Pimp my speakeasy!
August 25, 2010 8:12 PM   Subscribe

I found a secret room in my apartment. How do I decorate it?

After coming in the door of my new one bedroom apartment, if you go up the spiral staircase to the loft, walk to the back of the closet and push the clothes aside, you will find a two foot wide, four foot high hole that leads to a secret room. Seriously!

The hole was covered with a piece of plywood when I moved in, and the room is 12 x 14 or so, with full height ceilings. The floor is raw plywood, the ceiling open rafters and the walls unfinished drywall. There are two round ducts that run along one wall. Rather than being practical and using it for storage, my significant other and I have decided that we want to use it as our speakeasy! The question is how to decorate it.

I am fine with theme ideas, but what I am really looking for is ideas for how to make it look awesome on a budget. My goal is to spend no more than a couple hundred dollars on all the decorating.

If it matters, I am in San Diego.
posted by cjemmott to Home & Garden (67 answers total) 104 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. Not to cramp your style or anything, but are you sure the room really is yours? First of all, does it have any other access points? 12 x 14 is an awfully big room, and it's hard to believe your landlord wouldn't put a little money into it and get more rent by turning your space into a bigger apartment. Maybe it's also connected to another unit and your landlord has plans to remodel?
posted by zachlipton at 8:19 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

The only rational thing to do is to turn it into a library. Full of gnostic texts if you can.
posted by asavage at 8:21 PM on August 25, 2010 [18 favorites]

The only rational thing to do is to turn it into a library. Full of gnostic texts if you can.

If you do this, you must put a bookshelf on a couple of casters and use it to block the entrance!
posted by vorfeed at 8:22 PM on August 25, 2010 [5 favorites]

For wall and ceiling hangings, fish netting is cheap and has instant tiki bar caché. Be sure to throw some dried starfishes (or plastic ones) in for spice.
posted by Scram at 8:23 PM on August 25, 2010

Does it have windows? What's under it? If you walk around on bare plywood, are you going to alert neighbors underneath, or are you underneath?

Pics or it didn't happen. Seriously. Take photos so we can advise how to decorate it. Please. Take photos.
posted by iconomy at 8:25 PM on August 25, 2010 [18 favorites]

Yes, yes, what iconomy said.
posted by amro at 8:27 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

Snow themed, surely, for your Narnia!!!
(But also, sigh, grownup questions about whether it's really yours).
posted by moxiedoll at 8:31 PM on August 25, 2010

I would put in a dentist's chair and then seal the entrance.
posted by parmanparman at 8:34 PM on August 25, 2010 [16 favorites]

Best answer: Black lights and fluorescent Pink Floyd posters and bean bag chairs and shag carpets.

There are some interesting ideas here, some of which might fit in with the speakeasy plan.
posted by amro at 8:36 PM on August 25, 2010

Best answer: First, cover the walls in aluminum foil, shiny side out. Then purchase some sodium halide lights, plastic tubs, flexible tubing, and....

Oh. You want to decorate it, not restore it to its former purpose.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:36 PM on August 25, 2010 [43 favorites]

Fake snow, lamp post and White Witch. but what zachlipton said.
posted by holgate at 8:36 PM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]

The youngest daughter of these people I know who live in a castle (no, seriously, the place has turrets) has a secret room like this beyond her closet. It's the empty space over the garage. They decorated it in exaggerated dollhouse style, so you feel like you've shrunk when you go in the room. (This effect was accomplished mostly through the angled stripes they put on the walls and the vaulted ceilings.) Anyway, it was really cool.

Definitely paint it an extremely bright color that you wouldn't put in a real room.

Also, this is the coolest thing ever, and the seven-year-old me who used to hide out in her tiny closet all day pretending there was a huge secret room on the other side is sooooo jealous.
posted by phunniemee at 8:42 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Secret rooms are secret for a reason. GET OUT NOW! Strip off all of your clothes and bathe in the sea. Then rub yourself all over with sage. Burn 3 of your favorite books. Stand in front of the entrance to the secret room and make a circle from the ash of the burned books. Step into the circle. Are you still naked? Good! Stand still for three days with your back to the secret room. No matter what you hear or FEEL, DO NOT TURN AROUND. After the three days, break the circle and rub yourself with the ash. Congratulations! You are purified!

