Sometimes the Tiki can’t be contained to just one room. For some people Tiki is truly a lifestyle; the lines between Tiki escapism and real life are forever blurred. Wendy and Dan Cevola’s entire home is Tiki themed. They may have the biggest Tiki collection in the world and there’s even a jungle room! Let’s take a peek into Wendy and Dan’s home or should I say Tiki home…
How and when did you and Dan get into the Tiki lifestyle?
Wendy– Tiki News. Dan found a copy at Tower Records 20 years ago. It looked interesting so he bought a copy. It clicked with him and he told me if I ever saw a tiki mug at a garage sale to pick it up. I found 4 bucket mugs the next weekend. They were from The Islander and he loved them. So we both became hooked. I loved to hunt and he loved to have them handed to him. When I found eBay that’s when the collection really took off and grew. When Sven Kirsten wrote The Book Of Tiki that became the gold standard of the mugs to hunt for and that’s just what we did. Over time we have found that it is impossible to find and collect every vintage mug that was made so we began to also collect new artist’s work. We made so many great friends that we have kept for all these years. Going to Tiki Oasis and the other Tiki events is one big hugfest.
The Family Room
Wendy– The family room is where I do all my work, sculpting for molds. Sculpting one of a kind Wish List mugs and even glazing. We have a carpet under our old recliners in case of spills and I’ve had a few. This is the room I live in and I am surrounded by a lot of inspirations. Tikis here there and everywhere thanks to Dan.
The Buzzy Bedroom
Wendy– Every Tiki Oasis, Buzzy Meeker the wonderful tiki carver has a booth. He gives people who visit a pinup of himself and sometimes he pairs it with his art. These are sexy photos. He calls himself a Chippen-Male rather than a Chippendale. I have framed and hung many of his photos so we call it the Buzzy Bedroom.
The Tiki Library Bedroom
Wendy– Another spare bedroom where we not only display tiki art I also have all my books on South Pacific Art that I use for reference for my artwork.
The Dining Room
Wendy– Dan has decorated every tiki room in our home. But during one hunt I found a huge spoon and fork set. I told him I was going to collect these and hang them all in the dining room. He was excited because that meant I was giving up another “normal” room to become tiki. Not only did the fork and spoons go up it became the Sacramento Crawl room where I display pictures that inspire each crawl mug. Then Dan began to hang birds. We started with a Tiki Tony parrot and then some from Mexico. Now it is also our Enchanted Tiki Room full of birds.
Dan’s Man Cave
Wendy– Dan loves music and collects vintage albums. We search for all the dollar bins in thrift stores. This one garage is where he stacked all the thrift store speakers and equipment. They are all connected and he goes out there to play records and to relax. Of course this is one more place for Tiki overflow from the house.
The Tiki Mug collection deep inside the Tiki Jungle Room
Miniature Tiki Scenes
The Tiki Jungle Room
Wendy– This room was the first tiki room. Dan first had it as his record room with albums hung on all the walls. But one day he was given a plastic palm tree and he like it enough to start looking for more. Then came tiki and then he built the tiki jungle room. It took 5 years of Michael’s coupons to get all the silk vines and plants. We got coupons off neighbors. It used to be much fuller but as the collection grew he had to prune. He once removed 17 trees and gave them to his sister so she could have a jungle too.
Anything else you would like to add?
Wendy– Dan and I are lucky because we both love tiki. I am lucky that he likes my art and I can pay him in tikis to work for me. We live a very tiki lifestyle. Every day is music, art and then travel to the islands. We are very fortunate not to have all these “things” but to have made many friends along the way
Check out my TIki VIP Spotlight on Wendy and her Tiki mugs here.