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vintage home tiki bars - how they rolled back in the day.

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I probably should have started this thread a few years ago. Not sure if someone has started one like it but i felt that there should be a dedicated thread strictly for vintage home bars that folks had back in the 40's,50's,60's and 70's - living in the midwest i happen across at least one or two estate sales that feature full on rec room basement tiki bars and one i went to today really inspired me to start this. These basement bars need to be documented because so many times the new home owners raze the basement bar in favor of more conservative decor. Once these are destroyed they are gone forever and they represent an important historical link for all of us current tikiphiles. With that, let me go download some pics and get them posted here for all to see.

Feel free to add any pics you may have of VINTAGE basement bars only, not your current home tiki room. Sometimes the only pics we might have available are from estate sale listings so feel free to post those as well if you happen across them.

[ Edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2013-11-16 12:12 ]

here are pics from the listing. I have since taken many more and will post those shortly. This house has currently been sold. None of the tiki decor or anything on the walls was for sale. It goes with the house, but all the
bamboo furniture as well as the smalls, were up for grabs.


Wow!! That's an awesome space. I remember my Aunt's basement in the early seventies. If I remember right it was an orange, orange and orange color scheme. They had a bar with the requisite Naugahyde stools and bar front and a single bowling lane. I may be able to dig up some photos. My current basement bar was purpose built when the house was built around 1950. The original tile floor is still there and has an inlaid shuffle board on both sides of the space. I even have the original pucks and sticks. The twelve foot bar top is still graced by four original Arthur Uminov bar stools. I think the house is happy that the bar remains the same. I have never changed the bare bones of the bar only added in some vintage Tiki flavor. My wife has friends that as of late still had a sixties full on western theme in the basement complete with the full size whiskey barrel bar, bar stools, table chairs and even the couch. There are still a few of these hidden treasures still buried just under someones house but they are getting rare.


Great idea Tipsy. Love seeing pictures of true vintage home bars.

Great thread Tipsy. Wow...that last picture sure is beautiful...great bar and stools. You are always a wealth of knowledge so looking forward to more posts here...nice trip back in time.

i'm headed back to the sale- I might take a few more shots since it's the last day. I'm actually going back to pick up this cabinet i bought in the picture below. It was $ 50 !!

Great thread, Tipsy ... we thought we were the only ones who took pictures at estate sales! We'll have to add them here as we find them from now on...

50 BUCKS!!!!!!!!!

mike feel free to post ones you have taken in the past if you got them. i want this thread to be representative of all types of vintage home bars from back in the day.

I still have more from this past sale to post here yet.

$50! That is an amazing deal!

I loved this room as soon as I saw it online.

I am a huge fan of authentic shuffleboard inlays from the 50s...not that repro nonsense they have come out with.

Man...what a great space.

Such a bummer it was kind of bare bones.

greetings all !!

here's the update on that tiki room i posted pics of. I was fortunate enough to get into the space after the sale and salvage all the painted murals. The murals are signed and dated 1956. The house was built in 1954 so it wasn't long before the original owners went tiki in terms of the decor. The murals were painted on old particle board which makes them light weight but fragile. The largest ones are 4ft by 8ft, the smaller ones are about half that. For now, i plan i keeping them in hope that i can use some or all of them. Otherwise, i have a friend that has been threatening to open a new tiki bar here and these might look good on the walls framed out in bamboo. I didn't want to see these destroyed and they certainly would have ended up in the dumpster with the rest of the bamboo and stuff. Everything else in the place was demo-ed and tossed. The new owners had other plans for that space which didn't included a tiki room but they were thrilled that i was salvaging them and would put them to good use some day. here's pics of some of the salvage i did.


Bravo, Tipsy. I applaud your efforts!

THANKS. i do what i can to preserve.

Great save Tipsy. The dismantling of Tiki bars id painful to watch, but I love how collectors snag old decor before being destroyed.

