We actually started the project in 2010. It had been on our radar for some time, but I never had the inspiration to do it. One day I had a meeting at Eaton Corporation in Pittsburgh, and we met in their “green center”. They had an area in their headquarters that was built using all green materials. The ladies restroom had recycled glass countertops and right then and there, I knew our bar top would utilize recycled glass. That was my inspiration and the project was born. I wanted to create a room using recycled, green, eco-friendly and upcycled materials/products. But we had to find a balance. We splurged on the bar top and pulled back on other things.
The problem was that I’m always a little ahead of the curve — I’ll see something in a magazine, and it’s just not available in DIY stores yet. Maybe if I used a high-end designer, but we were working within a budget. So Home Depot, Lowes and all the other DIY shops didn’t carry anything even close to this material. It really drives my husband crazy, but for me, it’s the excitement of it all!
I found a few companies on the web, but most of them didn’t distribute to PIttsburgh. These were some of the companies I explored: Vetrazzo, Green Field, EnviroGlas, and Ice Stone. We chose EnviroGlas for two reasons: 1) we were able to order custom samples online for a very small price! (I see that you can’t do that any longer on their site.) 2) And, we found a fabricator in Gibsonia, PA, Ultimate Granite Surfaces, who had actually just completed an entire kitchen using this material. Everywhere I had called had never made a countertop using EnviroGlas. Most of the fabricators never even called me back.
I designed the room using Adobe Illustrator, looking at all the possible ways we could configure the room to include a bar and a seating area with a large HDTV. Tom and I measured and re-measured. To be able to afford the counter top, we cut back on a custom-designed bar by utilizing stock cabinets from Kraftmaid Cabinetry at Home Depot. Our contractor built the bar from my primitive drawings, and hired a woodworker who specialized in bar fabrication to make the edge. I ordered the retro-style bar stools from Grandinroad in three different colors with a matching stool for the bartender six months ahead of time to get free shipping.
The floor for the bar area used eco-friendly, porcelain tiles in 12″ x 24″ lengths. The other half of the room was the sitting area and we used eco-friendly, shag rug for that flooring. Off the back of this room is the half bath that we had put into the room.
Tom wanted the bar to feature his favorite sports teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates and Penn State Football. But I wanted to find a balance as I wasn’t painting the walls black and gold. I wanted to use earth tone colors that our entire home uses. For Christmas in 2011, I purchased Tom a custom Steelers sign made out of sheet metal from a friend.
In 2012, I had the same artist create a Pittsburgh Penguins’ sign. He had never made one before so this was his first. Tom loved them and they fit the style of this room.
We had to build around the furnace, various water lines and the utility boxes. There were two of those, one for all the house electrical and the other for the security system. These were challenging, but by blocking in the furnace, we had enough of a nook that we could put in a half bath with a storage cupboard. We put accordion doors to access the furnace, as well as the controls for the HGTV and other electronics.
To cover the utility boxes, I made a custom bulletin board by purchasing a sheet of cork. And for my birthday, Tom got me a polaroid camera to stay with the retro theme. Those who visit our bar get their mugs on our Wall of Shame.
My contractor also made a custom shelf unit above the bar sink next to the utility boxes. Afterall, we had 4″ between the drywall and the cement block due to the thickness of the water lines and utility boxes.
This shelf was made out of extra pieces from the cabinet and bar installation, and our contractor had someone polish glass shelves for us. The glasses in the shelf are for decoration only and I purchased those from Etsy by several artisans who upcycled liquor bottles by cutting them and polishing the edges, making them into drinking glasses. We consider Peters’ Pub a work-in-progress, and I’ll continue to update my blog with wonderful recycled, upcycled and retro finds!