From Jungle Animals to Banana Leaves – Tropicalcore is the Latest Interior Trend 

With #tropicaldesign hitting 1.3 million views on TikTok, the interior decor is once again trending, and this time it is all about being bigger and bolder than ever before.

Whether you’re a seasoned maximalist who can’t wait to whole-heartedly embrace the trend, or someone looking to step away from safe and simple interior choices, now is the perfect time to take your interior design further.

Below, Amy Wilson, interior designer for 247 Curtains shares her insight on the trend and tips for how you can recreate the look in your own home.

Talking about the returning trend, Amy says: 

“The tropical interior is all about bringing the tropical destination home – think Hawaii and Bali – and making the home a playful and inspiring place to be. People are embracing patterns more than ever before and it seems the more tropical and bold, the better. Everything from jungle animal print inspired designs to big banana leaf motifs, tropical is back on the agenda for 2023 and there is something for everyone, not just maximalists.”

So, how can you embrace the trend in your home?

1. Start with your favourite tropical theme

When it comes to the tropical trend, there are so many different patterns and colour schemes to choose from.

Amy advises: “Whilst the tropical interior trend is typically about the maximalist mindset, it often works well to concentrate on one major theme, whether that be Palm Springs playful glam or green jungle designs. Having a strong starting point will help keep the overall interior design cohesive and will make it easier to understand what soft furnishings and textures you should introduce.” 

2. Layer up the bright colours

Once you’ve got the blank canvas ready, it’s time to have fun layering up with contrasting textures and designs.

Amy says: “Once you’ve started to build the overall look, focus on adding plenty of layers to keep the design fresh and exciting. If you’re an experienced maximalist, this will be easy work, however if you’re just starting to dip your toe in bigger and bolder designs, try focusing on soft furnishings. Play around with patterned cushions and oversized artwork to complement your existing scheme, whilst ensuring it does not match too closely. Adding layers does not need to be done all at once – add touches here and there as you become more comfortable with the daring decor.”

3. Compliment with earthy tones

If the busyness of tropical prints feels too bold for your interior style, balance it out with some calming hues.

Amy suggests: “Whilst some may want to stick exclusively to bold and punchy colours, for others, combining this with more calming neutral tones can make the tropical trend more achievable and inviting. Terracotta and other earthy colours pair nicely with the tropical theme so perhaps you could look at painting the walls in these pale shades whilst embracing the trend through soft furnishings, such as bright green curtains.” 

4. Pair with warm woods

Bring in contrasting textures to add interest to the room. 

Amy says: “Another thing that matches nicely with big and bold patterns is wood. Wood works really nicely in bringing some softness and freshness into busy spaces which makes it a great option for those looking to try the tropical trend without compromising on the home feeling like a tranquil and calming space – particularly if you’re looking to embrace this trend in the bedroom.”

5. Introduce some bold accessories

With this trend, it’s all about colour and contrast, so let your imagination run wild when it comes to accessories.

Amy suggests: “If you love the idea of mixing and matching lots of different accessories but worry it will look messy, tropical and botanical prints are the perfect way to tie it all together. Whilst some busy patterns require simple, paired back accessories to balance it out, the tropical theme thrives when lots of colour and texture is in the mix so get creative and make some brave choices. Think patterned yellow curtains, oversized animal ornaments and stripey rugs.”

6. Welcome the outside in

No tropical-inspired interior would be complete without bringing in plants – and plenty of them.

Amy adds: “Finally, no tropical interior theme is complete without inviting the outside in. Don’t just rely on the plants and banana leafs within the prints, but actually introduce plenty of potted plants within the space. Opt for large plants, even in a smaller space to help add a playfulness to the overall look. Bird of paradise, parlour palm, banana leaf and yucca are just a few plants that align perfectly with this interior.”

Eve Crabtree

Eve Crabtree is a journalist with a passion for interior design. She keeps up to date with the latest trends in the interior industry and regularly tests her hand at crafting and redecorating during her spare time.