After a few months of winter, there’s a lot of people wishing they could be sipping a fruity drink in the warm sunshine right now. But today’s weary consumers are craving escapism that’s about much more than getting out of the snow. (And many don’t have the funds for a tropical vacation right now anyway.) That’s why tropical housewares, designs and flavors are surging in popularity.
In fact, Pinterest Predicts recently named tropical treatments as a top trend for 2024. It says Boomers and Gen Z are driving the escapist aesthetic, which will influence their food, home décor and fashion choices for the year to come.
At the time of the December 2023 report, searches for tropical chic décor were up 110%, pineapple mocktails up 70% and crushed pineapple upside-down cake up 50%. Coconut aesthetic was up 35%, as was Hawaiian sheet pan chicken.
Tropical Housewares and Design Motifs
Tropical home décor and design motifs help people channel an easygoing lifestyle without the cost of an expensive vacation. Plus, it makes these fun and relaxing vibes accessible to them every day of the year, not just during a trip.
Tropical designs can appeal to retro or vintage tastes with kitschy treatments, but they can also be updated into more contemporary styles or patterns. The Tropical Trove Maisie Apron by Danica Jubilee is a good example, as is the Blue Hibiscus Beach Towel by Moda, which can bring a carefree, relaxing vibe to a primary bathroom.
For design motifs, pineapples are popular—as in this cutting board from True Bamboo that doubles as wall décor, and this waffle iron from DASH, which even brings a pineapple print to a breakfast plate. Other tropical housewares motifs include palm trees, palm leaves, seashells or orchid, jasmine or plumeria flowers. Beach scenes with sand and waves play well here, as do sunrises and sunsets.
“This coastal take on bohemia will be sure to bring some joy into your home,” Anne Haimes, design director and founder of Anne Haimes Interiors, recently told Good Homes. “Think natural woven materials like wicker, coral-inspired shapes and vibrant colors.”
Bold Hues and Nature-Inspired Tones
Tropical housewares products in bright colors like turquoise, aqua, hot pink and orange can help contribute to a tropical aesthetic. It’s also a perfect opportunity to pair brights with Peach Fuzz, Pantone’s 2024 Color of the Year.
Natural earth tones can also be incorporated, especially if someone is going for a less kitschy/more nature-inspired aesthetic. In fact, the Scenic palette from the Pantone View Home + Interiors 2024 forecast—revealed at The Inspired Home Show 2023—features similar combinations of bright nature-inspired hues (think bold sunsets and lightning displays) along with some earthy tones.
Chic Barware and Sumptuous Flavors
When we think of a tropical getaway, a fruity drink with an umbrella in it is top of mind. With cocktails and mocktails already popular, retailers will want to emphasize barware and glassware perfect for a strawberry daiquiri, pina colada or rum (or spirit-free) punch. Premade mixers, like this mango margarita mixer from True Brands, can also help inspire sales.
But let’s not forget the food. Consumers are sure to appreciate recipes and inspiration for tropical staples like poke bowls and dishes that incorporate fresh fish and shellfish. Tropical flavors can also include pineapple, coconut, mango and banana.
What’s better than making a tropical drink or meal for yourself? Sharing it with friends and family. Don’t forget to feature tikki or island-vibe servingware and beverageware when entertaining at home. Tropical housewares can provide inspiration and atmosphere for any party or casual gathering.