Style and function go hand in hand when creating your own bar.
By Ashley Ryan
Whether you desire a place to sip cocktails before heading out on the town or a space in which to unwind with a nightcap before bed, incorporating a bar into your home’s design can have plenty of pros.
“Home bars are a nice place to casually convene, socialize before the night begins and, most importantly, they offer a sense of circulation to gather in different environments,” notes Denise Morrison, founder and principal designer at Morrison Interiors.
The first step is always deciding on the perfect locale, and Morrison says you can’t go wrong if you choose a spot that is near the other socializing areas of the home.
Once you’ve settled on where the bar will be, it’s time to consider which materials will be used in the build. She recommends incorporating elements that are durable, such as quartzite, metals or human-made options, as she says, “You never want to tell a guest, ‘Careful, don’t put that drink on the bar.’ ” Morrison adds that you should also avoid selecting materials that you have to worry about ruining, as you’ll often be using acidic elements like lemons and limes on a bar.
When you’re determining the color palette for the space, it’s best to embrace the hues used elsewhere in the home. “Whether that be cooler or warmer, you want the space to feel cohesive. For example, choose a slab on the louder end but tone it down with subtle wood,” Morrison says, noting that darker colors have been trending as of late to create a more moody aesthetic.
Morrison says that one reason these spaces have been gaining popularity is because people like the look and feel of restaurant bars, and are trying to re-create that in the comfort of their own homes. As such, the mood of the space is pivotal. Use lighting to introduce added ambiance in your home bar, with a small lamp or hanging pendant lights.
Another element that you simply must include is furniture—namely, bar stools. While Morrison says it’s crucial that they are comfortable so your guests have a pleasant visit, style is key. “The bigger the statement, the better—as long as you can sit comfortably,” she adds.
Some other essentials may be an ice maker, with many types to choose from, allowing you to customize the size and shape of the ice you serve, plus a beverage or wine fridge. “This helps chill all mixers and garnishes before your guests arrive as well as provide the perfect temperature wine,” Morrison notes.
Of course all of the things you need to serve drinks will be top of the list as well, from shakers and stirrers to decanters and glasses in a variety of shapes and sizes.
One special trend that has been popping up as of late is displaying rare collections of spirits, showcasing unique tequila or whiskey bottles or even wine. And even if they aren’t rare, this trend can be twisted to display whatever liquor and mixer options you have available in your home bar.
But don’t forget to add a touch of character to the space and really make it your own. “Accessorizing adds character to a space,” Morrison says. “We always love to add a touch of vintage. Whether that be a rustic bowl for your limes, or an antique cutting board for prep, it brings a casualness to the space.” Vessels and art can also go a long way, she adds.
Those that don’t have room for a full bar should consider investing in a cart on which to organize their beverage basics. Many are able to hold glasses, garnishes and more in addition to liquor bottles, and some have added functions that make them even more ideal for entertaining, such as removable trays up top.
Most of all, Morrison says, remember to place your cart or bar in an area where you’d want to gather. “This is a space to have fun,” she emphasizes. “Give it a restaurant feel, get creative and go for it.”
From essentials like shakers and glasses to a cart on which to store your bottles, these products will ensure you have everything you need for hosting friends and family.