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O'Ghoulihan's Fugu Lounge, Northern VA

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Hello all. Over the past couple of years we've had this sort of tiki lounge theater in our spare bedroom. While it was a nice little escape, recently we decided it needed some big improvements. Well, at least within of limitations of apartment living. While we've been pushing those limits, there's only so far you go. Because of this, some of it is temporary and we've tried to find creative ways to get the look we want without spending a ton of money. This also doubles as our gym, which we've tried to find a creative way to hide when not in use.

While very much a work in progress, I would like to share some of the creations and progress we've made here. We first switch the spare room to our bedroom and now use the master as the tiki lounge. Why not??

Here's a sort of blank canvas, some remnants of the previous décor.


Our first upgrade was tacking up bamboo wainscoting and wall covering. The wall covering reminded my girlfriend of a sort of subtle blowfish pattern, which seems very fitting for the Fugu Lounge.


We needed some sort of border in between. I had an order of bac bac braiding on its way and thought of using multiple strips of that at the top of the wainscoting. The order took quite a while and I became impatient. Instead, I used eva foam cut into strips. With a router bit on my dremel I did my best to create the patterns seen below. From there, we painted and sealed with a gloss finish to give it this sort of lacquered wood look. We were both very happy with the way it turned out.


To be continued!

[ Edited by maulrat on 2022-07-20 14:49:48 ]

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[ Edited by maulrat on 2022-07-20 14:56:06 ]

[ Edited by maulrat on 2022-07-22 19:57:37 ]


Looks like a really interesting start - appreciate you sharing. The patterns you're using are a great way to put your own stamp on your place. Keep posting as you progress!!


Glad to see another Virginia native! Visit the Jungle Room when you get to RVA!


We were at The Jungle Room last year! Had some great drinks and a nice chat with who I think was the bar manager. Definitely want to go back.

Hamo posted on Wed, Jul 20, 2022 10:08 PM

Welcome to TC! I'm interested to see all the temporary things you're doing that can be undone.


This is a sort of art wall. Pictures we’ve collected or taken. The frames are a ‘custom’ bamboo frame. I split some pieces of bamboo I had and hot glued them to existing frames. Also added some small spots on the ceiling for a more dramatic low light level. Prior to this it was very difficult to see anything on this wall. We sort of skirt along this wall when entering the lounge, thus everything has to be kept rather low profile.


The porthole was a Tommy Bahama porthole collected from a family member. I mounted this to a piece of wood from Michael’s and arrayed Govee RGB tape light on the back side. Originally we had wanted to mount an iPad behind this. However, my girlfriend thought a diorama like scene could have a more interesting look. The original finish was silver and is now a nice patina. She also created the diorama from various items mounted to water pattern backer. The jelly fish almost have a black light/iridescent glow under the blue light. She did a great job in my opinion and it looks fantastic. 99D5BA42-4491-4E97-8358-D65EF6CA805C3CB4187D-04AD-45F0-B535-4D97448F713FF3416BF8-254B-43A6-A38A-A1A5424F7BD9

I love everything you've done! It's easy to achieve Tiki greatness with unlimited space and an unlimited budget. But so much harder with limited space that also has another purpose and a rental agreement that limits your modifications. Keep going with your creative thinking!


[ Edited by 3vab on 2022-09-25 11:07:36 ]


MadDogMike: Thank you! I appreciate the kind words. Also we’ve followed your thread and you have some outstanding creations.

3vab: if we ever get a house, we would certainly do this the right way. I appreciate the advice on working with foam. We have a few other projects in the works and this is certainly be helpful. Even a couple nearing completion that I suddenly wish I had different tools for. Your tiki bar is outstanding as well. We’ve look at your website many times and it is certainly an inspiration.


Here’s photo of the inside of the entry. A couple months ago we visited San Diego. While False Idol is without a doubt the best in the area, we did enjoy some of the decor at Grass Skirt. This is sort of mini version of their pineapple skull wall. Relatively simple construction. RGB tape likes wrapped around the backside. Pineapple fronds glued into the tops of the skulls. The torch is a $20 sconce from Amazon that attached bamboo, and raffia to. Flame bulb for a nice flickering effect. We are pleased with the turn out in both of these.

Cheap stick on wall paper to cover up the white walls. Though honestly I like how the Rgb tape washed the plain white wall a little better.

More of the faux wood foam carving bordering the door frame.

We’re still searching for something to mount above the torch and some type of door covering.


It never ceases to astonish me the creativity of folks who are otherwise limited in their tiki builds because they live in rentals. You have done an outstanding job! I'm quite impressed with what you've accomplished.


Thank you! We love your you tube series as well!


