HGTV's Home Town Shares A Unique Way To Add A Touch Of The Tropics To Your Space

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Ignore the headlines; coastal decor isn't going out of style anytime soon. Classic coastal, coastal contemporary, beachy, and tropical-inspired designs are as popular as ever because they give homeowners the feel of being on retreat without leaving the comforts of their homes. Incorporating natural textures and tones, coastal-inspired design brings the beauty and serenity of the seaside indoors, and you don't have to turn your home into a beach house to incorporate subtle tropical decor into your own space.

On HGTV's "Home Town," Ben and Erin Napier are known for their classic, historical, American styles. But on season 7, episode 4 of the series, Laurel local Ben Napier surprised fans with a tropical take on his traditional woodwork and showed viewers a great way to bring a beachy vibe to your home. Napier created a headboard made of fir and finished it with a piece of Hawaiian koa wood, which stood out instantly for its raw texture, deep reddish-chocolate hue, and intricate figuring. "Koa wood is such a special wood in Hawaii," shared one of the homeowners, Iris Andrews. "I really appreciate that little touch of Aloha." Napier's woodwork showed that beachy design doesn't have to follow the cliché for coastal decor or include jars of seashells, bright blue fabrics, and nautical decorations. Instead, subtle tropical elements can be incorporated into any design. Below, we break down what's so special about this rare Hawaiian lumber and discuss alternate ways to subtly add a touch of the tropics to your home.

Add aloha with rare Hawaiian koa

Although imitated, Acacia Koa wood isn't easily duplicated. This rare species grows only in Hawaii, and its rich history is tied to the islands where it was once considered the wood of Hawaiian royals. Today, Koa wood is one of the most valuable woods in the world. Renowned for its durability and appearance, it's used to make jewelry, instruments, furniture, and decor. Less valuable woods may mimic Koa's unique tones and patterning, but only authentic Koa is harvested in Hawaii, which means it comes at a premium price. It's no wonder that Ben Napier only used a small piece of Koa as the centerpiece for a headboard, as even a small pencil cup from authentic Koa craftsmen, like Martin & MacArthur, will cost $75.00. Lewis Koa Co. offers a small Koa vase for $58.00.

But, behind every piece of koa wood is an effort to sustainably harvest this rarity and preserve its ecological heritage for generations to come. So, when you buy a piece of Koa furniture or decor, it's not only a tropical touch but an uncommon and storied selection for beachy decor that brings the heart and heritage of the Pacific into your home. Each piece is truly one-of-a-kind and adds a sense of individuality that can't be found in the monotony of mass-produced decor. Finally, subtle Koa decor pieces like raw wood paperweights, vases, and jewelry boxes are versatile enough to subtly add beachy touches to almost any interior design style. 

Subtle tropical touches for any space

Subtle beachy elements aren't just for homes with coastal interior design. Even modern farmhouses, Scandinavian, and vintage eclectic homes can benefit from a splash of unexpected tropical-inspired decor. And we're not talking about bottles of sand. Beachy and tropical-inspired infusions cast an elegant appearance when they're understated rather than over-the-top. Subtle seaside details infuse homes with a sense of warmth, relaxation, and comfort without overpowering design. For example, wooden candelabras from Amazon are affordable alternatives to Koa art that invoke tall tropical trees and gentle beach waves without breaking the bank. A natural jute rug from Ikea brings tropic textures indoors and is versatile enough to pair with almost any interior design style. These are two ideal examples of the easiest way to subtly incorporate beachy features into a home—by drawing on the design principles of a coastal luxe decor trend.

To elevate beach-inspired decor, let go of conventional coastal motifs like palm trees and fish. Instead, opt for understated elegance by incorporating natural materials and textures into small and versatile decorative elements like the ones above. For the cornerstones of your space, wall colors, fixtures, and furniture, prioritize colors such as sandy beiges, creamy eggshells, and muted green greys, which can calmly evoke the tranquil essence of the tropics without overwhelming the space. These tips not only help you bring a little bit of the tropics to your home, but they'll also ensure that your space looks timeless for years to come.