After crushing it in the Brigham Basement for weeks, my sophisticated and moody deco lounge is finally complete!! What was once the dingiest of dungeons has been restored into a luxe and livable lair, one my husband and I may never leave.
With a steady balance of noteworthy thrifts and a curation of fine furnishings from Joybird, this basement has transformed from seriously drab to ridiculously fab. This wasn’t a renovation, it was a restoration, and it shows what a can-do attitude, a whole lotta paint and finding just the right furnishings can really do.
Let’s take a step back to review the vision and where this whole shebang started:
THE DESIGN BOARD
THE NEW DECO LOUNGE
Buh bye creeps and crumbles, and hello class and character! The basement is an oft-utilized space in the Brigham Craftsman, especially for my firefightin’ hubby to kick back and relax after a hard day’s work. The goal: create a chic, yet comfortable lounge inspired by our favorite city cigar bar doubling as a place to unwind or a speakeasy-like spot to invite over the guys.
THE DOWN AND DIRTY
There were a few challenges to tackle right off the bat. The beautiful wood beams were caked in peeling paint and the walls crumbling down. After a few week’s of sanding beams with an angle grinder (dirtiest job ever) and painting old stone basement walls by hand, the lounge finally had a habitable foundation and started to take shape.
Also darling, how marvelous is this custom wall color I created at my local hardware store? Calling this one Brigham Green.
Fortunately this old home’s rocking central air, but unfortunately the aluminum ducts that accompany are rather unsightly. Once the beams were cleaned up, a bit of brown spray paint and fishing line helped to blend these silver tubes out of view.
LUXE FINDS AND FURNISHINGS
In true JB fashion, it wouldn’t be a proper space without a healthy mix of modern furnishings alongside top-notch thrifts. This approach adds a striking layer of rich character and helps save those shekels for desired furniture worth the investment.
Christopher’s always craved a swanky Chesterfield-style sofa, and the Bree Leather Sofa is the well appointed luxury of his dreams. Lavish to look at and outrageously comfortable to curl up on, this sofa is made with high-class leather and sumptuously soft to the touch. Confident this ritzy piece is going to be around for a looong time. Not to mention, this swanky sofa and the solid concrete Hugo Coffee Table look dang fine side-by-side.
Unassumingly by design, the lounge doubles as the home’s TV room. Considering layout and placement, it was apropos to bring in oversized swivel chairs for coziness and boob tube viewing ease. The Nova Leather Swivel Chairs accomplish just that with a magnificent touch of moodiness attached.
Adding texture and contrast, the marble top of the Emmeline Accent Table is a perfect accessory to enjoy said plushness with a nightcap.
What truly takes this design to the next level: contemporary furnishings flanked by five-star finds (and choice low light plants, obvy). Scouring the internet, I procured two primo finds: a tiger oak mantel ($200) and solid mahogany bar ($250). The mantel is enhanced by the serendipitous gift of a neighbor who wished for a fireplace years ago—behold the vintage light-up fire logs. And, they crackle!! Like a car fire if you ask my husband. 😂
Additional thrifty embellishments include the beaded palm curtain ($20), oversized 10-ft. by 16-ft. natural fiber rug ($180!!) and artwork from the set of the show Boardwalk Empire (old score, probably $80 for both).
For now, this project focused on restoring one half of the basement. To compartmentalize the lounge area—and up the ante on the speakeasy motif—the black and white prohibition era tapestry from Society6 is a sensible solution to divide the space while also adding a tremendous visual impact.
THE WORKBENCH AREA
Inconspicuously happening on the side, the workbench area in the Brigham Basement has been given new life. Painting the walls, rearranging the layout and knocking down superbly unnecessary studs from who-knows-what-and-when helped make this workspace much more practical and user-friendly. Gimme sumthin’ to build, yo!! 🔨
My favorite part: the storage jars. My grandfather, Giacomo, was a carpenter and he passed away years before I was born. I’m self-taught on all things DIY, and I often feel he whispers the deets in my ear. In my childhood home, Giacomo’s garage workshop was relatively untouched and I remember playing with hardware he stored in old baby food jars. Just a small homage to him and my memories.
There you have it! A modern-day speakeasy full of charm and character while holding down the cozy. It’s been seven years sorting out the direction of this space. After drafting a design plan, seven dedicated weeks later and she’s D-U-N, done!! This swanky retreat offers the Brigham Craftsman so much more valuable square footage and is definitely a perf place to host a kickass party.
Looking to revive your dingy, dirty and damp basement? Make the timeline, have patience and go in it with gusto. You got this. 🤘🏻
Remi Semi-Flush Mount | Mitzi
We Want Beer Tapestry | S6
Monkey Business Tray | S6
Walter Crane Swan Pillows | S6
Evil Eye Coasters | S6
Green Velvet Curtains
Pleated Velvet Throw Pillows
Ivory Knit Throw Blanket (similar)
Tiger Oak Mantel
Boardwalk Empire Artwor
Beaded Palm Curtain
Natural Fiber Rug
Brass Champagne Bucket & Stand
This post is sponsored in part by Joybird. All thoughts, opinions, quirky thoughts and outlandish commentary are that of my own. Big, fat aces to the companies that continue to support this creative dream.