How to nail the tropical luxe trend for your next event

Maybe you’ve been binging too hard on ‘Bachelor in Paradise’, or maybe you’ve been keeping up with what’s hot in the event styling realm, which has your interest peaked when talking ‘tropical luxury’.

Loved for its laid-back, yet chic appeal, this theme can be relatively simple to execute and merciful on your bank balance when equipped with the right tools and direction. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of our top three essentials for creating the ultimate Kaftan-wearing, cocktail-sipping vibe.

1. Greenery

Foliage is your tropical luxury staple. The tequila to your margarita, if you will. More specifically, we recommend using any of the following plants:

  • Split Leaf Philodendron
  • Banana Leaf
  • Areca Palm
  • Bird of Paradise Leaf
  • Fan Palm
  • Royal Fern
  • Monsteria
  • Plumeria Leaf
  • Livistona Palm

We understand not all of you are botanists, so don’t panic if you aren’t familiar with the species; if you’ve picked up anything that identifies as a large green leaf, we can work with it. Luckily, both interior and event styling worlds alike are wild in a plant-loving frenzy, meaning you needn’t search far to find these leaves.

For our inspired DIY-ers, locate your local florist where they can help you select the best twigs for the job. Otherwise, stores such as Kmart, Adairs, Spotlight and Freedom offer a great selection of artificial plants. When it comes to buying, consistency is key. Refrain from experimenting with seven different species of plant. We recommend a maximum of three.    

Hiring an experienced stylist will allow for larger scale installations and more artfully constructed arrangements. We know our way around a good plant, if you know what we’re saying.

2. Channel Mother Nature’s palette

Repeat after us: green, white, brown and gold. Good. Stick to these four colourways as a foundation for your event and you may as well call yourself Bon Jovi, because you’re halfway there.

We suggest using white as your base colour for its versatility, then complemented with accents and feature furniture in colour. Wicker seating and wooden pallets work a treat for introducing  organic, earthy tones to the space.

Finally, turn your attention to the smaller details like candle holders, cutlery and pendant lights, opting for gold finishes to achieve the luxury component.

Texture is also important when styling your event, with linen and woven fabrics being our personal textile go-to’s. Decorative cushions and tapestries are a win in our book, too.

Try to avoid computer-generated, store-bought ‘tropical themed’ decorations as these tend to detract from the element of luxury. Though we can’t say no to the little drink umbrellas.

3. Do you like pina coladas?

We agree the styling and guestlist are perceived as the fundamental constituents of your event, but we’d be lying to ourselves if we neglected the silent third contender: The dranks.

Presentation of said concoctions is our primary focus here – consuming them comes next. A fresh coconut bar or a tropical cocktail station are popular choices. Offering a garnish buffet alongside pre-made cocktails in glass dispensers accompanied by creative signage will turn more heads than the usual esky ‘n’ ice.

You may want to also take advantage of the fruits, such as pineapple and watermelon, injecting vibrant colour into your space as well as satisfying that #health.

Image: Wilkies Blog

The secret to nailing the brief is to integrate the essence of tropical luxury into all facets of your event, for it is often the smaller details that engineer the largest impacts. Once you have sufficiently mastered all three components, you’ve earnt your title as the hostess with the mostest. If you’ve tackled the tropical luxe trend, we’d love to see the finished result – tag us in your photos @state_of_art_events.

Written by: Sheridan New