Here’s progress on our window/screen wall. The ‘blind’ raises and attaches to the ceiling, letting us view the outdoors or a movie. Raising the screen also fill in the ceiling a bit. Other than hanging some nets and lots of other pendants, I’m hesitant to completely cover the ceiling. C2DC1A8A-4B32-4040-80E8-4CB1E628F6137DA4CC76-2F3F-49DD-90F0-C49368121B26C38767D9-ECFA-4E83-B7BE-863167638471

The glass floats were found at a antique shop in Delaware. The fugu light was placed in a clear light globe and fitted with a dyed basketball net. I don’t recall the name, but this method was posted by another user in the craft forum I believe. The glass floats use small spots from Amazon. Because the floats are relatively clear, the light sort of goes right through them. Still an improvement over not having them lit. BFB0CE92-46E7-4B07-BBFB-2AB23137A937

Another fugu light mounted between 2 Chinese style hats-ordered from Amazon and shipped direct from China. Its basic but looks a nicer than I anticipated. More work needed for that. The jade lantern in the corner uses more eva foam carving along with bamboo. Along with a hue lamp set to candle flicker. This turned out fantastic and really makes this corner of the room. Some other float type pendant from Michael’s with a water light and a fugu chime from an antique. The chime needs to be lowered for a better view.


IKEA crates outfitted with Govee Rgb tape and various rums and mugs. This is ever evolving depending on which mugs we buy and how many bottles we kill.


Until next time!

L-O-V-E the Jellyfish Dioramas.


Great job on the lamps in particular. Killer!

Iolani posted on Thu, Aug 4, 2022 9:23 AM

Turning out very impressive. Nice job.


Small update. We’ve wanted to add a diving helmet as part of our decor. I see a lot of posts on facebook groups of folks buying helmets from home goods or Etsy. We decided try our hand at a eva foam helmet for a little more of a personal touch and something better fits our theme. We used a tutorial from muchprops on YouTube. We omitted the face grill and subbed in a magnifying glass instead. We’re planning on adding diorama scene in the near future. This turned out much better than expected.


[ Edited by maulrat on 2022-08-08 06:51:55 ]


Video of a temporary scene we put together as a test.


That diving helmet is astonishing! Magnificent job!


Thank you! We certainly appreciate it. We found your recent YouTube video for the tapa cloth lamp very insightful as well.


A couple of projects. This canoe is in the closet bathroom entry. This area needs a bit more work. C75D12A1-A5AF-43D2-9EC1-9627EC7F47B273D9FF06-7FDA-490F-ADC1-AD03F64B4EAAA2F38E00-C67C-4C47-B14A-7A58EAB93088307E03DC-E42C-439E-8BDF-B16A69FCDB42B50DF736-C697-4D7B-92C6-C62E4465C9F0

A large 16” puffer I decided to lamp myself. There is a lot of cotton and plastic in one of these things…



Yer making some cool stuff here. Good looking spot.

AND it has tiki.

That volcano screen is cool.

Great work on the accessories.

For the wall decor, I am assuming this is a house and not an apartment? How much of it is reversible, how invasive was it?

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-08-11 18:19:46 ]

Hamo posted on Thu, Aug 11, 2022 9:11 PM

Somehow I missed the foam jade tiles, which are great. Can't believe I'd never thought of that. The diving helmet is very well-done, too.


tikiskip: we both appreciate those kind words. Seriously, it means a lot and it’s nice to be recognized! Having TIKI is the ultimate goal.

Hamo: we’ve had a lot of fun making some of these items. It’s a little cheap/low cost and might not last forever- but totally worth it and looks great in our space.

SouthSeasKat: lots of holes in the wall- mostly small nails and tacks. Ceiling pendants are drywall anchors- more heavy duty for the glass fish floats. But all of this can easily be spackled over and apartments have to paint the place regardless when a new tenant moves in. Either way, I’m sure they won’t give us our deposit back. Haha


Damn so it is an apartment, wow that is dedication.

I don't always see things on TC as I just miss em or I don't sign in to say things I want to say because I fear that I might Fail that stupid test that you have to take to get in.

Really find the cat made of clouds? who came up with that one, or the conference room I don't know what kind of conference room you might have. I know it's not a TC thing.

But I do remember that show Trading Spaces where they have friends redo your house then you come back sometimes it was good and other times it was not so good, one of the bad ones was where they put plastic plants all over the bathroom walls, think of trying to clean that in a bathroom!

Yours looks good.

Love the creativity and how you're making the most out of your space. Plus the fact there's actually quality rum to back it up. Too often the most spectacular builds flaunt the most rudimentary swill, and that just makes me sad.

Wow, yeah, an apartment.

Unfortunately, Japan uses wallpaper, and my landlords JUST replaced my wallpaper (and I have already damaged it in a couple places I will have to very, very carefully repair. Japanese wallpaper can be very unforgiving). Some of the former wallpaper dated back decades (1970s apartment).

I have only put a few holes, like three, in the new wallpaper. And only in matte, patterned white where I can simply dab it and it should blend. Spackeling is totally out!

I'm in awe that you can get away with so much!


