IN THE DETAILS: Paramount’s Garage-Style

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” ― Thomas A. Edison

We asked ourselves, “What would happen if we took high style and made it hypermasculine?” The answer: the Paramount bar. The entire space is a play on materials and fabrication and possibilities. And we should know; we have a workshop full of bar stool prototypes to prove it.

Paramount is an exercise in custom, in asking ourselves what we could do with modest materials then letting our imaginations loose. What they came back to was a kind of upcycled space, a rough-and-ready elegance befitting this gastropub take on an arcade dive bar.

What we love about Paramount is that it doesn’t look like anyplace else in Birmingham. Many downtown designs feature rustic pipe detailing and aged wood for the utilitarian upcycling of modern industrial style. Paramount shares the Loft District’s stripped-down aesthetic but with a look we think of as millennial grunge.

Where modern industrial tends to focus on revealing the layers formerly hidden behind drywall or plaster,  Paramount takes a clean, finished space and roughs it up. It’s less an exercise in reclaiming details and more a “make it work” challenge with generic garage supplies. Instead of being deconstructed, it’s very deliberately constructed — as though you could take it apart at any moment and build something else entirely.

What the styles share, though, is a sense of timelessness, and we think that’s why industrial edge has taken such a design hold. Once you abandon elaborate finishes for constituent parts, you realize nuts and bolts can find a home in any decade. In fact, the Paramount’s garage details work with both the mid-century mural in the main bar and the late-century arcade favorites in the game room, which is exactly how it should be.

Click through the gallery for a glimpse of our favorite Paramount moments, including:

– A chandelier-style installation of tiered utility lights

– Electrical cord-wrapped drum pendants

– Squared-off stool frames we think of as high-design shop class

– Tire rims two ways — as room dividers and bar supports — with little spots of color

– Garage door store fronts for year-long style and warm weather function

Head over to our project page to see even more.


Team Appleseed