By Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Studio Three Beau

Amidst our usual February freeze, we decided it was time to head to the lakes. This mother and daughter who both reside in the Detroit Lakes area, enlisted the help of Aubrey Costello at Showplace Cabinetry of Fargo to create and define their entertainment spaces. Just in time for warm, winter gatherings, we show you two unique bar designs in two completely different spaces. The first is the unfinished basement of Mike and Amanda Habrat and the second takes us down the road to Darryl and Mary Beehler’s family room where Costello used an outdated entertainment center space to create a sleek and contemporary wet bar.

Project number one is at the home of Mike and Amanda Habrat on Big Detroit. This project would offer Costello a clean slate with a completely unfinished basement. The focal point would be the stunning, full-service bar area creating the perfect retreat for lower-level entertaining.

Bar Project #1: Challenges
Since this project started as an unfinished basement with walls already in place, the space for the bar was pre-defined. An additional space beyond the bar was then designated the workout room which would be hidden by rustic barn doors.

Knowing that defined spaces almost inevitably come with challenges, Costello and the Habrats came up with a creative solution to hide the existing ductwork. The bar space needed to have one of the ducts in the ceiling, so instead of working around it, they worked with it to box-out the entire ceiling. Combining the new ceiling feature with inset pine and heavy crown molding proved to be a perfect compromise, resulting in another beautiful focal point.

“We had never built a house, but doing this was kind of like a mini-house building,” said Amanda Habrat. “We had to figure out where light switches go, ductwork and everything else, so it was nice to have someone with a good eye to help figure it out.”

Bar Project #1: The Design
Costello worked with the Habrats to design their bar cabinetry in a unique Gun Smoke finish and leathered granite countertop. The lighter grey tone became the perfect backdrop and contrast for the shimmer of the antiqued mirror, subway tile backsplash. “We chose the mirrored backsplash because there are no windows down here and also, every old, cool bar I’ve been to has a mirror in the back so we thought that would kind of lighten it up a bit,” said Amanda Habrat.

“I think the color is kind of classic, something I don’t have to fix again in five years. We have cherry wood upstairs, so I just really wanted something lighter for down here,” said Amanda Habrat. “Aubrey gave me a lot of guidance, which is what I needed. I didn’t come into this knowing exactly what I wanted, I just had a general idea. It can be overwhelming, but she was really good to work with figuring out the color schemes, cabinetry, tile and countertops. I think she figured out what my style was and then she’d narrow it down to two options.”

Costello worked closely with the Habrats for the bar’s overall design and flow, making sure to include exact spaces to accommodate their behind-the-bar amenities, storage and appliances. Contemporary touches like the floating shelves and LED-lit backsplash create contrast for the antiqued mirror tile and leathered granite bar top. To give the bar top a more chiseled finish, Costello worked with Spaulding Stone to hand-draw the edge mimicking the look of a live-edge slab. They also included LED light strips underneath to illuminate the bar’s unique design.

Not wanting to display to guests everything in their upper cabinets, Costello helped the Habrats choose water glass doors which still allowed for fun lighting features, but made more practical use of storage.

To finish the look of their lower-level bar, Costello and the Habrats chose a wood-look tile in a herringbone design and industrial lighting elements. The rustic barn door leading to the workout room and the wood-planked ceiling with crown molding was completed by CNN Remodeling.

Bar Project #1: The Finishes
Cabinets – Showplace Cabinetry, Sterling door style in a Gun Smoke finish
Countertops – Leather finished, Cavalete Granite Installed by Spaulding Stone. Includes a chiseled edge on upper bar top with LED light channel cut into the stone underneath the upper bar top
Backsplash – Jeffrey Court brand 3”x 6” tile in Yesterday’s Glass, installed by Syverson Tile & Stone
Hardware – Top Knobs, Juliet collection in Nickel with a brushed stain
Floor tile – Ragno USA brand, Woodcraft collection in Grigio from Syverson Tile & Stone, 4”x 28” tile, set in a framed herringbone pattern
Contractor – CNN Remodeling
Lighting – Lowe’s

Bar Project #2: The Beehlers
The second project is in the Chesterfield addition home of Darryl and Mary Beehler, near Little Detroit. Once considering the high price of acquiring tickets to the Superbowl, the Beehlers instead decided to put that investment toward an entertaining space they could use all year long. Inspired by Costello’s work on their daughter, Amanda Habrat’s basement, the Beehlers decided to enlist Showplace Cabinetry’s help to complete their own bar project.

After living in their home for 21 years, the Beehlers felt that removing the outdated entertainment center would go a long way in updating their home. Soon, they began work to remove the bulky, existing entertainment center which once housed the T.V. To create a better flow into the family room, the T.V. was then relocated to its new home above the fireplace mantel.

“This whole space was originally a built-in, drywall entertainment center. The flooring had just been replaced the year before, so we were careful to cover the existing flooring and also wrap our design around the corners, which would eliminate the cost of having to fix the sheetrock and re-texture,” explained Costello.

Built seamlessly into the existing space, Costello used Showplace Wood cabinetry and designed this wet bar with a stunning, waterfall-edge, quartz countertop. Upper storage is perfectly styled with glass doors, inset LED lighting and floating shelves. For the Rustic Alder cabinetry, Costello worked with the Beehlers to choose the deep, Midnight stain and beautiful, chevron backsplash tile which sets the tone for elegant entertaining.

Since this bar is located just off the kitchen and within the family room space, it didn’t make sense to have another fully functioning sink, so Costello and the homeowners opted for an ice bucket sink which can also drain.

Costello designed the custom, Showplace Wood cabinetry on the lower portion to hold up to 24 bottles, cleverly hidden amidst five pull-out drawers.

“Basically, I wanted my pantry back, but I also wanted this space for entertaining,” said Mary Beehler. “Getting the bottles out of my pantry was awesome, I had cupboards again and more useful space. Also, the entertainment center was getting really outdated, so it was time to do something that would update the house a little more.”

“I got a lot of ideas from our daughter’s basement project, but we had much smaller space to work with, so Aubrey came and took some measurements and we went from there,” said Mary Beehler. “She gave a lot of suggestions and we compromised, but Aubrey was really easy to work with. It turned out awesome.”

To add a unique, stained glass design element to the home, the Beehlers worked with an artist who happens to be Mary Beehler’s brother, Roger Reinardy. Reinardy designed the glass above the bar area, then the Beehlers finished it themselves.

Bar Project #2: The Finishes
Cabinets – Showplace Cabinetry, Sterling door style in a Rustic Alder with Midnight stain.
Countertops – Q Quartz brand, Calacatta Classique installed by Spaulding Stone in a 2 ½” thick mitered edge, with waterfall legs.
Hardware – Schaub brand in a Satin Nickel finish
Backsplash Tile – Walker Zanger brand, 6th Avenue Collection, Chevron in Ink Matte
Contractor – CNN Remodeling

For more information, contact:
Showplace Cabinetry – Aubrey Costello
2553 Kristen Lane, Fargo