Nah. Cover the walls with old 70s rock posters, get some big cushy pillows, a blacklight and a hookah and turn it into a den of iniquity.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:49 PM on August 25, 2010 [11 favorites]

Mad Scientist Laboratory Speakeasy. Lab benches, colored bubbly lit up fluids in beakers and flasks, titration tubes (filled with liquor). And lab coats for all in attendance.

Damn I want a secret room.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:49 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Someone I know built a secret speakeasy in his house. He put in a disco ball, pool table, some comfortable chairs, small fridge, a bar. Sometimes it creeps people out because they think he's kidnapping them and locking them in there. Others find it...titillating.

I know someone else who put in a dentist's chair and an old USED electric chair and a bed. That seriously freaked out a lot of people.
posted by la ninya at 8:59 PM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: The rooms (there are two!) are actually ours, and are above our bathroom and the elevator. The property maintenance guy removed the cover for us, and told us that people had previously used it for storage. It is a big L shaped building, and we are in the corner unit, so this is the only one like it in the complex. No windows and no shared access (in fact our access is just a hole sawed through the wall and one stud taken out).

Pictures are here and a video here.
posted by cjemmott at 9:04 PM on August 25, 2010 [14 favorites]

-Beanbag chairs stuffed in a satin or velveteen duvet cover, serving as a chaise lounge
-Go to your local fabric store and get some scrap fabric for the walls, or fun flimsy glittery fabrics to hang from the rafters for a boudoir look, or fake fur
-One tiny round table with two chairs. Buy cheapo chairs and paint them brown, cover the ratty table with a bright white tablecloth all the way to the floor (inspiration)
-Wine bottles with drippy candles (keep a fire extinguisher handy!)
posted by gemmy at 9:05 PM on August 25, 2010

If it were mine (and oh how I wish, I wish, I wish I found a secret room in my house!) I'd prime and paint the walls, see if I could get a cheap carpet remnant for the floor, then fill it with giant floor pillows for lounging. Congrats on your super cool find!
posted by cecic at 9:14 PM on August 25, 2010

Personally, I would setup a Faraday cage and high-tech surveillance to the rest of the apartment. You can both be come reclusive like Gene Hackman's character in Enemy of the State (1998), and begin publishing conspiracy pamphlets.
posted by ironghost at 9:15 PM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]

Thanks for the video, so jealous of you. With the unfinished walls and the beamed ceilings and all the wood and the lack of windows, I would go with a rathskeller look. Your decor would be browns and blues, with beer steins, barrels, beer trays on the walls, antlers, beer bottle collection....that sort of thing. Very "alpine man cave". pic pic pic
posted by iconomy at 9:21 PM on August 25, 2010

Stick a Catholic priest in there to save him from Elizabeth I's persecution.
posted by orthogonality at 9:22 PM on August 25, 2010 [12 favorites]

The closet entry does sort-of scream Narnia! I'd hang paper snowflakes from the ceiling in pretty shiney papers, paint the walls white with some murals of fir trees, find a carpet remnant for the floor (also white!) and throw around some big pillows or bean bag chairs (also white! they're snowdrifts!)

In one corner I'd make a "cave" area and put the beer there. That's where Mr. Tumnus lives, duh!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:26 PM on August 25, 2010 [5 favorites]

beat me to the preist hole fun did ya...

vent shaft for bong hits
a copy of Damnation Alley on loop
a poster of marlo thomas
danish furniture
lotsa damsk
posted by clavdivs at 9:29 PM on August 25, 2010

The important thing for a speakeasy is that you'll need a bouncer or doorman at the door.

Personally I recommend a life-size cardboard standup of Captain Kirk. Or Quark, if such a thing exists.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:31 PM on August 25, 2010 [5 favorites]

Best answer: You're probably dreaming. I have this dream all the time, stemming from the fact that my apartment is the size of a milk carton. I recommend you do NOT pee until you wake up; it won't end well.

On the off chance that this isn't a dream (OMG LUCKY!), then I think you should:
Light it with white christmas lights and red bulbs.
Hang paper lanterns.
Paint the walls furthest from the entrance in dark colours (I'd pick wine red, but chocolate brown, deep grey, or black would be good too) to make the space look even larger- the dark colour will make that wall seem to recede.
Leave the rafters unpainted, they look great.
Keep the colours within one colour family. My instinct would be to go warm- crimson, burgundy, maybe gold and chestnut as accents.
Install a sliding slot at the entrance and make your guests use passwords!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:34 PM on August 25, 2010 [9 favorites]

How very, very cool! I always wished I had a secret room in my house.

