Ultimate Top 5 Items to Create an authentic Island Style Home


Having spent the last few years living in a tropical country I’ve learnt a thing or two about creating Island Style interiors.

Here are my ultimate top 5 must haves for creating an Island Style home, no matter where you live or what budget you’re on.



White paint. An island essential. It’s hot on an tropical island, so you need to create that breezy airy feel. White paint gives you this instantly, it’s fresh, cool and neutral. I also like my whites a little on the cool side, a tiny hint of grey or green are the perfect Island shades. My home’s painted in Solver White Snow, looks white on the paint chart, but due to shadows around the house it goes a little grey, I find this perfect for my Island interiors as it gently softens the white, creating a peaceful atmosphere.



Natural elements. We’re talking Wood, Stone, Raffia (grass), Straw, Shells, Cotton, Linen and Paper. These beautiful materials add softness and echo natural living. Think Sisal rugs, Wood furniture, Linen slip covers, Cotton sheets etc. You get the gist, so start adding these to your next interiors shopping list.



Tropical plants. Simply a must. Here in Australia we love bringing the outdoors in and vice versa. Large tropical plants make great statements and can frame a room, smaller ones add a little touch of green for big impact. We say the more plants the merrier in an Island home. If you don’t possess green fingers though, then cheat, grab two large palm fronds and add to a vase, they last for ages and give instant Island drama to a scheme.



Rattan furniture. Be it cane, wicker or rattan, these breezy furniture pieces allow air flow to circulate ensuring maximum comfort on a hot day. They also look good too by adding texture to a room. So whether its classic Hampton’s, Island Luxe Resort or Retro Hawaiian you love, add dashes of these furniture pieces to a room and accentuate the tropical feel.



Ceiling fans. Lets be practical here, when it’s hot you need to keep cool. Ceiling fans are economical to run, look the part and keep you comfortable. They give you that cool breeze as if it came straight from the palm trees themselves. What’s not the love about them. I like to keep my ceiling fans neutral, white or silver and minimal in design for a less cluttered look to a ceiling.

So there you have it.

If you love this relaxed Island look, start with these basics first as your framework, then build on the look. All the interior images are from my own home, so you can take a peek to see how I’ve expressed these elements in a real life Island home interior.

Happy Island Styling.

Zoe x


All images by Zoe Milburn 2015. All right reserved.
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