Bored of your “normal” man cave? Getting a bit cold and are thinking back to that tropical island holiday? A tiki themed bar is your answer. Get that exotic, tropical vibe in your man cave and you’ll start feeling warmer soon.
What turn you man cave into a tiki bar? Here’s a quick answer; Add bamboo on the walls, dried grass above the bar, a painted surfboard, Polynesian masks, a welcome sign and plenty of fruity drinks.
If you want more information and recommendations, keep reading.
What makes something Tiki?
To recreate something, we first need to have an idea of what the original looks like. The same goes for Tiki bars.
Words that come to mind when thinking about this;
Tiki, island, tropical, relaxing, exotic, warm, cocktails, beach, sea, coconut, coconut tree, nature, laid back, mask, fruit, bamboo, surfing, lanterns.
Pictures are even better to form an image of something. Check out these pictures.
When I think about a tiki bar you’re thinking about a relaxed place, looking out over the beach and ocean. You have a tropical cocktail in one hand and there is a warm breeze flowing through.
Since a Tiki bar is still a bar, much of the appliances and accessories are the same as a normal bar. I’ve already written another article about building a home bar in general so check that out as well.
Of course, the decor of a Tiki bar is very different from a regular bar or pub. that requires some different furniture and decorations. Let’s find out which 8 things will turn your man cave into a full blown Tiki bar.
Structure and furniture
Tiki means beach and beach means sand. Throwing sand on the floor isn’t really going to work for many people though. A better option is to change the look of the ceiling. While the typical Tiki hut’s roof is made of dried grass, this might not be the best option.
Dried grass degrades and it will start raining pieces of dried grass after a while. Bamboo is a great alternative. It lasts longer and still has that tropical vibe.
Hang bamboo poles on the ceiling with wire to get a hanging ceiling if you’ve got the height to do so.
The next thing to tackle are the walls. Normal white walls don’t really have a Tiki vibe. To improve this, you can cover them up with bamboo. There are a few ways you can do this.
- Cover up all your walls
- Pick one wall and cover it
- Cover the bottom part of all the walls
- Bamboo panels on the sides of the bar
Tastes are different but I think completely covering all the walls is too much. I would recommend covering the bottom parts of the walls and the bar’s side panels. This is going to have the desired effects in most situations without being completely over the top.
You can put some other Tiki themed decorations on the uncovered parts of the walls.
A Tiki bar needs .. well.. a BAR. You can go all out and build one out of bamboo. That’s a big project and that isn’t for everyone. Another option is to go for a normal bar, but decorate the side walls with bamboo and/or dried grass. This way you can also easily change the theme without being stuck with a bamboo monster in your man cave.
4. Bar roof
Since the dried grass is a staple of a tiki bar, we should incorporate some of it. The best place to do this is on the “bar roof”. Instead of putting it on the ceiling, create a little roof above the bar. This will give you a lot of bang for your grassy buck.
Building a frame from bamboo poles and then covering it with dried grass will look awesome. Check out this article for some help.
This creates the typical image of the end of the dried grass roof hanging over the bar.
5. Bar stools
Industrial looking bar stools might not be the best fit for a tiki bar. Bamboo is the material to go for here. These bar stools are well made and fit the theme perfectly. They’re made from bamboo and have that classic tiki look. It features a backrest and footrest. Check these Tiki bar stools out on Amazon.
The decorations are the finishing touches to any room and this one is no different. For a tiki theme the decorations are very important. They are different than in most other man caves, and there is a whole wealth of cool decorations. Here are some of the best and most recognizable.
Some Polynesian masks do a great job of bringing the tiki theme into your man cave. These masks are one of the items that make you feel like you’re on an island immediately.
Check out this set of 5 masks. Although they are not masks as much as decorated poles. Either way, these things are awesome to get the tiki vibe, right from the entrance. They’re 40” tall so can be placed on the floor and provide a kind of entrance if placed next to the door.
If you want something smaller you can place on the bar, This set of 12” tall Polynesian masks will fit the bill. Put them on the sides of the bar and scatter them around on shelves, etc. You can buy them on Amazon.
Tiki bars and surfboards go together like pancakes and syrup or peanut butter and jelly. They do need some improving before they go on the wall though.
If you’ve got an artistic streak you can have a go at decorating a surfboard yourself. An old second hand surfboard and some paint aren’t very expensive. It’s an easy fun project and you’ll have something unique.
Of course you can get one pre-made if you’re short on time or paint. The OMA surfboard is great. It features some very useful rules for your tiki cave and the colors are perfect for the decor. Buy it now on Amazon.
No man cave bar is complete without some signs. Luckily the tiki theme is fertile ground for nice signs.
This sign from piazza pisano just oozes with tiki vibes. It features cocktails, tropical fruit, bamboo and, since it’s personalizable, your name! This makes a great welcome sign for your tiki cave. Get your tiki sign on Amazon.
If that one is a bit pricey, check out this vintage tin sign. It looks cool and is a really good deal at the moment. Check out the price on Amazon.
Quick step-by-step guide to a tiki bar
- Build a bamboo ceiling. You can add some LED strings for lighting.
- Set up your bar and appliances. If you don’t have a bar set up yet; read this first.
- Get some awesome Tiki bar stools
- Cover the bottom of the walls and bar with bamboo.
- Add a little bamboo and grass roof above the bar.
- Decorate with surfboard, signs and masks.
- Stock up on tropical fruit and drinks.