Most Florida residents visited the state numerous times before they decide to make their home. You may remember staying in a rented condo decked out in the classic tropical style that has come to be called “Cliché Florida”. When you think about it, it makes sense. When tourists leave the cold, snowy weather for a tropical vacation, many landlords want them to know right away that they are in the tropics, so every element of their décor shouts “Florida”. They take every tropical element they can imagine and toss it all together in what becomes an over the top mashup.
However, once you’ve made South Florida your home, you understand how some of the elements of Florida décor makes sense. Heavy woods and dark walls just don’t seem to work in the airy and light environment. But, this doesn’t mean you have to throw every tropical theme you can think of into the mix. By choosing carefully, you can tone down the style in a subtle approach that gives your home a lighter look so that you don’t feel like you are living in a tourist rental property.
Take a look at any rental home and you’ll probably see bedspreads, couches, even rugs on the floor sporting bright, bold floral prints. A little of these prints goes a long way, so they can take over a room in short order. While dark leather has a place in south Florida décor, you don’t have to cover everything with floral prints to lighten up the feel of your home. Choose lighter, solid fabrics for the bigger pieces, such as the couch, and use prints on the pillows, accessories, and smaller pieces such as chairs. A light, neutral wall will help bring the look together.
Heavy wood pieces seem out of place with pastel colors and light, breezy sheer curtains, so many people choose rattan furniture instead. This can give your room a distinct tropical feel, but often makes your room look as if you are using your patio furniture in your living room. So, to keep the feel light but not too casual, use rattan on your accent pieces.
Glass tables, expanses of windows, and ceramic tile floors all work together to give Florida homes an airy, cool feel. However, all those shiny, slick surfaces can make a room feel uncomfortable and cold. A room full of shiny, hard edges may look great in a magazine spread, but will end up being difficult to live in. You can moderate the shiny surfaces by adding an eclectic element to your space. Use furniture with thick cushions, a large throw rug, and hang framed fabric or even unframed art in place of the traditional framed photographs.