Interior Projects
1920s Speakeasy Inspired Entertainment Space

Portland Basement Remodel

This Portland basement remodeling project features open space and period charm.

Imagine if your job was bringing someone’s vision to reality. Designer Fabian Genovesi had the pleasure of collaborating with a Cedar Mill couple who had a clear vision for how to transform their entire daylight basement into a one-of-a-kind entertainment space. 

Fabian shares, “The homeowners wanted their basement to feel like a hidden gambling and drinking space during the era of prohibition. They wanted it to reflect the essence of the roaring 20s, drawing inspiration from some of the older buildings in downtown Portland.”

After photos by Darius Kuzmickas / KuDa Photography

“There were dozens of important design details.” – Fabian Genovesi

While Prohibition laws are in the past, the speakeasy look-and-feel is making a roaring comeback. Fabian and his team got to work by creating room for a professional billiard table, a 14’ professional shuffleboard table, a 10-player professional poker table, multiple TV monitors, a “speakeasy” bar area, multiple standing bar areas, a remodeled bathroom, and a space for a separate workout room.

“The first thing we did was remove most of the interior walls to create a vast open space,” states Fabian. To create that speakeasy vibe, the team exposed the wood ceiling, installed metal pipes to house new electrical wiring, replaced plastic plumbing lines with copper, and pulled up all flooring to expose the concrete which was polished and sealed.


The homeowners wanted to make the space as authentic as possible, so the Neil Kelly team paid special attention to the details: leaving the cracks in the cement unrepaired for antiquity at the homeowner’s request, cladding the interior walls with reclaimed brick, hand-picked by the homeowner, and laid to resemble the weathering of time, and raising the fireplace from the floor to a comfortable eye level so it can be viewed from anywhere within the space.

“There were dozens of important design details,” shares Fabian. The material selections made by the homeowners as well as those proposed by Fabian were key to create that century-old look and feel that the homeowners desired.

Old Materials Create Renewed Space

  • 120 year-old reclaimed stained glass windows
  • Pistons repurposed for cabinet hardware in the media center
  • Decades old doorknobs used as cabinet hardware in the bar
  • Custom Iron shelving behind the bar
  • Aluminum countertops throughout
  • A concrete walk-in shower with industrial tile and fixtures in the bathroom
  • Gibson Girl wallpaper in the bar area
  • Antique light fixtures as accents
  • Glass and metal antique pendant lights throughout the space

This isn’t the first time Fabian and his team transformed this house. This basement project is one of a series of remodeling projects completed for this family.  We raise our glass to great client collaborations.

Need help creating your dream space? Schedule an appointment with our design/build remodeling experts to take your home from ordinary to extraordinary.

fabian genovesi, portland Design Consultant

Fabian is an award-winning designer who sees the potential in any given space. Then he applies his three decades of experience to the project, whether it’s mid-sized or multi-million dollar. Prior to starting at Neil Kelly, Fabian owned a design/build company. He also studied Interior Design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles and at UCLA. Fabian has worked as a Lead Kitchen & Bath Designer for firms located in L.A.’s storied Pacific Design Center, where he developed a reputation for polishing architectural plans and re-working spaces. His space-planning abilities contribute to many Neil Kelly projects.