10 Ideas for Creating a Home Bar
For a time, entertaining guests was off the menu, but as the world gives way to the new normal, it's finally time to start throwing small gatherings and celebrations again. What better way to toast a new era of social connection with your friends than by building yourself a bar at home. No need to hit the clubs when you can shake your favorite mixers to the delight of your guests. The best part about a bar, other than the fun you'll have, is that they make perfect use of a home's unusual spaces.
Every home has a few little nooks, cubbies, and oddly shaped corners that might be awkward for furniture, but they're perfect for a luxurious little bar. Are you ready to make a special place for your bottles and decorative glassware to be on display and on-hand when entertaining friends?
Bar design is one of those great opportunities in home renovation because there are so many neat ways to create your entertaining space.
1) Build a Little Bar into Your Living Room Niche
If there's an awkward space in your living room, dining area, or open-plan anything, this is the perfect place for a bar. Bars don't have to be any specific shape or design. You can tuck a little L-shaped bar into a deep nook. You can occupy the niche completely with your countertop and shelves, using its odd shape to hide the plumbing for your sink and the power for your mini-fridge. Or separate the nook with a half-wall bar and a couple of bar stools to make the niche seem like it was always supposed to be a bar.
2) Install a Pub Bar in Your Basement
Basements are a great place to install a bar. In most homes, a finished (or mostly finished) basement quickly becomes the "Den". In your family, it might be the teenage hangout, or a currently under-appreciated storage area with a spare couch, but what it could be is your very own underground pub. If you're dreaming of going all-out with your bar design, transform your basement with a pub bar and everything that means to you. Dark-stained woods, hanging glassware racks, and a mirror backsplash are all reasonable additions. Don't forget your sink, the basement is also a great place for a little additional plumbing.
3) Design a Bar Cart for Anywhere
Don't have a great place to install a bar? Build a bar cart instead. A bar cart can roll to any room in the house - wherever the party is getting started. Whether your guests want to gather in the living room or out on the deck, you can roll the drink-making supplies to wherever is most relaxing to make cocktails - shaken or stirred. A little brass or even bamboo cart might be the most charming way to serve drinks to your guests. Just remember to keep your ice trays full, as a bar cart can't actually have its own mini-fridge for ice and chilled ingredients.
4) Add a Pass-Through Bar on Your Patio
Love to sip a drink on the patio or out on the deck? Make this part of your bar design. There are two great ways to do this. The first is to build your bar outdoors; an especially rewarding decision if you have a pool or hot tub. But if you'd rather mix drinks indoors, build your bar on the opposite side of the patio wall and install pass-through window. Turn it into a place to chat and hand drinks back and forth from partygoers and the bartender, cozy indoors with their own sink and a very safe rack of glassware.
5) Build a Closet into a Bar Nook
Linen closets have almost completely fallen out of fashion, especially those located in otherwise open-plan living spaces. If you have a closet that serves mostly to collect clutter, why not transform it into your bar nook, instead? Take off the door, update the door frame, and build a bar right into the closet. This is a great place for a little sink, a hidden mini-fridge and a rack of beautiful glasses that match the color of your cabinetry paint. This is a great way to add a bar for entertaining to your public rooms without using any of the actual room floor space for your bar installation.
6) Design a Dual-Purpose Bar and Kitchenette
Have you also been thinking fondly of installing a kitchenette? Large homes often benefit from having a second sink, fridge, and maybe even a burner or two in a far corner of the house. The upstairs loft, the basement den; these are places where a kitchenette can make your life easier - and a bar can make your life more fun. Fortunately, Kitchenettes and bars need the same essentials, so you can design a two-for-one. Kitchenette by day, bar by night.
7) Separate A Too-Open Floorplan
In open-plan homes, half-walls are often used to break up the space without closing off the room. This is a good way to differentiate between areas while enjoying the vaulted ceilings and shared nature of the space. Want to define some space without a half-wall? Build a bar instead. A freestanding bar, or one anchored to a wall on one side, can make an excellent divider and a floating place for seats and socialization.
8) Create a Hidden Bar Behind Sliding Doors
One of our favorite home bar designs is the hidden bar. Using sliding wood doors, you can completely enclose your bar in a very tidy way when it's not in use. Guests who haven't been to your cocktail party, will have no way of knowing that a bar is behind the panel. In fact, you can use custom cabinetry to make look like a simple wall of drawers and shelves when the "bar is closed". And when the bar is open? It transforms your wall from drab to fabulous with a dramatic slide of the panel.
9) Strategize Bar-Friendly Seating
Whether your bar is open all day or closes down when the sun is up, don't forget to strategize more friendly bar seating. Bar stools, lightweight chairs, and more casual seating arrangements are all welcoming to guests you've invited over to entertain. Daytime guests will enjoy your eclectic set of available chairs while bar-time guests will appreciate a welcoming scene to share toasts with close friends.
10) Transform a Wall with Bottles and Glassware
Finally, let's not forget that the bottles and glasses of barware make excellent decorations. If you're not shy about your love of entertaining, turn your bar into an opportunity to transform a room. Use floating shelves to display your beautiful collection of full and empty bottles and fascinating glassware.
Are you contemplating building yourself a cozy bar this season? Whether you're designing your own underground pub or a clever hide-away bar in the living room, we have lighting to transform these extra spaces into stylish luxury. Contact us today to further explore renovation ideas and plans for your home.