Tropical Kitchen Decor

Get ideas and inspiration for tropical kitchen decor, and prepare to install a lively and bright design theme in your kitchen.
Kitchen Jalousie Windows

Kitchen Jalousie Windows

Jalousie windows let in the tropical breezes and frame a dreamy view of the ocean. Turquoise walls repeat the color of the waters outside.

Photo by: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Photo Credit: Edward Addeo, Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

By: Sean McEvoy

Whether you're refurbishing a vacation home kitchen or just want to turn your existing kitchen into a space that says "permanent vacation," you may want to explore ideas for tropical kitchen decor.

Our 25 Favorite Kitchen Makeovers From HGTV Pros

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Unbelievable Transformations

It's hard to believe this jaw-dropping kitchen was once nothing more than a pile of trash. Don't believe us? Read on.  

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Fixer Upper Before

This kitchen was just plain scary. Covered in trash and mouse droppings, it was hard to imagine any light at the end of this kitchen-makeover tunnel.

Fixer Upper After

Hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines have done it again! Definitely one of their most impressive makeovers to date, this kitchen went from danger zone to dazzling. White cabinetry and light gray walls create a warm, cheery environment, while a stunning handmade island takes center stage.

Rehab Addict Before

Yikes! This Detroit home featured on HGTV’s Rehab Addict put host Nicole Curtis to the test.

Rehab Addict After

New floors and appliances, creamy walls and the addition of classic white appliances turned this once-scary kitchen into an adorable family hub.

Buying and Selling Before

This kitchen had good bones but needed some help in the style department.

Photo By: Cory Permack

Buying and Selling After

It’s amazing what a few smart touches can do. Structurally, this kitchen remains the same, but simple switches like swapping the dated wooden chairs for more contemporary metal stools made a huge difference aesthetically. The new glass backsplash brightens the room and adds some depth to the space.

Flip or Flop Before

An open layout is nice, but when it’s bordered by hideous cabinets and linoleum floors, it’s hard to separate the good from the bad.

Photo By: unknown

Flip or Flop After

HGTV's Flip or Flop hosts Tarek and Christina El Moussa ditched the dated yellow cabinets and opted for sleek dark wooden cabinets instead. Stainless steel appliances and knobs give this space a more modern look.

Buying and Selling Before

Not all bad, this kitchen from HGTV's Buying and Selling features a good layout, adequate space and plenty of room for storage. The downside? Dated cabinets and a boring color scheme keep it from reaching its full potential.

Photo By: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Buying and Selling After

Some small tweaks, like painting the cabinets and adding a fun graphic backsplash, transformed this kitchen into a more modern space. Matching appliances and two-toned cabinets contribute to a more sophisticated color scheme.

Photo By: Mali Azima/Getty Images

Fixer Upper Before

It takes a creative eye to see how HGTV's Fixer Upper hosts Chip and Joanne Gaines could turn this dated kitchen into a more contemporary space. Luckily for the Jonklass family, the talented duo was up for the task.

Fixer Upper After

The original cabinets were painted white for instant warmth in this newly renovated kitchen. The wall to the dining room was removed, creating a more bright and open space. New wood floors, granite countertops and modern pendant lighting really take this kitchen to new heights.

Kitchen Cousins Before

After months of living in an unfinished kitchen, the Nolte family was more than ready for what HGTV's Kitchen Cousins had in store for them.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Kitchen Cousins After

Hosts Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri added a stunning granite countertop and some much-needed cabinets. A brand-new stove took the place of the old fridge, and a center island is the perfect spot to prep meals.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Love It or List It Before

This cluttered kitchen will not only get a makeover, it will be completely relocated.

Photo By: Dale Wilcox /AP Images

Love It or List It After

Located where the living room used to be, this brand new kitchen features state-of-the-art appliances, large kitchen cabinets, and an attractive new backsplash. The long kitchen island highlights the length of the room and the openness of the space which connects the new living room and dining room.

