Home Decorating Palm Reader: How to Make Tropical Prints Look Sophisticated

Palm Reader: How to Make Tropical Prints Look Sophisticated

There’s nothing like a few sunny days to help us gear up for summer—and summery decorating. And while many of the tropical prints—one of the quintessential signs of summer—that start cropping up in décor and fashion at this time of year make us giddy, let’s just come out and say it: these prints can look kiddish, silly, or even (gasp!) tacky if not done right. Today Annie’s breaking down how to make a tropical print look rich and sophisticated, four different ways.


First, she chose an irresistible tropical-print duvet, shams, and decorative pillow inspired by rustic woodcuts, and rendered in inky tones on a natural linen background. Because the linen has been enzyme-washed, it’s soft and tactile, with a nice drape, and looks equally beautiful dressed up with feminine details or sleek-ified with other tailored coordinates. To tone down the exuberance of the print, she opted to pair it with neutrals and other indigo bedding in classic patterns. Then she got down to business of styling.


  1. How Do You Blue?



If you’re not ready to go whole-hog tropical, or if you share your bedroom with a partner whose tastes run a bit more traditional, this is the way to go. You still get a hit of tropical print, front and center, in the decorative pillow, but it’s been paired with a classic navy stripe duvet, bed skirt, and shams —all in streamlined, tailored silhouettes. Annie layered in different neutrals—white hemstitch sheets, and cushy ivory matelassé coverlet, and tall Euro shams in touchable linen to add depth and dimension to the look. The rustic texture of the jute rug offsets the softness of the bedding.


  1. Botanical Burst



Like the first look, this bedding mix relies on striped coordinates—a cozy blanket and shams in rich navy—to balance out the feminine quality of the tropical-print duvet and shams. She swapped out the striped bed skirt for a basic white version, and added a snuggle-worthy matelassé throw on top for chilly nights. A wave-pattern sisal rug in versatile chestnut brown grounds the look.


  1. Dressmaker Details



In this take, Annie once again let the floral duvet take top billing, but she substituted a gathered linen bed skirt and ruffled shams for a flirty, feminine look. To keep the look from going girly-girl, she added in an indigo matelassé coverlet and shams in tailored, touchable cotton. The double-boudoir decorative pillow showcases the tropical print once more, and helps to balance out the taller rectangular shapes of the other shams. The Zuni cave-painting inspired jute rug is an unexpected, eclectic touch.


  1. Upscale Chic



For the final, pared-down look, Annie wanted the tropical print to be the unequivocal star. So she let the botanical duvet and shams do all the talking, adding just a couple of easy coordinates: two tailored linen shams in bright white and ink. The plush wool rug softens the look without fuss-ifying it.

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