Kool tipsy, kool

not tiki, but i managed to pull these three lamps out of the same house, plus 2 more that will be used for spare parts as they were not in the best shape like these were.

Delightful!!! Find any aged rum hiding in the coffers?

This is certainly pre-tiki, but David O. Selznick and his wife had a great tropical themed pool house.

When I first saw the pics I fell in love with those murals, especially the one of Diamond Head. I thought what a shame it was they weren't for sale too, but then I read where you were able to salvage them after! So cool! I'm so glad you were able to save them--you just can't replicate the feel and look of vintage--close, but not the same. Congrats on that find!

been awhile, but here's another gem of a basement located here in the midwest. A friend of mine was house hunting and went to check out the basement (which wasn't shown in the listing) - After feeling around in the dark for the switch he felt what could only be bamboo on the walls. Once they got the lights on, this is what they found.


On 2013-12-20 04:46, Tipsy McStagger wrote:

Love this light!
BUT when I look at it I see a version that IS tiki.
One with the round mid part is a coconut and the arms are bamboo and that
larger end part is just bigger bamboo.

At least that's how it would look on Gilligan's Island.
What a great job that would be, making props for Gilligan's Island TV show.

Great thread David.

Wow...I need that last basement...what a find!!!

That room is amazing (and huge!) I've literally dreamt of finding a house with that inside. It breaks my heart knowing some 'granite counter-tops and crown molding' people will likely buy it and rip it all out.

Thanks for all the pictures in the thread, all killer rooms. Wish one were within local moving distance!

Another kick ars tiki basement

Unbelievable! That basement is magnificent!

been awhile since i could add to this thread but i went to an estate sale yesterday (second and final day of sale) and took some quick pics to document this basement tiki room for years gone by……

this was the enclosed back porch upstairs - cool atomic light fixtures.

this was the basement fireplace in the tiki room with built in grill and rotisserie

this pic is turning right in the room to go toward bar

this area is directly behind the first - keep in mind the room is in disarray due to the ongoing estate sale - its kind of a mess but you can get a hint of what it must have looked like in its heyday.

this is on the other side or planter wall partition.

vintage juke box

this is the bar- the barstools used to be orange with bamboo legs - these black ones were added in later years - the originals suffered damage over the years and were replaced. there was only one original bamboo stool left.

behind the bar shots

then there was a weird little annex room - you enter through a narrow door into this room -

i managed to get some smalls, a lamp and some leopard pillows that were overlooked on the first day of sale - there were two witco mask, a witco carved statue of jesus and a three foot carved palm log. other tiki central members grabbed those - maybe they will post pics here.

thats it for now - stay tuned, until the next one.

[ Edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2015-12-06 08:11 ]

[ Edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2015-12-06 08:14 ]

[ Edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2015-12-06 08:15 ]

Great work, Tipsy ... we love this thread!

Always a joy to see your posts. That bar is to die for. It is all wonderful eye candy.

Greetings all and welcome back - i have another visual treat for you today. Went to an estate sale yesterday and though there wasn't much in the way of smalls or decor, It certainly was a cool room from back in the day. enjoy !!!

coming down the stairs the walls have this awesome stone wall paper

next to the door was a display of some sort - maybe a fountain ??

next to your right, along the corner is this sitting area.

next to that along the wall was a wallpaper mural - with an overhead soffet that hid a string of fluorescent lights to shine down on it.

working our way around the room we come to another sitting area.

and the entertainment area/ closet next to it.

and last stop on the tour is the bar area.

the fish tank diorama is great - i love this old school old tech stuff. there is no glass on the front and the fish just hangs on a hidden piece of wood sticking out behind it to give it a the illusion of floating.

and now we bid farewell - this basement will most likely get demolished and its history gone forever. Thankfully we have this thread to keep these memories alive for the future generations of all things tiki and vintage.

until next time…… thanks for taking the time to take a look.


Thank you David.

