Handmade décor heats up with equatorial inspiration

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      We’re in for a playfully laid-back, tropical, and plant-packed summer if a recent season trend report from Etsy Canada, online purveyor of all things cool and handmade, is any indication.

      From seaside hues to overgrown botanicals to Old Hollywood–inspired prints, here are three décor schemes that are doing gangbusters on Etsy—and how to incorporate each into your own space, according to Jennifer Knox, the company’s resident trend expert.

      Tropical florals

      It doesn’t take an au courant Vogue editor to recognize florals as a recurring trend for summer, but the Tropical Florals theme offers a fresh twist on the quintessential print. “It’s a little more Old Hollywood Regency glam,” Knox says of the look, following a presentation at Vancouver’s Field + Social. “There are colours mixed in, like pinks and turquoises, and we’re seeing a lot of kelly green.”

      Images of delicate petals and carefully arranged sprays are cast aside for stems and sprigs coated in Mother Nature’s juiciest shades. These patterns adorn the modern throw-pillow covers (from $46.55) by Victoria’s Aldari Home, which can be strewn across a sofa to bring a punch of Palm Springs to your abode, and the graphic wallpapers and prints (from $171.57) by Vancouver’s Anewall Decor, which are reminiscent of the iconic banana leaves that decorate the walls of the Beverly Hills Hotel.

      Pineapples are also hot, and can be utilized in art, textiles, and décor items throughout the home. “They work as centrepieces, and on cocktail napkins and tablecloths,” says Knox, “and you could even serve up cocktails in them.”

      Bring the outdoors in with natural wood pieces, like MTRLcreative's minimalist candleholders.

      Beachy keen

      Surf, sun, and sand find a place at home in Etsy’s superrelaxed Beachy Keen scheme, a trend that favours natural materials, like wood, cotton, and stone, and a palette of hazy white, blues, and tans. “I liken it to, basically, if you were spending a morning, noon, or night on a beach,” says Knox. “Those colours would be brought into your space.”

      Simple tapestries and textiles featuring spare pattern, such as the black-and-white mudcloth pillow covers (from $105) by the North Vancouver–based Fixxt Collective Home, are an easy way to get the laid-back feel, while adding a cozy element to your décor. You can also incorporate minimalist wood candleholders or handcrafted ceramic dinnerware, or go DIY by collecting sand, driftwood, and shells from the shore to showcase in vases or mason jars.

      “Really, you’re conveying a very outdoor-meets-indoor space, like you just came from the beach,” adds Knox. “Nothing’s too precious, nothing’s too fancy. You can just kick off your shoes and lie on the couch.”

      Macramé plant hangers, like these by Vancouver's Saige & Sky, add height and texture to an indoor garden.


      Wild, primitive greens meet suburban bungalow in Knox’s favourite trend for the summer—the aptly (and delightfully) coined Jungalow. Think grounded jewel tones, boho-chic accents, and plenty of oversized, overgrown, and generally out-of-control greens.

      “We’re seeing a lot more of the jungle coming inside, whether that be through clay pots, accessories, and décor, or wood and leather,” notes Knox, who suggests carving out a corner in your space to grow cacti, succulents, and other unwieldy blooms. Try combining a few heights to create interest or dangling a few pots from the ceiling using macramé hangers—a key accessory for the look—if you’re strapped for square footage.

      Not keen on transforming your room into a scene from The Jungle Book? An artificial approach works just as well: we love the cross-stitch embroideries (from $20) by Vancouver’s the CherryPoint, which depict thriving terrariums and leaves, and the gorgeous houseplant-print cushion covers ($88.66) from local design collective Banquet Atelier and Workshop.