After water damage forced a Barrington family to tear out their partially-finished basement, they took a moment to think about what their next steps would be. They saw their gutted basement as a fresh opportunity to maximize their square footage with a full basement remodel. Their idea of a finished basement included more than basic drywall and flooring. They dreamed of a finished laundry space, functional storage, and a secret speakeasy lounge.
Finding the Right Team
As they searched for a remodeling team to partner with, they found that their idea of a speakeasy didn’t hit home with other companies, until they spoke with ADS Lead Designer Claudia.
“We wanted to do something a little unique, a little different. We were researching companies in the area and we talked to a couple people, and Advance Design was the first one that understood the concept of what we were trying to do, especially in terms of the secret room. Talking to other designers about the whole ‘secret door’ idea and all those aspects of it, people just thought of a bar in the basement and that’s really not what the space is. Talking with Claudia, she understood what we were trying to accomplish,” our clients said.
Choosing a company that could handle the design, construction, and all the details in between was important to the homeowners, so Advance Design’s Common Sense Remodeling process was appealing to them.
Our clients envisioned a space to relax, enjoy a drink, and be reminded of their travels without having to leave home.
“The speakeasy idea came from our own travels. Finding those kinds of bars in various cities we’ve been to is something we’ve enjoyed doing, so the idea of bringing one into our own home was obviously appealing,” said the homeowners.
During the design process, Claudia worked with our clients to find the design solution that worked best for their basement. While the speakeasy was the main design feature of the basement, our clients also needed a functional laundry room, increased storage, and a main living area for hosting friends and family.
“Claudia was amazing during the whole process. She really understood what we were trying to do”, our clients said.
Claudia’s design solution included relocating the laundry appliances, closing off two doorways to make room for extra storage and the speakeasy, and adding other storage solutions throughout the basement. Maximizing square footage was important to our clients, and Advance Design’s layout reconfiguration and renderings gave the homeowners the ability to envision their new spaces before construction began.
Our clients enjoyed their experience working with ADS Project Manager Nick and his team throughout the construction phase.
“Understanding what was happening and what the timelines were going to be was great. Nick was available, when he was on site we could talk about where things were going and how we were progressing,” said our client.
The Secret Speakeasy
To gain extra ceiling height in the basement, the HVAC and some other mechanicals were reworked during the construction phase. This allowed for a full-sized Murphy door to cover the secret speakeasy entrance and took the idea of a secret room even further.
“We went with a classic, clean design for the majority of the basement to contrast the dramatic, old-world details we selected for the speakeasy,” said Claudia.
The left bookcase in the main living room serves as the secret entrance to the space. As the bookcase opens, the brick accent wall and deep red walls invite you to step in and be transported to an old-world cocktail lounge.
No speakeasy would be complete without a stunning (and well-stocked) wet bar. The bar features weathered brown Dura Supreme cabinets, sparkling black quartz countertops, and a hammered copper sink.
An antique mirror backsplash, shelves, and cabinet panels add old-world glamor to the space. Whether you fix a cocktail or grab something chilled from the beverage coolers before relaxing by the fire, the dark, inviting ambiance of this specialty space is truly one of a kind. The clients are thrilled with the way the speakeasy came together and have already enjoyed spending time in it!
“It’s always fun when clients come to us with unique ideas for their home. Specialty spaces are definitely becoming more popular, and this project was exciting for us to work on! We went all-in with brick accents, dark cabinetry, and authentic details in the speakeasy” said Claudia.
To hear from our clients and see more of this basement, check out this video!
Custom Storage Solutions
The new laundry room offers ample storage with custom cabinetry to fit the shelving beneath the stairs. Bright yellow and green printed wallpaper adds a cheerful element to the space.
The custom shelving in the basement pantry provides an organized home for extra kitchen appliances and dishware, and the ADS team built a second built-in shelving unit in the main living room with pocket lights to match an existing shelf.
Our clients are thrilled with their new basement and each unique space in it, and they enjoyed their experience working with the Advance Design team to bring their basement vision to life.
“The way that ADS operates definitely made the process as easy as it could be. The idea of having to do the permitting and find all the subcontractors myself…I mean, the work would have never gotten done. The ability to work through one point of contact really made the process achievable for us,” said our client.
Have a specialty space in mind to make your home uniquely yours? We’re ready to help bring your project to life! With our Common Sense Remodeling approach, the process of renovating your home has never been easier. Let’s get started! Call us at 847-836-2600 or schedule an appointment with one of our talented designers.