L&L Guide To Tropical Lighting and Home Décor Ideas

The best place to look for tropical lighting and décor inspiration is over on the island of Bali. Traditional Balinese homes follow the main design principle of bringing the outdoors indoors. So you see a lot of wide open indoor spaces, with large windows that open out to the outdoors. This principle can also be used when looking for tropical home décor ideas. Bringing the outdoors indoors is also done through using natural materials (wood, stone, greenery, flowers) when looking at light fixtures, furniture, and décor pieces.

tropical lights

Bright and Airy During The Day

When it comes to lighting, the first area to look into is natural lighting. This means opening up the house during the day by using large windows. Wooden blinds or bamboo shades can be used to add that tropical touch and privacy.

Creating That Cozy Tropical Night Feeling

When night falls, tropical homes become cozy and intimate places, a contrast to the open and airy space during the day. One reason for this is because of the lighting. Unlike modern homes that have lots of recessed lights that brightly light up the entire room, tropical homes use lights that are closer to the ground (which creates this intimate feeling). A lot of the tropical home in Bali won’t be using ceiling lights, as most ceilings are bare roofs made out of wood and are decorative structures. Instead, these homes will make use of wall lights such as sconces or wall washers, and floor or table lamps. If they do happen to use ceiling lights, they are generally pendant lights or hanging lanterns.

tropical home

When looking for tropical lighting fixtures, lights that are made of natural materials will work best. For example, lamps that have a wooden or stone base, or a wooden lamp shade, or even just a lamp shade that has a wooden frame but uses fabric to cover it up. The same design style also works when looking for tropical lights for the ceilings, walls or for outdoor lighting.

Accent Lighting: Highlighting Your Tropical Decor

You can use lighting to highlight certain objects or areas within a room to create focal points and showcase the tropical style you’ve built.

    • Indoor house plants can have little display lamps shined onto them. If you place the lamp below the plant and shine it against a wall, it will cast unique shadows across the room.
    •  You can highlight a table of wooden or stone sculptures with light.
    • Downlights can shine down onto a textured stone or wooden wall or onto a tropical wall decor piece.
    • Another décor piece to have is a water feature of some sort – adding another natural element to a home. This can be a simple plug in bamboo fountain. Whatever it is, this water feature can also be highlighted by lighting it up.

topical living room

Color Scheme and Other Tropical Décor Ideas

The dominant colors in a tropically styled home are browns (wooden furniture, sculptures, wall carvings, etc.), greens (plants) and whites (furniture cushions, bed sheets, etc). Flowers are what add splashes of color to these spaces.

tropical room

Here are some other interior design ideas:

Tropical Furniture: Wicker or rattan pieces are ideal as they are lightweight and airy. Teak is another type of furniture that will fit into a tropical styled home – and as it can be waterproofed, you can find furniture pieces, like a shower bench, that can be placed in the bathroom.

Bamboo is another great natural material to include in your tropical interior design. Bamboo furniture, mats, or picture frames are some simple ideas.

Other Décor Pieces: Wooden or stone bowls can be used to group clutter on a coffee table or they can be used as bathroom décor pieces like as soap dishes, etc. There are also wooden or stone vases that can be used to house flowers which add a splash of color to any room.

Going Outdoors

An outdoor space can be turned into one of the most intimate and secluded areas of the home. When it comes to lighting, you want to keep it low down and somewhat dim. Fire based lighting works best: candles, lanterns, fire bowls or tiki torches. Click here for other outdoor lighting ideas.

image credits: CameronBrandon, C.K. 2 

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