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Bar and games room that echoes flavor of Art Deco-era ocean liners

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Basement games room with look of 1930s ocean liner includes mosaic murals and exposed metal beams

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A games room is likely to be set apart from the formal rooms in a home, and have a much more relaxed atmosphere. All the better, then, when the main decor translates readily into a playful theme.

This basement games room forms part of a house by architect Richard Landry, with interiors by designer Joan Behnke. While the owners loved the flair of the Art Deco style, local guidelines required an Italianate exterior. In response, Landry created a home with Italian facades and a decor that evokes the Roaring Twenties.

The homeowners frequently entertain on a grand scale and this basement space includes an air hockey table as well as a pool table and bar, says Landry.

"There's also a pool and spa next door and a theater room. We decided to continue the look from upstairs in all these spaces, but in a more light-hearted way."

In the 1920s and ‘30s, ocean cruises were a popular pastime, and liners were often finished in the Art Deco style. A feature of these ships was the large metal rafters intrinsic to their structure.


"To set the scene in the main room, I introduced steel girders across the wood supports on the ceiling," says Landry. "The beams extend down the walls to the floor, segmenting the views – murals, in this case – just as they would be from the windows of an ocean-going liner."

The life-size mosaic mural running along one wall depicts the waves as seen from a passenger deck and there's a similar graphic in the spa and pool area. These were designed by Joan Behnke and artist Paulin Paris.

The bar, set at one end of the room, features the Art Deco-era emphasis on curves, lines and stepped edges. The front of the bar also carries the name of the imaginary liner – TT Annalee.

"To extend the theme, Joan introduced wrought iron doors leading to a wine room behind the bar. The chandelier and sconces also have a shipboard air."

The furniture in the bar and games room is both colorful and luxurious. Most pieces were custom made or reupholstered to achieve the chic, lively look required.

First published date: 18 April 2015

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Credit List

Architect Richard Landry AIA, Landry Design Group (Los Angeles)
Interior designer Joan Behnke and Associates
Cabinet company Charles Gemeiner Cabinets
Builder Finton Construction
Cabinetry Custom design by Joan Behnke & Associates, fabricated by Charles Gemeiner Cabinets
Lighting Chandeliers from Christian Astuguevieille; sconces from Circa Lighting; floor lamps by Alison Berger, from Holly Hunt; table lamps, antique
Furniture Sofa, upholstered in Gretchen Bellinger fabric, custom; lounge chairs, upholstered in Romeo fabric; ottoman with trays, upholstered in Jerry Pair leather; side tables, custom, all designed by Joan Behnke; bar stools by Michael Berman; bar facade, custom by Joan Behnke
Murals Custom by Joan Behnke and Paulin Paris
Area rug Custom, by Martin, Patrick & Evan
Bar countertop Onice Fantastico onyx
Wine room doors Antique iron doors