THE HORST CIGAR BUNKER
By: J.D. Horst, Cigar Enthusiast
As I embraced a new job opportunity, in late spring of 2020, it required my family and I, to relocate. Prior to starting our house hunting efforts, my wife gifted me a very cool custom cigar and bourbon canvas piece. Little did she know, this sparked my interest to build a swanky in-house smoking lounge!
Thanks to Joe Graham Homes for helping us find a home that checked off all of our wants to include an updated kitchen, master suite, etc., but most importantly a finished basement space that contained a 10 by 14-foot bedroom which would later become the Cigar Bunker.
We closed on June 26, 2020, and within two weeks of moving, I started prepping the space to ensure it would be done in time to enjoy my premium cigars during the frigid Northern Illinois winters. The first task was to establish a budget and create a vision. I knew I wanted something with a dark, vintage, speakeasy look. This was much different than the newly painted white walls and trim, and light carpet currently occupying the room.
In addition to establishing the aesthetics, I also needed to identify how to mitigate smoke and odor from entering the rest of the house as not to disturb the wife and kids! After thorough research, I selected the Rabbit Air MinusA2 HEPA Air Purifier with odor remover filter. This air purification system is able to filter out particles less than 0.1 microns in size (tobacco smoke ranges from .1 to 25 microns) so I felt confident going with this option. Another important area to address was sealing up any penetrations in and out of the room which included the door and recessed lighting. The doorway was addressed by installing exterior weather stripping on the frame and a door sweep on the bottom. I added copper patina tiles to the ceiling which eliminated the recessed lighting concern, completing the look!
Now let’s talk about the construction swag! I choose the paint color black tar for the walls and bourbon barrel oak vinyl plank for the floor covering. As mentioned previously, I installed copper patina ceiling tiles to cover the recessed lighting and complete the vintage speakeasy look. Since I removed the existing lighting, I decided to use a drop light conversion kit that allowed me to drop edison style bulbs. The light kits came with gromets which ensured a tight seal between the tile and cord, eliminating any future smoke traveling paths.
Moving on from construction swag to comfort swag! I repurposed some solid wood black furniture pieces that have somehow traveled with me from my college days. For the seating, I wanted something different than the typical club chair, so, brown leather patch work with walnut legs it was. Not only are they stylish, they are very comfortable! Finishing the room swag off is a 6 by 7-foot tobacco colored cowhide rug I commissioned from Brazil, and lastly, a whitetail buck deer mount harvested by my father!
The bunker has served me well during the COVID-19 lock-downs, rainy and cold days, allowing me to enjoy my cigars and libations in comfort while reflecting on the day or days to come. Please check out the THE HORST CIGAR BUNKER MANIFEST which provides a cost breakdown to the various items used!