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Tropical Style versus Coastal Design Short List

Posted by Leslie Burk on

Whether a weekend beach house or a home that exudes a fondness for the coast, oceans, lakes and islands, coastal and tropical style themes bring us to our happy place. We’re often asked what's the difference between what we consider tropical themes versus coastal decor. Here's a quick short list we've created. Think jungle versus ocean. However, most people blur the lines incorporating both themes to create an inviting haven that's all their own. Enjoy browsing our Captiva Tropical Collection of home accents for our favorites!


  • Warm vibrant colors - accents in coral, pink, rich greens, browns, yellow, and orange
  • Lush tropical foliage and large leaf plants - banana and palm leaves
  • Big bright floral blooms such as hibiscus
  • Fruit theme accents - pineapples and coconuts
  • Teak wood and rattan furniture
  • Organic shapes
  • Hawaiian and Asian Pacific themes
  • Exotic and large patterns
  • Focus on plants and animal rather than sealife

via apartment therapy

pinterest via

pinterest via style at home


  • Maritime, nautical and boating inspiration 
  • Mediterranean Sea influence
  • Northeast U.S. Influence
  • Cool blue and white colorways
  • Showcases ocean hues
  • Whitewashed and distressed furniture
  • Muted neutral accents with lots of white
  • Sharp contrasts - blue and red, turquoise and orange
  • Sealife accents
  • Rope, glass, and metal objects
  • Cottage and resort focus
  • Memorabilia accents and knicknacks
  • Bright natural light



pinterest via houzz

 pinterest via

Tropical Paradise


Cinnamon Bay, St John, USVI

Our favorite tropical location and one we highly recommend is The Virgin Islands. We have many friends and customers that regularly visit the British Virgin Islands to enjoy the pleasures of sailing, gorgeous sand beaches, and island life on Tortola, Jos Van Dyke, and Virgin Gorda. While our current boutique is located in the resort town of Harbor Springs on the shores of Lake Michigan, we've also featured a store for several years in nearby Bay Harbor resort which maintains a magnificent sister resort Oil Nut Bay in Virgin Gorda. Our local clients love to show us photos and reminisce about their favorite haunts and beaches as well as details about their favorite tropical decorating colorways incorporated into their homes and condos located in the Caribbean. Many of our Northern Michigan summer resorters like to escape our rather bitter winters in Michigan to the much more pleasant climates of the tropics.

Our personal favorite location in The Virgin Islands is charming St. John. The island is designated mostly as a National Park with loads of sandy white pristine beaches and tropical jungles. We love the quaint town of Cruz Bay which reminds of the friendly vibe of Harbor Springs. My recent visit in 2016 included a stay at the National Park main facility Cinnamon Bay where I found inspiration for our tropical leaves collection.


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