The 50th U.S. state has a long history prior to its American incorporation. Evidence suggests that its earliest inhabitants migrated from Polynesia and other Oceanic islands to their new homeland approximately 300 CE. While the Polynesian culture remains Hawaii’s predominant ancestral influence, the state became the home of many other ethnicities and nationalities in the past 200 years—with large presences of the Filipino, Korean, Latino, Japanese, Samoan, and Chinese communities. Spanning over nineteen volcanic islands, this multifaceted culture expresses its creativity through many inspiring arts and crafts practices. If you want to bring some Polynesian decorating ideas into your home, come aboard!
Colors & Fabrics
A well-lit, ample room is best for this theme. If you are working with a smaller space, consider adding mirrors and soft lighting to give a better sense of depth. To evoke the freshness of Polynesia, keep your color scheme vivid and crisp. For your bedroom, find linens in botanic greens and yellows. If you are reinventing your living room, you can pick out a monochrome couch on one of these shades or choose a white set with floral or plant patterns.
Burnt orange and guava shades refract light beautifully, so they are excellent choices for curtains. If you are able to procure traditional Polynesian home decor fabrics, you will have the choice of a wide assortment of vintage and contemporary patterns. Go DIY, you! Remember that the key to an enchanting color scheme is: 60-30-10. Your primary color will take over 60% of the space—here you should consider softer, more muted shades of vivid, bright colors.
This is how you will cover your main surfaces: floors, couches, walls, etc. Next, your secondary color will be on 30% of the total area: a perfect ratio for a lively color, but not quite jewel tone level yet. Your secondary color is perfect for curtains, tablecloths, and other accessories. Lastly, your accent color will be on 10% of visible surfaces. It should complement your other color choices, but it’s a chance for you to have fun and pick a special hue. You will mostly be picking out objects, finishes, and details in this color.
Once you have the basic layout of your colors and textiles, you can complement it with nautical home décor objects. Adding some dark blues and greys can make your room look more modern, sleek, and contrast from the brighter elements. It’s easy to find lamps and candleholders decorated with nautical themes, like anchors, whales, and starfishes. When exploring Polynesian decorating ideas for walls, don’t be afraid to go outside the box and get a Kraken stenciled on our accent wall!
Another easy way to enhance the Hawaiian atmosphere in your room is by incorporating furniture pieces in bamboo, driftwood, and other rustic wooden materials. Darker furniture will be useful to contrast with a lighter color scheme. Go lighter if you are going for the deep blues and rocky shore greys of the more nautical elements. You may also want to play with another home decor dimension: texture. To create a more frugal space, you can add variety in the materials used to embellish the space: textured walls, woven grass, stones, and raw wood.
Natural Polynesian Decorating Ideas
To evoke the Polynesian spirit within your home, it’s important to recreate some of its most endearing natural elements. Depending on your location, you may not be able to grow the same flora and fauna as the paradisiac archipelago, but you can always get perfectly-manicured floral arrangements or prints and photographs! A group of flowering plants known as lobelioids are endemic to the islands, you may know some of them as brighamia, lobelia, trematolobelia, clermontia, cyanea, or delissea. Due to increasing deforestation, some of these species may be endangered so definitely do not try to grow them at home. Hibiscus and other species may be easier to find in some places, so consult your local gardening resources!
Give yourself the comfort of a picnic table in your backyard, along with stylish Polynesian home décor embellishments. You can surround your outdoor gathering area with Tiki torches for added charm, set up some hammocks, and swings. Don’t forget to tend to your garden and lawn! You’ve got all the ingredients for a laid-back session of food and jamming with your friends and family. Light up the grill—or a bonfire, go bold!—and don’t skip on the décor. Remember the textiles you used for your main living areas? Save some for the lu’au. We hope you have enjoyed these Polynesian decorating ideas!