As one of The Mamas And The Papas, Michelle Phillips personified boho chic. Her favorite refuge has the same glamorous, offbeat flair.
My yard had a big, crumbling deck and a Jacuzzi — very '80s — that I didn't use anymore. So my close friend Jarrett Hedborg, an interior designer, said, "Why don't we do a classic old-school Hawaiian beach bar?"
It's not kitschy or camp. We played it straight, evoking the swanky tiki bars that were all the rage in Los Angeles 40 or so years ago. It brings back happy memories of carefree days and good times with good friends.
The mahogany-and-maple bar was inspired by the framework on a 1950s Ford Country Squire Woody — it even has an original chrome nameplate on the front. And there's a chrome tire rim on the wall with a hose wrapped around it so I can just wash down the floor, beach bar-style.
We were at the Santa Anita racetrack one day, and Jarrett said, "Look at that fabulous green on the clubhouse. That's the color we're going to paint your bar's stucco walls." The mural is by Vadim Valikovski, who copied the image from an old restaurant matchbook cover.
A shelf resembling a surfboard holds all the liquor bottles. Above it are delightful blowfish light fixtures from Oceanic Arts, a great source for every imaginable Polynesian-themed furnishing and accessory.
I call my tiki bar my tiki office, even though I also entertain out here all the time. This beautiful, open-air space is such a creative environment for me. It's where my writing partner and I wrote much of the script for a Mamas and Papas biopic that's in the works, and where I have my meetings. I always say, "Can I make you a mai tai?" It's a lot more fun doing business when you're drinking a fruity rum cocktail topped with a little umbrella!
This article originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of Natipernavigare.