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Five Ways to Create an Amazing Home Bar

Home bars are a great addition for anyone who loves to host or experiment with new drink recipes. From small and flexible to big and built-in, if you’re wondering where to start or what’s possible, we’ve compiled five ideas to help get you started, no matter your budget or space.

May 25, 2023

Home bars are a fun addition to your space, no matter what your drinking preferences are. They’re the perfect place to entertain as a gathering spot where conversations – and beverages – easily flow.

And if you’re thinking of a big, built-in space or room, think again. The options for including a designated bar in your home are abundant! We’re here to help steer you in the right direction so your next soirée goes off without a hitch.

Make your home bar a reality on any budget and in any space.

Home bars can be accomplished with all budgets, big and small! They don’t need to be built from scratch, and fixtures like sinks, beer taps, state-of-the-art wine displays, or outlets aren’t required to achieve a basic bar. And if you want to go all out, that’s always an option, too!

A Free-Standing Bar

Free-standing bars are a great option for a home bar. They’re flexible, customizable, and come in all sizes to fit all spaces. Think bar carts, rolling islands, or credenzas. And we aren’t above setting aside a designated shelf on a bookshelf, either!

Sunset Hill Overlook – Board & Vellum
In Plain Sight

Do you see that sphere behind the couch? That’s actually a vintage, free-standing bar. During events, it’s easy to open and enjoy. And during the day it’s a delightful piece of furniture that adds to the space.

Freestanding bars are typically smaller in size and can be hidden, stashed, repurposed, or moved around as fits your lifestyle. Let the bar come to you: sometimes front and center and sometimes off in a corner, they're flexible and easy to customize. If you’re working with limited space, a free-standing bar is an excellent option.

Repurpose Your Built-Ins

Home bars don’t have to be their own, stand-alone feature. Consider adding a home bar to an existing feature of your home. If you have built-ins, consider using them! A buffet, bank of cabinets, countertop (you get the idea) can be the starting point for an awesome home bar space.

Built in storage in the dining room at the Condo at the Market – Modern Condo – Board & Vellum
The Built-In Bar

A portion of counter space on this large built-in was repurposed as home bar. Conveniently located, it adds to the party without disrupting the flow of the space.

Incorporating a bar in this way helps to integrate it into the existing look and feel of your space. And standing alongside books, artwork, and other treasures adds intimacy to the space. The best part is, these are often in the entertainment areas of your home, anyway, like the dining room or living room. Out in the open or tucked inside a cabinet, there a many ways to create a custom bar space as part of an existing feature in your home.

Find ways to define the space.

As mentioned, you don’t need anything custom or fancy to make a great home bar. Once you’ve decided on a space that works for you, a few simple accessories and essential pieces declare its purpose.

Home Bar Décor Essentials

What’s a home bar without some decorations? Whether you want to keep it simple or live that maximalist life, find ways to spruce up your home bar space with things that make it shine.

All the Essentials

Look in the back. This small, efficient home bar is brought to life by all the home-bar and cocktail-making essentials.

Home bar décor essentials might include an ice bucket and scoop, decanters, and cocktail glasses. Perhaps you might include a few bottles of your favorite beverages, shakers, and stirrers. You get the idea! Don’t be afraid to put functional items out on display to give your bar space an identity.

Wine & Beer Fridges

What if you have a really small space without a lot of room for customization. Enter the wine fridge. When it comes to wine and beer coolers, there are a bunch of options available on the market. All you need is a small space or nook located in a common area, or one that’s easily accessible to you and your guests.

A fully-equipped outdoor kitchen. The mini-fridge is open showing cans of beverages.
Small But Mighty

A strategically placed beverage fridge makes this outdoor lounge and kitchen a friendly and convenient place to grab a drink and hang out.

Because wine and beer coolers serve more as storage than a functional bar, you might find room for them within an existing footprint or in a small underutilized area.

Bottle Displays

More of a wine person? An eye-catching bottle display may be the solution for you. These displays can be used to decorate walls, add interest to shelves, or take up a whole room.

Woodinville Pivot – Modern Interior Design – Board & Vellum
On Display

While even a simple, everyday shelf can be turned into a bottle display, there’s something impressive about dedicating a whole wall (or room!) to your wine collection.

Large or small, bottle displays can be customized to fit your space. They’re a fun and simple DIY project, or you can search the market for pre-built and modular options within your budget.

What if I’m going all out?

If you have the resources to build a full bar, we say go for it! You’ll need the desire to have a space dedicated to entertaining and all the fun that comes along with it. With plans to include a sink, power outlets, refrigerator, and more, we recommend consulting an architect or interior designer to ensure your good to go.

Seattle Box Remodel – Board & Vellum – Full bar in the basement.
The Real Deal

This large home bar features all the bells and whistles alongside the essentials — from a sink and plenty of counter space to an actual bar top with seating.

There are a lot of ways to go whole hog, from a basement lounge, to a private room, to a kitchen or living room addition. Whatever works for your lifestyle, make sure you’re planning for ample storage space, areas for display, and ice – you can never have too much ice!

We hope we’ve helped you get some creative juices – or beverages – flowing! Home bars are all about fun, and the process of finding a home bar that works for you should also be about enjoying yourself. You don’t need a large budget or excess space to make your home bar dreams come true — just some creativity and help from your friends at Board & Vellum.

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