22 Tropical-Inspired Outdoor Spaces
Patio, balcony & backyard ideas.
To give a bare back garden a focal point, create an outdoor lounge area with basic gravel. A simple white sunsail over head pulls everything together. A painted tree stump in a white lacquer creates a unique textural table and detailed lanterns add an exotic touch. The pieces are all easily stored in the shed when not in use.
New glass doors overlooking the pool and deck, modern sconces, potted fronds and many coats of white paint helped transform a former garage into a pool house. Brightly coloured cushions and a pair of large umbrellas lend a hotel vibe to the backyard.
This 625-square-foot deck overlooking Lake Ontario is luxuriously appointed with beachy raffia-look furniture, resort-style umbrellas and potted palms and ferns. “The look all started when I got one big palm plant,” says homeowner and TV personality Lisa Rogers.
Modern teak furniture and feathery exotic plants give this back deck’s dining area a distinctly tropical air. The furniture and accessories are in sync with the home‘s interior, both in their clean lines and black and white palette. The colours also blend in with the spectacular waterfront.
You’d never know this cottage was in Ontario and not a Southern state. The soaring peaked roof of the pool house has a dramatic silhouette against the sky. Wood decking frames the pool like a boardwark, and fibreglass sofas add a glam note.
Laying acacia wood, cut-to-fit floor tiles in a cross-hatched pattern overtop the existing concrete floor instantly warmed up this balcony. A traditionally shaped chandelier rendered in white plastic balls keeps the overall look fun. Lightweight, seasonal furniture pieces like the bamboo chairs and detachable floor tiles can easily be stored inside to protect them from the elements.
Stylist and homeowner Trish Johnston used every inch of her condo balcony to create a livable outdoor space for her family. Wanting to obscure the unattractive partition wall behind the chaises, she create a faux-wall with inexpensive bundles of tall twigs.
Watch a video tour of Trish’s condo.
A wall of reclaimed French doors opens up so guests can appreciate the ocean view. Designer April Tidey achieved a surfer-girl feel on the deck with white butterfly chairs, potted succulents, reclaimed wood tables and driftwood accents.
Create a resort-chic lounging area with a view using simple design elements. Whether your property faces the water or a small garden, adding a hammock, lounge or low-slung chair will encourage relaxation and indulgence.
Walled in fieldstone and floored in concrete pavers, the terrace of artist Bobbie Burgers offers a fuss-free lounging and dining area. Floating steel benches line its edges and are outfitted with easy-care cushions in Sunbrella fabric. Stainless steel poles and cablework hold eight varieties of table grapes.
See more photos of Bobbie Burgers’ Okanagan weekend home.
Embrace the environment by keeping outdoor spaces integrated with their surroundings. The weathered planking on this pool deck, natural stone and tall, feathery grasses mimic the landscape. Simple furniture, like this rattan daybed and metal loungers, add comfort without losing earthy appeal.
The turquoise waters of a striking in-ground pool are the focal point of this elegant backyard. The clean lines of the rectangular pool draws the eye to the cabana at the back of the yard, while the simple white furniture adds a classic touch. Privacy is protected by multiple trees, while hostas and other plants add texture, contrasting with the stone patio and deck.
Modern rattan furniture evokes a tropical, South-East Asian look. Greenery and the New York brownstone patio add contrast and interest. Emerald cedars and paperbark maples, planted in symmetrical groupings, also obscure the boundaries of the yard slightly, making it look bigger than it is.
Hits of sky blue enliven a muted black, white and grey tabletop palette. Succulents in textured ceramic bowls and surrounded by glass hurricanes make an elegant centrepiece, as well. Generous armchairs with striped pillows invite guests to linger long after the dishes have been cleared away.
What used to be a concrete slab at the rear of a house was transformed into an entertaining oasis. Banquettes topped with sleek white cushions flank both sides of the property with a large Persian rug between them. Juicy colours and Moroccan lanterns turn what could be a staid backyard into a vibrant paradise.
Balmy breezes play with the feathery palms in every corner of this outdoor dining room, creating movement and interest. The abundance of natural light, coupled with the watery palette of green and blue, creates a tropical ambiance that contrasts with the classical architecture. Rattan and vintage accents layer in texture, as well.
Lush vines and grasses, wood and an overhead canopy in this backyard recall a secluded Asian courtyard. The dipping pool’s water is recirculated by a small waterfall, which muffles neighbourhood noise.
Nestled among lush and colourful plantings of pink and white oakleaf hydrangea, pink astilbe and purple bugban, this intimate eating area features warm teak wood and textured woven chairs. It’s the perfect place to dine under the stars.
A textured raffia umbrella, carved side tables and oversized floor pillows grant this outdoor living room on a cottage deck Moroccan flair, while the furniture’s symmetrical arrangement keeps the look sophisticated and clean.
Stack shipping crates, painted pale blue, to form the base of a daybed. (Unpainted crates, or skids, are free at many lumberyards or hardware stores.) A twin mattress or foam slab covered with a white sheet or a canvas cloth and piled with pillows creates a comfy surface for lounging. A makeshift awning, made with a dropcloth or sheet, is supported by two sturdy branches securely staked into the ground. Dress up the rugged setting with budget-friendly whimsical additions, like the wicker elephant table from Chinatown.