At Home With: Sean Donovan 

Contractor, builder, writer, surfer

I wanted my own little slice of paradise in the Fan. I've been all over the South Pacific and all over the Caribbean, and I love the whole tiki theme. ... My mother has her own travel agency out in Goochland, and I've been fortunate enough to go on 19 cruises in my lifetime.

When I originally bought the place almost four years ago, the only thing that was here was [a small deck]. Me and my buddy were sitting at an itty-bitty table on the corner of the old deck, and looking around the backyard thinking, "Wow, what can we do to make this place cool?" So I was like, "I wonder if we can build a tiki hut."

So we sketched it out on napkins over the course of a six-pack or so. Then we started thinking … maybe instead of having to buy a six-pack every time we want to hang out, maybe we should get a keg. And then, how do you keep the keg cold? Oh, OK, we'll get a kegerator. And then of course, we need a bar.

Then we're hanging out here, it was cold, we decided we need a heater. So we got this propane torch heater which we nicknamed "the Sun," and this gives heat and light so even on the coldest of nights you can stay warm under that. And if that's not warm enough for you, the hot tub here is always 102 to 104 degrees.

In the summertime when it gets really hot, we've got a banana-leaf fan up there with bamboo shades that will crank out some wind flow and put a nice breeze in the tiki hut. Typically I have about 30 to 40 plants out here. ... I try to keep it as lush and tropical as I can.

We've got palm thatching here [points to the roof]. You don't think tropical when you think of Oregon, but Oregon seemed to have the best deal on palm thatching, so it's imported straight out of tropical Oregon. HS


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