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Island vibes

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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It doesn’t get much more enticing (especially in the chilly hold of the winter months) than the dream of a lazy island getaway on a secluded tropical beachside. Think of it—visions of long, carefree nights by the shimmering moonlit waterline, warm sandy beach beneath, golden sun and palm tree paradise, coconut drinks and soft dancing til dawn. Ahh… sometimes the very thought of an island sojourn feels so far away—a mirage in itself! But don’t fret—if a glorious dreamy retreat in the Gulf of Thailand or the Maldives isn’t on the cards right now, there are always alternative measures to get your fill of paradisiac fantasy. Instead of flying far and away, why not consider bringing a little slice of the tropics to you instead. With a bit of thought, a few light design touches and architectural installations, you can turn your home into a tropical haven and enjoy the feel, vibe and sensational tropical island paradise without having to go anywhere at all. 

Whether inside out on the terrace, securing a slice of palm-laden serenity has never been easier or more accessible—take a stroll through the fabulous examples of domestic island vibe bliss below, and take a few tips on how you can kick back at home and soak up the same type of serenity.

The decadent deck

 Terrace by ANG42

By harnessing the space you have, embracing the outdoors a little and choosing the right sort of furniture you can effortlessly create your very own exterior deck oasis. Firstly, no island scene is complete without a good solid row of palm trees—so synonymous with ‘beachside paradise’ are these trees that a couple set along the deckline will bring instantaneous island harmony. But to go one further and deliver the full package, consider installing a gorgeous, wood slat-design verandah ceiling to keep the tropical rain at bay, and cosy yourself in the warm, graceful hold of these fabulous exterior lounge ottomans, replete with a bevy of inviting cushions, footrests and roving holders for your latest novels and rum and coconut-based cocktail beverages. Simple, accessible, effortless—home island paradise made easy.

Balinese balcony

If you feel like stepping it up a little, consider some addition decor options and design accoutrements for your outdoor spaces. As well as a thoughtful selection of comfortable, inviting outdoor terrace lounge and recliner chairs, a low-lay, free-roving wooden coffee table tempts maximum lazing and carefree dreaming in this space, the perfect addition to hold trays of fruity long drinks, oriental statues and palm plants for that extra island touch. Here, a thatched wood, pitched-roof ceiling with disguised fan—held sturdy with stoic marble pillars—provides close to the same level of comfort and security an decadent interior room without compromising this terrace’s breeziness and freeing sensation. Modest carpeted rugs enhance the feel of comfort, while the continued zen motif really drives home an exotic feel. With this sort of set up, you’ll feel like you’ve gone from the suburbs to Siam overnight.

Beachside terrace dining

 Houses by ANG42



A key to bringing the island feel home is really to keep your interior spaces as open as possible while keeping them as malleable and blended with your exterior settings as well. Here, we see this working in perfect harmony—a delightfully decked out dining room that leads cleanly out to the adjacent terrace, a fine architectural achievement. A dazzling entertainment configuration, enjoy some light drinks and aperitifs on the deck, before adjourning a few metres away inside for a full sit down seafood feast. Wood panelled walls and ceiling, punctuated by columns of stone give this room a perfectly cosy tropical cave-like vibe, enhancing a feel of comfort and sanctuary. Colourful dining chairs, playing off against ornate wall murals, sculptures and vases with fresh-cut palm clippings unite in force to make this dining experience akin to a lavish meal by a spellbinding Tanzanian beachside.

The real deal

Now here’s the piece de resistance! Ok, short of rigging your house up to a heavy-duty carrier jet and lugging it across land and seas to a secluded island, it could be hard for us to source a vista quite like this one. But vista or not, right choice of exterior furniture and design can at least get you halfway there. Why not consider installing an affordable, pitched ceiling veranda like this neat example, evocative of a real Polynesian fishing vessel; thatched parquetry wood floor adds a nice touch, and long outdoor dining table makes the perfect setting for long nights over drinks and BBQ seafood grills. A few recliners for pre and post-meal aperitifs, and you’ve got yourself a ready made in-house island refuge. Just add palm trees (and, if you can muster it, a water inlet, docking pier and line of mountainous peaks!) Delightful.

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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