Tropical design trend showcase

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Rewind a few weeks and I’m stood in H&M home picking out a new duvet cover. It’s a tropical pattern. Not neon or garishly bright, but tasteful greens and just enough pattern without being overwhelming. This is a huge shift in what I usually like in bedding. Previously it had been chequered in industrial tones of reds and oranges. But checks seem to have disappeared and tropical is taking trends by storm – quite literally.

The trend has been huge in interior design as of late. “When some people hear the word ‘tropical’, they immediately think of loud, garish and over-the-top colours. But like all interior design styles, it’s all about getting it right. And actually, a tropical feel is much more sophisticated than you may realise” (Mockbee Home, 2017). But what does the trend entail? “The trend includes symbols that evoke life around the tropics like jungle prints, botanicals, and large leaves to more specific pieces like succulent gardens and Monstera plants” (Busche, 2017).

Often this tropical theme goes in hand-in-hand with neon lettering when it comes to graphic design. It’s quite the bold statement of clashing styles – yet it seems to work well. In some ways, it has an 80s California type of vibe to it. Super chill but at the same time it makes you feeling like summer is just around the corner. In Britain, tropical art and design might be the closest we get to summer. For interior design, the tropical trend is about bringing the outside in.

The tropical trend doesn’t have to be bright, bold and in your face. There are some lovely examples of toned down tropical vibes that have the same affect as their bold brothers and sisters. Like all trends, you cannot possibly put a timeline on how long this trend will be around for. It began creeping into graphic design under the radar around 2013/14, yet it’s been around for years before that in fashion and interior design. But in the last year I’ve seen a wave of tropical related designs show up in newsfeed across various social media platforms.

There will be another trend that comes along that will make us forget about the tropics, but for now, while the trend is here, lets embrace the clashing colours and the bold patterns.

Gizem Özden

Tierra Conner

Marylou Faure

Benjamin Howes

Julia Liang

Allison Romero

Ewa Brzozowska

TJ Nicklin

Chad Gowey

Busche, L. (2017). Design Trend Report: Jungle Patterns, Graphics, and Backgrounds. [online] Creative Market. Available at: [Accessed 10 Apr. 2018].
Mockbee Home. (2017). Why tropical home interior design trends are smoking hot right now… – Mockbee Home. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Apr. 2018].

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