Here’s everything you need to set up a home tiki bar, including furniture, lighting and decor.
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First you need to decide if your tiki lounge will have a full bar setup or a modest liquor cabinet. I went with a cabinet and side table.
There are lots of bar options for purchase, or you can follow a tutorial to build your own.
Liquor Cabinet Makeover
My bar started as a mid-century TV console, but a few quick adjustments turned it into a swanky liquor cabinet.
I applied grasscloth style contact paper to the back of the cabinet and displayed the bottles on risers, so we can see and reach all the bottles.
Display risers can transform nearly any table, cabinet or shelf into a creative bar display. We actually made these ones out of IKEA drawer fronts.
Tiki Bar Accessories
Now let’s fill up your tiki bar. The Uncorked Librarian shares all the barware and tools needed to stock your home bar here.
A tropical bar calls for extra special touches, like tiki mugs, a bamboo serving tray and drink umbrellas. And yes, happily there’s such a thing as Baby Yoda tiki mugs.
Tiki Lounge Furniture
I’m all about the lounge aspect of any tiki bar. Let’s create a space where you can truly relax.
Tiki bars were a staple of mid-century modern homes, so MCM furniture will fit right in.
I chose a little seafoam loveseat for this smaller space, plus a vintage coffee table and textured area rug.
Adding bamboo and wicker furniture is highly encouraged, especially in the form of an egg chair. It’s impossible to sit in an egg chair and NOT feel like you’re on vacation. Just ask Charlie the fur baby.
Tiki Bar Lighting
The lighting will make or break your tiki bar. You need that not-too-bright but definitely multi-colored lounge look. At first I was stumped about how to achieve this, but it’s actually easy.
Color-changing light bulbs are the answer.
You can swap out the bulbs in your light fixtures with these color-changing bulbs. Then use the remote control to switch between standard lighting when needed, and assorted rainbow when the bar is open.
Here are my lights on a blue-green color-changing setting. Watch the light in the ceiling to see the colors change.
Of course, string lights are a must for tropical vibes and to help call attention to focal points. You can also add DIY hanging lanterns and all sorts of tiki bar lights.
More Tiki Bar Decor
You may want to change up your walls to get that tiki bar feeling. Some people install floor-to-ceiling bamboo matting.
Since this room already had wood paneling, I decided to keep it simple.
I used command hooks to hang fishing nets on the wall and ceiling. The room felt instantly nautical without adding any holes to the wall.
Long-term accumulation of fun, kitschy pieces will add to the character of your tiki bar. I’ve been holding onto these vintage and handmade accessories from my family to give the room an eclectic feel.
Collect retro style signs, art and knickknacks to personalize your bar.
Trees and Plants
Still not feeling tropical enough? Try adding houseplants and trees. I used a mix of real and artificial.
This 8-foot banana tree is the prized focal point of my tiki bar. It draws out the green colors of the throw pillows and provides the perfect spot for hanging LED string lights.
IKEA is my go-to place for natural-looking fake plants and trees. You can find some online, too.
Tiki Bar Inspiration
It helps to check Pinterest for inspiration, and visit LOTS of tiki bars for research. Here are a few favorites that have been fueling my tiki bar dreams for years.
- The Alibi Tiki Lounge: One of the oldest tiki bars in the U.S., this Portland treasure has mid-century features and tropical decor inside and out. See photos.
- Hale Pele: This newer Portland tiki bar has beautifully curated decor, a water feature and bamboo “rafters” that set the tropical mood. See photos.
- Bootlegger Tiki: Based in Palm Springs, this spot has pufferfish lights, bamboo walls and glass fishing floats on the ceiling. See photos.
- Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar: We can’t go to Disney without stopping at Trader Sam’s! Check out their art displays and creative lighting. See photos.
Find more inspiration in this gallery of must-visit tiki bars. I think I need to continue my field research so I can see these firsthand.
Cue the Tropical Music
Once your tiki bar is all set up, turn on the Hawaiian music, mix a cocktail and enjoy!
Find more tiki bar decor ideas:
- How to create a tiki bar gallery wall
- DIY hanging lanterns for your tiki bar
- Stocking your swanky mid-century bar