Many people want to create an at-home bar but worry about the effort and money involved in making it stylish and functional.
There's no need to feel intimidated. You'll find there are many simple, affordable ways in which you can develop and style your at-home bar so that it feels both upmarket and characterful.
Here, you'll find some top tips for creating a fashionable at-home bar, from investing in a corner bar cabinet to designing your own form of ambient lighting.
Add Comfortable Seating
One effective way to style your at-home bar is to bring in some fashionable, comfortable seating. Family and friends will love sinking down into a faux leather sofa or perching on an ottoman with their drinks.
You can pick and choose the style of seating to suit the overall vibe of your bar. If you're going for a minimalist set-up, invest in a couple of handwoven wishbone chairs. If your bar has a contemporary or mid-century modern feel, try out some tulip or egg chair designs.
Traditional-style at-home bars may have darker, decorative features and a finished wood look. To complement this classic style, add a couple of Chesterfield-style chairs near the countertop to emanate post-1700s European design.
Purchase Functional Small Storage
The key to a stylish and space-saving home bar cabinet is the right storage. Small storage containers ensure your bar countertops and shelves stay organized and clutter-free.
Look for storage that complements the aesthetic of your corner bar cabinet. For traditional ornate units in a dark wood finish, try cut glass boxes or metallic decorative trays to keep mixing utensils. If your unit has an industrial style, wire baskets are ideal for grouping your glassware.
For low-line units with minimal shelving, you may need to install racks for stemware or floating shelves above the unit to increase its functionality.
Create Your Own Lighting Style
When you're designing your bar space, make sure you get the lighting right. There's nothing worse than an at-home bar that's bathed in the bright glare of your living room ceiling lights.
You'll want to create a soulful ambiance by bringing in low, mellow lighting that matches the atmosphere of your favorite bars.
As with the storage compartments and chairs, you can choose different lamp or bulb types depending on the style of bar you are trying to achieve.
If you want your lights to be a focal point of your bar space, it's worth investing in statement pendant lamps. These come as shades or decorative glass bulbs that you can hang from your ceiling. Pendant-style lighting suits contemporary and transitional-style home bars.
If you want something a bit more rustic and affordable, then consider buying some fairy or string lights. You can fit these around your bar cabinet and give the space a warm and welcoming vibe.
Those wanting to pull out all the stops for their stylish, sleek home bar will love under-counter lighting. These lights illuminate your bar from underneath the top shelf. This type of uplighting makes your guests feel like they're in a high-end, downtown club.
Try a Corner Bar Cabinet
If you want a fashionable at-home bar but have limited space, it's a great idea to invest in a corner bar cabinet. You can use these stylish units to store your alcohol, rack your beverage glasses, and even prepare your cocktail garnishes.
These cabinets slot neatly into the corner of your living room, dining room, study, or kitchen. Whenever you have friends or family over, you can open up the wood-paneled doors to reveal a well-stocked and equipped home bar.
If you're really stuck for space, you can invest in a shorter corner bar cabinet with a sizable countertop: these cabinet-types double up as tables or desks for when you're not drinking with friends. You could opt for a cabinet with castors so that it's easy to move when you want to create space for other activities.
People who crave the traditional, solid wood look will love a tall mahogany or walnut cabinet with a glossy, varnished finish.
Stock Up on the Essentials
You can't have a home bar without the right gear. Make sure you stock up your at-home bar properly before inviting guests.
It's best to start with a small, customized selection of classic liquors and gradually build your collection. You don't want to invest in a few bottles of high-end Macallan if neither you nor your friends drink straight Scotch whiskey.
Flexible spirits like vodka and rum create a plethora of refreshing and delicious cocktails, while gin pairs delightfully with tonic water, fresh lime, and lemonade.
If you're a fan of Manhattans and Old Fashioneds, buy some good-quality bourbon and rye whiskey. Tequila may not be to everyone's taste, but it's the essential base ingredient in many crowd-pleasing classic cocktails.
Make sure you've got a small bottle of bitters. You use this flavoring to coat tumbler glasses and add a dash of delectable intensity to your Sazeracs, Martinis, and Pink Gin cocktails.
For equipment, invest in a stainless steel cocktail shaker with silicone seals and a straining lid. Make sure you get an ice bucket as well so that you're not always walking back and forth to the freezer to collect more cubes for mojitos or Moscow mules. Include a jigger so you can accurately measure shots of alcohol and get the balance of the cocktails correct.
The Final Thoughts
There are many simple ways to create an elegant and ambient bar space that impresses your friends and family.
From investing in some fashionable seating and lighting that suits your bar's style to adding storage compartments that bring a dash of personal flair to the space, you can create a trendy and striking statement.
If you're struggling for space, there are plenty of compact, heavy-duty and fashionable corner bar cabinets that can store your premium-quality liquor while taking up very little room. Add some floating shelves, unique bar stools, or comfy seating to a corner bar cabinet to create your speakeasy, cigar lounge, or Parisian-styled cocktail bar.