A tiki bar is a fun and lively way to enjoy hot weather in style. With delicious cocktails on the ready, a well-designed bar can make you feel like you're at the beach.
The trick is choosing the perfect decorative items and furnishings to perfect the tropical tiki aesthetic. To help you out, here are my picks for the 5 best tiki bar decor ideas and tips on how to choose the best decorations!
What Are The Themes Of Tiki Bar?
Before you start picking out your preferred tiki bar decor, it's wise to get a good idea of what that theme involves. This will let you pick out items with better focus.
Difford's Guide For Discerning Drinkers, a leading authority on cocktail culture, identifies the following elements as appropriate for a tiki bar theme:
- Tiki carvings, poles, masks, and statues
- Dim lighting
- Pufferfish lamps
- Bamboo and rattan designs and elements
- Hula motifs, especially grass skirts and coconuts
- Large murals featuring tropical scenery
- Live or realistic faux plants and leaves, especially tropical ones
- Tapa cloth, grasscloth, and similar items
- Fish traps and nets, especially woven ones
- Torches with exposed flames
- Lava stone and rock elements
- Black velvet paintings
- Glass floats
- Hibiscus flowers
- Water features, like fountains, lagoons, aquariums, and waterfalls
- Intimate but open spaces
- Nautical elements
- Retro elements
While you can serve any drink at a tiki bar, it's thematic to incorporate alcoholic beverages that feature rum. These drinks are often dressed with highly decorative and over-the-top types of garnishes, like orchids, mint sprigs, banana leaves, and pineapple skewers.
Snacks and food are often served in hollowed-out fruits or in sea-themed vessels, like treasure chests, skulls, and diver's helmets.
What Should You Look For In Tiki Bar Decor?
1. Water and Weather Resistance
A lot of tiki bars are either outdoors or near water. Even if they're not, the simple fact that it will be used for serving drinks means that spillage will happen sometimes.
This is why the best tiki bar decor ideas are waterproof and resistant to weather effects. They should ideally be able to withstand long exposure to sunlight as well as splashes from water and drinks.
2. Ease Of Use and Installation
When you're hosting a tiki bar, you're focused on serving your guests. That's why good decor is the type you don't need to devote much attention to. They should be easy to set up or install and their use should require little to no regular interaction.
3. Vibrancy Of Color
Tiki bars are famous for being bright and exciting! That's what makes them so engaging and fun.
While you can technically opt for decor with duller colors, vibrant items will fit the theme well and create a lively atmosphere. This also means that the colors should be able to resist fading from weather exposure, as previously mentioned.
5 Best Tiki Bar Decor Ideas for a Luxurious Backyard Oasis
1. TIKI Brand 65-Inch Cabos Metal Torch
- More durable than typical tiki torches.
- Hold a lot of oil, allowing them to go a long time without needing refills.
- Easy to assemble and disassemble.
- Adjustable height for more versatility.
- Safe to use with little risk of the fire damaging them.
- Pole stakes may lack sturdiness.
- Does not come with a stand and needs to be staked into the ground securely.
- May rust if used outdoors and exposed to the elements.
The TIKI Brand 65-Inch Cabos Metal Torch is an outdoor light that stakes into the ground. It comes with a four-piece pole that is used in assembling and securing its main torch portion.
At full length, it measures 65 inches. It can be shortened to 50 inches for a simpler, more discrete garden torch. This torch is made from metal and coated with a bronze finish, which makes it more sturdy and reliable than standard bamboo tiki torches.
For those who want an authentic flame for their tiki bar decor but want to guarantee better safety, this could be a good, reliable choice! The TIKI Brand 65-Inch Cabos Metal Torch uses a durable fiberglass wick.
Its fuel is supplied from a canister that is easy to use and fill, and the flame can then be easily extinguished with an included metal snuffer. I always appreciate a product that includes other helpful tools that make its usage that much easier!
2. Joyclub Hawaiian Tropical Luau Grass Table Skirt Set
- Durable and strong thanks to sturdy stitching and synthetic material.
- Skirt is resistant to weather damage and moisture.
- Highly affordable and comes with multiple usable and thematic items.
- Velcro adhesive used may not be strong enough for the weight of the skirt.
- Skirt is on the small side and therefore will not be sufficient for long tables.
- Quality control issues mean some decorative flowers arrive damaged or creased.
The Joyclub Hawaiian Tropical Luau Grass Table Skirt Set is a 41-piece pack of various items that can be used for tropical-themed events and spaces.
It is designed to be lightweight and durable, using synthetic materials in order to strengthen its ability to withstand wear and tear, rough handling, and wet weather.
