Introduction to the Bar

For the most part Brett and I really design and decorate our home and the spaces in it together. So it is not like our whole house is pink and Barbie themed. (pretty sure my nieces have whatever Barbies I once had, making it hard to really bring the theme to fruition. Also the fact that it would have that creepy-dolls-staring-at-you feeling, which you shouldn’t let get in the way of decorating, but I wanted the overall feeling of our house to be less being watched, and more homey.)

But it could be said that I had not fully let Brett bring one of his great loves into the aesthetics of our house.

Harry Potter.

Now I read and thoroughly enjoyed all of the Harry Potter books. I went to many midnight showings of the movies. (None of that had anything to do with thinking a certain 15 year old Brett was a total babe.) But alas my wand collection, signed movie posters and first edition print book collection was non-existent.

Not true for Brett. His love for Harry Potter runs deep. So deep that prior to ever getting engaged I made him promise me that we would not honeymoon in Orlando and go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. (Don’t worry we have since been twice.)

So all that being said, and loving my hubby the way I do, I agreed to let him do the bar up in all Harry Potter paraphernalia. But, being the wife that I am and being trepidatious that a part of our house would look like crazy town, we tackled it together.

Let me introduce you to the before:


This is how our basement looked on move in day 5 years ago. The bar is at the end of our family room on the right side. A few things to notice, yes, we once had a 100 gallon fish tank  in the wall. We no longer do, to the chagrin of some. Also the former owners were really into weird industrial sort-of shelf hanging things that couldn’t really support much weight.


You can see to the right in hunting orange is the laundry room and utility room which is all unfinished space. Through that little doorway is also our back stairs.

The bar was present when we bought the house, complete with a small sink, fridge and built in bar. Funny story about the sink… Before we ever decided to tackle this area of the house we’d occasionally use the sink to wash things or just get some water. We also happened to store all our paper bags from grocery shopping under the sink. Well at some point the long flexible tube that takes the water from the sink and drains right behind the wall into the basement floor drain, had become unhooked. And we didn’t notice. Until one day we opened the cabinet to add some more paper bags, noticed they were soaked and a whole slew of little flies swarmed out. Turns out it had probably been unhooked for a disgustingly long time. The moral of the story is the first thing we ever tackled for this area was painting the inside of the cabinets with Kilz because it seemed appropriate.

The other strange thing about this space was the counter tops themselves. They were made out of cheap common board and then “distressed.” The air quotes are because to distress the countertop they hit it with a hammer and also hammered the indent of screws in as well.

Here’s a closeup of the handiwork.


Sweet distressing right?

So apart from just decking it out in Harry Potter themed things, we had a few projects we wanted to tackle. We wanted to lose the yellowy beige wall color and paint the cabinets. You can’t see it in the before pictures, but on the fridge wall there is a slim countertop with cabinets below. All the wood in the basement is stained very dark and we were really looking to freshen it up.

The plan:  We had already painted the rest of the basement Benjamin Moore Palladian blue, which looks really nice and happy in a not terribly well lit space. We decided on Stratton blue, a slightly darker shade on the same strip for the walls of the bar.


The black is just a true black that we got from Sherwin Williams for the cabinets in a matte finish. Brett prefers to say flat black because apparently that’s what all the sweet cars are. I prefer Sherwin Williams for paint because they are usually cheaper and once they gave me a whole paint deck to borrow that I still haven’t returned, so I know all their colors. But I have to admit Benjamin Moore does have some perfect colors.

That’s also a little sneak peek of the counter top we landed on for the bar.

Prepare to be amazed next time at just how many Harry Potter things made it in and how it surprisingly doesn’t look like a complete joke.

Accio classy Harry Potter themed rooms!


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