Summer-Fresh Tropical Style

Bring relaxing tropical style home with these summer-infused decorating ideas.


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beachy frames
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Tack-On Family Photos

    Frame vacation snapshots as high-style changeable art.

    -- Convert digital images to sepia tone using a computer and graphics program, then print on deckle-edge watercolor paper made for color ink-jet printers.

    -- Adhere papyrus or other art paper to cork tile and place in a ready-made frame with glass removed.

    -- Attach photo to the cork with a decorative tack.

    -- Switch out photos as the whim strikes.

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Nighttime Table Runner

    Drape a bedside table with a woven beach mat hanging to the floor offering the effect of an elegant grass skirt. Drift off to sleep thinking of cool umbrella drinks and sand between your toes.

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Easy-Sew Headboard

    A wall hanging reminiscent of beach chaise canopies is a charming headboard alternative.

    -- For easy construction, choose a fabric that has finished edges and no "wrong" side (54-inch-wide fabric yields a full-gathered effect for a twin bed).

    -- Measure height for the headboard and add about 16 inches for balance and hems; cut fabric this length.

    -- Fold over one end about 15 inches to make a valance; to make the pocket for hanging, sew layers together about 1 inch from the fold.

    -- Hem the ends; feed rope through the pocket and tie around cabinet pulls or hooks installed in the wall.

    -- Complete the ensemble with a matching sham; a king-size pillow is the right width for a twin bed bolster.

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Floral Seat Cover-Up

    Drape a chair seat with a summery patterned napkin for an instant spruce-up.

    -- Sew large beads to the corners to act as weights, and position the napkin diagonally.

    -- Stitch on ribbon ties to secure it to the chair back.

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Seaside Centerpiece

    Line a flat waterproof tray with chunks of sea glass and elevate a collection of potted plants to focal-point status. The tray will also help to protect your tabletop from water spills.

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Beachy Reading Nook

    Create a breezy spot for beach reading any time of year.

    -- Place an outdoor chaise or chair in the bedroom or a corner of the living room.

    -- Add a couple of cushy pillows and hanging paper lanterns, then settle in to a relaxing book.

    -- Make your reading chair extra comfy with an easy-to-fashion neck roll: Fold a beach towel to the width of your chair; roll, and secure with chenille rope. Tie to the back of the chair at neck height.

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Naturally Pretty Setting

    Braid bunches of fresh grasses for natural napkin rings.

    -- Wrap one end of a bundle of grasses with tape before braiding.

    -- Twist braid into a ring and tie with waxed linen thread, then cut off the taped end.

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Cooler Candles

    Give plain glass candleholders a tropical makeover. Cover the outside with decorative papyrus; secure with double-sided tape. Wrap with waxed linen thread to hint at the pattern of a net.

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Leafy Green Table

    Tinted water and tropical foliage make a dramatic centerpiece.

    -- Use liquid food coloring to tint water in ocean hues.

    -- Tie bundles of foliage or grasses with waxed linen thread and place in vases.

    -- An oversize split-leaf philodendron leaf makes a natural table runner.

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