12 Elements of Tropical-Style Kitchens


Story by Kate UnsworthSeptember 18, 2014

Tropical kitchens are bright, breezy and balmy — think palm trees rather than seashells. They’re relaxed spaces to be in, and are characterized by warm, natural, organic materials such as wood and rattan. The tropical look encompasses both down-to-earth Balinese and classic Caribbean styles. Take a look at these kitchens and watch any anxiety about what to cook for dinner float away on a warm tropical breeze.
Adam Design Ltd

What Makes a Kitchen Tropical?

This kitchen in St. Barts embraces quintessential tropical style and has all the key ingredients to make you feel instantly relaxed and on vacation. Core features include the white tongue and groove paneling, countertop and furniture, while the wooden window frames, ceiling fans and pineapple fruit bowl complete the look.

Below are 12 elements that go into making a tropical kitchen dream a reality.

Roberts Group
1. Architecture. The architecture of the house has much to do with your kitchen. For a tropical feel, think lots of air and light, and natural materials that bring the outside in.
Jeffrey Berkus Architects
2. Pitched ceiling. In warmer climates high-pitched ceilings help with air circulation and cooling. This ceiling has been painted white for a light, contemporary look.
GM Construction, Inc.
3. Wood. Wood is prevalent in tropical kitchens. The wood cabinetry in this kitchen in Hawaii is warm and inviting.
DJE Building Design
4. White. White suits most kitchen styles, including tropical. This Melbourne, Australia, kitchen embraces white, featuring a white ceiling, countertop and backsplash and white cabinetry. Glass pendants are ideal, as they don’t block the sight line to the ceiling.
Annabelle Chapman Architect Pty Ltd
5. Paneled cabinetry. Cabinetry in tropical kitchens is more classic and textured than sleek and contemporary. Consider panel and frame or tongue and groove cabinetry in painted wood. The white paneled cabinetry here hides a tall pantry.
Smyth and Smyth

6. Louvered windows. Louvered windows are synonymous with the tropical look, and a practical solution in warm, wet climates. As seen in this Sydney kitchen, the blades open horizontally, allowing maximum ventilation even in a gentle rain.

See more rooms featuring louvered windows

Mi Design Studio Pty Ltd
7. Ceiling fans. Wood or bamboo ceiling fans, similar to this one, evoke a true tropical feeling and are both stylish and practical.
Archipelago Hawaii Luxury Home Designs
8. Wicker and rattan. Woven from natural reed, palm and willow, or manufactured from bamboo, decor including fruit bowls, storage baskets and chairs (such as these rattan stools) reflects tropical style in spades.
Dara Rosenfeld Design
9. Tropical furniture and fittings. If the kitchen is an open plan, the rest of the furniture should reflect the tropical style. Here the sofa is made from bamboo poles, and the lights over the kitchen island are inspired by Indonesian fishing traps.

Sofa fabric: Osborne & Little’s Chardon by Nina Campbell, The Elephant Room; kitchen pendants: Tucker Robbins Pod Lights

Suzie Angrakian
10. Natural lighting. Lighting in tropical kitchens works best if it uses materials found in nature, such as wood, wicker, cane or cork.
Annabelle Chapman Architect Pty Ltd
11. Outdoor kitchen. If your kitchen opens onto a garden or deck, consider extending it outside. Outdoor kitchens are becoming increasingly popular and amp up the vacation vibe. This Sydney kitchen features an integrated barbecue for cooking tropical-style feasts.
Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co.

12. Tropical plants and flowers. Adding plants is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to increase the tropical vibe. The orchids shown here are Phalaenopsis.

Original story link: https://www.houzz.com/magazine/kitchen-workbook-12-elements-of-tropical-style-kitchens-stsetivw-vs~32004906