Hawaii nine to five

Until you get that office with harbour views, there's no need to resign yourself to a standard issue office cubicle. With the help of a glue gun and a few bits and pieces, author Kelley Moore has come up with 22 ways to transform your work space from disco, to New York City to CEO.

Want to work in a Tiki lounge? Here's how, in this extract from Moore's book:

In 1934, Donn Beach, aka "Don the Beachcomber", hatched the Tiki sensation while strolling the beaches of Southern California. His idea was simple: Create an environment rich in the lush colours and motifs of Polynesian culture; add a new cocktail, the Mai-Tai; set the music to bongo and swing.

Wrap yourself in the whimsy of Waikiki, the textures of Tahiti, or the brilliance of Bora Bora with this fun cube design. Fantasise about upcoming holidays or recall suntans past as you swirl your latte with a pink flamingo swizzle stick.

Whether you construct a private three-walled hut or set your speakers to play the sounds of ocean waves, the laidback vibe will be unmistakable. What better way to stay relaxed when burning your torch into the wee hours?


* Search for fabrics or papers that will remind you of lying on a sandy beach or watching a vibrant topical sunset. Try textured fabrics, such as burlap, or a natural-fibre wallpaper with straw running throughout.

* For a more affordable option, use corrugated paper printed with a tropical scene or white-capped waves. Hang the paper with straight pins.

* For a finishing touch, trim the top of the cubicle walls in bamboo.


* To create a Tiki look that will stand up to lots of wear, cover the desk in a faux wood-grain oilcloth or a vibrant tropical print. Cut the cloth to fit (leaving extra material to secure beneath the desk), pull the fabric tight, and secure underneath with duct tape.

* Add a touch of whimsy by using a hot glue gun to attach table-length hula skirts around the edge of the desk.


* Incorporate elements of nature. Spray-paint manzanita branches with coral red paint and place them in a corner to imitate the look of coral.

* Nestle a fishbowl among the faux coral branches.

* Tiki mugs, hula nodders, and vintage Hawaiian prints are imperative in Polynesian pop decor.

* To complete the Polynesian paradise, use heavy palm matting to create the floor of your hut. Secure the mat to the floor with carpet tape so your visitors won't slip.

* Extract from Cube Chic by Kelley L. Moore, distributed by Southern Publishers Group; $39.95, paperback

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