We're welcoming our new series for the Cats Like Us blog, featuring and exploring people's home Tiki bars. Since we're mad for all that the tropical, it seemed like a no-brainer! We're kicking off the series by featuring my own Tiki bar that my husband Derek and I like to escape to, our own little tropical island...that's in our backyard.... and it's our garage.
Bar name: The Hut
Established in the beginning of 2015 when we first purchased our home. When Derek and I saw that the garage had a pellet stove and was insulated (previous owner was a car mechanic), our collective brains screamed, "Tiki bar!". Both sets of parents thought were were crazy and we are crazy, for POLYNESIAN POP!
We had moved our Tiki collection from a small dining room in an apartment to a whole house! So, we needed things, lots of things. While we were covering the walls with burlap and bamboo, we were also searching for furniture and a bar for The Hut. We scoured estate sales and antique malls, but Craigslist really came through for us. We got the love seat, chair, faux palm trees and the bamboo tables for a steal! I love getting a bargain and I love letting our imagination's guide us.
Though we had vintage bamboo bar stools, we were missing a bar. Plans for building our own was bounced around, but then our friend Judy hipped us to The Christmas Tree Shop and this bamboo Tiki bar that was the perfect size and style! We still have plans to tweak the bar a bit, but the price was incredible and it fits into our Hut style.
Derek has been collecting Hawaiiana and Tiki paraphernalia since the late 90s, finding things at garage sales and thrift stores. So, he had a nice collection before we even started dating and has a knack for finding Tiki's in the wild. One afternoon he stopped by a garage sale and found a beat up Witco piece for 75 cents. The piece had gouges in the carved wood and was on a tattered olive drape fabric background. Derek took it home, filled in the gouges, painted the piece (due to the bad condition) and used leopard fabric for the background. For 75 cents and a little elbow grease, Derek breathed new life into this Witco piece!
Also have to mention that Derek is also a great bartender. I don't think he would deny it if I said Beachbum Berry is a great inspiration to him.
Derek has also built shelves for The Hut, using a dermal tool and stain to create the tapa-inspired design. As a side note, a lot of the mugs on these shelves are from Tiki bars we've visited or pieces that have sentimental value. *Smiles*
Some other highlights include:
Vintage items are found at estate sales or scouring thrift and antique stores. We love the hunt!
Artwork and sculpted frame by Derek (Hendrickson)
I like creating little 'scenes' around The Hut and using my moderate sewing skills to make things like pillows and curtains, etc.
We aren't working on any major projects for the Tiki bar, other than needing more shelving for things like our ever-growing Coco Joe's lava carvings. In the near future, we would like to add more lighting and continue to add decor to the walls.
I don't think we'll ever be finished collecting, especially when it comes to Tiki mugs.
Aloha and Mahalo for joining us on this little tour of our own Polynesian paradise!
-Meagan Kyla and Dr. D
P.S-There will be more bars and more Tiki goodness in the coming months!!!