Feeling fine about bringing the beach into the city. One way to do it is in a thematic restaurant. Cuban fare should be accessorized with Banana leaves and palm fronds. It should have low lighting, ceiling fans, and a Casablanca-esque vibe. An oasis off the city street with island cocktails offering a tidal wave of rum and a tsunami of tropical juices to sweeten your experience. Pick a neighborhood in NYC and you can be transported to the country of your choosing – no passport required.
Your home may feel like a restaurant with you serving up one meal after another for your family, but the decor shouldn’t look like a movie set. So how to tastefully bring the tropics into a city apartment, and avoid looking like you borrowed The Golden Girls Interior Decorator? Accents and suggestions. That’s a statement. Now the how too. I adore the original banana leaf Martinique Wallpaper from the famous Beverly Hills Hotel,
but I wouldn’t recommend using it in the city unless it was tucked into a tiny powder room – ensuring moderate use of the motif is critical, in my opinion, to its successful incorporation into the urban environment.
Paint colors add sophistication and offer an appropriate backdrop for your south of the equator accessories. Anything splashed in gold leaf will feel more Hollywood Glamour and less island living. Mirrors, lighting, decorative dishware, and wall hangings will assist in delivering the effect without taking you overboard.
I love New England and its four seasons. Though I’d like to take up with the powers that be, Spring. I feel unquestionably that I am being shortchanged. I’m fond of quoting Lucy from Peanuts – “I only want my fair share. I only want what’s coming to me”. Here I must be careful, because I may not like what’s coming to me at all. But I digress. Were it not for the long, dark winter months, followed by some pretty nasty Spring weather, I suspect I wouldn’t have such a longing for the warm breezes, hazy sunshine, and lazy cheerful countenance of islanders. Bringing a touch of the tropics into my city dwelling reminds me that beyond the paved streets, just on the other side of the highway…mother nature awaits.