Kate Pearce Vintage Tackles a Basement Speakeasy | ORC Spring 2021: Week 1


PHEW. I thought about leaving this blog post at that one word and calling it a day. We are diving headfirst into our FIFTH consecutive One Room Challenge this season, and all I can say is these things are addictive. Our very first ORC was a five-month-long complete gut job and renovation of our kitchen. Thankfully, we learned a whole lot during that journey. Here we are, two years later, armed with WAY more knowledge about electrical work, plumbing, design, blogging, etc. and we’re feeling READY this time around.


For those of you who are new around here, I’ll offer up a quick intro. My husband, Billy, and I have been renovating our 1910 Long Island home for four years now. When we bought this home, we had never tackled a renovation project. Billy works a day job in finance and always had a passion for the hammer. And me? I was recovering from pretty much a straight decade of surgeries and hospitalizations. Truly, this home would prove to be a passion project that would heal us as we repaired it.


Today, we have an extra exciting project to announce: the addition of a SPEAKEASY space in our basement. Billy has always loved brewing beer and hosting poker nights. Sadly, having a spot to do those things has always proved challenging. Our goal in tackling this speakeasy space is to create a swanky space to entertain (especially for poker nights), and to accommodate Billy’s beer brewing hobby.

Like every other ORC of ours, we started early. We broke ground on this project about a month ago as the buildout process couldn’t start until we did some demo. Our basement was completely unfinished with locust poles for support, concrete floors, lots of crickets, and even more spider webs. Despite it being a disaster, there were a few original features of our basement that we wanted to keep, and even highlight. Namely, the exposed wood beams and locust poles.


As you can imagine, this basement is quite dark. We have fairly small egress windows that don’t invite too much light into the space. Rather than fight the realities of this quasi-dungeon, we’ve decided to work with it. Because, if nothing else, a speakeasy is supposed to be moody and secretive. I would have loved to leave the ceilings the original wood, but half of it had already been primed. This left us with design challenge numero uno: what to do about that half-primed ceiling.

The second design challenge entails giving a nod to the speakeasy era, while keeping the room feeling fresh and modern. Luckily, art deco is definitely on-trend right now. I’ll be using some modern interpretations of 1920s art deco designs, combined with some authentic vintage….all with a bit of my own twist. The eclecticism that defines all of my spaces is really going to be on display in this speakeasy. To say I’m stoked about it would be an understatement.


The next thing we settled on was the color scheme. Since I wanted this to be a sexy, dark, moody space, we’ll be working mostly in deep emerald greens and blacks. I’ll be offsetting those hues with some brass tones and likely a touch of blush. The sconces (pictured on the moodboard) by LETIFLY will be the perfect complement to the rich green hues. And the stunning black and brass faucet you see above? That beauty, along with the sink, will be provided by VIGO Industries. We’re working with RIAD‘s luxurious Zellige tile in green, which will be used as a backsplash behind the counter. To finish off the color scheme, the ceiling will be Locally Grown by Magnolia Home paint, a deeply saturated green with olive undertones.


Be sure to head over to my Instagram, where I will be sharing LIVE content under the ORC 2021 tab on my profile. We will be slightly ahead in the story share content versus the blog content. If you’d like a sneak peek at what’s going on, Instagram is where it’s at!

Before I give too much away, I’d also like to add that there will be come epic surprises left to the end. We’re also going fairly light on sponsors this season so we can leave some things just for the reveal…and I’m SUPER excited to share them with you in eight short weeks…. when we’ll swing open the doors, and let you in on the password to our “not-so-top-secret” speakeasy.

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