Photo By: Dale Wilcox /AP Images

Cousins Undercover Before

It may be outdated but at least this kitchen has plenty of space to work with, and HGTV's Cousins Undercover hosts Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri know just how to make the most of the Weber family’s cooking space.

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Cousins Undercover After

With tons of natural lighting and a cheery color palette, this kitchen could brighten anyone’s day.  The 12’ glass doors flood the space in light and lead to the family’s brand new deck. Gorgeous gray cabinets and a spacious kitchen island with butcher block countertops are a far cry from the builder-grade kitchen from before.

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Fixer Upper Before

This kitchen was usable but in serious need of a facelift. Tile flooring and outdated fixtures would be the first thing to go.

Fixer Upper After

After the makeover, it’s hard to believe this is even the same kitchen! A wall was removed to allow for a beautiful long kitchen island and to create an open, airy feel throughout the space. Bright white cabinets look stunning against the warm hardwood floors, while pendant lights and stainless hardware bring an updated feel to the charming kitchen.

Love It or List It Before

On this episode of HGTV’s Love It or List It, it’s no wonder the family is ready to list this home in search of a more modernized kitchen.

Photo By: Dale Wilcox /AP Images

Love It or List It After

After host Hilary Farr’s redesign, the new kitchen is located where the dining room once was. A fun chalkboard wall adds whimsy to the space, and brand new white cabinets present a nice contrast in the space. A center island features double sink basins and a casual spot for family dining.

Photo By: Dale Wilcox /AP Images

Fixer Upper Before

This kitchen definitely shows potential, but Formica countertops and linoleum floors keep its beauty from shining through.

Fixer Upper After

Beautiful hardwood floors and granite countertops bring this fabulous kitchen into the 21st century. The original lower cabinets were painted a bright white, enhanced by the natural light from the large windows.

Property Brothers Before

Archaic appliances and dark wood cabinets were begging for an update. HGTV's Property Brother had their work cut out for them with this one.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Property Brothers After

Hello, Gorgeous! This updated space features bright white cabinets, lovely granite countertops and a beautiful tile backsplash. Hosts Drew and Jonathan Scott replaced the dated appliances with stainless steel versions, giving the entire space a more contemporary look.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Kitchen Cousins Before

The Goldstein’s kitchen was not only dated, but old appliances and a dark floors and cabinets made the entire space feel dark and small.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Kitchen Cousins After

A green Moroccan backsplash adds instant warmth to this once-dated kitchen. White cabinets with black knobs add subtle contrast, and a center island with three chairs makes this kitchen the perfect place to gather and enjoy casual meals.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Love It or List It, Too Before

Cabinets that were falling apart were a pretty good reason to consider an upgrade. And if that wasn’t enough, the fridge was so small that a separate freezer was a necessity in this outdated home.

Photo By: Farah Nosh / Getty Images

Love It or List It, Too After

HGTV's Love It or List It, Too host and designer Jillian Harris transformed the former dining room into an adorable new kitchen, complete with stainless steel appliances, dazzling white cabinets and a stunning dual-toned backsplash.

Rehab Addict Before

With old floors, faded walls and ugly cabinets, this sad space needed to be fully gutted and renovated.

Photo By: Lauren Noess

Rehab Addict After

Salvaged hardwood from the original home was laid in the kitchen, giving the room a hint of character, while new appliances, cabinets and granite countertops bring the space up to date.

Photo By: Matthew Allen/AP Images

Fixer Upper Before

Basic. Boring. Blah. This kitchen simply lacked personality and needed an update and a way to better utilize the open space.

Fixer Upper After

A center island makes great use of the space and provides an extra spot for food prep. New hardwood floors add warmth, while recessed and pendant lighting illuminate the space.