The main feature of this set is a grass table skirt measuring 108.7″ x 29.5″, made from a mix of polyester, plastic, and paper. It comes in the colors green or gold and is strung with 25 vibrantly colored cloth-made hibiscus flowers along the edge.
This creates a bright, cheerful, and welcoming look that could be a great fit for a vibrant tiki bar! The skirt can be attached to a table with its attached velcro fastenings and is adjustable in length.
The Joyclub Hawaiian Tropical Luau Grass Table Skirt Set also contains 12 faux palm leaves made of silk. They can be arranged as desired. I appreciate that low-cost value sets like these offer so many bits and pieces, as it takes a lot of stress off of the need to find more themed tiki bar decor ideas.
3. Swono Tiki Bar Tin Sign
- Clear and vibrant printed image is resistant to fading and chipping.
- Distressed appearance makes wear and tear unnoticeable.
- Waterproof and weather-resistant.
- Comes with pre-drilled holes for simple hanging.
- Metal is thin and may become damaged easily.
- Holes for hanging are relatively small.
The Swono Tiki Bar Tin Sign is an 8″ x 12″ sign made from heavy gauge metal. It boasts a realistic distressed effect that provides an interesting character to the overall look.
The design features a tiki head figure, a martini, and the words “Tiki Bar” in a large, fun print, with other thematic catchphrases scattered throughout.
This tin sign uses high-quality ink and careful full-color litho printing to ensure that the colors and image don't fade easily. It's also resistant to water and weather.
This would have been great when I hosted my last tiki-themed party, as the signs I used then ended up rusting due to splashing from the pool! The Swono Tiki Bar Tin Sign is lightweight and can be easily hung as desired through its 4 pre-drilled holes.
It could be a cool decorative item for those seeking something that adds personality to their tiki bar!
4. ElaDeco 66 Pcs Artificial Palm Leaves
- Highly realistic appearance with vibrant colors makes leaves look genuine.
- Flexible stem on some leaves allows for easy bending and arranging.
- Assortment of leaves makes for numerous possible decorative options.
- Leaves are single-sided and do not have a pattern on the back.
- May tear easily due to thin material.
- Quality control issues mean some leaves may arrive curled or crumpled, requiring flattening before use.
The ElaDeco 66 Pcs Artificial Palm Leaves is a value set of 66 fake leaves made to resemble Monstera palms. There are 10 large, 10 medium, and 16 small leaves of this kind for more variety.
Also included in the set are 30 tropical leaves with stems, of which there are 10 each of large, medium, and small sizes. This makes for a good deal of variation in appearance between each leaf.
These leaves with stems have bendable wire in them that lets them be arranged and wrapped as needed. It could be a pretty good decorative item for those who want to get creative with the way they design their tiki bar.
These leaves are made with a lightweight and reusable fabric material that is made to be soft, yet durable. I love decorations that I can use again and again, especially when so many similar items are disposable!
5. VP Home Tiki Welcome Surfboard Solar LED Light
- Solar charging means you don't have to worry about battery replacements and electric charging.
- Automatically lights up at certain darkness levels.
- Requires little to no effort to keep lit; simply leave it outdoors to charge in the day and it will do the rest.
- Vibrant and welcoming colors stand out.
- Color may fade if left in the sun for a prolonged period of time.
- Material is fragile and may become damaged easily.
- Poor quality control can mean a light may arrive with different issues in terms of function and durability.
The VP Home Tiki Welcome Surfboard Solar LED Light is a statue of a tiki figure with LED eyes. The figure holds a blue surfboard with the word “welcome” printed on it in bold letters. It can be a cool way to invite people into a tiki bar.
This light automatically switches on when night falls. I love this feature because it means I never need to think about it! I can leave it on my patio and let it charge naturally in the sunlight during the day and it turns on by itself once the sun sets.
The VP Home Tiki Welcome Surfboard Solar LED Light measures 9″ x 14″ x 5.5″. It's made from polyresin, which is an inexpensive but reliable material, and utilizes a simple solar-charged, rechargeable battery.
Which One's Our Top Pick?
There are many different kinds of tiki bar decor ideas! While you could purchase everything in our top 5 list to really deck out your bar, if you really must choose one, I recommend the Swono Tiki Bar Tin Sign!
In my opinion, it fits the desired aesthetic beautifully and mixes tiki, cocktail, and leaf designs with good catchphrases. The Swono Tiki Bar Tin Sign is resistant to weather and water damage, which means it can be great for water-themed tiki bars.
It's also easy to set up with pre-drilled holes, so you don't have to think too much about it. On top of that, it has a very vibrant image that doesn't fade easily, and its distressed design means that any wear and tear goes easily unnoticed!