I also love the Narnia theme idea - especially since the access is through the closet!
posted by SisterHavana at 9:34 PM on August 25, 2010

Kill room. Picture of Harry in the corner will really tie it together.
posted by sanko at 9:41 PM on August 25, 2010 [7 favorites]

Definitely there must be a lamppost to be seen as soon as you go through!
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 9:51 PM on August 25, 2010

Fill it with mattresses and soft cozy blankets and make it your secret nap room.

(I am so bleeding jealous...a secret room! You're the luckiest person in the world!!)
posted by contessa at 9:51 PM on August 25, 2010

Best answer: First, clear out absolutely everything from that room. Completely empty and remove the light fixtures. Paint walls a dark rich burgundy.

Now here's what you do:

In the exact geometric center of the room place two metal folding chairs. New, matte grey, spotless and pristine. When you fold them they don't make a sound. Behind the two chairs is a single floor lamp. All metal, also grey. No embellishments of any kind. This is a lamp that provides light in the most efficient no nonsense way possible. Preferably made in Germany. The lamp is named Dieter.

In between the two chairs, a small upside down wooden apple crate. Painted, but dull and chipped. The logo of a farm is present. On the crate there are two high quality lead crystal tumblers. Ornate, but not ostentatious.

Along the wall opposite the chairs there is a shelf made of two paint cans and a wooden plank. The plank has been lovingly sanded, but not varnished. The paint cans are used. The shelf is named Sue Ellen.

Perfectly centered on the shelf are the following:
-The Balvenie Doublewood, 12 year
-The Macallan Sherry Oak, 25 year
-Talisker, 18 year

Fin. This is a secret room that does not fuck around. Drinks in here are neat, or they aren't at all. This room is about class, distinction, and fine, fine beverages.

Welcome to your speakeasy, cjemmott. No one gets in without a suit.
posted by tracert at 9:59 PM on August 25, 2010 [77 favorites]

Rafters are neato - don't touch them.
I concur with cheap white walls, but lots of fairy & christmas lights strung midway down walls (so much nicer than top-down), and weird murals of cut out pictures and posters, and beanbags. And any rugs you can get.

If the lighting is good (low, gentle), and there is music, people will come...

You then throw a Party with a Secret Party inside it. Secret identity theme?

I was wondering if it was going to be one of those secret prayer room things, I had friends with a room like that, that was accessed through a door in the back of a wardrobe. Orthdox-something-western-christian tradition? I've forgotten?
posted by Elysum at 10:07 PM on August 25, 2010

So first off sweet! That is so my post-Narnia childhood dream.

Second, paint all the walls dark, black (Like Soot) or at least a dark gray. Then paint the floors white.

Then add in wood pieces. Like the bar and stools. Plus some color. Ebay and Etsy will be good for this.
posted by grapesaresour at 10:17 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

PS I just wanted to say I have nothing to do with the Door Sixteen blog, even though I just referenced it twice. It's just really what I would do if I had a house and a lot more patience.
posted by grapesaresour at 10:20 PM on August 25, 2010

Pleasure dungeon?
posted by 2oh1 at 10:24 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

pseudostrabismus: Me too! At least 40% of the dreams I remember involve finding secret rooms, either in my own house or in another dream-house or dream-apartment I've just moved into. So jealous of cjemmott!

I'm thinking crushed green velvet curtains separating this space from the ones further back, and medium-blue painted walls to give it a cool feeling. (Given that this space doesn't look like it has much ventilation -- maybe I'm wrong -- it might get stuffy on summer days, and cool-tone decor will help, at least psychologically. A quiet fan and air purifier would be good, too, I assume.) And art prints from the '20s, to add to the speakeasy vibe.
posted by lisa g at 10:59 PM on August 25, 2010

S&M dungeon. The only issue is that for shock value, you'll have to leave it decorated when you move out.
posted by milqman at 11:09 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'd focus on the entrance. Make it magic, not just a hole in the drywall. I love the wardrobe idea. Or go Dr. Who and create a fake red phonebooth in your closet as the entrance.
posted by zippy at 11:36 PM on August 25, 2010

