A tiki bar for your basement — three mood boards

Tiki room ideas vintage retromid mod mad mood board mondayWe decorate therefore we am. Yes: Pam and I have been having such fun creating mood boards for our Retro Design Dilemma series that we came up with another excuse to make more. So today we present our first Mid Mod Mad Mood Board Mondays. We invite you to say that three times fast. After a few drinks in your home tiki bar. Oh? You don’t have have a home tiki bar (see all the photos from our recent reader uploader)? Well then, it’s your double lucky days. Since we are fresh off our Tiki uploader weekend — and in need of an island breeze and a cocktail after months of winter weather — our first M3BM theme is tiki bars. For this special feature, we also invited retro-loving gal Eartha Kitsch to come out to play with us. We thought, “We bet that girl can tiki.” And she did not disappoint, oh EK, you silly mongoose. If these mood boards don’t have you craving a Mai Tai, I don’t know what will.

Vintage Tiki bar

Pam’s basement tiki basement bar design

Pam is up first. She says:

We don’t have a tiki bar or bar of any sort at our house — but my husband wants one badly. Hmmmm…. maybe this will go on the list for next winter. First, though, I need to offload the 1950s Hammond organ (same old long boring story, I just had to “rescue” it) — that’s where the kitschy bar would go. For my tiki mood board, I knew right away that my starting point would be either wallpaper or curtain fabric. After some surfing around I decided that Full Swing Textile’s Carmen Miranda barkcloth would be the linchpin of my tiki bar. Next, I found a Witko bar tout suit over at Full Swing Textiles. And from there, the room came together fast as you could don a lampshade on your head after one too many Mai Tais. I found my favorite part of the room at the very end: The big carved pirate ship with the chartreuse sails really floats my boat. We are all naming our mood board after tiki drinks. Mine is called “Pago Pago” — it’s a green, and surely lethal, concoction created by the famous Beach Bum Berry.

  1. Pinch pleat draperies: Made from Carmen Miranda barkcloth from Full Swing Textiles.
  2. Painting: Witco-style painting from retro-redemption.

  3. Mugs: From the “famous Jekyll and Hyde Club in NYC” from odditorium.
  4. Wallpaper: Allen & Roth grasscloth from Lowe’s.
  5. Witco bar from FurnishMeVintage.

  6. Vintage bar stools from Hearthsidehome.
  7. Floor: TexTile from Azrock.

vintage tiki roomKate’s basement tiki bar design

Kate is next, and writes:

Having recently been to a local Tiki bar, I was inspired by all the tiki mugs. They can have such funny expressions and are very collectible. I didn’t have the Bora Bora Headhunter drink while I was at my local Tiki bar (next time for sure), but I sure did feel like a headhunter when I brought home my very own Tiki mug souvenir.

  1. Vintage House of Ran Su Tiki Mask wall art from Ebay seller firebaby68
  2. Tiki-Tini Lounge Tiki Winki Lava Black fabric from Fabric.com
  3. Set of 4 whimsical green tiki mugs from Etsy seller sixdegrees
  4. A dark teal green wall color like Sherwin Williams Coté D Azur
  5. Puffer fish lamp from Cheeky Tiki (I’m not usually a fan of taxidermy, but the Tiki bar I visited had several of these hanging over the bar with multi colored lights in them and they looked awesome)
  6. Mid Century rattan Tiki bar from Etsy seller TanSandyFeet
  7. Azrock VCT flooring in Minty.

Retro tiki loungeEartha Kitsch’s tiki-tacular basement bar mood board

And last but certainly not least, our guest mood board creator Eartha Kitsch. Eartha spotted a naughty black velvet painting as the basis for her inspiration room. We used a little photoshop magic to ensure we maintain a PG13 site. Oh, EK, you vixen you. Eartha also went hog wild spending imaginary ebay money on her mood board, and she didn’t build a “bar”, she built an entire room. Hey, we never said these were gonna be “budget” rooms. And we don’t wanna be the ones to try and hold Eartha back. No. Not us. If a girl’s gonna dream, she might as well dream big. Eartha writes:

The beautiful black velvet portrait of a very beguiling lady was the first piece that I chose for my dream room.  She looks like she could tear many a man’s heart asunder so in her honor, the room is named “The Hurricane Mama”. The title also brings to mind a sweet and sour mixed tiki drink of the same name. Being a Tennessee girl, I couldn’t help but to also toss a bit of Graceland’s “Jungle Room” into the mix with the dark, heavy pieces of furniture combined with saturated, punchy colors – a lush but definitely retro Polynesian feast for the eyes. The incredible Witco bar and stools that I chose are in tribute to all of the amazing Witco pieces that Elvis chose for his own room. In that same vein, I picture this tiki room having deep green wall-to-wall shag carpeting, wood paneling and never-ending records on the stereo…and maybe a trickling waterfall wall since we’re dreaming!

