Tropical Lush - Eco-Friendly Design for the Australian Home


Australian sustainable stylist Madeline McFarlane talks us through the latest interior trend

There’s a hot new trend in interior design and it suits our laid back Australian lifestyle to a tee. It’s new, it’s modern, its fresh - and we’re here to show you just how easily it can be applied into your space this Summer.

You’ve heard of Spring cleaning, think of this as the next step after your spring clean. It’s about adding to your current look, updating and refreshing.


LL: Maddie, Hi. So first off, a huge thank you for creating our beautiful TROPICAL LUSH campaign images. We LOVE them, you really brought our vision to life. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey to get where you are today?

MF: Hi guys. Well, thank you so much! After studying fashion design in Adelaide I made the move to London on my journey to becoming the head designer at Chloe, well so I thought... Alas I soon realised that although I loved creative expression and the process of creating physical adornments I didn’t feel tenacious enough for what I had encountered in the fashion industry there.

Upon returning back to Australia I followed the sunshine to Sydney where I have now lived for 7 years. I started assisting well established stylist and now dear friend Lara Hutton on some fashion shoots and soon found my way on set with her on Interior projects. And, I LOVED it. I was drawn to the scope for creativity in putting together a space. I love smart, aesthetically pleasing design and still today I often find myself feeling very lucky that this Styling game is ‘work’. 

LL: Like us, you’re a big lover of Mother Earth. Can you give us some intel on your sustainable ‘journey’?

MF: I’ve always been drawn to Mother Nature’s creativity… cheesey I know… but there's incredible sensual delight in what she’s put together. I am particularly fond of the robust beauty of Australian Natives, the scent of Jasmin and the healing powers of the salty ocean.

LL: How can we make our homes more sustainable and eco friendly?

MF: Composting - Helps to bring awareness to food waste whilst also providing nourishment for your plants / garden. I have a worm farm and use the worm juice to feed my beloved greens department.

Clean Green - It’s super easy to create your own cleaning agents, lemon, vinegar and bi-carb soda make for great disinfectants. I have found Low Tox Life really helpful in this department.

Embrace Sunshine - Consider if you need to wash your threads or perhaps just give them a healthy dose of sunshine? It's a natural disinfectant and just 30 mins of sun and fresh air can kill bacteria and odours all the while cutting down our energy consumption.

Change to an ethical energy provider - Particularly as a renter you can be limited in introducing energy efficient infrastructure, but providers like Power Shop and Diamond Energy offer carbon neutral, green power.

LL: Amazing! This worm farm I’ve got to try. Lastly, can you explain what the Tropical Lush trend means to you, in your own words - because there’s a few ways to interpret this one

MF: Firstly I encourage clients to anchor their spaces with simple base furniture. 

Working with natural materials like wood and linen fabrications help to create a harmonious energy. It’s great to have a solid base to add more vibrant soft furnishings.
Patterned cushions and throws can be layered in to add some sass and texture to your space. They are also easy to rearrange / repurpose when you need a change
I love bringing the outdoors in. Not only are plants good looking, feel good company but they are natural air purifiers. It is essential that you house them thoughtfully, research the type of plant that will grow well within your available light and consider rotating them in places of varying warmth and light.

Got it. Thanks so much Maddie. x



We define the Tropical Lush interiors style by comfort, ease and utility

It’s eclectic by definition and the style is characterized by warm and soothing botanical colors - drawn mostly from natural elements such as the sea and vegetation. Hues are deep and rich or may fall on the lighter, brighter side, combined they create a big impact and add a stylish, contemporary touch to each room.

Lounge Lovers top tips for pulling off the tropical lush look

• To keep the look high-end let green be your accent colour, an emerald hue really pops
• The base palette is neutral, black, white and natural wood
• Jute Rugs are a must
• Indoor plants are essential to give it a classic tropical feel, but there’s another way to bring the outdoors in. Try botanical prints in artwork
• Embrace materials like linen, velvet, rattan and natural oak• Tropical patterns are still used, but keep them more black-and-white than bright

Discover here how you can create your own oasis simply by introducing natural fibres like linen sofas and jute rugs, and contemporary rattan pieces juxtaposed with bold tropical prints.

Happy styling!

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