Landers' Studio

The Evolution of a BIG Project

overview of bar & backbar

bubinga, wenge and spectacular veneers
dimensions 18-ft bar and 19-ft back bar

made for Private Residence


A client approached us about a year ago wanting a bar and back bar for a veritable man-cave he was adding to his residence.   His initial concept had grown from his original idea of just adding a garage for his classic car collection when his wife asked that he also include an exercise room for her.  With his addition being on a cliffside, he thought he might add a 1,600 sq. ft. recreational room below.   His first purchase for this room was a 1890’s Victorian style pool table.   Originally, he talked to us about creating a bar to complement this Victorian design.  But he had leanings toward Art Deco and his love for the elevator doors from the Chrysler Building in New York ultimately drove the design of the bar.  We collaborated with the client’s designer, Etty Brish, who envisioned and then actualized the room’s décor.  We chose veneers of birdseye maple, tamo ash, exquisite walnut burl, bubinga and ebony to lay out the Art Deco design for the front of the bar.

This big of a project called for a BIG board.  Wanting a continuous board for both the bar top and the back bar top, we selected a 55-inch wide by 19-foot long board of bubinga from an importer in Pennsylvania.  The almost 600 lb. board was shipped to a friend’s shop where we would have the space to maneuver the board around.  The board was cut in half along the length and edges were folded along the length for the rounded edges of the bar tops.  After the finish work on the veneer bar front and the combination of the curved bubinga panels and wenge beads to create walls and doors, we were ready for the first phase of installation.  The assembly process began and at last the first phase was complete.

In the work area behind the bar, the cabinets for the glassware and stemware have doors that are made of the same curved bubinga and wenge.  Even the small refrigerator’s stainless steel door was replaced  with a bubinga & wenge door front.   A small wooly mammoth ivory dot in the upper corner of a door marks the spot for opening with a simple touch.  The final phase of installation was of a curtain effect of the bubinga & wenge panels to tie the back bar in with the back wall.    The curtain effect and the wenge frame leave one expecting a movie projector to start a show at any time.   The owner is commissioning an Art Deco mural painted in this space speculating that a stylized Austin skyline with perhaps a whimsically added Chrysler Building would be an appropriate tip of the hat to the bar’s inspiration.

cliffside addition to residence Antique Pool Table Art Deco elevator doors in the Chrysler Building Veneers laid up in the Art Deco design BIG bubinga board needed for project Shop space requirements Folding & gluing of edges First Phase of Installation The finished bar before installation of back bar Work area behind the bar Curtain Effect of Bubinga & Wenge Panels overview of bar & backbar

posted in Architectural, Furniture, Cabinet, Wood, Residential, Living Room  |  permalink