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Bringing Hawaii to Your Backyard

Creating your own personal tropical paradise may seem like a dream too big to come true. Either it’s too time consuming, too expensive or you just don’t have the creative inspiration. However, with a little effort and a few helpful hints, redoing your backyard, or any space for that matter, doesn’t have to be an endless, intimidating project.


First off, measure and evaluate the space you have to work with. It would be a shame to buy furniture and accessories that either don’t fit or clutter a space. Once you know what you’re working with, establish a focal point or centerpiece. This can be a space you designate for relaxing, a pool, a table and chairs for family dining, a tiki hut for cocktail hour or a palapa to escape the sun. Within the focal area, decide exactly how much and what type of furniture you will need for your purposes. Once this is done, you can furnish the rest of your backyard appropriately.

After the furniture is set, fill out the yard with exotic foliage. Tropical plants include palm trees, fronds and bright flowers. Be careful not to clutter your yard by planning for growth, coverage and color. Greenery and flowers will create a space that is warm and inviting as well as giving it life and vibrancy. You may also consider using tropical accents like bamboo fencing, poles and panels to hide unsightly electrical units, old fences or to demarcate play areas.

Next, decide how you are going to light your backyard. Keep the illumination tropical by using tiki torches, fire pits or even strings of Christmas lights to add to the festive atmosphere. Be sure to light hazards, walkways and high traffic areas first; then accent interesting focal points within the yard with smaller spotlights or torches.

Once the base is built, planted and lit, you can accessorize your homestyle Hawaii with tropical accents like bamboo signs, tiki masks and tiki statues. If they are well placed and thought out, they can add ambiance without looking cheesy. Remember, in decorating, less is more. Be mindful of clutter and over doing it.


The last step (and probably the most important) is to take a step back and look. Your focus should be drawn immediately to the centerpiece or main area and move easily from one feature to another. There should be areas that are purposefully left empty but should not look neglected. Most importantly, your backyard paradise should reflect your style, taste and values. Finding influential pieces that make dramatic visual changes is paramount and will make the whole process easier and more cost effective. Remember to have fun with it, be creative and ask questions.

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