Palm Trees In the House - Tropical Home Decor Motif

by CruiseReady

Why are palm trees such a popular element in home decor? Some thoughts on the subject, info about Sabal Palms, and a couple of decorating ideas.

Several years ago, I started noticing a surge in the use of palm trees as a decorating motif. The surge probably didn't start then, but that's when I became aware of it.

Even my own brother jumped on the palm tree decor bandwagon. He has them in almost every room of his home. When he first started decorating with them I began to take notice. I think it started with a comfy rocker upholstered in a print with little palms all over it. It continued, and intrigued me. It was the first time I'd ever seem my brother take a real interest in interior design. Maybe it's because he's now retired, and has time for that sort of thing.

So, now I find myself looking for cool little things in his favorite motif whenever a special occasion approaches. (I've included some of them here.)

I don't think the general penchant for palms is slacking off, either. And I've been speculating as to where this popularity might stem from.

I've discovered some interesting things about palms over the past few years!.

Image: Tropical Afternoon Decorative Tile from Zazzle

Palms are Plentiful in Florida

Southern Sky
Southern Sky
photo by author

Why Is Palm Tree Decor So Popular?

I Can Only Speculate

 I've speculated on the whys of the popularity of palm tree decor.  And that's all it is - speculation.  It doesn't seem to be the type of topic that a lot of research is done on.

The possible reasons that have run through my head have to do with things like snowbirds, the tropics, male vs. female preferences, and neutral colors.  Oh yes, and there are two states with Palm Trees for state trees.

You'll find some of those speculations farther down the page.  Dan you think of anything to add to it?  If you can, there's a comment area at the end of this page.  More ideas are certainly welcome there!

Set a Tropical Tone In Your Home

with No Fuss Artificial Palms

If I lived in an apartment, or (shiver) in a cold climate where palms wouldn't grown in my yard, I'd certainly want some inside my house.  Since I don't exactly have the world's greenest thumb, I would probably opt for the artificial kind, like those shown here.

Each Phoenix Palm in this pair is six feet tall, and the trunks are fashioned around steel wire, so that you can give them slight bend for a more graceful look.  

They make beautiful large tropical accent pieces for a coastal decor!

Little Decorator Touches

Featuring Tropical Palms

Whether you are just thinking of putting bit of warmth here and there or adding more to your existing palm decor, here are some ideas that just might peak your interest.

These items are what I like to think of as "semi permanent" touches.  They're all easy or fairly easy to install and remove.  So, though they're not really permanent, they're not nearly so temporary as say, a palm tree bath towel that you might hang up on Tuesday, and throw in the dirty clothes hamper on Wednesday.

Palm Motif Popularity

Some Random Thoughts

 Why are these tropical looking trees so often chosen as decorating accents or themes?  Here's some purely speculative reasons, just for fun.

  • Part of a bigger picture

    One reason may just be that palms fit in so well with another popular decorating theme, like tropical or coastal decor, and to a lesser extent, perhaps nautical decor

  • Gender Neutrality

    There's something very gender neutral about trees. Both men and women like them, and palms in particular are neither overly feminine or overtly masculine

  • Color Neutrality

    The natural tans, browns and greens go well with a neutral background

  • Warm Feelings

    Many, many folks spend their summers up north, and winter in Florida or other warm places. We call them snowbirds. Maybe some of them like to have some of that Florida warmth in their northern homes to remind them of their winters in the south.

  • State Trees

    Finally, it's a long shot, but . . .  Blame it on Florida or South Carolina.  They each chose a palm as their official state tree.

Your Opinion, Please!

Why do you think palm tree decor is so popular?
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Thank You.

Beautiful Pieces for a Tropical Decor

Larger Pieces Can Help Establish a Real Tropical Feel in a Room
Coast to Coast 94044 One Drawer One D...Hillsdale West Palm 26 in. Swivel Cou...

The State Tree of Two States

Florida and South Carolina

Palms and Seagrapes


Sabal Palmetto or Cabbage Palms, with Seagrape in the foreground, CC

Some people may not consider the Sabal Palm, or Sabal Palmetto, to be the prettiest or most exotic variety of palm tree on the planet, but here in Florida, we think they’re pretty special.  So special, in fact that they are our state tree.

Apparently, the folks in South Carolina agree.  It's also their state tree.

What's so special about these particular palms?   

  • You don't have to give them any special care.  They grow in practically any type of soil.  They're  more tolerant of colder weather than some other kinds of palms.  That's a good thing, since it can get really cold in South Carolina.   
  •  Being resistant to salt water, they also grow well near the sea coast, which is a good thing, since Florida has over 1300 miles of coastline! 
  •  They are able to withstand hurricane force winds better than trees that look much stronger, like Live Oaks.

In Florida

Cabbage Palms are Everywhere

Not for nothing was the Sabal Palm named the state tree of the great state of Florida. 

Seal of the Great State of Florida

Also known as the Cabbage Palmetto Tree, the variety grows more abundantly in the Sunshine State than any other.  (We have nine palms in our own yard, three of them Sabals.) 

In addition to seeing them just about everywhere, you'll also find them on the state seal and the state flag.

Though quite delicious and considered a delicacy, don't try harvesting heart of palm in the state of Florida. You see, the heart really is the heart, and when it's cut out the tree will die.  That's  illegal here! 

Image Credit

South Carolina

Is the Palmetto State

South Carolina's nickname is "The Palmetto State."  

 South Carolina State FlagNot surprisingly, it enjoys a prominent spot on the state's flag.  It's one of only two design elements on the banner, the other being a crescent.  Both are in white on an indigo background.

However, sometimes you'll see  this flag in other colors. That's done by students or graduates of one of the state's five main universities, who substitute their school's colors for the customary indigo and white.

Image Credit

The Sabal Palm was officially adopted as South Carolina's state tree in 1919, and it also appears on the state seal.

A More Exotic Species

By the Sea in the Caribbean

In Trinidad and Tobago


An  Exotic Scene from Trinidad and Tobago

Just a little gratuitous eye candy for those who prefer more exotic palms than the Sabal.


Palm Tree Reverie

Wall Clock

Lone Palm Patterned

Bathroom Mat

Cabage Palms Have Boots

Did You Know That?

Squirrel Sitting on Bootjack

This squirrel struck a pose for my camera, as he sat on one of the bootjacks, or "boots," of a cabbage palm in my backyard.

Squirrels routinely cavort in this particular tree, leaping back and forth between it and the schefflera you see in the background.

The boots are the left over portions of old fronds that have aged, died, and broken off as the tree grew.  Some owners choose to remove the old boots.  In the wild, some palms actually shed them on their own, while others do not. 


photo by author

Other Pages About Home Decor

Decorating Themes and Accents
Bathroom Decorating ideas with a lighthouse theme. They've represented safety to generations of mariners. Bring these beacons of hope into your home
Once, there were pretty much just those plastic lawn flamingos. Now the tropical birds have moved indoors, A page full of cool flamingo stuff - pics, facts, video, decor, more
Updated: 06/07/2016, CruiseReady
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