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Creating Your Own Tropical Backyard Vacation

by | Jun 4, 2009 | Authentic Living, Gardens & Outdoor Rooms, Summer Decorating | 20 comments

Creating Your Own Tropical Backyard Vacation

{Sunset Magazine}

I don’t know about you, but we don’t get to go on many tropical vacations! But just because we aren’t jetting off to Bali at a moment’s notice doesn’t mean we can’t slip out the back door to our own private island! You can create your own Bali vacation to enjoy every day this summer.

Creating Your Own Tropical Backyard Vacation

Isn’t that what life is about anyways? Enjoying every day and not just waiting for those few big moments of expensive bliss? I think savoring the little everyday moments are what life is all about. For MUCH less than a real tropical vacation you can spice up your patio with sights, sounds and smells of your own island getaway.

I love Remodeling Guy’s backyard.

How could you NOT feel like you were on vacation at his Tiki bar (photos of his yard are above and below)?

Creating Your Own Tropical Backyard Vacation

How can you create your own tropical backyard paradise?

Recycle old wicker and rattan furniture you find at garage sales or in your own garage for that matter (I actually have two rattan chairs in storage right now that would be perfect for this style!). Look for chairs, coffee tables and end tables you can freshen up with some spray paint!

Shop at fun stores like Pier One and Cost Plus. A few tropical accessories will go a long way!

Add some island-inspired pillows to set the color scheme.

Use plants like bamboo, ferns, and other tropical looking foliage or blooms to green up your space.

Bring in some candles, lanterns and tiki torches to light up the ambience.

Grab a couple of cans of bright spray paint to update some accessories you already have.

Add lots of textured items made from bamboo, rattan, wicker, seagrass rugs and things like woven placemats and baskets.

Set up a creative bar area to set up your drinks for entertaining.

Use market umbrellas to provide shade {from that hot tropical sun, of course}.

Set out a couple of brightly colored beach towels.

Slather yourself in pina colada scented sun screen.

Set your ipod or stereo to play some great island tunes, pour yourself a fruity drink (yes, don’t forget the little umbrella) and you’ve got yourself a vacation!


top photo: Sunset magazine

For more from Remodeling Guy’s backyard and Tiki bar, check out his post here!


  1. Bryan

    Great article. I checked out RG’s post and it really made me miss my Florida backyard.

    Maybe a couple of other items you could add are some hanging party lights and one of those wooden tiki garden statues. I could really see an old beat up surfboard laying somewhere too.

  2. susan

    Love it! We only get 2 months of summer here in CT – great inspiration to try to make it last just a little bit longer! :)

    susans inspiring blog post..A Non-Princess Pink Room

  3. Stacey

    Great inspiration! This would be easy to do for a backyard party too! I can picture it now…. :)

  4. Kim

    I’m just reading along in your post and then I see my backyard…too funny! Since we are steps from the water we really do try to make it feel like a resort. We bought the house about 5 years ago as a vacation home and Tim started fixing up the backyard little by little. The large deck is curved like a wave {one of my favorite parts}, and the multiple levels of deck add to the feeling of little sitting areas. I wish I had before photos!

    Thanks Melissa. You’re welcome to come for a drink with an umbrella anytime!


    Kim @ Everything Etsys inspiring blog post..DIY Craft Studio Desk

    • Melissa

      Thanks for the invite, I’d love to take you up on that! Of course it isn’t just REMODELING GUY’S backyard, it is yours too :-) so thanks for a little more background into what it is like there! I LOVE IT!

  5. Gina

    I love this inspiration! And who wouldn’t enjoy an icy drink with a little umbrella-my kids would think that’s a riot. Better go grab some for a fun surprise for them!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Ginas inspiring blog post..Kindergarten Celebration

  6. teresa

    Okay, so you’ve got me wanting to head off to some far off island. =)
    Great pictures and tips.

    teresas inspiring blog post..Gardening by the foot-

  7. Mrs. Q

    You forgot the big umbrellas for all the liquid sunshine for those of us who live in the PacNW…LOL! I love RG’s and Kim’s backyard too!

    Mrs. Qs inspiring blog post..The Thrill Is Gone…

  8. Heathahlee

    LOVE that back yard! They did a great job on it! I would love to have something like that at my house. I might not constantly want to go to the beach if I did! : )

    Heathahlees inspiring blog post..Coming Soon…

  9. Remodeling Guy

    Hi Melissa,

    I was off making more Adirondack Chairs like you see in the picture so I just now am seeing your post. I take it as a HUGE compliment that you feel like my little Tiki Bar is worthy of The Inspired Room!

    You can’t see it, but Bryan has the feel down. Just around the corner we have a windsurfer, sails, and kayaks for further (useful) decoration!

    Here’s to a summer of great times in all of our backyards!

    ~ Tim

    Remodeling Guys inspiring blog post..Making Special Memories Around The Dinner Table

  10. Cathy

    Hi Melissa,
    Hopefully, I will make it to Bali someday, but until then a backyard paradise will do just fine. Thanks for sending the tropical cool breeze inspiration. ~Cathy~

    Cathy @ The Stylish Houses inspiring blog post..Favorite Paint Colors

  11. Brenda Kula

    These are all wonderful ideas! I don’t much like to travel. But I love to be in my yard and to decorate on the cheap. And I’ve got a bunch of cans of spray paint. So that is just exactly what I cm fixing to do!

    Brenda Kulas inspiring blog post..Tablescape Thursday May 4

  12. living with lindsay

    So fun! I love Tim’s backyard, too. We REALLY need to do something with ours…as it’s just grass. No flowers, shrubs, anything.

  13. Jane

    I have been dreaming of Adirondack chairs for years.
    Not long now and it WILL become a reality.
    I wanted to make one myself – not sure if that’s still doable.

    Sitting in a white adirondack chair in the sun with blue sky above: an Inspirational Outside Room.

    I want 3 chairs…check out the quote on the folder at my domain and you will see why.

  14. meg duerksen

    hi melissa.
    i have a friend who did this to her chicago backyard.
    it was always cool but after we moved and then came back to visit she had made a complete beach in her backyard…complete with tiki bar, truckloads of sand and a canoe. it was the coolest thing i’d ever seen!
    this s so fun!

    meg duerksens inspiring blog post..california 1…the airport

  15. Hazel Owens

    Reading this article makes me really want to make a little backyard paradise of my own! While I’m not about to go planting palm trees in my garden, getting some tiki statues and tropical flowers seem pretty doable. I’ll have to look around for bamboo decorations and tiki lamps so I can have a tropical-themed summer party. Thanks for the idea!



  1. Outdoor Living Season Coming Soon! - [...] a splash of color the an exterior area better than an Adirondack Chair painted in a beautiful hue. Melissa…

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