Midcentury Modern Hawaiiana Get the look
By the ’50s and ’60s, Hawaiian/Polynesian/tiki culture was big business, with lots of themed restaurants, bars, motels, apartment houses, bowling alleys, as well as Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room and the film “South Pacific” doing big box office. Photo by Jim Brown.

Your home should be your own personal sanctuary, giving you a mini vacation each time you step into the door. Does your midcentury masterpiece lack a look that encourages you to let your hair down and have a little fun? Are you unsure of what to incorporate into your home’s established look and feel? Tiki décor and Hawaiiana adds a tropical, easy-going feel to your home while maintaining the MCM aesthetic you love.

Choose oak hardwood for furniture.

The natural wood fibers of wood are the perfect MCM touch that also gels well with the natural, relaxed feel of tiki style. Lighter shades of hardwood contrast less intensely with the various colors and patterns used in tiki decor and are similar in color to rattan but more durable.

Mix patterns.

Use textiles and rugs that have tropical floral prints in subdued colors, as well as classic leopard print. Pairing the two make for a bold statement.

Include eclectic displays of island themed accessories.

Hula girls, parrots, pineapples, and idle head ceramics are the go-to choices. Go on a thrifting adventure to search for affordable pieces of Hawaiiana or try eBay online.

Add accents of bamboo.

Faux or genuine bamboo details, such as picture frames, enhance the island feel even more. This texture can be used extensively throughout any tiki area without feeling overwhelming.

Stick to light hues of paint.

A soft but vibrant green is a good choice. Lighter colored walls won’t compete with the splashes of neon appearing elsewhere.