Luxe jungle scenes transport us to another world.

The Look: Hot Tropic

This is the interior that radiates “exotic dream vacation.” You’re not putting away dishes on a snowy Canadian Sunday, you’re sipping champers portside, off the shores of a palm tree-lined beach paradise. Call it wishful thinking, but palm prints and tropical scenes pulled from Southeast Asia, Hawaii and Central America are creeping up north.

Designer Alykhan Velji notes the jungle fever for palm-leaf print has taken over every surface, imparting the old-world glamour that goes so well with dark woods, exotic patterned tile and bright gold hardware. Modern spaces have long eschewed wild foliage, but a very ’70s indoor-plant craze is seeing the gamut of succulents and real palm fronds materialize in so many designer rooms of late.

The tropical trend doesn’t stop there: pineapple motifs are at a fever pitch, and designer Karin Bohn says lemons, limes and oranges are on the way. Watch as terracotta makes the jump from pots to tile flooring and accessories, with retro arches and texture-rich wicker and caning poised to make a comeback. Designer Elena Del Bucchia also foretells a return to cozy, lived-in furniture—hello, linen!—and inherited pieces that have a story (all the more reason to collect treasures on your travels). 

“When we come home, we want to have less stimulation and more relaxation—to be surrounded by things that are of real importance.” —Elena Del Bucchia, Elena Del Bucchia Design, Calgary

The Palette: Key Colours


Inspiring Interior: Tropical Entryway

“Moroccan tiles with unique patterns and colours provide a great pop of colour,” says Alykhan Velji. The Calgary designer combines them with on-trend dark woods and palm leaves in this exotic entryway.

(Photo: Klassen Photography.)

Key Pieces to Get the Tropic Look


1. Earthy orange terracotta shows up on all kinds of accessories and accoutrements, like this Fresh carafe from Normal Studio ($125).


2. The far-from-kitschy gold crosshatched Pineapple tumbler ($99) is going to give you new reasons to entertain.


3. Textile design whisperers Wolfum (based in sunny L.A.) pair rich ash with eye-catching pattern in the Rampli Axo tri-bowl ($114).


4. The texture-rich Amara herringbone hamper ($225) is handwoven by Senegalese women using silver, cream and white plastic strips and natural grasses.


5. Indulging in the finer things isn’t exclusive to your vacation—make use of Tom Dixon’s mouth-blown Tank low- and high-ball glasses (from $88) whenever you get the chance.


6. A geometric pattern outlined in black resin adds a contemporary touch to the Bone Inlay side table ($644).


7. Channel the jungle vibe with true-to-life (but impossible-to-kill) fan palms ($32), perfect for centrepieces and floor vases.


8. Bring home the lush, tropical rainforest to any corner of your Canadian home with this contemporary tropical mural from Area Environments ($25/square foot).


9. Wicker and rattan returns, but in modern shapes—like with the Comet Basket chair ($598) in a pleasantly familiar scoop design from Nineteen Ten.

“Wicker is popping up in all kinds of home decor elements—especially in furniture. It brings in texture and an unexpected quality to a space.” —Alykhan Velji,  Alykhan Velji Designs, Calgary