Kitchen Cousins Before

The Sosa family’s kitchen simply lacked space and functionality. With no room for storage and very little counterspace, a smarter layout and a place to prep meals was a must.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Kitchen Cousins After

Hosts Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri extended the wall that cut through the center of the kitchen to make more room. With all that extra space, they were able to add new appliances (including a much-needed dishwasher!) as well as extra counterspace.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Cousins Undercover Before

In this small kitchen, an old oven takes up half the counterspace, leaving very little room for food prep.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Cousins Undercover After

After the makeover, there’s plenty of counterspace to go around, and the crisp white cabinets contribute to the sweet cottage look. A gray and white backsplash adds depth and character to this cute kitchen.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Buying and Selling Before

Closed off and out of date, this basic kitchen needed a lot of help.

Photo By: Caitlin Cronenberg

Buying and Selling After

By knocking down one wall, hosts Drew and Jonathan Scott were able to create a light, open atmosphere. A new island with a built-in sink and dishwasher is the perfect centerpiece, combining style and function.

Flip or Flop Before

Mustard yellow walls and dated cabinetry proved this kitchen was ready for an update.

Photo By: unknown

Flip or Flop After

New countertops and warm wooden cabinets give this kitchen a cozier vibe with plenty of workspace.

Fixer Upper Before

From the flooring to the lighting, this kitchen could not have looked more dated. Thankfully hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines had big plans for this all-brown disaster.

Fixer Upper After

Voila! New wood floors make a huge difference, but the brick backsplash, stainless appliances and gorgeous black granite countertops don’t hurt either.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Kitchen Cousins Before

This kitchen was definintely one of the worst. No cabinets and no ceiling called for a major overhaul.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Kitchen Cousins After

After the makeover, this once-scary kitchen is now a quaint cottage cookery with dark gray cabinets, a large farmhouse sink and gorgeous granite countertops.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Love It or List It, Too Before

Fluorescent lights and old-fashioned white oak cabinets left a lot to be desired in this '80s-style kitchen.

Photo By: David Owen Strongman / Getty Images

Love It or List It, Too After

Hickory hardwood floors look flawless in this updated space. The existing island was given a contemporary facelift with modern lines and a clean, white finish.

Cousins Undercover Before

This bland kitchen was lacking counterspace, and needed an updated look with new flooring and cabinets.

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Cousins Undercover After

New white cabinets make all the difference, but hardwood floors, added counterspace and updated appliances certainly don’t hurt either.

Tropical kitchens tend to favor an overall design that's bright and airy, incorporating lively colors, plenty of flowers and plants, and decor touches that hint at a laid-back tropical lifestyle.

Color is one of the most important features of tropical kitchen design. Shades tend to range from base colors of gentle and soothing whites and creams to accents of bold, expressive greens, oranges, blues and yellows for pops of color throughout. White is a predominant wall color, and beadboard is a popular wall choice as well, giving the impression of a beachside cottage or vacation property.

Backsplashes in tropical kitchen decor can be a fantastic opportunity to incorporate both color and artistic expression into the overall design. Mosaics with tropical themes like palm trees, sea life or other flora and fauna can be a great addition, especially if they add bold, colorful accents to complement an otherwise soft and soothing design theme. Similarly, brightly colored tiles in any style, featuring tropical greens, turquoises and blues, can liven up any kitchen design.

Lighting in tropical kitchens is often subtle and soothing, complementing the laid-back color scheme that's often featured. Decorative, task and main lighting can be used to brighten key areas. Low-profile track lighting can be used for main lighting, tropical-themed pendants can hover over the sink, stove and cooking preparation areas, and rope lights or subtle LED lights can lighten up spaces above and below cabinets.

Decor for tropical kitchens often reflects a laid-back seaside lifestyle. Curtains, placemats and linens may show off seashell or sea life designs depicted in bright, bold oranges, blues and greens. Actual seashells can be arranged decoratively or used for centerpieces. Artwork often hints at maritime culture or the relaxed flow of the tropics, with seascapes, fishing themes and the exotic birds and other wildlife of the tropics often featured.

Furniture and cabinets in tropical kitchens tend to be constructed from hardwoods, in some cases exotic ones that might be found in tropical regions, like ebony, teak, mahogany and bamboo. Wooden furniture is often kept unfinished or finished in a way that shows off its natural grain and appearance, emphasizing the close connection between life in the tropics and nature.

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