Putting the ‘Home’ in Home Game

The design blends J&L Marketing’s automotive expertise with UofL colors.

The design blends J&L Marketing’s automotive expertise with UofL colors.

When J&L Marketing founder and CEO Scott Joseph contacted Barry Wooley to design and outfit his luxury suite at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in late June, he had one primary directive: “Create a space that people wouldn’t want to leave when the game ended.”

Even if Wooley and team had never gotten their hands on it, Joseph’s is an enviable suite based solely on its premium location overlooking the 50-yard line on the fourth floor of the stadium. But when Joseph turned to Wooley and his team to handle the design specifics, the suite was taken to the next level.

Barry Wooley (seated) with Jacqui Smith and Jude Loew.

Barry Wooley (seated) with Jacqui Smith and Jude Loew.

From the initial client profile Wooley asks his clients to complete, he is able to get a handle on their personality – the one element that should always shine through in the design of their space. The questionnaire isn’t about what the client wants so much as who the client is. J&L Marketing is the highest-rated automotive marketing agency in the nation, so once Wooley reviewed Joseph’s profile, he came up with a concept to “murder out” the suite. (“Murdered out” is a term used in the auto industry to describe cars painted entirely flat black with a matte finish.) Joseph was immediately receptive to the idea because it tied together J&L Marketing’s with one of Louisville’s team colors.

Next, the design team presented Joseph a vision board with swatches and the preliminary ideas of their concept. Once Joseph made decisions about lighting and a few other basics, Wooley went to work. What happened next is almost unbelievable. From concept to completion, his team transformed the space into an entirely customized, unique space in a mere 30 days.

No detail has been overlooked. The two custom pub tables at the front of the suite are made of bluestone and are heavy enough to handle a gusty afternoon with the interior glass doors open without toppling. The linear carpet planks are not only durable and attractive but they allow for a single piece to be replaced should there be a major stain or spill. There are three flat-screen TVs along one wall for guests who may prefer to lounge in the club-like space instead of occupying one of the 18 open-air stadium seats overlooking the field. The kitchenette is equipped with a wine chiller and a water filtration system, and there is even a basket of beautiful faux-fur throws for the chilly games of November and December.

A Ford truck tailgate turns into a  table.

A Ford truck tailgate turns into a table.

But it’s the unique features rather than the practical that make this suite truly incredible. Giant gold cardinal wings are positioned above the bar area. Red accents throughout warm the room. The centerpiece is a salvaged red and black Ford truck tailgate, literally built into the wall, that, when pulled down, transforms into a buffet table, highlighted with red rope lighting and ready to serve the 25-30 guests Scott typically hosts during any given game. If that tailgate shares the spotlight at all, it’s with the larger-than-life cardinal bird figurines perched on a wire lining the front of the suite. Details like these set this suite apart from neighboring suites in such an uncommon way, it’s hard to process the personalized work that was poured into the finished product. The result is staggering. Not only would a guest want to stay when a game ends, it’s likely they may never want to leave.

Barry Wooley is no stranger to the “home game.” In fact, he’s basically the MVP. It takes a village, however, to realize something so individual and customized. It’s important to mention the myriad of talents he has the opportunity to work with. Beyond teammates Jude Loew and Jacqui Smith, his expanded network of professionals includes paper hanger Susan McKinney, carpenter Graham Chamberlain, artisan Tom Whited and specialty painters Paco Torres and Laura Morales. These masterminds of design have come together to create something truly spectacular for Scott Joseph, and those who are able to experience it should count themselves truly lucky. VT

Barry Wooley Designs is located at 835 E. Main St. To arrange a consultation and let Barry’s team turn your vision into a gorgeous reality, visit barrywooley.com or call 502.569.7101.

Story by Kris Ritcher | Photos by Jacob Zimmer