Sunday, July 18, 2021

The Sophisticated Tiki Bar

Phoebe Howard - House Beautiful

 My daughter is planning a tiki bar in their new Annapolis home. Now for many of us, the concept conjures up visions more tacky than chic. But this is a wonderful example of a chinoiserie/tiki bar with style and sophistication. The rattan bar is new, but inspired by vintage rattan bars from the 50s and 60s that are highly collectible. The swivel stools are vintage. Note the rattan door behind the bar.


This home is named Duck's Nest and is the second oldest home in Palm Beach. The stools are embroidered with a custom duck in a nest. Lots of wicker too - trays, sconces, and lampshades. The wonderful wicker palm chandelier is vintage Mario Lopez Torres. I love the idea of using the wicker trays to organize/corral all of the booze bottles. They connote organization as opposed to alcoholism. LOL

The wood floor is custom painted. The paint color on the walls is Benjamin Moore Palisades Park #439 from their Classics Collection. BTW liquor bottles should not be stored in direct sun like these are. A wonderful solution is to drink them all very quickly before the sun can damage them.

Benjamin Moore Palisades Park 439

Here is another inspiring space channeling tiki chic - Leo's Oyster Bar in San Francisco. Check out the incredible chinoiserie bamboo piece converted into a Champagne chiller.

Architectural Digest

Check these out with palms and philodendrons - 

Leo's Oyster Bar

And this iconic bar - the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel with its banana leaf wallpaper -

Architectural Digest

These bars are all tiki chic - I love the idea of a dedicated bar space in a home if you have the space. I remember when I was growing up, my uncle and aunt had a bamboo bar and stools with a huge aquarium behind it. And their two sons were Ronald and Donald. So fifties/sixties.


14 comments:

  1. Everything about Phoebe Howard's tiki bar is fabulous! I love the green. I love the ceiling. I love the chandelier. I just love everything. I've not yet visited Leo's Oyster Bar, though it's practically in my back yard, and the Polo Lounge is iconic. I've always adored that big banana leaf wall paper.

    Once, many years ago, I went to a decorators showcase in San Francisco and a designer did a small speakeasy, or prohibition bar. It was so wonderfully and cleverly done. She really captured the ambience. Since then I've harbored this secret fantasy about creating one in my house, but am not quite sure where I would put it.

    Terrific post, Beth. Thanks.

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  2. There used to be a tiki bar in the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco called The Tonga Room. You could sit and enjoy a Mai Tai, or two, and experience a tropical rain storm. I'm not sure if it is still there, as the tiki bar has been out of style for decades now, but you know how everything old is new again, and trends reemerge.

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    1. Still there and recently restored: Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar. Business was likely affected by the pandemic, but it's good to see an icon living on.

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    2. Thanks Elsa! I'm so glad to hear the Tonga Room is still in existence. Now I have two places in SF that I need to visit - Leo's and the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar.

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  3. Delightful and funny post, Beth! I'm daydreaming drinking a yellow bird at the Howard-designed tiki bar.

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    1. Yellow Bird is a perfect tropical drink. Yum.

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  4. “BTW liquor bottles should not be stored in direct sun like these are. A wonderful solution is to drink them all very quickly before the sun can damage them” quote of the day!

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  5. LOL! Love your response to the bottles exposed to sun. That being said, I love Leo's but that isn't 'Tiki Bar'. '“The farther away you got from Hawai‘i and the islands of Polynesia, the more seemingly exotic it all became,” says Lloyd Kandell, co-founder of the neo-exotica musical group Don Tiki.'

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    1. In the words of another famous person, "tiki is is in the eyes of the beholder." Architectural Digest did an article on twelve tiki chic bars and Leo's was one of them which is how I found it. Tiki chic according to AD is "New Age Tropical Decor."

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  6. LOVE The Bar at The B H Hotel with the Pink & Green GREAT Wallpaper !!

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  7. Al Spok LOVE LOVE The Bar at The Beverly Hill Hotel ! It says Good Morning each time I go down.

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