A sweet reader wrote in on this question, and we were happy to oblige an answer in a fun post! She said “…You do a lot of bars in homes, or at least it seems that way. They are definitely gaining popularity, (or maybe coming back?) in all their different versions. We’re thinking about adding one to our home and we were wondering if you had any tips?…”
So, bars are all the rage now and forever when it comes to just about any space in the home. They’re an amazing feature, that never really go out of style. Maybe we shouldn’t be adding dark paneling like the man caves of yore, but if done right, they’re also flexible in various spaces, and offer a variety of uses. The possibilities really are endless when it comes to planning for a space. Here are a few tips and tricks for building a bar in your home!
1. Tips + Tricks for Building a Bar in Your Home: Location and Function
It’s essential to plan first. That old adage measure twice cut once, totally applies for the home.
Location: Location Is definitely the first aspect to consider, since this will probably dictate the design. Is this bar for a kitchen space or a secondary basement area? Poolside and outdoors, or front and center in its own room? Should it be integrated seamlessly into the space as a bonus area, or is it to be the main conversation piece when entering the space? These are all important aspects that will affect the over all look and feel of your bar area, and are great elements to consider.
Function: There are so many uses for bars, from a coffee area, to extra storage for plates in the basement, after entertaining poolside or in the backyard. The uses and possibilities really are endless, so it’s important to choose a space that can work hard for you, giving you exactly what you need.
Considering all things location and function are the key to thinking through uses for a space.
2. Tips + Tricks for Building a Bar in Your Home: Features to Consider
Once the over all location and function have been established, there are so many features to to consider for the room. I know I say this a lot, but the possibilities really are endless!
A wet bar for washing off glasses and mugs is a thoughtful element to incorporate if this is a need. A tiny ice maker could come in handy, for keeping drinks chilled. A fridge, big or small, gives the bar more of a “kitchenette” feel, depending on the location, and can actually bring value to a home.
From cup rinsers to even the addition of a secondary dishwasher, or changing up the seating layout to center around it, so many ideas can affect the outcome.
Be sure to check out our post here, 1 bar 3 ways!
3. Tips + Tricks for Building a Bar in Your Home: The Cabinetry
Once the function, location, and must-have elements have been established, cabinetry is the next step to bringing a bar to life!
There are so many endless options when it comes to cabinetry, and adding it to a home. A bar is usually composed of such, so that it offers storage, and high functioning areas too. There are so many possible routes to accomplish this, including DIY, big box stores, trim professionals, local cabinet companies for a custom build, and more. All of these are all great options depending on your budget and comfort level. Just make sure to investigate which is the best fit for you.
From there, the style, type, color, and more are considered depending on the route taken to build the actual bar area. Inset, overlay, and varying degrees of design for door styles offer so many wonderful options for a bar. They’re definitely something to consider.
If the options seem a little overwhelming, we recommend curating a pinterest board of what you love. That way you can whittle it down in the style department, once the location and function have been nailed down. We always say start with the dream, and pare it down from there, based on what you can do. That should help you determine which route to take.
We loved taking this closet space, and turning it into a bar area for this family, in their kitchen. The washer + dryer were relocated upstairs, next to the bedrooms.
4. Tips + Tricks for Building a Bar in Your Home: Tile + Lighting + Hardware
Now for the fun part, or the pieces that really polish it off. Beyond planning and scheming, this is the part that we love the most.
Tile: is the best way to add wonderful features to the space. Whether it’s bringing in quirky character with an amazing pattern, or making it feel like the bar has always been a part of the room, tile is the next thing to consider when bringing in a wonderful, one of a kind touch.
Lighting: Can bring so much subtle ambience without even consciously considering the over all effect of the space. Simple recessed lights are always an option, that can do so much. Something else to consider, is under cabinet lighting. So small now, they come in strips which can easily be hidden under simple shelving even if there is no overhead cabinetry. Placed on a dimmer switch, they can add so much to a space. From sconces to pendants to even a chandelier, consider lighting and the subtle touches that these options can bring to a space.
Hardware: A tiny addition which can make such a difference, and hardware is that final piece which does so much for the cabinetry. Like great jewelry to an outfit, it’s the perfect, polishing touch.
5. Tips + Tricks for Building a Bar in Your Home: Accessories that Work
Here are some amazing accessories to consider for a bar layout!
• simple barstools are a great place to start for extra seating. We love these, too.
• bar carts always add an element of flourish to any space.
• wine refrigerators are so handy for the good stuff.
• kegerators are always a great, subtle addition for the beer enthusiast.
• floating shelves add a useful element overhead, instead of full on cabinetry.
• a smaller bar for tiny spaces make for a great addition.
From large and spacious with lots of seating poolside, to small and intimate but working hard, bars are really a wonderful flexible area to add to any space. We hope this gets those wheels turning, if someone is in the creative mode for designing one in their own space.
What’s one tip you love for bars? We’d love to hear. Have an inspired day!