The Big Reveal! Jarrett's Bungalow Bar

The Big Reveal! Jarrett's Bungalow Bar

Maxwell Ryan
Aug 12, 2010
Sponsored Post

Name: Jarrett Knox
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Style: Mid-Century Bungalow Bar

I had so much fun doing this basement bar redesign with Valspar Paint and the homeowner, Jarrett. He wanted something bright and not too serious — the kind of place where he could host parties and poker nights.

Over the last five weeks, my team and I have been creating a fabulous 60s throwback to the golden age of basement bars. Check out larger photos and links to a before and after slideshow below the jump, and get inspired!

Jarrett's basement was covered wall-to-wall in dark wood paneling. I wanted to highlight the vertical lines of the paneling but brighten it up quite a bit, so we settled on an offbeat stripe that goes around the room and really pops around the bar area. The main walls were painted with a beautiful canvas color that lightened the room tremendously, and the stripes are a series of neutrals and oranges. (At the last minute, we also decided to throw in a few extra stripes around the bar in an orange color called Spring Squash 2008-1B as a final touch.)

Orange Fruit 2011-1 - orange stripes
Soft Duckling 3001-2A - yellow stripes
Tagsale Linen 3001-10C - base canvas color
Milk Toast 3001-10B - darker neutral stripes
La Fonda Boulder 3001-10A - darkest neutral stripes

Jarrett's basement bar before

Paint was the key to this makeover. The canvas color makes the room feel much more open, and the various stripes keep things interesting. They make a bold statement around the bar and set the color palette for the rest of the room.

Jarrett's bar and rec room after

I love this photo. Wouldn't it be fun to have a party in this room? The bar's been outfitted with the full 1960s treatment: retro shakers, glassware, and cocktail sets.

Jarrett and his wife, Catherine, have already begun using the room for small get-togethers. Jarrett emailed me yesterday with this quick note: "The basement looks great — we had a few friends over last night, and they were blown away!"

"When you first suggested stripes around the room, I was really nervous. When the first coat of the base color went up, I thought we should just stop with that. But, I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. The lighter colors and vertical stripes definitely make the room feel larger. It's something I never would have come up with on my own, but I really like the subtle color changes between stripes and the way it brightens up the room."

When I asked Jarrett about his favorite feature, he said, "I really like the new poker area. It's amazing what adding a table and new light fixture can do for that corner of the room."

"This room never got a lot of use before. It was dark, dirty, and frankly a little scary. We've already started using the room to hang out with friends, and we're looking forward to having parties and hanging out with large groups."

Thanks, Jarrett, and I'm so glad you like it!

In addition to the striping, there are lots of smaller paint projects around the room that offer DIY inspiration. The items in the trophy case have been coated with Valspar Spray Paint in Salsa Orange Gloss and Orange Gloss. You might remember the odd wood-chip planter (see the before here) which we restyled by filling with a 'screen' of branches coated in Porcelain White Gloss Spray Paint.

A HUGE thank you to Jarrett and his wife, Catherine, for doing much of the basement cleaning and a few key repairs themselves. They helped us lay the groundwork for all of the painting and furnishing that came later. Thanks also to our painters, Reliable Decorating, who did the main walls, and to Josh Cooper for his excellent work on the striping. Special thanks to Joe Maer for all his scouting, shopping, and styling, and to our photographer, Jim Franco, whose work shows off the space beautifully.

  • All paint courtesy of Valspar Paint
  • Sofa — Mellow Sectional from CB2
  • Rug No. 1 — Switchback from CB2
  • Rug No. 2 — Marimba from CB2
  • Patterned pillow — Stardust from CB2
  • Orange pillow — Crate & Barrel Outlet
  • Vintage coffee table — Edgewater Antique Mall
  • Vintage lamps next to sofa — Brown Elephant
  • New handmade lamp shades — Benko Lamps
  • Bowl on coffee table — Edgewater Antique Mall
  • Elephant statue — Jarrett's
  • Orange bar stools — Jarrett's
  • Martini glasses — Jarrett's
  • Thriller orange double old-fashioned glass — CB2
  • Vintage bottle holder and vintage hi-ball glasses — Edgewater Antique Mall
  • Aluminum ice bucket and bar tools — Brown Elephant
  • Orange vases — Broadway Antique Mall, Edgewater Antique Mall, Ravenswood Antique Mall
  • Disco ball — Target
  • Dart board — Sports Authority
  • Trophies — White Elephant and Brown Elephant
  • Rackets, balls, bat — Play it Again Sports
  • Orange/red dining chairs — Broadway Antique Mall
  • Round wood table with chrome legs — Jubilee Furniture
  • Cushions on banquette — Custom-made
  • Sticks — Ikea
  • Beige side chairs with chrome legs — Gypsy (going out of business sale)
  • 60s large orange ceramic table lamp — Lincoln Ave. Antique Mall with Benko lampshade
  • Air Hockey Table — Jubilee Furniture
  • Wall Clock — Ikea

We've teamed up with Valspar Paint to create The Inside Man, a special feature dedicated to daily (Monday — Friday) posts from Apartment Therapy and GQ about men's color conundrums and style questions. From sofas with cup holders to brilliant bachelor pads, we're focusing on the décor dilemmas men often bring to us.

Jarrett's Bungalow Bar: Phase 3 - The Progress Report
Jarrett's Bungalow Bar: Phase 2 - The Prescription
Jarrett's Bungalow Bar: Phase 1 - Local Inspiration
• Read more about guy style at
• Check out GQ's guide to guy style at

Photos: Jim Franco
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