Channeling the Tropics: Palm Leaf Gallery Wall
Even before Pantone named ‘Greenery’ 2017’s Color of the Year, various hues of vibrant green have been making an impact in the fashion and interior design world for some time now. This season, dramatic, large-scale palm and banana leaf prints have been popping up everywhere.
What’s not to love about these fun tropical-inspired prints? From swimwear, home goods like plates, curtains, and wallpaper – even phone wallpapers – it’s easy to channel the tropics and mentally transport yourself into vacation mode on a daily basis.
As someone who has a passion for mid-century modern design and its history, I’m particularly smitten with the striking but timeless wallpaper print shown in the powder room, above. Originally designed by Don Loper in 1942 for the Beverly Hills Hotel, this “Martinique” wallpaper has become one of the most iconic wallpaper prints in the world, inspiring everything from Blanche’s Miami-glam bedroom on the Golden Girls in the 80’s, to countless replications in interiors today.
Yes, I’m drooling over all of these ideas and while I’d love to wallpaper my small powder room in a similar fashion, I decided to take a less committal and inexpensive approach to the trend by creating a palm leaf motif with my dining room gallery wall.
To showcase some of my favorite family photos and fill out the back wall in the dining room, I created this symmetric gallery wall layout a few years ago. Using light wood modern frames and a simple layout, this design has been perfect for swapping out images for the seasons (And even holidays and events, as we did on my son’s birthday) without making the space feel tired or dated.
But with sunny days and warmer weather on the horizon, it was time to brighten up this room with a little retro-glam tropical flair for the summer season.
My first stop was to Etsy to source some prints. I narrowed down my search by doing a simple “tropical palm prints” search, then selecting a variety of prints that had slight variations in color and texture but would complement each other on the wall. Here are few from various Etsy shops.
All of the prints cost around $6.00, with most stores offering a 30-40% discount if you bought multiple prints. There are numerous printable art stores on Etsy; my prints were specifically from WildBOOK, TheScandinavianHome, ANDYxANNY, and NikiandNeo.
For printing, I use an awesome Mom-and-Pop store in Mooresville called Hailey’s. They cater more to the trade doing a lot of blueprints and construction plans, but they produce high-quality prints at a fraction of the cost of the national chain printers. Harold and Janet Hailey did a great job creating high-gloss prints to capture that retro-glam look I was after. My favorite online print shop is Social Print Studio.
I used Adobe Indesign to create a mockup of the prints in the frames. By saving thumbnail images of the prints first, I could swap them in and out of my “virtual” Indesign” frames, creating the perfect layout before purchasing the prints.
I’ve always loved our dining room, but this gallery wall design takes it over the top for summer. Don’t the green hues in the prints look amazing against the blue-gray walls, jute and wicker accents?
That gorgeous three-tiered wrapped jute chandelier is from Lulu and Georgia. The wrapped jute perfectly mimics the light wood grain of the frames and provides a balance to our dark hardwood floors.
So what do you think? Did I do a good job channeling the tropics in my dining room this season? You may not be able to take on a project as grand as wallpapering an entire room (I’m not counting out my powder room just yet, either!) but hopefully, my gallery wall will inspire you to create your own tropical paradise at home this season!