If you love concocting new drinks for friends and entertaining in your home, then creating a home bar should be next on your to-do list. These seven home bar ideas will help you create a space that’s original, functional and attractive enough to become the centerpiece of your at-home entertaining.
The first thing you’ll want to decide is where to put your home bar. Common placements include kitchens and dining rooms, although living rooms and basements are also popular, as people also entertain guests in those rooms. If you live in an area with great weather year-round, you could even consider an outdoor bar.
Keep in mind that if you want your bar to have appliances such as a refrigerator, wine cooler or sink, then you’ll need water and electricity set up in that area as well.
Although some of the bars featured in our gallery are extravagant and space-consuming, you can create a home bar almost anywhere in your home with a bit of creativity and by following your own personal style.
Here are seven home bar ideas to help you get started
1. Create Storage
Using built-in cabinets or large furniture can make your bar look more distinguished and showcase your liquor, drinkware and other bar accessories. Built-in cabinets are the most expensive option, but they also give your bar the most stately, permanent look. If built-in is too big of a task, using a buffet table, cabinet or bookshelf is another way to incorporate storage in your bar and feature fun pieces of furniture.
2. Buy a Freestanding Bar
If you have the space, a ready-made unit is the easiest way to add a bar to your home. These are available to purchase at many online retailers as well as furniture stores, and typically are constructed of either wood or composite wood. Things to consider when buying a freestanding bar include the size of your space, the style of the bar and whether you would like it to have a water hookup.
3. Add an Island
Give yourself more counter space to shake and stir with a built-in island, which can serve several purposes. Islands provide ample space for preparing and serving drinks or hors d’oeuvres at a party. With the addition of barstools, guests can sit at the bar and socialize. Upgrade to a wet bar by adding a sink, which will help you clean glasses quickly and serve drinks faster. This can get costly if you don’t have a water line running nearby; you’ll also need to install the sink.
4. Make Room for Guests
Seating is key to having guests linger in your bar area, whether with traditional barstools or comfortable lounge seating. You want to have room for your guests to socialize comfortably; this can be as simple as adding a few vintage chairs near the bar or rearranging your space so that chairs, couches and other seating complement the bar area.
5. Think About Appliances
If you’re going to be playing bartender, you’ll need some ice and a place to keep your beverages cold. Small refrigerators can be placed within the lower cabinetry of your bar and come in a wide variety of styles and prices. A wine cooler is a perfect addition to a wine aficionado’s bar as well.
6. Get a Bar Cart
Not ready for a full-on renovation? A bar cart is an easy and inexpensive way to create a bar area and showcase specialty liquors, and it can be easily moved to different places in your home to serve different purposes (or parties). While there are plenty of options available at online retailers, you could also look at vintage shops, estate sales and thrift stores for a whimsical, one-of-a-kind piece.
7. Upgrade Your Drinkware
Once you’ve set up your bar, complement it with great serveware, such as shakers, cocktail napkins and a variety of glasses for all types of beverages. You can spend as much or little money as you’d like doing this; go for styles ranging from matching cut-glass pieces to quirky antiques and flea-market finds. Make sure to stock up your beverage selection, too.