Island Style Guide

From bright, bold colors to punchy tropical motifs, here is our complete guide to creating—and enjoying—an island oasis, as well as a our favorite island homes.

10 Island Style Essentials

In an open-air villa in Round Hill, Jamaica, designer Meg Braff shares her tips for loosening up a tailored look with island flair.

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We Love ... bamboo furniturea classic look from Palm Beach to Santa Monica. This vintage set got a face-lift with fresh white paint.
Photo J. Savage Gibson, Stylist Heather Chadduck, 

Island Style Essentials #2 & #3

Sugar White Walls
Because no island retreat would be complete without brightly patterned fabrics in greens, blues, pinks, and yellows, white walls are a must for unifying spaces and creating that airy island feel. “They have the same appeal as the classic white blouse―it’s versatile and always flattering, and allows killer accessories to really shine,” says Meg. White Dove (OC-17) by Benjamin Moore is her favorite island white paint.

We Love ... bamboo furniture―a classic look from Palm Beach to Santa Monica. This vintage set got a face-lift with fresh white paint.

A Preppy Palette
Taking cues from the Jamaican landscape, Meg chose tile, fabric, and accessories in tropical hues like palm green, coral pink, banana yellow, and aqua blue. “Muted decor is just not an option in Jamaica,” she says. Just because the color choices are bold, however, doesn’t mean every surface has to be drenched or that each room must feature the entire palette. Meg stuck to a simple formula: one color, in a range of tones, plus white in each room.

We Love ... that sea-green lantern sconce with a Bali-hut shape. Filled with candles, it’s like a tiki torch for the wall. Shop the look: For similar fixtures, try Shades of Light.

More Ways To Get Coastal Living



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100 Comfy Cottage Rooms 

Develop your coastal cottage’s style by following these simple tricks.

Lacy curtains, fresh florals, and plenty of monogrammed pillows are just a few of the feminine touches that give this room its calming and sweet mood. Pieces scored at thrift stores and flea markets were refreshed with paint, then artfully applied to achieve the shabby-chic distressed look.