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The Many Colours of the Caribbean – Here in the Caribbean it seems each island has its own individual style which provides an almost endless portfolio of ideas for anyone wishing to create their perfect Caribbean hideaway.Our natural environment is outrageously colourful.  This, of course, allows us to decorate our homes, both inside and out, in bold hues that may seem out of place in other parts of the world.  Whether it is the deep oranges and reds of a sunset; the infinite blues found in the sea; or the bright purple, pinks and yellows from the flowers and fruits that adorn the hillsides, inspiration can be taken from the way each psychedelic paradise island has celebrated its own natural palette.

The Spanish islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic create a style all of their own.  Here, the influence of the Mediterranean is evident and bold saturated colours – mustard yellows, deep terracottas and navy blues – are prevalent. Richly –hued and dark wood furniture can be found inside; and ornately patterned tiled floors lead out on to balconies with wrought iron detail.  There are countless books to illustrate these ideas; one of our favourites is Cuban Elegance by Michael Conners.

Old plantation houses can be seen up and down the islands, but have particular dominance in Barbados, Grenada and Nevis.  These houses boast what is referred to as ‘Classic Caribbean’ style.  Here, the more muted colours – creamy whites, mint greens and buttery yellows – have remained a design favourite over the years.  Dark, wooden floors meet antique wicker furniture accented with bold, colourful textiles.  Island Life: Inspirational Interiors by India Hicks is a great book to flick through if you are taken with this style of interior décor.

A more modern look that is becoming increasingly popular throughout the Caribbean takes its inspiration from the seaside summer houses found up and down the coasts of New England.  White washed furniture, cool blues and greens mixed with white sheer fabrics – these cool hues seem to reduce the temperature in even the hottest room.  This style can be seen in the many chic hotels and villas of St. Barths, Virgin Gorda and Bermuda.  For design ideas check out Seaside Style by Eleanor Lynn Nesmith and Steven Brooke, and The Way we live by the Sea by Stafford Cliff and Gilles De Chabaneix.

Whether your tastes run to old Caribbean images, the more modern fashion or perhaps a fusion of both, you’ll no doubt find endless ideas in the beautiful style of each island and be able to create a new look of your own.

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