Hi tracert,

That was a fucking awesome answer.

cjemmott: you might want to consider how to ventilate the place properly if there's going to be shisha and other activities occurring in the secret chamber.
posted by nihraguk at 12:25 AM on August 26, 2010

I know you asked about a speakeasy, but I would seriously consider making it a simple home theater, if you can get some power in there. No windows, decent size, and your TV/gear won't be taking up valuable space in the apartment. The other practical idea I'd have would be a hobby room...do your or your partner have some sort of hobby that they enjoy but takes up tons of space? An answer to your prayers, right there.

If you are just looking to make it a room to relax in with a drink: Forest clearing. Stadium turf on the floor over some foam padding. Walls painted with silhouettes of trees in black on a dark blue background. Finish the ceiling, dark blue. And then a home planetarium projector.
posted by maxwelton at 1:38 AM on August 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

paint it really dark grey, sit on the floor and read House of Leaves
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:55 AM on August 26, 2010 [5 favorites]

Human skeletons, duh.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:03 AM on August 26, 2010

This is damn exciting stuff... PLEASE post photos of the finished product! My two cents worth is below:

~ Paper the walls with overlapping sheets of newspaper. As it ages it will become beautifully yellowed. At this point you could apply judicious amounts of gold-leaf and varnish.
~ Hang framed pictures on the wall
~ Cover the floor with assorted Persian rugs, again overlapping where necessary.
~ Find at least one old club chair and footstool. Maybe a rocking chair too. Other seating can be large cushions and small footstools.
~ Integrate white fairy lights somehow (making sure they are not a fire hazard, of course).
~ Have a bookshelf with books on the lower shelves and your drinks selection on the top shelf.
~ Get a record player and some old records!

have fun with this!
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 3:38 AM on August 26, 2010

I had what amounted to a secret room in a former apartment. I made it into a pillow room -- like the kind you may have wanted when you were a kid. The floor was completely covered with pillows. I didn't have a lot of money, so I used patterned tissue paper, leftover fabric, colored flower-shaped lights, and whatever else appropriate doodads I could find, to create the suggestion of some luxurious harem thing.

The moral of the story is, I liked it so much that I ended up sleeping in it a lot of the time. Pillow Room Parties were a thing for a while, in my friends group. So this idea isn't really speakeasy material, but it IS glorious.
posted by Coatlicue at 4:41 AM on August 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

Make the room, or at least part of it, into a giant ball pit. Because you can.
posted by cerebus19 at 4:50 AM on August 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

This is your chance to recreate the secret underground cinema/bar in Paris.
posted by haplesschild at 5:22 AM on August 26, 2010

Whoah, I just had a secret room dream last night! (And IRL, I also had an old New Orleans apartment with a secret staircase; it led to my upstairs neighbor's place, and we were friends — so took great delight in visiting each other via secret staircase instead of the regular building stairs.)

If "speakeasy" is the theme, I'd go full-tilt with a '20s thing: chandelier, potted palm, Tiffany(esque) lamp, deco wallpaper (maybe on only one wall, and paint the others) — or lux drapes all around! Maybe black and white checkerboard vinyl floor tiles with a great rug... Make it an ongoing project to pick up objets from flea markets and sidewalk sales that will fit your time-travel space. You could even put together fun Roaring '20s outfits for hanging out in your high-class Speakeasy while sipping Gin Fizzes, Sidecars and Negronis.
posted by taz at 5:23 AM on August 26, 2010

Best answer: Just don't make it look like a college dorm room. No Christmas lights (they're a fire hazard anyway) or paper lanterns or neon sculptures or cheap posters. Your secret room deserves better than that!
posted by limeonaire at 6:07 AM on August 26, 2010 [5 favorites]

Set up faux stone walls and a cask of Amontillado.
posted by plinth at 6:22 AM on August 26, 2010

Oh man, that's so awesome!

I would probably line it with bookshelves full of books and vinyl, have some comfy seating arrangments, a cool rug, a record player and a CD player.

Or turn it into an art/hobby room.

Maybe a home theater room with a projector screen and some seating.

