Surround yourself in tropical tranquility

Our surroundings can have a big impact on how we feel. So it makes sense to create a living space that enhances our sense of well-being.

It’s easy to understand why so many people choose to travel to tropical locations. Sparkling ocean waters, soft white sand and swaying palm trees just make us feel good. It’s a stress-free atmosphere of relaxation and fun. We love it. And really, who doesn’t?

Of course, relaxation and fun are a big part of living with An Island Perspective. Most of the time we talk about these ideas as they relate to our inner island – our thoughts. But sometimes we can use a little “outside” help boosting our island spirit. So around here we have a few tricks to remind us of tropical tranquility.

When you can’t go the island, bring the island to you.

Here are a few easy & low-cost ways to add a touch of tranquility to your space. You’ll notice that each suggestion is tropically flavored and that each is meant to remind us of a place or idea from the island. All of these things can be found at local retailers or on the web and when placed around your home, will remind you to live with An Island Perspective.

1) Plants

Notice the shells . . .

Nothing says tropical paradise like plants. In our house, we’ve done our best to keep the local plant stores in business! All this lush green foliage reminds me of a special place on the island, Palm Canyon. And when I think of Palm Canyon, I imagine sitting by the waterfall, gazing into the deep pool. Very relaxing.

2) Pillows

Too many palm trees? Impossible!

This particular pillow reminds me of the island principle of Palm – strong, yet flexible. I think of how our deep inner roots will hold us firm in the winds of life. Pillows come in all shapes, sizes & colors and are an easy way to add island ambiance. And, I recommend you make regular use of them! Find a few moments of tranquility as you chill out on the sofa or floor.


Okay, it’s not sand, but it IS soft

3) Rugs

I like to stand on this rug in my bare feet. When I close my eyes, I can imagine standing in the warm, soft, white sand. Like pillows, it’s not hard to find a size & shape that will be just right for your own special “beach.”

Okay, let’s kick up the creativity a notch and look at some things we’ve put together ourselves. These examples are really meant to fire up your imagination. You can come up with many cool ideas too!


Add some color

4) Coasters

This is actually a four-inch wall tile we found at one of the local “big box” home improvement stores. It’s easy to stick felt or cork discs on the bottom and add a splash of color to a table.


5) Candleholders

Our parrot shines

This “candleholder” is actually a hand soap dispenser. Even though it fit the decor in the bathroom perfectly, it was WAY less than perfect in providing soap. Clearly, this parrot was assigned the wrong job! Off went the pump, in went the candle and now he’s very happy lighting up our family room.

Along with the coaster, he adds some bright, tropical colors too.

6) Shells

The ocean contains infinite creativity

Ocean + beach = shells. We’ve picked these up over countless walks along the shore. You can also buy them by the bagful in shops around Florida and online. Looking at all the shapes, colors and textures reminds me of the island principle of Ocean and how we are all filled with endless creativity.

7) Island Critters

One determined lizard!

The island of Alumanaya features all types of interesting tropical life. One day we discovered this lizard trying to get into one of the plants. Whenever I see him I’m reminded something Makena (a wise kamua) told me one time about how each of us have our own individual mountains to climb. We can always get to where we want to go if we focus on taking just one step at a time. Ceramic, wood, stuffed . . . a few island critters can liven up your space.

There are many more ways to add island ambiance to your home. We’ll be discussing more ideas in the future. In the meantime, I’d love to learn how you’ve added your own touch of tropical tranquility to your space!