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Glamping with Style!

let me tell you about the time I turned a 20' X 20' party tent into a Glamping Tent!
Inspired by bedouin tents and high-end resort cabanas, I pulled simple elements together
and designed a temporary living space that ended up being a true show-stopper.
My late husband and I actually LIVED in this tent for four days,
at the Battle Ground, Washington BarnHouse vintage marketplace event in 2009!
[The other vendors at the show were the ones who dubbed it 'the Taj Ma Tent']

 The floorplan:
The bedchamber is on the top right.
The kitchen area is on the lower right.
The rest is lounge space!

The elements:
Canvas drop cloths, white netting curtains, and white vinyl tarps became walls and floors.
Lightweight / collapsible furnishings are plastic chairs, blow-up beds, and an old door + some sawhorses as a kitchen counter.
Candle lanterns, tap lights, and one killer chandelier provided light in the evenings.
A small metal Oriental coal heater held sections of a firelog to warm up our toes each morning.
A collapsible gas barbecue allowed us to cook our hosts a pretty nice meal, too!

The design:
[btw, those netting curtains looked really stunning when they were hanging loose... as shown below.
But it was so windy, they had to stay tied or they ended up a tangled mess.]
The BEST and most unexpected detail was the giant chandelier hanging from the apex of the tent!
And yes, it DID light up - thanks to a car battery temporary power supply.
During the two days that the BarnHouse Marketplace vintage event was open to the public, 
the meadows were filled with cars and other campers, and thousands of attendees & shoppers.
Many of them thought that the Taj Ma Tent had been created as a resting area for them!
Since we were off in our booth selling our wares, we didn't mind sharing.

Professional photographer Robin Laws took the preceding three photos of the Taj Ma Tent.
The last one appeared on the title page of her article about the BarnHouse event
in the Winter, 2010 issue of Somerset Life Magazine.

Now, it WAS a lot of work setting that baby up. And tearing her down.
But it was fun!

I'm sharing it with you because I think this idea is something anyone can do.
OK, maybe not as overboard as a 20X20... but what about using a 10X10 popup as your base?
Set up your own cabana in your backyard for summer entertaining and relaxing,
or get brave and actually take it to a campground or beach!

I used a 10X10 popup as the base for our tent for two years, and decorated it in a similar fashion...
The walls were canvas drop cloths, and a few shutter panels to let fresh air in. 
The door was mesh curtains. The floor was vinyl and canvas tarps.
Furnishings were a blow up bed, a few crates to hold stuff, and plastic lounge chairs.
No chandelier.
Much simpler. Much faster. But people still took a lot of photos!

Just goes to show that you can scale an idea up or down and make it work for your needs.
Now go be creative and get Glamping!!!

Find Robin Laws Photography here
Sadly, the BarnHouse Marketplace event is no longer in business.


  1. Fantastic, amazing, awesome, incredible, beautiful, I rest my case (via home talk)

  2. Amazing! Wow. Seriously, I want to go to there.

  3. I think you just created a sultans fantasy suite!


  4. What a gorgeous idea for creating one's own space with luxury in the outdoors! Such fun and creativity! Thanks for sharing! Hugs, Leena

  5. Could you please move back and decorate my house, yard and set up a tent like this for me?? Pretty please???
    You are so missed around here :(

    Hard to leave something like this up in WA, but I may give it a try!!!
    Can you give some more detail on how you hung things and how the battery worked? Having a wedding here next month and that would be really fun!

    1. Holly, the canvas and vinyl tarps were hung from the metal pipe tent frame using zipties through small holes.

      The chandelier was hung from a rope at the apex of the tent structure, using zipties. The electrical cord (with plug added)from the top of the chandelier was attached to a heavy-duty extension cord (construction grade)that was ziptied to one of the pipes running from the apex down to a 'leg' post. At the bottom of the post, there was a portable battery/car jumper unit that we plugged into. The charge on that provided two hours of electricity each night (we just plugged the unit into a plug in the barn during the show to re-charge it.)

      You can find similar battery/jumper units here: http://www.walmart.com/ip/14560016?wmlspartner=wlpa&adid=22222222227009222192&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=&wl3=13688577670&wl4=&wl5=pla&veh=sem. Hope that helps!