Ty Pennington has designed plenty of home bars, but in the latest episode of “Ty Breaker,” he goes one step further by designing a speak-easy. Cool!
In the Season 1 episode “A New Level To Entertain,” Starr and Antoine need help with their house in Atlanta. While they live comfortably on the second and third stories, they aren’t sure what to do with the first floor, which is awkwardly laid out with dark, dated furniture—including a huge built-in bookshelf and a bulky bar.
Sabrina Soto of “The High Low Project” teams up with Pennington to turn this unusable space into a fun speak-easy and dual guest suite, all with a minimal $45,000 budget. Read on to see how they pull it off, which may inspire you to create a speak-easy of your own, too.
Magnetic tile is an easy (and temporary) upgrade
Starr and Antoine love the idea of making their first floor a speak-easy bar area, but Soto and Pennington know that the space will need a lot of updates before it’ll be open for business.
Pennington decides to upgrade the dated, dark bar by adding some modern tile. The new pattern adds visual interest; also, Pennington chooses magnetic tile, which comes with its own perks.
“The cool thing is you don’t have to have it sealed or grouted,” Pennington tells Soto. “And another cool thing is once you get tired of this pattern, you can switch it out to any other tile you want.”
Make tile look like hardwood with the right grout
While this first story may be awkwardly laid out, it isn’t in bad shape. It even has new tile floors, even if this faux-wood tile isn’t exactly Starr and Antoine’s style.
Luckily, Pennington has an idea to improve the look: He wants to color the grout to make this tile floor look more like wood.
“The tiles are meant to look like real hardwood,” says Pennington, who adds that “the white grout is the one thing that’s making them not look like hardwood.”
So he and Soto use grout colorizer to paint the grout. It’s a clever update that saves Starr and Antoine thousands of dollars.
Paint outdated features a more modern color
One first-floor feature that needs a little style TLC is a built-in shelf that’s a dark-brown wood tone. It’s dated, but Soto and Pennington know they can fix it. They decide to paint it a dark, mossy green.
“The dark espresso color of the bookcase made it look very dated, but the piece itself has good bones,” Soto says. She knows that the green will give the room an earthy, natural feel while also giving the built-in an updated look.
When the piece is painted, it looks great: It adds some convenient storage to this bonus space, and it even acts as a feature wall, proving that a little paint can go a long way.
Separate a sleeping area with shutter doors
In addition to the speak-easy, Starr and Antoine are also excited about the prospect of a guest suite, so Soto and Pennington turn one strangely small room into cozy sleeping quarters.
They open up the door frame to fit two shutter doors. This way, when the doors are open, the entire suite seems larger, but when the doors are closed, it becomes a guest bedroom.
These doors provide privacy when needed.
“By opening up these door frames, this room changes. Before, it was creepy—it was really small,” Pennington says of the awkward space. “Now it feels like a real room.”
Add color to give a bathroom some personality
To make this first floor really function as a guest suite, Soto and Pennington want to upgrade the dated bathroom to make it more comfortable for guests. They build into the garage, adding a new shower and making the restroom bigger. But Pennington doesn’t want to just make this bathroom bigger; he also wants to make sure it’s unique.
“Instead of going your typical white, maybe in just the vanity area, could we go a color?” Pennington asks Soto. She loves the idea, so they decide to give the room a green vanity, which conveniently matches the new paint color on the built-in bookcase.
While plenty of homeowners prefer an all-white bathroom, Pennington and Soto know that sometimes, a good design calls for a bit of color.
When the first floor is finished, the space is transformed into a perfect speak-easy and a convenient guest suite. Plus, the best part is Pennington and Soto come in under budget, spending only $43,000 on this project. We say cheers to that!