Interior Decorating Information

Luau! Decorating with a Hawaiian Theme

Hawaii is a first choice travel destination with millions of people - and for good reason. Bring a little of that island feeling into your home, either indoors or in your outdoor living space. You can apply this theme to an elegant dinner party, a fun and funky luau, or anything in between.

1. First, look at the space itself, including floors, walls, roof or ceiling.


Think natural materials. Try bamboo matting on the floor. It's fairly inexpensive, very durable and easy on the feet. For a roof or large patio umbrella, consider palm leaf thatch.


Choose rich vibrant colors inspired by island vegetation: hibiscus red, bird of paradise orange or palm tree green. Use pineapple and mango colored accents. Bright navy or marine blue makes an effective background.

2. Next, add the furniture. Again, natural materials are best. For example, raffia table skirts and rattan or bamboo furniture are a fast way to create that island atmosphere. If you're using indoor dining chairs or resin patio chairs and want an elegant feel, consider slipovers made of a fabric with a Hawaiian print.

3. Now add lighting. Real flame, whether in candles or bamboo torches, will give you the most authentic look.

4. Last but not least, accessorize.


When you think of Hawaii, you probably imagine palm trees swaying in the breeze, brightly colored exotic flowers, or maybe even hula dancers and surfboards. Each of these is an example of a motif.

Choose one motif and run with it, or mix a couple. Motifs with a common theme (such as Hawaii!) can be easily tied together by style or color.

Once you've picked a motif, you'll find lots of ideas for adding it to your room. From windsocks and stepping stones to tablecloths and salt & pepper shakers, the list of thematic accessories you can find is seemingly endless.

Don't overdo it though. Sometimes less is more, especially if you're decorating for a full season of living in the theme.


Music is a powerful mood setter. CDs of traditional or contemporary island tunes can provide backdrop to conversation, or liven up the fun and games.

So pass around the leis and go Hawaiian in your outdoor space.

About The Author

Debbie Rodgers owns and operates Paradise Porch, and is dedicated to helping people create outdoor living spaces that nurture and enrich them. Visit her on the web at and get a free report on "Eight easy ways to create privacy in your outdoor space". Mail to

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