Tiki Bar Decor Guide: All the Lighting, Furniture and Kitsch You Need

We’ve talked about how to make a tiki bar gallery wall and create mood lighting with DIY lanterns. Now let’s put it all together to create your dreamy tropical lounge.

Here’s everything you need to set up a home tiki bar, including furniture, lighting and decor.

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The Bar

Tiki bar bamboo tray with liquor and tiki mugs

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.

Mid-century modern liquor cabinet and tiki bar sign

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.

Drink risers for the liquor cabinet
Liquor cabinet display with risers

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.

Tropical drinks in tiki mugs

A tropical bar calls for extra special touches, like tiki mugs and drink umbrellas.

And I’m happy to say 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.

Tiki bar mid-century modern lounge furniture, loveseat and coffee table

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.

Cat napping in an egg chair

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.

Tiki bar color-changing lighting and mid-century furniture

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.

More: How to create a tiki bar gallery wall with fishing nets

Kitschy Decor

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.

Vintage tropical knickknacks and candles
Vintage macrame bottle and decor

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.

Charlie cat relaxing in wicker egg chair in the tiki bar

The 8-foot banana tree from IKEA draws out the green colors of my throw pillows and provides the perfect spot for hanging LED string lights.

IKEA is my go-to source 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!

Basement tiki bar decor with mid-century modern furniture

Find more tiki bar decor ideas:

4 thoughts on “Tiki Bar Decor Guide: All the Lighting, Furniture and Kitsch You Need”

  1. Love it!! You have definitely captured the Tiki Bar vibe! :)..It was fun seeing the photos of the other tiki bars (was sooo much fun when we went to the Alibi one when we visited you guys a few years ago!) Loved the video with accompanying music! (Charlie seemed to like it too! 😉 ) You have truly created a nice, tropical relaxing “Tiki Bar” right in your home..Awesome!! Great job on all the DIY projects to make it so.

    • Thanks Judy! Yes, I can’t wait to get back to the Alibi soon! Haha, Charlie is the star of most of the photos because he refuses to leave the tiki bar. He’s having a great time lounging in tropical style. 😀


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