Fabric Designs and Trends in Barbados

At the end of June, the Barker & Barker team headed to Barbados to introduce the Island to the Barker & Barker collections, and meet with various Interior designers and potential new stockists. How did we end up looking at Barbados we hear you ask?! Well, Janet (our designer) has been a regular visitor to the island since 1999. The Island holds many special memories of family holidays and long lazy days in paradise and is absolutely overflowing with inspiration for fabric designs. Janet often makes sketches of the beautiful flowers and sights whilst on the Island and so the decision was made to link business with pleasure and explore possible openings there.

The island has a very strong interior design community who were all so helpful and open to share their knowledge of do’s and don’ts on the Island. Whilst discussing the current trends on the Island, it actually came as no surprise that the current ‘Tropical’– a designer fabric trend that is massive in the UK both in the home and on the catwalk, is just as big there. Not surprising considering the surroundings!

The prints are bold and the colours are bright, ranging from bold green palm leaf prints, to almost neon tropical flowers and birds. The rooms are by no means full of the prints though.

When using a Tropical theme in the home, it is important to remember that they should only be used as splashes of colour. Some of the designs are fabulous and it can be easy to get carried away but in this case less is more. For example, use bright cushions on a plain sofa, or striking curtains in an otherwise plain room- you want to make a statement but you don’t want to feel like you are actually in the jungle!

We love the Sanderson ‘Voyage of Discovery’ collection that features a combination of florals, butterflies, Palm leaves and even monkeys.

Clementine-Fabric-Cushion-Detail Floreanna Fabric Main_lr

A bold print like these can be complemented with a plain cushion (our Charlbury Plain fabric would be ideal).

Alternatively, try keeping some plain fabrics and add the tropical theme to a room using a wallpaper, such is this Cole & Son design – perfect for a subtler take on the theme but still on trend.


Its fair to say our trip was a huge success. We secured new stockists on the Island, and plans are now in the pipeline for our own tropical Print collection – with inspiration like this, it would be hard not to!