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Stuart, FL
1421 S. Federal Hwy.
Stuart, FL 34994
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North Palm Beach, FL
910 North US Highway 1
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
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West Palm Beach, FL
2324 N. Military Trail
W.Palm Beach, FL 33409
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Boca Raton, FL
999 N. Federal Hwy.
Boca Raton, FL 33432
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Tamarac, Fl
4711 N. State Road 7
Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33319
Temporarily closed until further notice. Monday - Saturday: 10am-6pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Fort Lauderdale, FL
3740 N. Federal Hwy.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308
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Dania Beach, FL
1025 S. Federal Hwy.
Dania Beach, FL 33004
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Pembroke Pines, FL
13630 Pines Blvd.
Pembroke Pines, FL 33027
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Naples, FL
15485 Tamiami Trail N.
Naples, FL 34110
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Fort Myers, FL
4580 S. Cleveland Ave.
Ft. Myers, FL 33907
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Port Charlotte, FL
4200 Tamiami Trail
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Sarasota, FL
5301 Clark Road
Sarasota, FL 34233
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Casselberry, FL
1024 FL-436
Casselberry, FL 32707
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Jacksonville, FL
7760 Gate Pkwy
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Melbourne, FL
4260 West New Haven Avenue
West Melbourne, FL 32904
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Pinecrest, FL (Miami)
7501 S.W. 100th Street
Pinecrest, FL 33156
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Winter Garden, FL
12105 West Colonial Drive
Winter Garden, FL 34787
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
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Tropical style: Pink flamingos aren't required

By Leah A. Zeldes, Tribune Brand Publishing

Nothing says "tropical" like palm trees, white wicker furniture and bright, splashy floral prints, right?


That's one kind of tropical style, but there are many others. "If you travel to the British West Indies, you're going to see tropical furniture with a dark finish and a more formal look," said Syril Lebbad, a designer with Baer's, a collection of fine furniture stores with locations throughout Florida. "Tropical happens all over the world."

The "tropics" isn't just one country or even one era, and tropical decor can range from comfy and casual to sophisticated and elegant. Formal British and Spanish colonial styles can be just as tropical as the barefoot beach look, surfer chic and kitschy tiki designs.

When "the sun never set on the British Empire," English-style furnishings were adapted for tropical conditions and native materials around the world: the Caribbean, Africa, Australia, India, Hong Kong, Ceylon, the Middle East and more.

The wide-ranging Britons carried their home style as they traveled. Classic campaign chests and lightweight expeditionary items went with them, and they picked out what they liked from wherever they landed.

"British colonists and military members enjoyed the travel but often desired to bring the comforts of their homeland with them," writes designer Laura Ingalls Gunn, author of "Decor to Adore." However, the woods native to Britain used in the furnishings did not stand up well to the tropical weather.

Tropical Styled Bed

"Native craftsman began to recreate the British designs using local materials such as ebony, teak, mahogany, rattan, wicker, and animal hide. They would often add their flourishes such as the carved pineapple. The melding of British, Asian, African and Indian motifs resulted in British Colonial style and d?cor," said Gunn.

Spain and France also had had colonies in the tropics and brought their influences to furnishings there. These colonial forms were further refined as the colonies grew and became vacation destinations. The historical designs have been continually adapted to meet modern tastes and needs. The steampunk trend – design influenced by the look of steam-powered machinery with a hint of science fiction – has influenced home design as well, prompting a new interest in Victoriana and British Colonial decor.

You don't have to stick to a particular geographic theme, advised Lebbad. You can mix and match, as long as you stick to similar colors and finishes. "The whole idea is a related look. The pieces should look as if they were acquired through travel," she says. "A little eclectic."

Creating a geographical theme goes beyond picking out furniture and includes layout, lighting and accessories. A room in Hawaii would not be arranged the same as one in Singapore. You might evoke a distant climate with framed maps , photos and other artifacts from a region.

Today's furniture manufacturers use mahogany, bamboo, rattan, woven wicker and raffia (and durable synthetic lookalikes), among other materials, to recreate retro looks, as well as furniture with internationally influenced contemporary designs. Lebbad said the Tommy Bahama line from Lexington Brands, which offers 17 collections of indoor and outdoor ensembles, is based on different historical and geographic styles from Hawaii to Kilimanjaro.

If you’re looking for Tommy Bahama furnishings, all paths should lead to Baer’s, which is the largest dealer of Tommy Bahama furniture in the world, offering an A-to-Z collection of Tommy Bahama items all in one place.