In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, today’s post is about building an authentic Irish pub in your own basement.  Grace Thomas Designs recently designed, built and decorated a basement Irish Pub for some great clients in Haymarket, VA.  We truly enjoyed bringing that project to life, so, we thought we would share a wee bit more about the design for those of you who have the Gaelic spirit to do the same.

The challenge with this design project was to create an authentic Irish Pub for these clients as well as to decorate an adjoining room in a different but complementary style. We think the end results work incredibly well both together and are also wonderful stand-alone designs.

Meaux Pub Wide Angle

We had the pleasure of hiring Meaux Photography to take photographs of this Irish Pub.    They specialize in architectural photography in Northern Virginia and the Washington D.C. area and are a wonderful team to work with.  Meaux Photography produces incredible images that truly capture all of the best aspects of our designs.  Working with Meaux Photography is always a great experience and we will always use them for our projects.  Please check out this project and their other fabulous work.

Every Irish Pub needs to start with a beautiful bar.  This stunner was entirely hand-crafted by Trip Carder of The Ralph Carder Company. Trip did all of the woodworking on this project and is our go-to professional for all of our clients’ woodworking needs.

Bar Close Up

A real Irish pub should feel warm and inviting, the kind of place you want to be sitting in during a cold and rainy night. We tried to create that feeling by using warm and soft colors on the walls combined with a rich tone on the wood for the bar.  We also chose stools with a dark walnut wood finish and soft brown leather that simply beg you to sit on them and enjoy a pint! Lastly, the pendant lights have vintage Edison squirrel cage bulbs that give off a slightly amber glow that almost gives the room the feel of a glowing fireplace.

Pub with signs

To further give the room that authentic vintage pub look, we installed faux wood beams with a slightly distressed finish. This is further complemented by the drink rail that is mounted on the stone wall. The gallery above the stone wall is made up of photos shot by the homeowner herself on the couple’s last trip to Ireland. They look beautiful there and add a truly personal touch to the design. The final touch of authenticity for the pub comes from the original Guinness signs, barrel heads and crates that were hand painted in Ireland. One of the barrel heads that you see when you come down the steps to the basement was personalized for the homeowners with their official name of the pub. The last few years have seen many pubs in Ireland go out of business, but this misfortune has created a wonderful supply of signs, tap handles and pub bric-a-brac that can be used in designs in your home.

Pub Tables

The clients wanted to also use the basement for relaxation and family television viewing, so we designed the room adjacent to the pub as a family room with a comfortable vintage look.


The photos on the wall of that handsome young man, Boomer, were created by Megan Tynan of Celtic Grey Photography. Megan is a fine Irish lass with an incredible talent for natural light photography that captures real emotion and beauty. You’ll love her gorgeous work.


At Grace Thomas Designs we love to bring our clients’ design dreams to life by creating rooms that help them live their lives to the fullest.

Want to build an Irish Pub or bring another fabulous and functional design to your home, Contact Us!