In the 1950s, cocktail culture demanded that every home have a bar cart or a liquor cabinet. Those with enough space had an actual freestanding bar that friends could belly up to for their favorite beverage.
Well, we can thank the pandemic for the resurgence of the home bar. After all, drinking at home is more acceptable when accompanied by a bar.
But the bar carts and liquor cabinets have a whole new look. Incorporating a small sink or refrigerator turns it into the perfect wet bar or wine cellar.
No liquor for the kids. But a small sink is perfect for the kiddos to grab a drink of water without getting underfoot, and the mini-fridge is the ideal size for drink boxes and snacks. (And yes, grown-ups can store liquor up top.)
Find a Niche
If you have a small space perfect for a cabinet or sideboard, add some shelves, and you've got the ideal spot for a cocktail cabinet.
Elevate it, Hide it
Stash your liquor stash in hanging cabinets. Add some glass doors, glass shelves, and hidden LED lighting to create a stylish, colorful display. Martini anyone?
If you're fortunate enough to have a closet you don't need, turn it into a hip recessed bar. Keep it tucked away behind closed doors or remove them to put everything on display.
Basement Bar? Of Course!
You know how everyone ends up in the kitchen during a party? Build a bar in the basement, and that's where guests will congregate.
And the best part of a basement bar? You can decorate the space to look like your favorite bar! A cool bar top with seating, a sink, and plenty of storage will make your basement bar rock.
But the best part? Because it's in the basement, you can install other elements such as a full-size (small-ish) refrigerator with an icemaker, a dishwasher, your favorite brew on tap, and recycle bin for empties. Install a flat-screen TV, some cool signage and décor, and presto! Sports bar.
Bar on a Budget
If you don't have the money (or permission) to install built-ins, consider this: Floating shelves are quick and easy to mount and look very cool. Installing a wall-hung cabinet is a great idea for stashing bottles and glasses. Or go all out and use a wardrobe for lots of space.
As for a countertop for mixing and stashing napkins and such, a sideboard is ideal. It's the right height, and if you place it away from the wall, there's space for you to stand behind it and play bartender.
Set it Apart
If you'd like your bar to have a bit of personality and stand apart from the rest of the room, consider adding some lighting. Undercabinet puck lighting, LED lighting behind glass doors, or light strips on the floor under furniture will give it a relaxed feel. If you are installing a wet bar, a ceramic tile backsplash is a must that adds character.
Don't Forget the Coffee Klatch
If coffee is your thing, you can easily use these ideas to create a coffee bar worthy of Central Perk. Shelves can hold your grounds and pods in pretty containers, the coffeemaker, espresso maker, and coffee grinder are right at home, and a series of pegs are the perfect place for mugs. A mini-fridge keeps creamers fresh.
Blend In or Stand Out?
If you don't want your bar to be the room's focal point, use wood or laminate pieces that coordinate with the other furniture in the room. Using cabinets with doors will help conceal the contents within.
But if you want your bar to pop, use open shelving, lighting, and unexpected textures such as stone or metals to make it stand out. Bar stools or small bistro tables will create relaxing seating for conversation or a round of cards.
Now that we've shared these ideas, look around your space, and we guarantee you'll find the perfect spot for creating your home bar.