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. Kate says:

      hehehe I didn’t realize they were a thing either until I went to the local tiki bar — now I want one for when I construct a Tiki Bar — since I don’t think those are meant to be outside on my tiki porch… 😉

  1. Sara D says:

    Those three are all fabulous but I would hire Eartha for my tiki bar. I’ve for a thing for naughty velvet paintings (remember LaDynasty?). However I’d swap out Eartha drapes for Pam’s. love that pattern!!!!

  2. Jay says:

    Not into Tiki, smite too kitcshy for me but I love Pam’s choice of drapery fabric, Kates choice of dark green paint and Eartha’ s choice of the green glass hiball glasses (yes, all that green!).
    This post was a great way to start the week. Enjoyed!

    1. Patty says:

      In December I attended a party at a modern day tiki bar in a newer home. This bar featured a professionally painted beach mural and decorative columns reaching to the ceiling that were palm trees. This was a high end, modern rendition with unbelievable attention to details.

    1. pam kueber says:

      A bunch of the photos in the Tiki uploader this past weekend were out of this world FANTASTIC. Made me feel like a tiki rank amateur. I don’t like that word “tacky”, though…. That is a harsh word. Go for it!

      1. Jay says:

        Oh No! Pam, please don’t misunderstand me. I am not equating tacky with kitsch. I just place Tiki in that Mid Century sphere of “Kitsch” Matter of fact, having just looked at the uploader, I was very impressed – the imagination and work that went into creating them. It must have put me in a polynesian mood because I just went to a bake sale here at work and bought a slice of pineapple upside down cake. Very tropical looking! No, no must never ever use the T word, might offend the retro gods! By the way, I am going through the archives to get up to speed to where I first discovered this site. Did i miss the first one where you say Hi! I’m Pam and this is my blog about….

          1. Jay says:

            Ok, thanks! Just wanted to be sure I didn’t miss a single post. It’s fantastic how much your readership has increased since then.

  3. Sarah g (roundhouse) says:

    I love all the colors and textures that go along with this tiki decor!
    If any of you are big retro velvet nude fans, there is this great honky tonk dive bar in Bandera, Tx called Arkey Blue’s silver dollar bar. Beehives and boobies!
    I love making mood boards for my own decorating projects so I’d love the chance to join you two for Monday madness mood boards!

    1. pam kueber says:

      Gotcha, Sarah g, we’ll add you to our list of victims, errrr, I mean volunteers, and get you involved in one of our next mood board projects!

  4. Thanks for letting me play along! It’s fun to see what you came up with, Pam and Kate. You found great things that never even crossed my radar. There is a lot of tiki fabulousness to be had out there! I guess I did go a little hog wild but there is nothing like being able to spend imaginary money. : )

  5. Annie B. says:

    The tiki uploader photos did not dissapoint. How long has it been since I’ve seen a puffer fish lamp. Wow.

    Tiki has such limitless potential. It can go ultra kitsch, as along the lines of “Oriental Trading” party plastics (which are great fun), or go Tiki Chic, which (to me) says Polynesian-inspired stone patio art and Japanese lanterns. Either way, I just love it. No bones about it.

  6. Chase says:

    Wow, these are great! It is pretty cool to see that in just these three mood boards there can be three very different tiki looks achieved.

    Kate, yours is so light an airy looking, pretty divergent from my original idea of what Tiki was.

    Pam, yours seems to fall right in the middle, I love the bright pops of color, and that painting is an awesome find!

    Eartha Kitsch, Your mood board has to be my favorite, I love all of the dark colors, it has such a moody lounge feel or like being gathered around a bonfire at a luau. Very cool.

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