One Room Challenge: Week 2, All Things Design

A rendering of the Werkroom speakeasy facing the front of the basement.

It’s hard to believe we are already in week 2 of the One Room Challenge. If you caught the blog post last week you know that we are making over our cellar (basement) into The Werkroom! A speakeasy style work space (a la work from home dream). In the past week we put the finishing touches on the design and we can’t wait to walk you through the entire space. The deliveries from our generous sponsors have also started rolling in so we need to get this space built to put it all in! 

We’re approaching the project just as we would for a client. We put together a mood board to start the conceptual part of the design. We then developed drawings and plans, and finally detailed renderings. Let’s go on a walkthrough of the entire space!

A new blank slate. Finally, a clear basement
A view/rendering of the work table area

The 3 D’s- Design, Details, and Definition

The primary uses of the space will be for us to work, relax, get inspired, and even bring clients to see samples and design plans. So all of those components need to fit in. To enter the space you’ll pass through a salvaged door with vintage glass. As you descend the stairs a slat feature will give you glimpses of the design. Directly in front of the stairs will be a small sitting area with a comfy rug, magazine holder, lamp, and leather chair. On the wall behind it we’ll be using a vintage inspired Brooklyn themed wallpaper from Spoonflower that we are so excited to get on the walls! There will also be a beautiful, one-of-a-kind wall sconce from Blueprint Lighting NYC (we were sold on the name alone!) which will make the area cozy and independent from the rest of the space. We’ll be putting a perfectly comfortable and stylish lounge chair from APT2B directly at the foot of the entrance into the speakeasy. We want to set the tone with all the lounge-vibes when you first walk into the space.

A view looking into the space. The stair slats are a fav!

Through 4 large arches you’ll see the main part of the space. A long 7’ wooden table made by a new local favorite, Self Made with a pendant work light from Alora Lighting to set the tone of a 1920’s NYC workroom. One of the things we are most excited about is getting an entire wall of storage, floor to ceiling, for all of our samples and design inspiration. These beautiful cabinets will be custom built by our good friend (and very talented woodworker) The Build With Ethan. We’ll have some deeper lower storage, a carrera marble countertop, with set back shallower upper cabinets. All of the millwork will be painted a vibrant shade of green bringing a backdrop of color into the space. Since the room will have no natural light we will introduce a salvaged backlit stain glass window between the 2 sides of the millwork to give the impression of some obscured and filtered light. We promise to share more details on the cabinetry and millkwork design in the coming weeks- we’re thinking we might even take a trip to Ethan’s studio!

Color choices for a bi-focal light from Blueprint Lighting NYC
Piecing together cabinetry tones for the speakeasy

One of the things that has to happen to finish the space is to create a mechanicals room to hide the now exposed boiler and hot water heater. Rather than carve a square box out of the space, we will gently curve the wall creating a more open sense of space. We’ll carry the slats from the stairs onto it as well. As you follow the curve it will lead to a small hallway with another salvaged door with vintage glass closing off our storage area. The final part of the space will include 2 salvaged windows with views into a space that we are keeping a secret until the very end! It’s just our laundry room but the design will leave you gagged! You won’t want to miss it!

Let there be tin! Sample choices from American Tin Ceilings

The ceilings are a bit low as you get in a basement/cellar, so to finish off the lighting we will have wall sconces from Alora Lighting illuminating each arch post, as well as some recessed lighting. Something that will change the space drastically is the ceilings! We’re installing a vintage inspired tin ceiling from American Tin Ceilings that will give the space the old work feel we’re going for. Finally, the floor will be finished concrete. We’re still debating if we should paint the floor or not….

Lastly and something that we’ve been holding out on. We just received the best news ever….we’ll be working with ebay to furnish and decorate the entire space! Our shopping carts are currently so overwhelmed with choices and random items that we can’t share specifics yet because we definitely need to clean out our carts first! We’ll be sure to share specifics and reasons we love ebay for our next post. Having a helpful shopping resource for all those necessary (and decorative) items for a renovation project is key and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with ebay! We’ve been fans since they launched a small site years and years ago!

A rendering of our work table by Self Made Build

Starting the Work

As you can see from the before pictures, we have A LOT of work to do! We are very anxious to get started! This week has been about completing the designing, ordering materials and finishes, and what we have not been looking for the most….cleaning out the basement! We are happy to say as we go into week 2, we got it all done! 

Now the contribution kicks off tomorrow! We’ll make sure to update you again next week! In the meantime, follow us on Instagram for the minute by minute update! Our YouTube update video is coming after Week 3.

Filled an entire dumpster with junk in our basement.

We’re incredibly thankful for our sponsors and partners on the challenge this year. So many exciting details still to come!

Our finishes have arrived and we’re so ready to unbox! Time to build the speakeasy!

Give a follow to our new friends (aka Spring 2021 Featured Designers) We’re so inspired and have so much admiration for their unbelievable designs and talents!

Media BH&G | TM ORC


If you’re wanting to take a look back to see how we got here, check out our past ORC posts

A very special thank you to our sponsors for this event