Looking for a trendy home and garden makeover that gives instant gratification and doesn't require a lot of time and resources? The latest trends in fashion and home decorating are drawing inspiration from the bright colors and laid-back attitudes of the tropics.
"Vibrant tropical colors are influencing home decor and gardens this spring and summer," says Doug Jimerson, editor-in-chief of gardening for Better Homes and Gardens.
Whether you want to makeover a deck, patio or porch, add some tropical flair by following the "three P's" of outdoor design: plants, paint and punch.
"New tropical plants are easy to grow for any outdoor space," Jimerson says. "With fantastic colors and foliage, it's simple to add splashes of intense color throughout your garden, deck and patio."
Jimerson suggests going big and bold with gorgeous blooms of colorful hibiscus that come in dozens of bright tropical colors.
"Whether you're planning a summer luau, graduation party or just want a restful retreat, decorating your backyard with easy care, sun-loving hibiscus offer a blaze of color for any occasion. Cut hibiscus flowers floating in water make an exotic centerpiece, and using the blooms as garnishes takes al fresco dining to the next level," Jimerson says.
New Bloomtastic! and Patio Tropics! tropical plants from Hines Growers, offer immediate color and impact for any sized garden, deck, porch or patio. Simply leave them in their pretty pots to add lush flowers and foliage to your outdoor spaces or grow them throughout your landscape for a pop of vivid color.
One of the best hibiscus varieties is Bahama Bay Hibiscus "Amazon Queen" with huge blooms that match the Pantone Color Institute color of the year, Tangerine Tango. Pair it with the new bright yellow Bahama Bay "Enlightenment" hibiscus and add some Tiki lights for a festive garden party or luau.
"People have already warmed up to mandevilla for splashes of intense color throughout gardens and outdoor spaces and use them to create a natural privacy screen on trellises and arbors. And don't be afraid to mix plants, colors and textures when decorating your outdoor spaces," says Jimerson.
Cool tropicals like desert rose have a unique bonsai-like appearance. Adenium Kissable Pink, Red and Blush come in eye-popping colors and striking flowers and best of all, can be overwintered indoors.
For a garden party in a pot, the new Bougainvillea Garden Party Patio Tree's multi-colored flowers bring tropical flair and a formal topiary appearance to gardens, entryways and outdoor living areas like patios and decks. To see a full range of tropical plants and more inspiration, visit www.hinesgrowers.com.
Paint is one of the easiest, most economical ways to create a tropical feel inside or out. Choosing a color that reminds you of the beach sets the theme for your overall design.
Margie Grace, of Grace Design Associates, and a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), advises not to limit painting to just walls. "Paint an old set of chairs Caribbean blue, containers coral red and sunshine yellow," she says. "Just remember when choosing a shade, tropical colors aren't going to fade into the background. They're going to make a vibrant statement."
An accent wall on a deck or patio painted in key lime or ocean blue instantly transforms a space. Carry the tropics inside with a less saturated color like a warm mango tone or pair a rich, intense color accent wall with neutrals.
If you want to turn up the heat, try one of the eight new Bambino and Babybino bougainvillea in rich colors for a blast of gorgeous blooms for decks, poolside, patios and porches.
Adding tropical patterns and fabrics into your decor brings flexibility and endless possibilities.
Cushions in tropical colors, throw pillows with bold floral designs and tropical inspired linens on the table are an easy way to add punch to your outdoor decor.
Use a single pattern to underscore your tropical theme or mix things up with a variety of prints and stripes. Keep in mind the many patterns that fall into the tropical category, including floral, greenery, and ocean and beach elements. Think Hawaiian shirts.
Then kick it up a notch with a new intriguing Black Hawaiian Spider Lily, Crinum Purple Dream. "Crinum's exotic-looking dark purple almost black foliage and deep pink flowers on dark red stalks is trendy and looks nice mixed in the landscape or in containers," says Jimerson.
Surround yourself with lush tropical flowers and foliage for immediate impact and tropically inspired colors to turn your home into your favorite staycation paradise.