan touches throughout add a rustic island flavor.
12 of 60Photo Sandra Allen Lynn, Photographer Jean Allsopp,
Outdoor Living Room
Keep all eyes at sea by echoing Mother Nature's color palette inside. Pops of reds and blues in the fabric echo the flowers and sea, causing an uninterrupted focal point. To keep mold and mildew at bay, use durable, even outdoor fabics for indoor rooms frequently exposed to salty, humid air.
13 of 60Photo Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, Stylist Elizabeth Raines Beeler,
Bold Bedroom Color
Despite the playful colors, the core elements of the room remain simple and straightforward. Be bold with hues, but make sure they complement one another. Combining a warm and cool shade, such as buttercup yellow and lilac, is a good team approach to paint.
14 of 60Photo Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, Stylist Elizabeth Raines Beeler,
Color isn't the only way to make an impact. Neutrals can pack a punch if done the right way. Turn up the heat by using natural materials such as stone, woven grass, and raw wood to give a double dose of texture, and reserve bold color for the view.
15 of 60Photo Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, Stylist Liz Strong,
A simple poster bed with local fabrics lets the sea speak for itself. A mosquito net is a must, but along with functionality, it adds softness and that whisper of romance every bedroom needs.
16 of 60Photo Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, Stylist Elizabeth Raines Beeler,
Wash the blues away with an azure blue tile shower with Greek key accents. Frosted glass allows natural sunlight to stream in without being too harsh or jeopardizing privacy. Eliminating shower doors opens a small space, allowing the feeling of an outdoor shower without the threat of rain or bugs.
17 of 60Photo J. Savage Gibson, Stylist Heather Chadduck,
Re-create the effortless beauty of the islands by mixing variations of blues and pops of prints throughout a room. Here, the Chippendale headboards frame the room to keep the focus zeroed in on the floral fabric.
18 of 60Photo J. Savage Gibson, Stylist Heather Chadduck,
This outdoor living room is far from a ho-hum porch. Apply the same design ideas used inside to your outside living spaces―it will quickly become the hottest spot in your house. Outdoor lanterns, bamboo furniture, and a ceramic stool will stand up to the elements without sacrificing style.
19 of 60Photo J. Savage Gibson, Stylist Heather Chadduck,
Mosaic tiles transform an ordinarily boring backsplash into durable wall art. Keep the rest of the appliances and cabinetry simple to make the more decorative elements pop. Frame island fronds for an inexpensive D.I.Y. project.
20 of 60Photo Jean-Philippe Piter, Stylist Pernille Vest,
Mix antiques and modern furniture for a cultured sophistication. White serves as the ideal backdrop to allow treasures collected throughout your travels to shine, like these birdcages, Chinese armoires, and the Louis XIV chair.
21 of 60Photo Jean-Philippe Piter, Stylist Pernille Vest,
The repetition of black-and-white geometric patterns gives this room a calming rhythm. The varying shapes and sizes of stripes and rectangles keep the look from being too repetitive. Oversize basket-weave shades are delightfully unexpected.
22 of 60Photo Jean-Philippe Piter, Stylist Pernille Vest,
Back to Basics
Nothing is more timeless than black and white. But veer away from an ultra-mod, cold look by adding antique wood pieces and a mix of soft-toned pillows to maintain the uncluttered, laid-back ease of the islands.
23 of 60Photo Jean-Philippe Piter, Stylist Pernille Vest,
The bath is an ideal opportunity for an all-white room. It just sparkles, appearing fresh and clean and inviting. The unique scale of the sink and mirror lend a modern touch.
24 of 60Photo Sophie Munro, Stylist Brice Gaillard,
Rethink wall art. Hand-painted blossoms and an antique tub add charm to this calming bath. The bare wood floors keep the space from being too sweet.
25 of 60Photo Sophie Munro, Stylist Brice Gaillard,
Painting the floor and ceiling the same color opens up the space, making the room appear larger. Steer clear from muted hues and paint walls a saturated color like this royal blue.
26 of 60Photo Annie Schlechter
Distressed walls, lighting, and cabinetry give this kitchen a sense of depth and history that most new homes lack. If time isn’t on your side, try distressing techniques such as sanding furniture, or scouring flea markets for goods with patina. Mix things up with a freshly lacquered turquoise backsplash.
27 of 60Photo Annie Schlechter
Carmen Miranda knew a thing or two about island style. Take a tip from her hat and choose prints that communicate the whimsy and fun of the beach. Pattern success comes when you keep the rest of the room understated with whitewashed walls and ceramic floors.
28 of 60Photo Annie Schlechter
Keep your prime spots for sunset cocktails casual. Make sure you provide plenty of seating for guests, as well as a quiet place to chill out alone.
29 of 60Photo Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn
Sea-inspired hues are a foolproof choice that lends successful results. This classic blue-and-white palette enhances the surrounding views and provides a relaxing feel for this indoor/outdoor escape.
30 of 60Photo J. Savage Gibson
Browse through vintage photos and old Hollywood movies from the 1950s and ’60s to get design ideas. Bamboo caning, latticework, and pagoda-inspired umbrellas are staples from that era.
31 of 60Photo Sophie Munro
Whitewashed wood in this Jamaican kitchen shows off the natural material’s texture and imperfections—creating a lived-in-for-years look. An old brass curtain rod acts as a towel holder and becomes a point of interest in the room.
32 of 60Photo Sophie Munro
Make the most out of small island spaces by utilizing tricky angles. Built-in shelves allow storage for books, and wooden beams provide creative places to store clothing accessories.
33 of 60Photo Sophie Munro
To achieve a high-impact look with minimal effort, try sponging bold color on the walls and accenting with funky paintings. The brushstrokes will make the room look like a work of art. Complete the look with a simple furniture arrangement and a few key accessories.
