Remember the beach craze of the ’50s and ’60s? Films like The Endless Summer and Gidget flouted the carefree lifestyle of surfers, while Hawaii 5-0 solved crimes against the backdrop of Hawaiian paradise. Brightly-colored Hawaiian shirts were coming into popularity, and young 20-somethings drove their beat up Volkswagen vans down to the beach with surf boards strapped on top. Give your visitors the full vacation treatment with a tiki guest room. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
When you think of a patterned Hawaiian shirt or The Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland, what colors come to mind? They’re always bright and vivid, and remind you of the beach. Of course, you’ll want to stick with the midcentury versions of these colors. Retro turquoise, ruby red, mustard yellow and myrtle green are all good candidates for a midcentury tiki theme. This room went with a teal-turquoise on the wall with a subtle yellow on the ceiling, then featured other bright pops of colors through the pillows and wall art. This is one midcentury theme where you can get away with lots of color. Go crazy on on the walls, furniture, flooring and accents. The more color, the better!
The beach is full of interesting textures: course grainy sand, bumpy wood boardwalks, the cool smooth feel of the ocean and the hard bite of a slushie. Fill your tiki-inspired room with these same elements. In this guest room, the homeowners installed a wood slat headboard that gives both the look and feel of a beach-side boardwalk. A set of bamboo curtains will make the room feel like the inside of a tiki hut, or you could hang a strand of bamboo beads from the doorway to interact with the texture every time you enter the room. If you’re looking for an accent to fill an empty space, try a piece of driftwood or a giant conch shell.
When it comes to patterns, the garish Hawaiian shirts your father used to wear will come in handy. The outline of hibiscus flowers (Hawaii’s state flower) will probably turn up, as well as palm leaves, palm trees, surf boards and hula dancers. Try out these patterns on pillows, comforters, curtains or upholstered furniture in the room, though do be sure not to use too many patterns, or you’ll overwhelm the room. Especially if you have a lot of color in the space already, stick with one or two patterns that will convey the theme without flooding any visitors with too many sensory inputs when they enter.