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The Travelling Designer: Bring Beach Vibes to Your Home from Belize!

Hi everyone, it’s Nicole here, reporting Bangkok! October was a busy month hopping from continent to continent and waving a final goodbye to Central America after my 5 month adventure. My travels are going to be slowing down but I still have plenty of design inspiration to share with you. And, this month, I’m going to be showing you how to bring beachy vibes to your home, inspired by the tiny Caribbean country, Belize!

For those who don’t know much about Belize (I hadn’t heard much about it!), it’s the only English speaking country in Central America, perched on the Caribbean coast between Guatemala and Mexico. The country is most famous for being home to the Great Blue Hole but equally so for its cheap rum and lobster! (I only managed to sample the latter two.) One of the things that really jumps out to visitors, though, is the laid back, carefree vibes that will really put you in holiday mode. Especially on Caye Caulker which is where I spent all of my time!

Ready to bring some slow living, Caribbean vibes to your home? Keep reading for more design inspo!

Pastel Hues

It seems like in all of my articles about design features in Latin America, colour is always the biggest feature. While Belize might not share the language or culture of its salsa dancing, Spanish speaking neighbours, it doesn’t scrimp on its candy tones!

Walking around Caye Caulker, I’d watch as the buildings turned from turquoise to lilac to pink, trying to decide which colour I’d choose if I won the lottery and set up shop on a Caribbean Island.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again - you probably aren’t going to paint your 3-bed semi magenta but that doesn’t mean you can’t add some cute colours to your room. Even if the idea of pastel hues on your living room walls gives you a headache, you can still play with contrasting accessories against a muted back drop. Go on - push yourself outside your comfort zone!

Hammocks

Beaches and Hammocks are the Caribbean’s power couple, much akin to our own fish and chips. It should go without saying, then, that there were plenty to lounge around in on the slow living island of Caye Caulker.

Even if you live in Manchester and not Morecambe Bay, you can still add a hammock to your home. There are lots of hammocks on the market these days that are elegantly designed and wouldn’t look out of place beside a bay window. Living in a home with a south or west facing window? Take advantage of it as you soak up the sunset while swinging away with a rum punch in hand.

Swings

The slightly more adventurous (and exceptionally welcoming after a few rum punches) cousin of the hammock, the swing seemed to be a common design feature throughout bars in Caye Caulker. Not only are they extremely Instagram friendly, they add a cute and fun touch to a space, too.

If you want to liven up a breakfast bar, these would definitely do the trick. They’d also help turn your balcony or front porch into the perfect lounging space.

Thatched Roofs

With coconut trees for miles, you’re never far from an ice-cold coconut vendor - or a tropical thatched roof. For us, thatched roofs are a ubiquitous feature of the traditional countryside bungalow. In the Caribbean though, these thatched roofs are a lot more rustic looking - usually put together by hand with coconut leaves.

Since a coconut leaf thatched roof is naturally waterproof, there’s no reason why we can’t bring them to the UK. On the other hand, though, since not many people decide to thatch a whole roof with coconut leaves, and the striking lack of coconut trees in our fair land, the bill would probably bring a tear to your eyes. Instead, opt for a coconut gazebo which would be the perfect place to protect your garden furniture when you’re not using it. It will also help your home feel like more of a tropical haven during those long, balmy summer nights.

Porches

Porches make for the perfect refuge to grow old and watch the world go by. Yet, this cliché is usually reserved for our neighbours across the pond with porches being relatively uncommon in the UK.

Although not many older builds come with porches, new building technologies are making it easier to add your own. Whether you decide to don yours with a classic rocking chair or take my advice and add a swing, your house will be the new favourite hang-out spot.

If the dark nights are starting to get you down, I hope that these design tips will bring back memories of vitamin C. So, rather than popping those Berrocas by the bucketload, maybe a prescription of pastel-toned paints, coconut leaves and lazy lounging areas will be more effective.

If you’ve been on a winter escape recently and want to share some design inspiration that you found, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Until next time, have a great November, stay safe over Guy Fawkes and happy decorating!

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