Actually, it would probably end up as my boyfriend's music/guitar room.
posted by KogeLiz at 6:31 AM on August 26, 2010

Clearly this is the place in which you will build your "laser beam" to shoot down satellites and hold the world for ransom.

Try secret as in "secret agent" '60s decor, of course.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:42 AM on August 26, 2010

You could use wood to make a benches and tables and platforms, all at different heights. Then carpet the whole room. Then have someone come in to carpet the whole room. Walls. Floor. New sitting/serving areas. You have a room full of angles and surfaces and sprawly loungy goodness. If you use curvy plywood you can get some fabulous loungy areas. If you add pillows...

I would want to build shelves and cabinets with hiding places built into them - false fronts, hidden compartments, rotating elements.

You could use fabric to cover the walls instead of paint. I'd use velcro strips to attach them at top and bottom (as opposed to gluing them to the walls) which would be easier to undo when/if you move out.
posted by julen at 6:43 AM on August 26, 2010

I'm thinking a chintzy "Oriental" theme, like a Chinese restaurant in Nebraska, circa 1973. Deep red with gold and black accents, a silk screen as a door, giant paper fans on the walls, paper lanterns, oriental rug, and a low, dark wood table with big cushions around it to sit on.

Serve sake, Singapore slings, Kamikazes, and Chinese takeout.

The best part is most of this can be acquired cheaply at a place like World Market or Pier One

(runner-up idea: Tiki Bar)
posted by castlebravo at 6:45 AM on August 26, 2010

We have an extra bedroom in our house, and rather than turn it into a guest bedroom that gets used maybe twice a year (and since you have to go through this room to get from the kitchen to the back yard/deck) we are turning it into a bar, eventually. Thought you might want to hear what we're doing.

So far it only has a bookshelf with books that are good for just picking up and leafing through. But we want to get this cool bar/liquor storage piece from World Market. The styling isn't exactly "speakeasy" but I love the way it holds your stemware and liquor and stuff, and it also has the table top that folds out so you can sit at it like a bar with some tall stools.

We also plan to get a pair of club chairs with a side table or coffee table. And a circle or otherwise not-rectangle-shaped super shaggy white rug.

It's painted Bright Fucking Orange, because we like crazy colors, and the floors are a medium-dark stained hardwood. If I were going for a speakeasy vibe I might do something darker, maybe like a dark purple.
posted by misskaz at 6:59 AM on August 26, 2010

I don't have any specific ideas, but please, when you're done, be sure to post an update! Cuz this is seriously awesome.
posted by notswedish at 7:11 AM on August 26, 2010

First you must put something creepy in there - like an old clown doll with its face to a corner, and nothing else. Every time a friend comes to check out your place, pretend you are just discovering it.

"Hey," You can say, "What the hell is this? Ohmygod, I think this is like a secret room or something. Come check it out."

After you've scarred most of your friends for life, go ahead and turn it into a fun room or whatever.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:20 AM on August 26, 2010 [19 favorites]

I too think you need to go full on Roaring Twenties Speakeasy.

To do this correctly you've got to have dual purpose for everything, just in case the coppers come to bust you.

Poker Table that flips over to be a chess board (or some other mild game)
A dart board that flips over to be a picture of kittens, or the American flag
You've got to find some way to hide the booze too. Maybe a curtain along one wall that can completely cover the shelves with the alcohol.

You can leave the floor and walls rough, it'll add to the experience. Just make sure all the fun stuff can be hidden. When you bring friends in for the first time they might be a little disappointed until you slowly reveal the coolness.
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:41 AM on August 26, 2010 [4 favorites]

Whoa, I am so jealous. This lady is the featured seller on Etsy, and her lamps would be perfect for your little speakeasy!
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:06 AM on August 26, 2010

The landlord probably didn't use it as part of the apartment because it is not up to code for use as a living space. That doesn't mean you can't use it. I'm sure it could get stuffy and hot there in the midst of summer especially with no windows and no insulation. It also looks like you need to cord in your electricity so don't overload it or your extension cord could get very hot.
posted by JJ86 at 8:54 AM on August 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

For the speakeasy walls - paint them a dark red. Not burgundy, more like a blood red. Then mix some Elmer's glue with water and thin to the consistency of thick milk. Slap that on the walls with a big paint brush, and lay sheets of white tissue paper on top of it. Don't worry about it being perfect, just kind of slap them on there. Brush more glue mixture over the tissue paper. This should cause the tissue to become transparent, and also to wrinkle up. (This is a good thing.) Let it dry, then brush over all the tissue paper lightly with a metallic gold or copper glaze. (You can get a small container of glaze and thin it tremendously with clear glaze for this project.) The idea is to let the glaze catch in the wrinkles and spaces, not to completely cover everything with gold glaze. The effect should be mostly dark red, but with glints of gold. When it's all done, you should be left with a look that I've always referred to as "New Orleans Whorehouse". Paint any baseboards or other trim very dark brown.

