Don't get me wrong - I certainly don't have anything against bar carts. In fact I love using them whenever the party's happening in a space that doesn't have a "real" bar handy, like at our Scandanavian-inspired holiday dinner party.
But if we're designing a space for a client where I know they'll want to entertain, I work to give them a little "diy bar" spot so hosting friends and family for impromptu or planned get-togethers is just that much easier.
Whether you already have them or you acquire them specifically for this purpose, built-ins and armoires are perfect for creating a bar wherever you happen to want one in your home.
The goal, of course, is to be able to tuck away glasses, bottles, and other cocktail making supplies in a handy, but out-of-the-way spot.
If you happen to have room for a small bar sink and/or a beverage cooler, that's great. But all you really need is essentially a cabinet, preferably with a mix of open shelving and closed storage, and a flat surface or counter on which to set a tray of glasses or to cut lemons and limes.
We created a pantry-like cabinet adjacent to our clients' living room bar built-ins. It's great for stashing a back stock of bottled waters, sodas, and less-used spirits.
This bar - made from a full wall of darkly stained built-ins in our clients' home - means they're always ready for a quiet glass of wine together in the evening or a big cocktail party with friends and neighbors.
If you don't have (and don't want) built-ins, a "barmoire" like the one we custom made for our clients could be the answer for you.
It's not as permanent as built-ins, of course, which means you can take it with you if you move. The doors keep little hands (not to mention dust!) at bay, but when they're left open, the mirror and glass surfaces inside add a nice sparkle to the room.
As much as our clients are enjoying their barmoire right now, this piece is so beautifully made inside and out that it's sure to be treasured by the family for generations.
If you have a sitting or living area off your kitchen, think about adding a small bar (or even just a beverage center for your kids) as we did in our client's home. So handy! And it keeps kitchen traffic down while someone's trying to cook a meal.
By continuing the kitchen's counters and cabinetry around the corner into the breakfast nook, the beverage center blends in seamlessly with the rest of the kitchen's design.
Again, they're not absolutely necessary, but wine and beverage coolers are pretty great. They're becoming more and more popular with homeowners at the moment, so manufacturers are making versions in all sizes and price ranges, which means it's getting easier and easier to find just what you want.
Your home bar is going to need a cutting board or two!
And if you're lacking a counter, you can create one by putting a cutting board right on top of an open drawer. We built one into the barmoire's drawer just for that purpose.
The thumb hole makes it easy to slide into place and to remove it for cleaning. Pretty clever, right?!
And don't forget to make your home bar beautiful! Add a gorgeous, eye-catching wall covering or antiqued mirror behind the open shelving so the whole shebang adds some eye appeal to the room.
After all, you're going to have to look at your home bar even more than you use it!
Open wood shelving, painted brick walls, and modern lighting will make any bar area look fresh and current.
Pretty trays and glasses, as well as live plants, cut flowers, or bowls of fruit are great for dressing up your bar up to suit the room.
Where will you create a diy bar in your home? If you have the will but you just can't find a way, give us a call. We'll help you create built-ins or a barmoire of your own!