During the Prohibition era, American pubs literally went into hiding: from brightly colored shopfronts on the streets to secret basements that could only be reached with a secret code. And although prohibition laws were repealed a few decades ago, speakeasy-inspired bars are still trendy places. So if you're searching for speakeasy-inspired basement bar design inspiration, read on to find out how you can bring this vintage look to life.
While speakeasy style has its origins in bar culture, modern speakeasy at home is just as much about its aesthetic.
What is a speakeasy room? Noble wood, stylishly decorated bricks, vintage crockery, subdued speakeasy style lighting and a touch of industrial design all set the right mood and transport you back to the 1920s in the blink of an eye.
Don't forget the bar counter with all the necessary 1920s speakeasy decor! This design is reminiscent of the typical elegance of the period.
With our tips and speakeasy decor ideas, this style design is easy to do in any living room. We are ready to take care of everything. All you need is your attention to detail and a strong desire to create your dream space.
The Speakeasy Home Bar as a Separate Art Object
The 1920s decor style bar is considered unfinished without the treasures the bar holds. Gin and large quantities of illicit liquor make a stylish statement and are an essential part of your room. You can fill the speakeasy style home bar with your signature liquor and other ingredients to create cocktails in the 1920s style, such as a Mary Pickford or a French 75.
Interior Speakeasy Decor
How to decorate like a speakeasy? Among your speakeasy room ideas, there should be perfect subdued lighting and decorations to accentuate the luxury and extravagance of the style.
Velvet, crystal, dried flowers, huge vases and art deco furniture are your number 1 choice.
The glamour and opulence should contrast with the austere, understated look of your indoor club.
The dedicated space could have a small dance floor with a small stage for jazz performers of the era, showcasing the work of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.
To the side of it, an old piano with a professional sitting on it in the type of speakeasy design ideas fit in nicely.
To add a touch of modernity to this style, a projector could be provided and atmospheric themed films could be streamed.
13 Ideas for Speakeasy Decorations
For retro speakeasy inspiration, search online for authentic old black and white photographs. You can see that mahogany and walnut were popular materials in the 1920s, and you can draw inspiration from the dark wood pool tables, pianos and old freezers that were popular in that era.
Here are some interior speakeasy decoration items to help create the right atmosphere in your speakeasy home.
The Right Lighting
Lighting is key. It's what turns a basement room from gloomy to delightful, and for a bar, lighting is all about creating ambience. No one needs the bright glare of a spotlight in their face as they sip a homemade martini.
The idea is to make a speakeasy living room seem quietly lit rather than brightly lit. So everything should be in semi-darkness: overhead lighting, table lamps, sconces. Reduce the brightness of the lighting to 'bar dark'. You can enhance this feeling of glow with lacquered paint, glass accents and other elements that reflect light.
If you have a seating area, pendant lights hung in groups to create a focal point look great, and dimmable spotlights in the rest of the space allow you to adjust the lighting according to your mood.
A good lighting scheme for a home bar or basement bar room is essential. These areas usually have no windows and hardly any natural light.
Candles, of course, can also help set the mood. And another additional 'speakeasy' decorating idea to create the right atmosphere is to use dimmed lighting and atmospheric smoke with a fog machine.
You can bring a bit of a musical theme to your 1920s bar decor. Include a playlist of jazz music as background music. It's good to use an old record player. Avoid songs that are too intense, as they can interfere with the overall impression of the atmosphere.
Lots of Bottles
Spikizi is a luxurious, comfortable space to relax in. We fully embrace the idea that speakeasy is all about the drinks. That's why the speakeasy bar design ideas needs to be well-stocked with prohibition decor. Think: bottles of liquor tucked neatly behind the bar's lower cabinets, a fridge full of mixers and local beers hidden under the sink, and large built-in wine coolers along the back wall. And a signature cocktail is a must.
Since this room is usually used 'after-hours', it's a good idea to use comfortable furniture as a speakeasy home decor.
It should be in dark colors: deep navy, deep gray, almost black.
Think low-profile, classic club-style chairs in leather and velvet. Arrange sofas and armchairs in groups that encourage small, intimate conversations rather than large group gatherings.
Hiding windows instantly adds a new level of ambience to a room. You can use black roller blinds to create the feeling of an ultra-secret bar, hidden from view. And it becomes the best option for speakeasy wall decor.
And while you should enjoy the speakeasy decoration details, don't forget about practicality. For example, update your bar counter with modern and comfortable built-in cabinets. Install a mini fridge behind the bar as well as cabinets and shelves for cocktail glasses, serving plates and other trinkets. Make space for at least one keg of beer and taps, and discreetly place a microwave oven in an inconspicuous place to heat up tasty snacks and hot drinks liquids on a cold winter's night.
Integrated Bar Taps
If you want to get serious about creating a home bar in your basement, adding taps takes it to the next level. To do this, first you need to think about the layout of your system and the positioning of all the main parts.
You need kegs for storing booze, a dedicated fridge and a handy tap for quality pouring.
You may also want to add a drip tray to collect the drips.
The biggest problem with installing such a system in a bar is carrying your drinks up and down the stairs. We recommend taking smaller keg sizes or using special transport trolleys.
Antique Vintage Speakeasy Decor Items
Fill the space with unique and antique pieces that you don’t see in any other speakeasy bar decorations and make sure you can relax and unwind in this atmosphere. Brass and glass elements as a speakeasy table decorations make the room sparkle and shine.
If your liquor collection is too extensive to fit on racks, consider adding a small wine room to your bar. Not only is this one of prohibition decoration ideas, it's also a great practical storage and solution for a stylish interior.
Doorways, decorative wall panels, bar counters, spiral staircases, furniture – everything from prohibition era decor can be made from vintage wood.
Don't be afraid to add 1920s period-appropriate speakeasy decor pieces in a speakeasy style, which comes in regular wood. Believe me, it looks expensive and gives the room a special vintage feel.
You might be surprised, but a rug in a room like this is a very meaningful thing. It can be one large rug in the middle of the room in the seating area or many small decorative rugs. It is important to bear in mind that rugs should be made from natural materials, such as animal skin.
Keep the dry law vibe of your basement bar design alive with a vintage floor. While real bars were most likely fitted with unpolished poured concrete, you can achieve a similar look using weathered concrete.
This flooring doesn't have to be just for bars; you can safely use it in speakeasy bathroom ideas.
And to imitate the wooden floors of that era, look no further than wood tiles, for example. It's the perfect material for your basement because it's mildew-resistant and very easy to clean. And if you prefer a retro black and white pattern for speakeasy home bar ideas, you can't go wrong with a simple black and white ceramic tile.
Other Speakeasy Decoration Details
Whatever you decide, don't forget to add drama to your basement ritual parlour. Add hidden doors and corners hidden by bookcases to enhance the drama of your design. You could even add a false trapdoor to the floor and hide it with a vintage speakeasy rug. These unique touches add visual appeal and entertain your guests.
Now you have all the knowledge of speakeasy decor ideas you need to create such 1920's living room. Invite guests into your space and let them get into character and feel the atmosphere of that time.
Hats, braces, bow ties, wigs, oversized fans, feather headbands, feather boas, long pearl necklaces, cloche hats, 3/4 length gloves and the special spirit of the time – not leave anyone indifferent.
Whatever story you decide to tell about your retro basement bar, use these inspiring tips to choose your interior design and add the right details. In the end, your finished space should be worth all the effort.