I like the lights that two lights above the sea recommends, or see if you can find strings of lights that look like bare bulbs. Put dark drapes on any windows, or just hang some to give the impression of windows. Maybe only illuminate one side of the room, so that there are lots of dark corners on the other side. On the dark side of the room, put a mannequin dressed in some funky vintage clothes.

I, too, am extremely jealous. Please invite us all to the party!
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:02 AM on August 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

Secret room/Speakeasy? Who are you and why are you having my fantasy?

I'd say, faux-finish two walls to look like old bricks painted white, maybe with an arch detail on at least one, and one wall painted dark red facing one dark green wall. Find small tables with square tops, on them place drippy candles in large-bowled wineglasses; and find a few retro chairs and stools. Add few wall sconces or other indirect lighting, and a red spotlight on one wall - and hang a few straw-covered bottles of chianti. Decorate with retro art house and b- movie posters. Throw in a skull or three over an arch, hang a skeleton or two (one, perhaps, in a striped boatneck shirt) and place a narrow bar along one wall and leave egghead books lying around for folks to read... though you can't likely fit a piano in there, you might want to invite The English Beat and I'll happily come dressed as the girl in the green and black striped top and dance, okay?
posted by peagood at 9:06 AM on August 26, 2010

I'm definitely drinking with tracert.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:15 AM on August 26, 2010

Fill it with bottled water and cans of beans in expectation of the End
posted by A189Nut at 10:22 AM on August 26, 2010

a two foot wide, four foot high hole that leads to a secret room

Decorate it with framed pictures of John Malkovich at various ages.
posted by Wet Spot at 2:49 PM on August 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

We had a large-ish (maybe 18 X 20) lanai (screened patio) in our previous rental. We opted for a speakeasy... in Arabia!! More like an opium den, I suppose.

Flowing beige curtains covering all the walls and ceilings; lots of overlapping rugs; low comfortable seating; rich dark "royal" colors; ottomans, bellydancing scarves lined with coins pinned up everywhere; metallic trays, lots of metal actually: bronze-like tureens, pots, bowls; and candles everywhere, glowing mostly through red/orange glass.

And a huge hookah. Okay, we didn't have a hookah, but not for lack of trying.
We called it, the Maghrebian Room. It was magical.

Not only was it comfortable, it was exotic in the best sense.
Put on some authentic indigenous arabic music.
Like stepping into another world.
posted by Jezebella at 6:12 PM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

Oh man, you lucky duck.

San Diego Freecycle for furniture, mirrors, fabric, old window frame to make a fake window.

How a speakeasy looked in ye olde days

Brick wallpaper l at Home Depot

Red and white check tablecloth

Self adhesive mirror tiles and how to make a windowless room feel more light

Home Depot fan.

Cheap lighting

Ideas for painting the walls with trompe l'oeil

Sci-fi zen speakeasy

Ideas for hanging fabric from the ceiling (Moroccan speakeasy)

Trompe l'oeil speakeasy furniture

Maybe a fake window poster for the smaller room

NYC's best known speakeasy, '21', has toys hanging from the ceiling (symbols of famous companies). It might be fun to hang stuff from your speakeasy rafters at time goes by.
posted by nickyskye at 12:42 AM on August 28, 2010

If you are going with a speakeasy theme, might I suggest a small framed photo of Bricktop to round out the effect, a la the Sinatra arrest photo in the back room of the Badabing?
posted by Diablevert at 9:22 PM on August 28, 2010

My "Moroccan Speakeasy"
...in case you needed visual inspiration.
Scroll through!

I need another large lanai..
posted by Jezebella at 4:16 PM on August 29, 2010

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