Jan 15, 2009

For the Love of Tiki

With it being about ZERO degrees outside right now, I suppose it's not too early to start dreaming of warmer times to come...relaxing around the pool, or sitting around the backyard tiki bar, sipping Coronas. A great way to start is with Sven Kirsten's Tiki Modern, a great follow-up to his 2003 book, The Book of Tiki. The latter was a real inspiration to me, providing the impetus to build a tiki bar and generally turn my backyard into a summertime Bali Hai playground. Or at least as much as our Ohio climate would allow--my wife drew the line at fake palm trees, but we'll see.

Any fan of mid-century modern would appreciate this work, which, in combination with Sven's other books, provides about as comprehensive a look as you could ever want at this remarkable cultural phenomenon. It may seem strange to us now, but for hundreds of thousands of American servicemen who served in the South Pacific during WWII, the tiki style provided an idyllic reminder of the region's natural beauty--even as it was experienced in the midst of a brutal war. Tiki Modern, like it's predecessors, is more than just a dip into nostalgia, it's an in-depth study of pop culture, and it's a great escape from our current sub-zero reality.

Inspired? You can also head over to the Eastsde Tiki store and get yourself a shirt, or a cool clock. It's just the thing to get your friends talking about their summer plans.

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