Tiki bar construction is a bit weird — it’s an effort to intentionally create something that looks a little haphazard, a little goofy, and frankly… a little ugly. Now of course, I find it beautiful — and you probably do, too — but you have to admit, it’s not likely to wind up in the pages of House Beautiful.
I just got a really nice email from a professional woodworker who normally specializes in a much more conventionally refined style, and was asked to create one of these delightful little monsters for the first time:
My name is Wes Bailey, and I am a furniture maker in Atlanta, GA. A few months back, a client came to me and requested that I design and build a Tiki Bar for his basemant renovation. I must confess that, at the time, I was woefully unaware of the well-established sub culture of the Tikiphile. So I did some internet research and came across your terrific site, which helped give me the requisite inspiration to deliver the goods! It turned out great, the customer loved it and hasn’t been sober since, so I view that as a real success.
I have to admit, it makes me warm & squishy. I get lots & lots of really wonderful emails along the lines of this one, and they always make my day… but this one is a favorite because, well, I just really like the bar he built. A lot of credit goes to the owner, who has done a great job decorating the room. But the bar itself is really nice, especially for a right-out-of-the-gate effort. Tikis: check. Not too clean in the design, but still with a sense of balance: check. Organic feel: check. I especially like the detour from the standard thatch roof: wood slats that look like they’ve been through a hell of a storm, and loved it. It floats my outrigger.