Modern Tropical Moodboard & Outdoor Planning

Modern tropical outdoor moodboard, featuring warm woods, tropical foliage and a paver grid patio with succulents in between

Awhile back I shared some inspiration for an outdoor space I wanted to work on, and now that Spring is very near in California I’ve finally started work on our outdoor space. With that comes lots more planning, and refining the look that I’m going for. I think I’ve settled on something with a modern tropical vibe, which to me means it’s inspired by both a tropical and desert (a.k.a. water friendly) vibe. The warm woods and large-leafed foliage both feel tropical, while the pavers outlined by spanish sedum and combined with the white cushions feel more desert to me. Hopefully I can achieve a balance of both.

Dining Area
We already have a pretty established corner of our yard, but our dining set is not in the best of shape. We already have a dyning canopy from Ikea that we use seasonally when it’s warm or we’re dining outdoors.

Ikea dyning canopy in white, as seen in a modern tropical outdoor space IKEA
Dyning Canopy
We have a few of these canopies to hang around the yard in the Summer. The fabric has a UPF rating of 25+, which means it blocks quite a bit of UV radiation, and the price is right!
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Praiano Outdoor Dining Collection
This set is crafted from eucalyptus wood with a natural finish. I’m pairing the table with a couple of benches and the hairpin chairs below if I can get my hands on them (please be in stock soon!).
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Amara Hairpin Stacking Chairs
Mid-century-inspired iron metal chairs stack for storage. Will place at the ends of the table.
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Antique Zinc Cargo Lantern
A couple of these cute lanterns would make the table feel a little more inviting, especially with candles inside (citronella maybe?).
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Neutral Tweed Indoor/Outdoor Rug
An indoor/outdoor rug like this would be perfect to help define the dining area.
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Modern tropical outdoor moodboard, featuring warm woods, tropical foliage and a paver grid patio with succulents in between

Sitting Area

This area needs the most work. Our side yard has been a pretty blank slate since we moved in, with bits of random projects here and there. I’m excited to formally finish and enjoy it this year.

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Clear Bulb String Lights
Our side yard where the sitting area will go is very narrow, so I’d love to string these lights back and forth to add some ambiance.
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Small Assorted Succulents
I have a few small succulents arranged in an oversized bowl. It will be the main focal point of my outdoor coffee table.
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Praiano Outdoor Collection
I love the slatted wood and warmth of this set. I might pick up an extra lounge chair to help complete the seating area. The coffee table even has storage inside of it, perfect for storing covers!
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Fringed Hermosa Outdoor Pillow
This outdoor throw pillow is made from woven fabric made to look like raffia fibers. The fringe border adds a little texture and makes it feel more tropical, perfect for my space.
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12x12 concrete paver, as seen in a modern tropical outdoor space HOME DEPOT
12 x 12 Concrete Paver
I plan on using the pavers to cover the ground, in a grid pattern. In between them the sedum (below) will grow and fill in, like grout between tiles. I’m about halfway done with this project and really excited to see how it turns out.
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UNDER THE SUN SEEDS
Sedum Spanish Stonecrop
This is a very tiny, drought tolerant, low-growing, low-maintenance ground cover. It has blue-green succulent foliage, and it only reaches a few inches in height. As the weather warms, the foliage turns to a blue-grey color, and it has a soft feathery feel to it. In late spring to summer it has clusters of small whitish pink blooms. Sedum Stonecrop is a tough ground cover plant that tolerates some wear and tear.
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Succulent paver grid patio featured in a modern tropical moodboard.

Garden Space

NICE PLANTER
Corten Steel Square Planter
I’m removing my wood garden boxes because after a couple of years, they are not holding up to the elements well. I’m replacing them with a couple of these. If we move, these bad boys are coming with me, ha.
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Danbury Trellis
This 39″ metal trellis will be perfect to help support the sweet peas I plan to plant in my garden. I plan to put it closer to the fence than the walkway so that it’s not obstructing the line of sight.
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Kid Stuff

Ikea Lattjo play hoops, as seen in a modern tropical outdoor space IKEA
Lattjo Play Hoops
These hoops are beautiful and made of natural materials. They obviously can’t be left outdoors, but they’re my 4 year olds favorite.
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Resö Children’s Picnic Table
Made from acacia and for the outdoors, I’m not sure if they carry this in the US, but check your store. Ours is from last year and I saw one in mine (Palo Alto, California) last week.
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Ikea Resö picnic table, as seen in a modern tropical outdoor space

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What is your favorite part of an outdoor space?

9 thoughts on “Modern Tropical Moodboard & Outdoor Planning

  1. I love this so much! I love all the green and neutral you’ve incorporated. Often, we feel pressured to incorporate so much color into our outdoor spaces but, really they can shine even better with a natural and earthy palette. Amazing job!

  2. I love these ideas. We are getting ready to plan our backyard space and build garden boxes, etc and I am going to look at some of the options you shared here. Thank you!

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