I don’t envy that! Unless of course it was nice looking tropical wall paper. :)

Landlords let me choose within reason. So I got a woodgrain accent wall (as you have now seen) and sky blue in the kitchen to match the original mid-century tile, and a mid-century star pattern for the bathroom. But I went with white on the main walls because I didn't want the room too dark (I need the reflected light for the plants), and because my successors might complain. I don't think the landlords would have agreed to a tropical wallpaper.

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-08-14 05:41:05 ]

Hi Mike. Rum is one of the most important aspects- to me anyway! It can get pricey, and I see why some home bars have only a small selection of lost cost rums. I suppose people have their priorities.


Small update. Finally covered this glaring white door with a decal. Side note, the photos seem to come out 50% brighter than in person. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good when trying to show the space.



Just wanted to say I LOVE your space! I appreciate your inventiveness and your ability to just go ahead and do stuff that looks great! The crates with different colored lights is super dope, thanks again for sharing.


Here’s an update to our scene wall. I played around with an indirect light we have in a hanging planter. Typically blue looks best in person. I spilt and cut the bamboo and hot glued it to a piece of temp wall paper.

Also a couple more photos of the jade tile lamp. I took huge inspiration from an artist’s version of this lamp. To be completely honest, mine is all hot glue and not nearly the master piece he made.



[ Edited by maulrat on 2022-08-24 07:04:35 ]

[ Edited by maulrat on 2022-09-07 09:21:51 ]



Hamo posted on Fri, Aug 19, 2022 11:29 PM

I like what you've done to the door, and the wallpaper and bamboo is very clever.


That lamp is so cool, going to make one, one of these days.

Have seen many versions of it, but damn they sell for many dollars. And are mostly sold out when/if you see em.

If a person were to make a mold you could pop those lights out pretty fast. But then the mold would cost hundreds and take even more time.

That door sticker is cool too never knew there even was such a thing.

The porthole, diving helmet...so clever and well executed. The tile lamp is killer too.


I love the jade tile lamp. I've wanted to figure out a way to introduce those tiles in a way that would work with my bar and think that's the ticket.


A light made of the full-size real tiles would be a bit large and heavy.

These are a perfect size.


Hey all, thank you for the kind words! Working with eva foam was a bit of a learning curve. For these tiles, the size is rather small- 6 inches square, which makes it a little difficult to work in more detail. I used a Dremel with a routing bit to cut out the shapes, then a round over bit to detail the edges (both sides). This round over detail was the thing that really help convey these before painting.

I plan on making more tiles for other projects. Somethings I’ve picked up along the way that wasn’t used for these. Using a wood burner for details. A stone sanding bit really smooths out the furry edges. This is 12mm foam and isn’t very dense. So I glued wood sticks on the backside for rigidity. Using a denser foam or perhaps pink foam might work better since these shouldn’t bend at all. Or, you might just be able to use wood! Having saw dust all over the spare bathroom might be less messy than eva dust- maybe a tad less nasty too. Though not as light and maybe not as cost effective.

That is a spectacular lamp!


Here’s a piece of wall art we recently made from foam. Template from muchprops on YouTube. We took some creative control with the headlamp. He will hang in our closet corridor over the restroom door. 8B1E0539-2716-449A-9B42-16B662F5B89834156C66-DB68-4E49-9F6A-D817D6695FA22D393898-EA1E-4B66-B712-4EE83DB8FB09646D6125-D259-48D0-9190-D03380F2F7ED64BA42B5-6442-4A93-A0F9-704EFFA975A983E5D058-B1B3-46ED-93E2-34CA7A10F5AD517067D4-1BBC-468B-BD1D-A80C3E4DC747B1DEA936-B157-4BD8-BC04-6AAAF69A495C!

Extremely Cool !!…this one is going to be hard to beat


Your work is insanely good.

WOW, it's nice to say that "that is awesome" and really mean it.

I want one.

Can't wait to see what you come up with next!

If people don't have money they can look at what you are doing and make stuff really cheaply, ya got few tools, not much in materials.

It's the talent that's hard to come by.

Great job!


Thank you both! I really appreciate the kind words.


We’ve had quite a busy weekend. Put together a new lamp this weekend. Originally I intended for it to be slightly larger. However we found a 6 inch by 17 inch height glass cylinder on clearance that looked good. Ordered a patterned cloth online. Same old foam wood trickery. I’m purposely leaving out my engineering for how this lamp and the jade tile are rigged up to hang. It’s pretty shoddy, but I’m fine with it as long as they don’t fall.

I addition we dressed up the bathroom corridor with cheap tapa patterned cloth from Amazon on the closet doors and more foam ‘wood’ trim. For this and the lamp we decided an patina finish. I quite like it and this hall is coming together. The trim has become quite exhausting- I think that’s the last of it for a long while. Also mounted the angler fish, aka Jon Ron Donald.



Pretty wowed out by your stuff. Excellent work! Tikiskip told us about it last week, we hadn't seen it before. Very impressed by your painting ability -- it seems like that's the magic finishing touch on each thing you do, the incredible paint job. The ideas you keep posting are very inspiring. Keep it up!

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