Ideas to Decorate a Bedroom in a Tropical or British Colonial Style

Written by anna roberts
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Ideas to Decorate a Bedroom in a Tropical or British Colonial Style
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Tropical and British colonial styles mesh together well because they both rely on themes of exotic islands and far-off travel. With the right furniture, textiles and accessories, your bedroom can evoke that same feel of adventure, allure and romance. For this style, try shopping for unusual items at import stores or online.

Maps & Navigation

A map theme evokes the adventurous spirit of a British colonial design. Hang framed Old World maps on the walls or stencil a large compass rose onto a wall or the ceiling. Make a custom piece of furniture by covering the top of a table or dresser with a map. Glue it on and seal it with découpage glue or clear varnish.

Tropical Plants

To truly evoke a tropical paradise, dot the room with exotic plants. If you have the room, go for a large potted indoor palm; look for a variety suited to lowlight indoor conditions. Plant other exotic plants like bromeliads in decorative ceramic containers or urns. Houseplants also improve the air quality inside.


Choose furniture in mahogany, teak or other hardwoods, or buy something that replicates the look. Bamboo is a greener, more affordable alternative to hardwoods that still fits the theme. West Indian and Eastern-style furniture look best; avoid oak and pine and modern or country pieces. Find a tall four-poster bed and top it with a dramatic fabric canopy. Aim for rich colours reminiscent of the tropics or Asia. Wicker and rattan furniture also fit well in a tropical or British colonial bedroom. Add cushions with a large tropical floral print. Use a large antique boot for storage at the end of the bed and look for heavy dressers and armoires with ornate Indian designs and rustic hardware.


Finish your tropical, British colonial theme with the right accessories. Fit an overhead fan with carved palm leaf blades, add a few animal-print accessories like throw blankets and pillows, and use metal lamps with natural-fibre shades. Shop for accessories featuring motifs like pineapple or safari animals. Display seafaring and adventure items like a globe or an antique-replica game of Shut-the-Box, a dice game played by sailors on long voyages.

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