Injecting Caribbean Flavour into your Décor

My Caribbean-Inspired set on CityLine. Original air date March 15, 2012. Watch the segment here.

Layout: Caribbean interiors should feel breezy and open, so don’t stifle them with an immense amount of furniture. Design the layout around keeping in mind maintaining clear sight lines and easy traffic flow.

Colour: Palettes go way beyond blues and whites – depending on the island, you will see such lively colours as; lime, peach, corals and yellows. The islands are lush in plant life, so an element of a vibrant green is most welcome.

I recently did a Caribbean-injected set for CityLine, which was inspired by the Perennial Quince Tree Mural tile from Anne Sacks.

We replicated what this beautiful hand-crafted mosaic would look like installed on a full wall with the help of Media Marksmen and a custom wallcovering they produced for us.

Floors: Since sand is not a really good option, go with a white or bleached pine. Tile and stone are also substantial in the Caribbean culture – interior as well as exterior.

TIP: Add softness and comfort by covering the floor with a rug.
Rug shown in CityLine Set, Elte

Furniture: Think simple and natural; wicker or rattan or even bamboo mixed with light, airy fabric such as linen or cotton. Pair with a few ‘heavier’ pieces such as a trunk to balance the weight room.

Banana Arm Chair from Pier 1

TIP: In the Caribbean, the use of metal in furnishings is avoided because of how fast it rusts due to the salt in the air from the ocean.

Sofa, coffee table and side tables shown in CityLine set, Elte

Window Treatments: A combination of soft and hard window treatments work nicely – mix shutters, roller blinds and floor to ceiling ‘weightless’ drapery.

Tip: For drapery fabric colours, you can’t go wrong with white, but washed-out pastels fit the look as well

When you think of the Caribbean and their interiors, you most certainly do not think of dark and drab. If your space hasn’t got floor-to-ceiling, ceiling wall-to-wall windows, then create the light with a variety of fixtures.

Tip: Table lamps, sconces, ceiling fixtures and pot lights can all be used in unison creating a harmonious, vivid, sun-like glow.

Tip: Installing mirrors will help bounce around the light in your space

Accessories: Begin with fresh tropical flowers and/or live plants.

TIP: A single Monstera leaf in a decorative vase looks beautiful on its own – Daniela from D&D Floral made one up for us for the show.

Add art pieces that replicate the tropical landscape or lifestyle found in the Caribbean.

Tracy & I on set showing off my painting I got in the Dominican Republic

TIP: When bringing back souvenirs from travel, bring accessories that you will actually use around your house, such as art, lamps, vases, etc.

Tip: A ceiling fan can be an accessory – consider one with palm-leaf inspired blades.

Wilcorp Fan # 163 – 52” oil-rubbed bronze with antique woven bamboo blades



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Written by YanicSimard


Yanic Simard comes from a long line of industry professionals in Montreal that based their successes on the fact that good design and quality workmanship are the cornerstones to the art of living. Yanic has synthesized his experience in the building trade with his unrivaled creative talent to found the Toronto Interior Design Group (TIDG)—one of Canada’s leading design firms.
Yanic writes for many Canadian and international publications and blogs, and is a regular design guest expert to the #1 Canadian talk show Cityline on City.
Yanic’s 2013 Design Motto: “Finding meaningful likeness between contrasting objects is the essence of elegance.”

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