34 of 60Photo Jean Allsopp
When decorating island-inspired rooms, draw from nature’s color palette. Tropical details bring the outdoors into this Key West kitchen.
35 of 60Photo Jean Allsopp
Keep the laid-back feeling of the islands with barely-there neutrals. Amp up interest in a room by substituting texture for color. Go for materials such as rattan, sea grass, jute, and linen.
36 of 60Photo: Gaelle Le Boulicaut
Set the Scene
No need for decorations in this room. The modern furniture in this sleek living room all faces the floor-to-ceiling louvered wood doors, which provide maximum cross-ventilation not to mention an incredible view.
37 of 60Photo: Annie Schlechter
Get your bathrooms in on the tropical action too. Bamboo-print wallpaper adds just the right amount of pattern for a vintage-beach feel.
38 of 60Photo: Annie Schlechter
Formal Beach Style
Colorful island rooms can still convey a sense of formality with simple design choices. Here, a formal canopy bed is kept playful with a bold red and graphic decorative pillows.
39 of 60Photo: Reena Bammi
Loosely arrange nautical collectibles, like these serving plates, on the wall for a no-fuss decoration. The casual nautical theme is reinforced with a natural rug and wooden chest as a coffee table.
40 of 60
Pop of Color
Simple palm fronds and a vibrant rug can add just the right amount of flair to an otherwise neutral room. Porthole-shaped mirrors and a mix of wicker furniture maintain the beach theme.
41 of 60Photo: Lisa Romerein
Room With a View
Who doesn't want an ocean view and glorious French doors? This living room provides both. A calm color palette of neutrals and pale blues keeps the ocean view the focus of the room.
42 of 60Photo: Deborah Whitlaw Llwellyn
A Taste of the Tropics
Create a tropical paradise with bold prints, vibrant hues, and natural decorative pieces.
43 of 60Photo: Lisa Romerein
Built-in cabinetry with a touch of seafoam helps collectibles pop in this crisp white dining room. An oil-based exterior finish gives the painted cedar floorboards extra durability.
44 of 60Photo: Annie Schlechter
Retro Island Glam
A mix of retro furniture, vintage decorations, and tropical accents give this room its iconic island feel.
45 of 60Photo: Pieter Estersohn
A camelback sofa and Chippendale-style chairs are an elegant pairing for the Saarinen table. The combination carries an air of refinement along with a mellow, easy vibe.
46 of 60Photo: Annie Schlechter
Shell chandeliers are an island home must! The antiqued silver finish on this chandelier adds a bit of unexpected formality to this playful dining room.
47 of 60Photo: Lisa Romerein
A trademark of island architecture, a high vaulted roof is both pretty and practical, keeping indoor spaces cooler by pulling warmer air, which naturally rises, high above living areas. Stick to a subdued color palette to help the room appear cooler.
48 of 60Photo: J. Savage Gibson
Raffia upholstery gives the bed frame a neat and polished look, while soft pinks and full-throttled magenta play off the island's tropical colors.
49 of 60Photo: Eric Boman
Hand-poured cement tiles lend tropical flair and bold pattern to the kitchen. Bentwood chairs pulled up to a sleek white table give the kitchen even more personality.
50 of 60Photo: Richard Leo Johnson
A Nod to the Past
Lime green trimwork gives new life to an old beach cottage, but beds crafted from driftwood serve as a reminder of the cottage's humble origins.
51 of 60Photo: Richard Leo Johnson
Walk on the Wild Side
Bold fabrics and punches of color dress up this small, rustic cottage. Despite its proxmity to the kitchen, the room has a homey feel from the lobster trap turned coffee table and oversized chairs.
52 of 60Photo: Sophie Munro
Use neutral furniture as a blank canvas for bold colors and playful patterns. Swap out pillows and decorative accessories for a new look whenever you're in the mood to redecorate.
53 of 60Photo: Jean Allsopp
Breath of Fresh Air
Play up your grade-A views with wide-open rooms, double-decker terraces, and unfussy decór that reflects the surrounding's simplicity.
54 of 60Photo: Troy Campbell
Sea Shell Art
Play up the beach theme with sea shells. But not just in the traditional decrating sense. Use shells as a backsplash in a ktichen or as wallpaper in a small room.
55 of 60Photo: Dominique Vorillon
The rippled silk Tibetan rug, sea-foam walls, and driftwood coffee table hint at the beach beyond. Sheer curtains provide some privacy without completely blocking the view.
56 of 60Photo: Lisa Romerein
The sofa pairs with a round, ocean-blue tiled coffee table to accommodate big groups. Linen-wrapped poufs make for extra, moveable seating. Wood lamps and a wire-and-linen chandelier cast soft light on the space.
57 of 60Photo: J. Savage Gibson
Surf and Turf
Woven grass-cloth walls set the tone for a texture-rich hideaway. Driftwood, bamboo, and linen are echoed throughout this bedroom to add depth and dimension to the rain forest color palette.
58 of 60Photographer Tria Giovan
Create the ultimate beachside suite by opening up to a private seating nook. Unfinished teak and woven floor cushions add rugged texture against shades of aqua and sea foam.
59 of 60Photo: Dominique Vorillon
Sparkling white floors, billowing window treatments, and bamboo Chippendale dining chairs create the right blend of classic glamour and modern appeal—a perfect space for flirty conversation and a glass of wine.
60 of 60Photo: Lisa Romerein
This teahouse is a space designed for indulging. A French iron daybed, crystal chandelier, gauzy tie-top drapes, and garden urns filled with seashells make it an ideal spot for watching a sunset.