Room Envy: A Briarcliff garage becomes an upscale man cave

Simone Alisa created a swanky, upscale auto lounge and cigar bar
Man Cave
Photograph by Patrick Heagney

Simone Alisa may have named her interior design firm Been There Done That, but she’ll admit that an upscale garage/man cave was something she’d never attempted. Enter Malcolm Cunningham, who owns several Atlanta-area car dealerships. He wanted the three-car garage of his Briarcliff-area home to be revamped as an auto lounge and cigar bar. “Most clients only want to pull in and park,” she says. “But this project needed to be ‘pull in and play.’” Simone Alisa,

Nifty shades of gray
Cunningham envisioned charcoal walls and black leather seating to unify the room’s look with color. Custom gray lacquer cabinets hold bar accessories, snacks, and cigar paraphernalia, while counter-height, steel-trimmed black refrigerators are kept stocked for guests.

Smoking loungers
Guests are invited to enjoy cigars and brandy while reclining in oversized leather seating and watching sports on a 70-inch TV with top-of-the-line acoustics. Aluminum pub tables and swivel leather chairs provide a swanky bar-like vibe.

Uptown background
To give the room a bit more attitude, the designer added wallpaper with a subtle skyscraper motif behind the bar. “We wanted wall-paper somewhere, and the cityscape design implies you need a passport to be in this auto lounge,” says Simone Alisa.

Chrome trim
Cornice boards pick up the auto motif with a red racing stripe and chrome grommets, playing off lugs on wheels.

Club room
As a personal touch, Cunningham created custom membership cards that he gives to special friends. He also has a personalized poster promoting the garage as MC’s Auto Lounge.

White floors in a garage?
Yep, says the designer. It’s all part of a plan to allow Cunningham’s red, white (not pictured), and black 1960s Mustangs to stand out against a glossy floor. Simone Alisa used durable epoxy paint, able to withstand oil stains and water—and relatively easy to recoat if needed.

This article originally appeared in our July 2015 issue.