Men laying new hardwood flooring

A family-friendly hangout

Sometimes, it’s best not to try to change the hand that you’re given. Take this Johns Creek basement build-out, for example. While a first inclination might be to try to lighten the tone of the room, adding bright colors and shiny design elements to reflect what little natural light there is, Joanne and John Rainone, owners of custom home-building company JR Custom Living, did the opposite. This basement project embraces the darkness of the space, using lighting as a partner to the darkness, providing a pop of fuchsia color to beckon a visitor to the bar, but keeping other parts of the room shrouded in a bit of a mystery.

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Colorful under-counter lighting and cool, industrial-style pendant lights are a simple way to add exciting atmosphere to this basement bar.

“We wanted to create something unique and fun, but make it look like it had been there for a long time,” John explains. “You need to be bold and brave to take a room in this direction. It’s not easy. It’s like making a meal. You add ingredients you’ve never used before and then think, ‘I hope this tastes good!’”

The Rainones cleverly used a foosball table as the room’s anchor, defining this as a play space—ready for a party at the drop of a hat. The bottle display on the shelves over the bar, lit with hidden fixtures, draws the eye upward and makes good use of the back wall and high ceiling. The industrial-chic barstools complete the picture, a perfect blend of the wood and iron elements used elsewhere in the room.

Men laying new hardwood flooring

Joanne and John Rainone

  • Owners of JR Custom Living in Atlanta for over 20 years
  • John takes on the structural and construction duties of their custom home-building projects, while Joanne delivers design choices that influence the projects’ tone and scope.
  • 2018 winner of home-remodeling and design website Houzz’s Basement Bar Award (Atlanta)