The tropics, with their promise of balmy temps and breezy living, are unlikely to lose their allure anytime soon. But modern design's latest tropical trend injects unexpected elegance into an esthetic than can easily careen into a heated caricature of garish hues and cliched motifs. Playing with scale, color schemes, and inventive material applications, this new modern design fixation has made its vivid presence known on fashion runways and in hotel lobbys, via modern furniture and wall coverings—bringing contemporary sizzle and style to traditional warm weather motifs.
Fatboy Parasolasido by Fatboy
Fatboy's whimsical new modern outdoor umbrella range feature flowers, birds and butterflies, designed to inject a breath of fresh tropical air into concrete balconies, terraces and rooftops.
Available at 2Modern >
Modern design's new tropical trend brings a more sophisticated sizzle to traditional warm weather motifs.
—Image credit: Christian Hoyer
It's hard to go wrong with fresh flowers, but outsized palm fronds have become the year's go-to organic decorative accent. Whether as dinner table centerpiece, or coffee table eye candy, tropical green leaves—not colorful cut flowers—rule the season.
Ban.do x Starbucks
Lifestyle brand Ban.do has teamed up with coffee powerhouse Starbucks for a summer 2017 limited edition suite of drinkware and accessories, each dressed up in breezy tropical motifs.
GUBI Beetle Lounge Chair
It isn't easy to pull off tropical upholstery, but Gam Fratesi's Beetle Lounge Chair for GUBI shows that an elegant profile swathed in palm tree-laden uphostery yields glamour, not gauche.
Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2017 Collection
Way back in September 2016, Dolce & Gabbana were forecasting a tropical turn with an entire collection of drop-dead party dresses laden with fruit and flowers and flounces and gathers that took tropical fashion to opulent new heights.
Louis Poulsen Panthella Mini
Louis Poulsen's release of Panthella Mini, a smaller version of Verner Panton's 1971 Panthella table lamp, is on-trend with its range of tropical color offerings, which includes hot pink, juicy orange, and bright green.
View Panthella Mini Modern Table Lamp >
Thomaspaul Optical Botany Pillow
Thomaspaul's 100% linen fabric pillows feature hand silk-screened designs of archival botanical prints in striking colorways—and illustrates tropical modern decor's subtler side.
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Elle Decoration UK, Spring 2017
Capturing the 2017 tropical zeitgeist brilliantly is Elle Decoration UK's Spring 2017 issue—which speaks to The Power of Plants, while showcasing a densely luscious jungle illustration on its cover. Don't look for it on newsstands, though—this gorgeous cover design is reserved for subscribers only.
— Images (above and below) via New York Botanical Garden
Dale Chihuly's installations comprise the most exhilarating exhibition currently on view in New York City.
CHIHULY, New York Botanical Garden
Site-specific installatios by glass sculptor Dale Chihuly comprise easily the most exhilarating summer exhibition currently on view in New York City. The glass artist's organically beautiful hothouse flowers and greenery offer a master class in technical artistry and a lush visual tabelau to rival the most sumptuous tropical paradise.
Tempaper Toucan Wallpaper
Orange-beaked toucans provide a whimsical pop of color against a muted watercolor jungle of grey and white in this removable modern wallpaper motif by Tempaper.
Get the Tropical Look >
Foscarini Tropico Pendant Lights
Polycarbonate modules arranged around a metal mount mimic woven rattan pendant lights in this Foscarini modern lighting collection by Giulio Lacchetti
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FontanaArte Flex Wall Light
Karim Rashid's die-cast aluminum Flex wall light is a modern lighting design with a minimal profile and a choice of colors that inlcudes a hot tropical pink.
Shop Fontana Arte Modern Lighting >
MEXA MODERN OUTDOOR CHAIRS
Crafted in Guadalajara, Mexico, the Mexa modern furniture range reprises the outdoor chairs made famous in glamourous 1950s resort towns, like Acapulco. The Mexa collection includes the iconic Acapulco Chair, the avocado-shaped modern outdoor chair that features colorful PVC cords hand-wrapped around a durable steel frame. By combining local Mexican artisanship with evocative Mid-Century profiles, Mexa chairs have tapped into the joyful tropical wave lacing through the contemporary design landscape. Shop MEXA modern furniture >