How To Choose The Perfect Bar For A Small Space

A bar cabinet oozes classic sophistication, character, and style. There's nothing like coming home to pour yourself a drink after a long hard day and making it from your own bar. You could get yourself a drink in the kitchen, but it won't come close to the full experience you get from a cabinet bar.

This is an item of furniture that suits any kind of mood, whether you're feeling social and bubbly or quiet and reserved. If you're too tired to go out, but still want a good drink, you've got it right in the comfort of your own home. Or if you have friends around, you'll have a natural place to gather and chat.

Living in a small space shouldn't stop you from creating a multi-functional home that you love. If you live in a small home, the best place to put your attention is in the corners. Corners are underutilized storage space, and they're often left empty.

Make the most of your living space with a specially-designed corner bar cabinet. There are many on the market which suit various indoor spaces and style preferences.

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Frosty Glasses

Frosty Glasses

Features to Look For

Although corner bar cabinets come in a variety of styles, they all include similar features. A good corner cabinet bar will have:

  • Protective doors which allow you to show off your collection of bottles or discreetly shut it away.
  • Room forvarious kinds of glasses, from tumblers to stemware.
  • Multiple shelves to give you optimal storage space for mixing tools.
  • Dedicated space for alcohol.

Beyond this, you'll want to look for features that suit your particular lifestyle and aesthetic needs.

Traditional Design
Bar With Wine Storage
Manufactured Wood Bar Cabinet
Corner Bar Cabinet
Gold Bar Cabinet

Assess the Size of Your Room

Although corner bar cabinets are space-saving, they still take up square footage. You'll need to measure the area you're planning on locating your bar to see how much space you have and determine your bar cabinet's maximum possible size. Also, make sure you include the room's height in your measurements.

Most bar cabinets are built vertically, but some come as squat, horizontal units. Those who care about traditional or French country-style aesthetics will love a tall and decorative mahogany piece that stretches up to the ceiling. People who prefer contemporary or industrial interior design should opt for a pared-back, simple cabinet with exposed, distressed wood, and powder-coated framework.

Consider Your Favorite Beverage

Because cabinet bars are built with storage space for bottles and glasses and come in specialized forms, it's helpful to consider what you want to store. Do you have a favorite beverage? What glasses do you use? Use this information to confirm a cabinet bar's suitability and check the specifications to make sure your needs match the cabinet's design.

If you're a fan of gin-based drinks, you'll need to make sure you've got enough space in your cabinet for a set of tall highball glasses. Those who prefer a refreshing mimosa or spritzer will need to make room for champagne flutes and rounded Copa de Balon glasses.

The good news for whiskey fans is that tumblers and single rocks glasses take up very little space in any drawer or on any surface. These glass-types are also highly adaptable so that you can use them for any drink you're taking neat, from bourbon to high-quality sipping tequila.

Whiskey Glasses

Whiskey Glasses

Determine the Main Purpose

The room's size isn't the only thing to consider when you're trying to match a cabinet to your particular space. You'll also need to think about how many people you need to cater to when entertaining.

If you want to serve large groups of friends and family, you should opt for a tall, heavy-duty unit with plenty of space for storing liquor, a built-in glass rack, and a sizable countertop for preparing garnishes.

If you're not a social butterfly and you're not looking to entertain other people regularly, you may be well-suited for a smaller, shorter cabinet bar to save on space. You can also use the top of this unit as a table or desk whenever you're not preparing drinks.

Desk Bar

Desk Bar

Find the Right Style

You don't want a cabinet bar simply for practical reasons, you also want it to coordinate with your aesthetic and the rest of your decor. Part of the fun of having a cabinet bar is how the unit adds to the style of the room.

Think about your personal style and the furniture you already own. Note the lines of your current furniture and whether they are clean and straight or ornate. Assess the room's color scheme and the wood or metal finishes on your furniture. 

If you're looking for a traditional-style design, try a tall, wood-paneled cabinet with a luxurious reddish-brown finish and decorative engravings.

People searching for something a bit more modern will love a design that blends glass, metal, and sleek, varnished wood. This type of cabinet complements the clean-cut lines and simple color scheme of a stylish, contemporary home.

If you're a fan of the shabby chic interior-style, you'll appreciate a unit with light pastel colors, distressed wood, and quirky ornamental finishes.

Whatever aesthetic you choose, make sure you're selecting a relatively compact product that has enough storage space for your drinks and glass collections.

Mid Century Modern Living Room Design

Mid-Century Modern Living Room Design

The Takeaway

Corner bar cabinets are the perfect blend of style and practicality. You can store your favorite whiskeys, rums, and wines on their shelves, rack your flutes and stack your tumblers, and use their counters for drink preparations.

These units have ergonomic, fold-out doors that allow you to pack away your liquor collection whenever you're hosting a large family gathering or a kids' play-date.

People with a small kitchen or living room may wish for an at-home bar but fear that they don't have the space. However, investing in an ergonomic, multifunctional, and stylish corner bar cabinet allows you to entertain friends and family without ever infringing upon your living space.