An Englishman’s home is his castle, so the saying goes, and this just goes to show the importance with which we hold our homes. They are the center of our lives, and for many of us, we will only make one real home in our lifetimes. As a result, we like to style them in our own unique ways to the point that they become an extension of our personalities. Furthermore, pressures from social media have meant that we all seem to be in a tight race to have the most beautiful and lavish home possible. The style possibilities are endless, so here we are going to take you back to your holidays and that island-style of golden sandy beaches by showing you the perfect way to give your home an island influenced look.
Install a veranda
When you think back to your holidays on a Caribbean atoll or a Greek island, one of the most striking memories is of enjoying a gin and tonic on the veranda at sundown. Island living, due to the nature of the climate, often takes place outdoors, and there is no better place to spend your evening than on a veranda. They are perfect not only for sundowners, but also for dinner, and you can even start your day with a lazy breakfast or brunch outside. Verandas are inexpensive to install and maintain, so if you are looking for a different way of sprucing up your home, with an island touch, then consider a veranda.
Add some dark wood
Island communities, due to their isolation, have to build everything from the materials and tools that they have at their disposal, and this means making things out of the indigenous wood. This wood is often very hard and comes in luxurious dark colors so it makes a perfect material with which to make kitchen worktops and cupboards. The wood will be hard-wearing and is water-resistant if treated right and really does give off an air of island simplicity, but also sophistication. So, if you are looking to create a talking point in your kitchen, consider investing in some hardwood work surfaces and you really will hit the mark.
A tropical ceiling fan
Now that we are in the middle of a long, sweaty summer, the time is perfect to invest in a way of keeping yourself cool in your home and also in your garden cabana. You could invest in an air conditioning unit, but these are expensive and noisy and frankly do nothing for the interior of your property. You want your comfortable cabana to evoke memories of the pacific islands, so the best way of achieving this is by installing a tropical ceiling fan. They are absolutely silent and are inexpensive to install. Not only will they help to keep you cool, but the constantly moving air helps to keep flies and mosquitoes at bay, meaning that you can enjoy your cabana all summer long.
Bamboo really is a building material that is ubiquitous with island life, due to the fact that it is abundant, grows incredibly quickly, and is extremely tough and durable. However, it is not only used as a building material but also as a source of inspiration for internal decoration as it can be used practically anywhere and in any style. Bamboo fronds can be placed in a vase and made into a centerpiece of any room, and the long, thin canes can be turned into furniture or used as wall decoration. It doesn’t matter how you use it, because however you do, you will be giving your home that island influenced touch.
Scour the beaches
If you are lucky enough to live by the coast then you should be using the local beach as inspiration for the interior design of your home, and if you don’t then remember the beach next time you are on holiday. You will find all sorts of different shells, and of course, beautifully colored sand that could both be turned into a piece of wall art or into the base of a table. Both these materials cost nothing and will provide endless hours of entertainment while you search for them and then fashion them into your finished designs.
Think about your color scheme
When you last went to an island, whether in the Meditteranean or the Caribbean, what was the color scheme employed by the locals? Yep, it was full of light pastel colors, such as whites, light blues, and greens. These colors help to mitigate the searing heat from the midday sun, and they also provide a relaxing quality that is in tune with the slow pace of daily island life. If you are looking to incorporate this style into your own home then it couldn’t be easier as you can paint your shutters a nice soothing shade of green to keep the harsh rays of the sun out, or a light blue to evoke memories of the crystal clear waters.
Reinvent your bedroom
When you think of island bedrooms they really are in tune with their surroundings as they are built to allow you to sleep well on those long hot sticky nights. How do they do this? Well, they ensure that there is a constant flow of air throughout the room and that the bed is raised and kept protected by a large mosquito net. Ceilings and walls are all white and furniture is kept to a minimum but is made out of local bamboo and rattan where necessary. All of this is achievable in your own home at a low cost, so get the paintbrush out and head to the charity stores to find some rattan furniture.
As we have learned it is much easier than you think to add an island-style touch to your own home. Think about light pastel colors and introduce beautiful hardwoods and local materials such as bamboo. Remember that ease of living is key, so purchase a tropical ceiling fan and make sure that your bedroom is light and airy so that you can sleep well in the hot summer months. Scour the beaches for shells and oddities and then you can spend the evening relaxing on your Caribbean style veranda. Heaven!