Jerry Jacobs Design | Tropical style interiors | Jerry Jacobs Design
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Tropical style interiors


Tropical Style Interiors.

Tropical style Interiors. A description of the Style and a breakdown of some components.  Tropical style Interiors designed by Jerry Jacobs Design.

Which Interiors are Tropical?  What makes an Interior Design project Tropical Style and what are its components?

What is the Tropical Style? There are many books written about the subject, while we list some of them below, needless to say we won’t try write a book but only to provide some criteria or inspiration.

First of all the Equator divides the world horizontally, while  23˚ North is the Tropic of Cancer , and 23˚ South is the Tropic of Capricorn. A good portion 40% of the world falls within the Tropics. Hence a certain importance on the subject. By no means is this portion of the world  Tropical Style, mainly the smaller or coastal areas, not the city where the style tends to get lost within the Concrete, and the corporate and larger Architecture and lifestyle.

Miami and Hawaii, also Puerto Rico, are all USA Tropical entities. Let alone the US Virgin Islands. Mexico’s all its coastal resorts, Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean Riviera, as well as many villages in states like Veracruz and others. But clearly Mexico City CDMX is not Tropical Style. CDMX does have tropical bars and destination but the Tropical Style is not there obviously.

A red and white logo of the american institute for certified public accountants.Yacht Club Penthouse, Entrance by Jerry Jacobs Design©.

A Mural I designed and had executed by a San Francisco ,CA Artist. Inspired by the baluters in Barbados, the aqua seas and a Campari red drink on the table. A Friendly and colorful outdoor lifestyle.

Components of the Tropical Style.

  • Weather. Sun. Climate. Light. Water.
  • Color.
  • A link between the Interior with the exterior. And an interpretation of the outdoor in the Interior. Bring the light in. Sunny at times. Verandas, shade protection and use of wind.
  • Rain. Pitched roofs and ceilings. Palapas.
  • Materials. Wicker & Rattan. Plantation Shutters. Natural Materials linen and cotton, not wool. Hurricane protection, also good sun control.
  • Environmentally conscious. Hopefully a trend. Bermuda’s example.
  • Flowers do the trick.
  • Informal and casual. Less restricted. While past the tropics, a higher degree of Production and formality abounds.
  • Opposite of contemporary and schick. Not classic style per se. Informal.


First and foremost, it is the weather. There has to be a tropical weather, warmer, sunny and rainy. Coastal town in the tropics, vs cities inland. Water by the Ocean but also rivers or lakes. The climate allows for tropical gardens, while it is usually sunny. Sun shines most of the day time, hence ideally a pool around.

A red and white logo of the american institute for certified public accountants.Vanishing edge pool at Hacienda on the Beach, Cancun. Palm trees and wind. Sunset. Architectural remodeling and Interiors by Jerry Jacobs Design.


Not too quiet. Like you want it to stand out so if there is an insect you can see it. Blue as the water. Aqua as the water too. Pink because it is different and like a lot of flowers. Unusual colors like lavender and always greens, sometimes yellows. And mixes too.

Interior and Exterior.

The Veranda or Loggia. An extension of the Interior into the exterior. In this case Elegant Tropical style.

A red and white logo of the american institute for certified public accountants.Tropical style Veranda at Villa on the Beach. Architecture and Interior Design by Jerry Jacobs Design. Incorporates Classic architecture, columns and water feature, ceiling fans, and teak Yacht Summit furniture.  Acantus San Lorenzo cast stone table by Michael Taylor Designs.

A red and white logo of the american institute for certified public accountants.High rise condo, lounge mural “Isla Mujeres Shack II”. 

Our story and our Tropical Style projects.

First of all as an Architecture and Interior Design practice, we have been very fortunate having had many opportunities to work in the style. This is one of the reasons we are writing about it to share our experiences, while the Tropical Style is a passion so we enjoy the process as well.

A red and white logo of the american institute for certified public accountants.We designed this Mural for the Omni Cancun Hotel in the early 1990’s, inspired by the primitive Island. “Isla Mujeres Shack I”

Furthermore not a typical Contemporary Style it is Eclectic as it tends to mis in the High-end. Those that have a retreat in the Tropical Style might very well have a jet or a contemporary Heirloom to bring. Or if we as designers in the Tropical style located outside the tropics (SF 37.7˚º), tend to bring some influence of other styles too.

Those who live there and want to have a more formal life, and have a fondness for classic styles.

The Villages, where Tropical style works naturally. Probably the best source of inspiration, hence we love to be there or resemble.

A red and white logo of the american institute for certified public accountants.Among the sources of inspiration for our unique arched entrance at Villa on the Beach was Mar-a-lago’s street entrance. Way before most people had heard the name.


Palm Beach. Mar a Lago (1923-1927), the now popular destination was (still is) a noteworthy Architectural and Interior Design representation of a particular Tropical Style in its outdoors, not it Luxurious Interiors. Designed and built for Marjorie Merriweather Post, a heiress and once the richest woman in the World and designed by Joseph Urban. Austrian 1872-1933. A European twist to the Tropical High-end.

Tropical in Cornwall, England, UK. (latitud 50.2˚).  Cornwall is full of tropical Gardens, as well as fishing villages, yet the Tropical Style Interior is not in Vogue. Mind you the History of Britain, and the colder weather, the fireplace and coziness desired usually in an Interior does not feel tropical at all. Likewise Mexico City (CDMX latitude 19.4˚º), hence latitude only does not do it or undo it.

Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean Riviera. Places like Isla Mujeres, so colorful, and at one time so secluded creates a sense of primitiveness. The inspiration for my Mural at the Omni Cancun. When I brought a Caribbean Shack Facade if you will into the middle of a High-tech Shopping Arcade designed for the Omni Hotel.

Mexico is very tropical, the towns of the west coat in Veracruz and Yucatan. So Colorful and primitive at some time. Hope some still are. The West coast to, Zihuatanejo, PV Acapulco.


Bermuda (latitud 32.3Ëš). First of all  I always associate with pink. Because the best known hotel in Hamilton Bermuda “The Fairmont  Princess” which has always been pink.  The most Northern Island in the Caribbean. The colors are unique, but what is equally attractive are the roofs, not only their shapes but their sustainability in collecting rainwater. Stored into home cisterns to be used later. I’m sure other Islands have sustainability practices dating a long time too.



A red and white logo of the american institute for certified public accountants.Oscar de la Renta Trellis chairs, blue and Green Nomi Fabric, Celadon, blue and most of all the Ocean view at High rise condo,

A red and white logo of the american institute for certified public accountants.Great room at Caribbean Condo. Pocket doors allow for the entire terrace to become part of the Interior while Palm trees and the bay beyond. Rattan chairs.

Sources and links.

A red and white logo of the american institute for certified public accountants.


Books. Good further reads.

  • Bermuda Abstracts. Photographs by Graeme Outerbridge. 1981.
  • Caribbean Style By Suzanne Slesin & Stafford Cliff, et ad. Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. 1985
  • Palm Beach Houses. Rizzoli International Publications. Schezen, Roberto, 1991.
  • Private Palm Beach By Jennifer Ash. Abbeville Press.1992.


I very much owe all my photographers below for the feeling and quality that makes art of each photograph shown.

  • Michael Calderwood, CDMX. Villa on the beach, 2012.
  • Jorge Aguinaco, CDMX. Yacht Club Penthouse, Hacienda on the Beach.
  • Victor Elias Photography. Condo Tower Cancun,