Tropical Bathroom Designs: Everything You Need to Know

As you get ready to redesign your bathroom, it’s important to keep all your options on the table. No matter what climate you live in, tropical décor might be perfect for your bathroom. Learn more about tropical bathroom design and how to make using your vanity, sink, tub, and shower every day feel like vacationing in Hawaii.

What Is Tropical Bathroom Design?

Tropical décor is any type of décor style that evokes the feeling of being in a tropical climate. Over the years, the convergence of Western culture and tropical environments has led rise to a specific décor style that looks back to the colonial era while offering all the benefits of contemporary bathroom design.

In most tropical bathrooms, the color palette evokes the natural colors of tropical climates. For instance, here are some of the colors that are common to see in tropical bathrooms:

  • White
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Beige
  • Orange
  • Red
  • Yellow

You won’t see a lot of black or purple in tropical bathrooms, and this décor style ranges from the downright gaudy to the fully cultured and contemporary. In the end, there’s no single trick for putting together the perfect tropical bathroom; as long as being in your bathroom makes you feel like you’ve just landed in a tropical paradise, you’re doing it right.

To pull off the perfect tropical bathroom look, you’ll also need to make adequate use of tropical-themed accessories. Here are some examples of objects you should deploy through your new bathroom to make it look authentically tropical:

  • Shells and shell-related décor
  • Palm tree graphics on towels, soap dispensers, and toothbrush holders
  • Turtle-themed décor
  • Colonial-themed décor (armchairs, cabinets, etc.)

What Are Some Key Components of Tropical Bathroom Design?

It’s possible to create the perfect tropical bathroom design with just a few specialized décor items. To get an idea of how you’ll need to arrange your bathroom to make it look truly tropical, however, you should study each of these tropical design elements in detail and ponder how you’ll incorporate these accessories and features into your new bathroom:

1. Outdoor Showers

There’s nothing more tropical than spending most of your time outside, and with an outdoor shower, you can export an essential part of your daily grooming routine to the great outdoors. Many high-end bathrooms in tropical environments have showers that are in outdoor areas just outside the main bathroom. The result is an open, attractive effect that allows you to enjoy the outside air while you get clean every morning.

While most of these showers have roofs, keep in mind that anyone with a drone can peep through the sizable crack between the walls of your outdoor shower and its roof. On the other hand, standing outside in a warm shower during the middle of monsoon season as rain pounds overhead is an experience quite unlike any other.

Tropical Bathroom Designs Everything You Need to Know


2. Open Walls

Who needs walls when you’re in the tropics? Plenty of Hawaiian villas come with bathrooms without walls, and if you want to go all-out, you can mimic this look in its entirety in your own bathroom at home.

However, taking out one wall might be best for now, and unless you like humidity creeping into your master suite while you try to sleep at night, it might make sense to install sliding doors that can block out the outdoors when needed. Still, leaving at least one wall completely open to the elements is a great way to capture the heart of tropical décor.

Tropical Bathroom Designs Everything You Need to Know


3. Lots of Vegetation

Any bathroom looks tropical when it has lots of plants in it. Even if the rest of your bathroom is strictly industrial, adding a few fronds and leaves here and there takes the sharpness away from your bathroom décor and reveals a softer side.

One of the best ways to deploy vegetation in your tropical bathroom is to have some plants inside and some plants just outside your window or sliding door. This effect bridges the distance between your outdoor and indoor environments. Here are some examples of the types of plants you should use to populate your tropical bathroom:

  • Orchids
  • Dracaena
  • Bamboo
  • Plumeria
  • Banana palms
  • Hibiscus
  • Caladium
  • Bamboo
  • Protea

 Tropical Bathroom Designs Everything You Need to Know

4. Volcanic Rock

Forget stone tiling: Go all-out by deploying volcanic rock on the walls of your new bathroom. Keep in mind, however, that this type of decorative feature looks best in moderation; instead of covering every single wall in your bathroom with thick chunks of porous, black rock, limit this type of stonework to the wall behind your tub. To perfect the blending effect between the interior and exterior parts of your tropical bathroom, try using volcanic rock to line your outdoor shower room as well.

5. Bamboo Blinds

If the blinds in your bathroom aren’t bamboo, you’re doing tropical décor wrong. Horizontal blinds made from bamboo slats are integral components of any tropical bathroom, and as long as your bathroom has windows (which it should), bamboo blinds are a must. Complement your blinds with other bamboo features to truly evoke the air of the South Pacific.

How Do You Use Tropical Bathroom Design in Your Home?

It’s simply undeniable that tropical bathrooms simply work better in tropical or desert climates. Features like outdoor showers and missing walls simply won’t work well unless you live in a place where it’s warm throughout most of the year.

With that said, it’s still possible to evoke the essence of tropical décor even if you live in Minnesota or Alaska. All you really need to do to make your bathroom tropical is use the right color scheme and incorporate plenty of vegetation. Adding features like volcanic rock and bamboo blinds can make even the blandest contemporary bathroom take on a tropical appeal; feel free to experiment as you design the perfect tropical bathroom for your purposes.


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