  1. Vintage Black Velvet Nude Artwork from Ebay seller jac160
  2. Casablanca Rainforest green barkcloth from Full Swing Textiles
  3. Vintage Tiki Lamp Chandelier from Ebay seller palmspringsvintage
  4. Mid century modern console record player from Etsy seller SteadyGoods
  5. Vintage Tiki Polynesian carved storage trunk from Etsy seller groovygirl60
  6. Vintage tension pole light from Etsy seller christinescornershop
  7. Kiki Basketweave Grasscloth Wallpaper from Commercial wall covering
  8. Tropical Tiki bird parrot prints from Etsy seller AlwaysThriftySisters
  9. Blenko handblown crackle glass chimney hi-ball glasses  from Etsy seller VintageVoola
  10. 1960s Witco Tiki bar from Etsy seller Inflow

Now that was more fun than a barrel of rum, wasn’t it? Mega thanks goes out to Eartha Kitsch for playing along with us and a super huge thanks goes out to all our Etsy and Ebay sellers for allowing us to feature photos of their awesome vintage goods.

Readers —  how to you like our tiki mood boards?
Which one — or which bits and pieces — are your favorite?
Who wants to be a future “guest mood board designer”?

Categoriestiki and bars
  1. Julie says:

    We haven’t heard from Eartha Kitsch in a long while. Does anyone know how she is doing?

    1. pam kueber says:

      She’s fine, I think! She has her own blog, Ranch Dressing, so you can check her out there!

      1. Julie says:

        Thank you. I do check her blog and she hasn’t posted anything since Dec., 2013. I am worried about her, since she had a medical issue before that.

  2. BrennyC says:

    I have many many pictures of Elvis’ Jungle Room Witco furniture. Love love love it! He loved it too! Story goes…….: Vernon came home one day and told Elvis that he had just seen the ugliest furniture ever in the store front window of a local Memphis furniture store. Elvis was intrigued and had to look. He came, saw, conquered as only Elvis could do! Gotta love it!

    1. pam kueber says:

      I don’t. That’s a good question, though. Idea: Go into the Pier One and head to the window covering section. I’ve heard of people using their bamboo blinds as wall treatments…

    2. LarsErik says:

      Kate, if you happen to live in Southern California, the absolute BEST place in the world to find Polynesian treasures of every variety is Oceanic Arts in Whittier. These are the guys who have done the decor for many of the beloved tiki restaurants/bars back in the day, and their carvings can be seen in Disneyland in and around The Enchanted Tiki Room. They carry mugs, party supplies, lighting, fantastic carvings, thatching, bamboo… you name it. And it is old-school great stuff.
      Their website doesn’t really show anything at all, but it does have the info where to find their shop. It is worth the drive! http://www.oceanicarts.net

        1. LarsErik says:

          Uh-oh, maybe I should’ve kept it secret!!
          But I like you guys on here, so…

          But seriously, it’s an amazing place. Tikiphiles from novice to hardcore will be in awe. Oh, did I mention they also RENT if you are having a party and don’t have the space to permanently own a 7-foot tiki? Their prices are not too bad, either.

  3. Scott says:

    Just when I thought it was safe to say Tiki was the one vintage thing I really wasn’t really that crazy about y’all go dazzling me with all this great eye candy. No fair! 🙂

    1. Diane in CO says:

      Scott, this was exactly my thought too! I couldn’t have stated it better….

      But I just loved the readers’ uploads and girls, the 3 mood boards are sensational! You could inspire the Tiki dealers at our Modernism Show here in Denver (August) – those booths have always seemed a bit t@# — oops, sorry Pam — er, corny (dare I say) but if they looked like your mood boards I would definitely stop to survey the merchandise. Great job!

  4. Robin, NV says:

    Either you guys are on the same wave length as me or you spotted my ideas for my “Tiki Paradise Guest Room” on my blog http://atomictraveller.blogspot.com/2013/02/tiki-paradise-guest-room.html. I went for a much more sedate look – you guys went all out! My guest room is tiny, only about 10 x 12 ft, so I can’t stuff too much glorious tiki items into it. Plus my mood board is missing a few items like the bed/headboard I plan to make and the rattan chair I would like to buy. But I have gotten started on my room. So far I’ve made a bamboo mirror frame and “tiki-esque” curtains. Other projects will follow once I have the funds. Love your ideas and the neat stuff you found.

      1. Robin, NV says:

        Well golly, thanks! It’s a work in progress and I’m new to the blog thing but I find it to be a fun outlet for my creativity.

        By the way, LOVE the ship painting on your mood board. I might have to find something similar to add to my Tiki Paradise Guest Room. I was angling more towards parrots and bamboo but a ship or volcano would be awesome too.

  5. Kelly Wittenauer says:

    I could sit at any of those bars – in the light of that puffer fish lamp, listening to Jimmy sing “They don’t dance like Carmen no more” from that console stereo. What fun!

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