Wow, such a cool space and can only imagine what elements were already removed and the parties and good times they had down there.

Love the pics, thanks Tipsy!

Just had to say what a great thread, really enjoy seeing those older spaces.

Thanks for starting this thread. Love the rooms from the past and you're probably right that they will be demolished. Some great finds though. I like that last bar set up with the fish in the center panel area. Nice effect they created of an aquarium. Fun stuff. Making me miss my parent old rattan breezeway furniture. Blue and green floral cushions as I remember. Mom said they sold it years ago. I asked when I started looking through this home bar thread. Love seeing what everyone is doing and how the bars are coming along. I'm not a bar person but love the vibe.

Best new thread that I've seen in years. We don't have basements around where I live. It's really cool to see these vintage basement bars.
Keep it going!

Indeed, a spectacular thread. If you see these places that you have come across in just a few years, and others here on TC (like the ALIBI owner's home bar), it is amazing how many must have existed that we have never, and will never, get to see - and how many there still are, though their numbers must be dwindling, as the generation that built them dies out.

I hope you shot these on high enough resolution? I would maybe wanna use one or two for publication, if you let me, Dave? There just aren't that many photos of these places - mostly snapshots where the damn people block all the cool decor :)

I agree with everyone before me who said these are amazing. I had no idea such places existed. Heck, I live in Texas, where the predominant clay and/or limestone soil makes basements of any sort a rarity. I never knew this whole home-entertainment-basement-tiki-bar culture existed. I'll probably never get to see one of these in person, but I'll happily live vicariously through your shared photos!

Some great photos of the vintage basement bars in situ. Here is an article that belongs here on one man's basement garden of Tiki.


My mom and dad at our backyard "tiki" bar, sometime in the late 1960's:

On 2017-03-08 11:52, The Below Decks wrote:
My mom and dad at our backyard "tiki" bar, sometime in the late 1960's:

Very Cool....A Great Pic. Your Tiki Foundation. OGR

Tipsy, we're so glad you document this stuff...

We have the hanging tea light bamboo lights from that last sale and the same ceiling fixtures from the one above. It's so great to see how they were in their original environs. Love those dioramas and fishnet on the walls...

Wait, somehow missed the last few posts here when replying to Tipsy's earlier posts...

DC, great find -- did those pics come with an article? We always look out for old articles on home bar how-tos... there's surprisingly few of them, almost none for tiki, although we've found a few small interesting guides that we will be posting soon...

The Below Decks: great shot, very cool! Some family friends I (Mike) grew up with had those same chairs in the kitchen of their cool west side ranch home, nice memories growing up... we've found a matching wrought iron wall clock... and I think I've got your Dad's tie now!

It's been a long, long time since I've been able to contribute something of substance to TC... I was doing my usual estate sale perusing and I came across these photos. Looks like a home bar with a bit of a tiki/ adventure theme to it! Obviously not as involved as most of our home bars, but still interesting.

Same estate... I put these in here because of the animal print furniture. What I would give for that 1950's furniture set!! Dig the matching ashtray, that atomic mirrored shadowbox, and the red carpet! Wowza!


I have the same black styrofoam mask in this photo that I got from my grandfather's basement bar.

On 2017-04-04 14:52, Luckydesigns wrote:

[ Edited by: Rob Roy 2017-04-04 17:00 ]


keeping with the theme but sort of left field, got this this weekend, it was in a Navy bar in the pacific during WWII is 20+ feet long by 3 feet wide and painted on what feels like a roll of wall paper......hope to have it up in my tiki hut soon!!

this is center mass....

this is in the far right corner, much like old nautical maps with a Cherub blowing the trade winds.....

Just came across this place in Illinois. Looks like a basement bar.

That was built or at least last decorated in the late '60s...

Dig the fake jungle!


[ Edited by: Luckydesigns 2017-05-19 13:44 ]

Let's not get ahead of ourselves -this was on my radar and I planned on posting pics and info here tomorrow for this place

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