A makeshift tiki hut in a Mayfair attic gives Lost Lake a run for its money | Space | Chicago Reader

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A makeshift tiki hut in a Mayfair attic gives Lost Lake a run for its money

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When Vince Cerasani bought his Mayfair home three years ago, the attic was in desperate need of a makeover. The raw space had old insulation, cracking drywall, and carpet that had seen better days. “I don’t really need this space, so it didn’t make sense to spend a ton of money on it,” Cerasani says. The solution? A tiki lounge cover-up.

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Cerasani and friend Martina Sheehan had been accumulating tiki items for their Etsy shop, Three Wheel Vintage, and all that stuff needed a home. "Anything that wasn't being sold in the store, we put up here," Sheehan says.

The attic is dimly lit with the warm glow of 1970s patio lights. Floral print tiki couches from the 1950s are set up for lounging among totems and mask wall hangings. Shells hang on netting, and Elvis peeks out from a painting in one corner. A tiger print hides a hole in the crumbling drywall. A wooden tiki bar is the room's focal point, bringing summer ambience even in the dead of winter. "We have a combination of high and low here," Sheehan says. "We have real, authentic 1950s tiki stuff, and that's the stuff we love the most. But sometimes we'll come across stuff that's more modern, like the tiki bar."

To give the effect of a tiki hut, the attic's sloped walls are covered in what looks like bamboo matting; upon closer inspection, it's actually just fencing from Home Depot. Straw fringe hanging throughout the room is from a party store. "We fill in the holes any way we can," Sheehan says. "The dollar store comes in handy."

A handmade volcano sculpture in a corner was originally created for Cerasani and Sheehan's annual summer tiki party. Cerasani crafted it using cardboard boxes, spray foam, and spray paint. "Every year there was this pressure to make [the party] a little bit different," Sheehan explains, "a little more special." To boot, a fan beneath the structure makes a garbage bag billow to resemble a plume of smoke drifting over a Hawaiian island.

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