Tiki Bar Ideas for Your Backyard

thatch_roof_square_tiki_bar_in_backyardTiki bars across the world have various designs and concepts, to the point where crafting a paradise in your backyard offers many artistic liberties. There are tiki bars to match any style home, whether you have a small backyard in the city, beachfront property, or a lofty backyard in a desert suburb. Most tiki bars I’ve encountered stick to the concept of nifty bamboo stools and thatch roofing. However, tiki bar ideas have actually grown to encapsulate many more blends of rural Polynesian and urban American comfort.

Owning a tiki bar is a lot like having a private paradise, and helps one escape the more prevalent stainless steel and marble countertops that aren’t as relaxing. If you’re looking for tiki bar ideas there are many styles to choose from. The first style, as mentioned before, is a traditional tiki hut with a thatch roof and bamboo supporting the bar. Many people use bamboo stools as well. The most commonly seen personal tiki bars deploy this style, with the thatch canopy either being rectangular or a large cone shading the bar. This style is simple and you can actually buy the roof and bar in a set.

These act more like a fun prop when you have a barbeque. For some people that’s enough though, if you’re not going to use your tiki bar often and just want a fun place to serve your friends a margarita, this style is your best bet.

Like most additions to your home, if you want it to be great it’s going to cost a little more cash. Some of the best tiki bar ideas I’ve seen come as additions to people’s homes. My favorite tiki bar was at a coworker’s house. After retiring she decided to make her backyard an oasis. If you’re planning to put in a pool soon and don’t mind spending the extra cash, the most relaxing tiki bar is the one that serves poolside.


Hers came out into the pool like a circular peninsula with an empty hot tub in it where she’d serve beers from a mini fridge. Overhead was a thatch canopy and cement stools lined the bar from under the shade. Keep in mind she’s a retiree who worked hard her whole life, not someone extra wealthy. And if you already have a pool there are plenty of people who build their tiki bars at ground level just outside the pool. This is still a great option because being near the water makes serving drinks at a pool party easy and brings a paradise vibe many tiki enthusiasts hope to achieve.

Another great tiki bar idea is to convert your porch into a tiki bar. These afford a lot of comfort because you tend to have a bar as well as space for a more comfortable lounge area. This is another project that works well if you’re already remodeling. Otherwise you can buy one of the tiki bars mentioned before and decorate your back porch with tiki style furniture and polynesian artifacts. Either way you’re bound to create a relaxing environment, and have separate benefits.

If you incorporate a tiki theme into the remodel of your porch you can make a much more capable bar and design your remodel to fit a lounge area, maybe with a TV. The latter method makes it easier to change things up if you’re over the tiki vibe on your back porch, but remodeling your porch to be tiki themed is bound to hold your interest for a longer time.

tiki-bar_in_backyardMy final suggestion for a tiki bar doesn’t require any remodeling, just a little building. If you don’t have a pool this one is still worth the effort. An uncle of mine constructed a tiki ramada against the wall of his backyard on the side opposite from his house. It was complete with a bar, a lounge, and plenty of shade. It was an excellent way to shift immediately into a more relaxing environment. He’d grill back there or read, and at family reunions everyone talked in the lounge area over a few beers.

This one doesn’t cost what a remodel might but is slightly more of an investment than the first option listed. It offers an escape to relaxation, a humble paradise that melts a stressful day.

Now, the beautiful thing about tiki bars is how much freedom you have. These are the tiki bar ideas I see as being most popular among homeowners but if you have a vision, make it happen. Another great thing, you get to choose just how tiki your bar is. If you want the carved tiki masks, bamboo shot glasses and a thatch roof then go for it. You could also add a touch of California with a surfboard bar top, and the Beach Boys playing. There are tons of ideas out there and the best part is your tiki bar can be specific to your tastes. And no one says you need a thatch roof—have a wooden one, or even a brick bar.

tiki_mask_on_wallYou can add tiki trinkets here and there to facilitate the atmosphere. If you shop around online you’ll find there really aren’t many strict tiki guidelines.

The same could be said about what you serve. Of course keep your favorite drinks around. For guests it’s fun to keep some margarita mix, too. It’s easy for people to relax in your personal cabana, but if you pour them a Hurricane I bet they’re really going to blend into the tiki atmosphere. You can also get coconut or pineapple cups and make some drinks with rum. Maybe cash in on that surfer hut vibe and keep a few Corona’s around. No matter what you do, you win, because personalized tiki bar ideas are your own take on paradise and worth the money for your vision.

Photo credits: vlad-man, luminous-dark