How to Add Tropical Architectural Details to Your Space

If you’ve ever lived in a new build (and I don’t mean custom new build) or cookie-cutter style townhome/condo, I’m sure you’ve experienced an emotion called ‘meh.’ You know, where you find yourself wishing this room had cool paneling, that hallway had a curved arch or your ceiling had actual architectural details (vs. popcorn sprayed everywhere). I’m with you and I’m here to share a few tropi-cool interior architectural details you can incorporate in your spaces if that creeper ‘meh’ makes an appearance.

Vertical Wall Paneling

Behind the gorgeous, Koa wood framed block print textile at the Moana Surfrider is a classic, vertical wall paneling. I love this behind large scale art because it provides a light background for the work to still be the star, but it adds that perfect plantation vibe.

This is likely real wood, but you can replicate this look (and feel confident it will withstand our tropical climate) by using the Wayfair Timeline Shiplap 5.5" Wall Paneling in white. Hang either vertically or horizontally to align with your space’s floorplan and/or preference (for example, if you want to create the illusion of taller ceilings, go vertical).


Mix of Shiplap and Batten Boards

Who has (or wants) a breakfast nook? This seating area inside the Queen Kapioloni Hotel lobby’s coffee bar serves up some fresh, island-cool inspiration for nook walls! I love the use of board and batten on the top half of the wall and horizontal shiplap-style planks over the banquette.

Most major hardware stores carry 1x3 batten boards and shiplap paneling — or you can use the same shiplap I noted above — and there’s HUNDREDS of DIY tutorials online if you want to test your skills!

Shiplap_Board and Batten.png

Add Beams or Trusses to Your Ceiling

There is nothing, and I do mean NOTHING I want more in one of my future homes than pitched wood ceilings (preferably with beams or trusses)! When I saw this home come on the market noting the architect trained under Frank Lloyd Wright, I HAD to see it. Look at those ceilings people. Thin wood panels that ebb and flow perfectly with the calculated, various roof lines.

The good news is if you already have vaulted ceilings, there are a variety of wood beam options you can add to spruce up your home’s architectural interest. A more budget friendly option is going faux and the texture and finish options from Faux Wood Beams are stellar!