The Inside Man: Jarrett's Bungalow Bar

The Inside Man: Jarrett's Bungalow Bar

Maxwell Ryan
Aug 10, 2010
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Name: Jarrett Knox
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Style: Mid-Century Bungalow Bar

This is one of the most challenging of our Inside Man room redos, and we're nearing the final reveal! With the help of Valspar Paint, my team and I have been redesigning Jarrett's wood-paneled 'man cave.'

When I first saw Jarrett's basement, it was big, dirty, and dark, but it had a lot of potential to be a fun, laid-back space where Jarrett could host his regular poker game and have a drink with friends. Since that last meeting, there's been a lot of cleaning, priming, painting, striping, and filling the room with furniture to get it into shape. I'll post final photos of the room on Thursday, but until then, Jarrett's been sending me snapshots of the work so far. Here's a sneak peek of what's to come.

When I first met with Jarrett, we settled on a fairly bold direction for the bar. We planned on doing Paul Smith-style stripes around the room — one set in warm buff stripes around the majority of the room, and one set in bright orange, yellow, and blue stripes around the bar.

Jarrett and a friend in the basement after the walls have been painted
in the Tagsale Linen base color. They're sitting on a new (still wrapped) sofa.

I sent paint samples to Jarrett, and after he tried them on the walls, we could see that the lightest of the buff tones — the Tagsale Linen 3001-10C — would work well as a base for brightening the room. To keep the stripes from darkening or overwhelming the walls, we decided on a plan to use intermittent bands of Milk Toast 3001-10B and La Fonda Boulder 3001-10A.

The orange and yellow looked great in the bar area, but the blue was a little overwhelming, so we zeroed in on a pattern of alternating thick and thin stripes in Orange Fruit 2011-1 and Soft Duckling 3001-2A. The final orange/yellow pattern sets the bar apart and makes it a focal point but still ties it into the rest of the room, which is decorated in reds, oranges, and neutral furnishings.


Main Base Color
Tagsale Linen 3001-10C (light neutral for the walls)

Warm Buff Stripes
Milk Toast 3001-10B (darker neutral stripes)
La Fonda Boulder 3001-10A (darkest neutral stripes)

Bright Stripes
Orange Fruit 2011-1 (orange)
Soft Duckling 3001-2A (yellow)

My floorplan for four main zones: bar, lounge, game table, and poker area

The basement is HUGE, so there's a lot of space to fill. On my last visit, I divided the big empty room into four main zones: the bar (we're keeping Jarrett's cool orange bar stools), a banquette where we've added a poker table and chairs, a lounge area with space for sofa and chairs, and a game table.

We hadn't settled on what type of game table to choose during our first meeting. Pool, ping pong, foosball, shuffleboard? Serendipity made the choice for us — our stylist, Joe Maer, found a vintage air hockey table that was a perfect fit for the space. He snatched it up immediately, and Jarrett and his friends have been addicted to air hockey ever since it arrived.

Look for a full resource list on Thursday.

  • Glassware and barware for the bar area — we found these at vintage stores and CB2.
  • Lamps: Picked these up at various vintage stores.
  • Rugs: Originally, I thought we'd go with FLOR tiles, but we found some great area rugs that matched the room perfectly at CB2.
  • Sofa and chairs: We went with a sectional and two armchairs from CB2.
  • Air hockey table: Vintage, discovered at Jubilee Furniture, one of Jarrett's favorite thrift shops.
  • Cushions and pillows for poker seating on banquette: Custom-made and CB2.
  • Poker table and chairs: Vintage.
  • Trophies for trophy cabinet: Second-hand finds updated with a coat of Valspar Spray Paint.


  • Striping: This was the most significant painting project throughout the room, but it also makes the biggest difference. I'm really happy with the way the stripes turned out...stay tuned for big, beautiful photos on Thursday.

  • Painted Trophies: This is a really simple project but so much fun. We collected a bunch of trophies and accessories for Jarrett's trophy case and made them pop with a new coat of Valspar Spray Paint in Salsa Orange Gloss.

  • Painted Planter: Joe, our stylist, decided to decorate the built-in planter in the banquette area by filling it with a 'screen' of painted to come.

(You may also remember that we were planning on painting a large antique chest in bright red, but we nixed the idea — the room already has so much COLOR and lots of new furniture! Jarrett decided to spare the chest and put in on craigslist.)

The air hockey table is a big hit!

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 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: Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, Jarrett Knox
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