I can’t think of anything more fun and enjoyable than entertaining friends and family at home, whether it be around the Christmas Tree or out by the pool, it will always be one my favorite things to do year round. No matter the season or the reason, entertaining always entails having plenty of wine, cocktails and my favorite, those deliciously sweet and tangy frosted drinks. The only question is where and how to serve them.
Most of the luxury homes we decorate have built-in elaborate bars with every built-in gadget and feature that would easily rival the biggest and best bars on The Strip. Others have a modest counter area set aside as a bar, other homes have nothing at all. Regardless where your home falls into the mix, creating a home bar should be next on your to do list.
Lets assume that your home was not built without a dedicated bar room or an elaborate built-in bar in your family or living room. The first thing you’ll want to do is decide where to put your home bar. Common places include kitchens, dining rooms, and family rooms as people often entertain guests in those rooms. If you live in an area with great weather year-round, you could even consider an outdoor bar. If your undecided, I have solution for you as well.
More often than not, all you’re going to need is a little space, a near-by electrical outlet and a little imagination. Lets take a look around. Perhaps your home has a space under the stairs, or a recessed wall in the family room that us too small for a sofa ,or too far from the TV. These make perfect bar areas.
Now that we found the perfect spot in your home for your new bar, the question remains whether to build it in or create something free-standing or portable. A built-in dedicated bar can be as simple as a counter with a few drawers, cabinets and a power outlet. If space permits, a small refrigerator can also be incorporated into the unit. The second option is to go portable, which would include a stand-alone freestanding bar or even a bar cart. The later has become very popular the last few years for a variety of reasons, first and foremost in that they do not take up a lot of room, and they can be wheeled outside during the nice weather. At Mercato Interiors we carry a great selection of portable bars and bar carts to suit every taste and budget.
Using built-in cabinets or large furniture can make your bar look more distinguished and showcase your liquor, drink ware and other bar accessories. Built-in cabinets are the most expensive option, but they also give your bar the most stately, permanent look. If built-in is too big of a task, using a buffet table, cabinet or bookshelf is another way to incorporate storage in your bar and feature fun pieces of furniture.
A built-in kitchen island can double as a bar and serve several purposes. Islands provide ample space for preparing and serving drinks or hors d’oeuvres at a party. With the addition of few bar stools, guests can sit at the bar and socialize. If your island has a sink which will help you clean glasses quickly and serve drinks faster, then you’re ready to go.
Seating is key to having guests linger in your bar area, whether with traditional bar stools or comfortable lounge seating. You want to have room for your guests to socialize comfortably; this can be as simple as adding a few vintage chairs near the bar or rearranging your space so that chairs, couches and other seating complement the bar area.
If you’re going to be playing bartender, you’ll need some ice and a place to keep your beverages cold. Small refrigerators can be placed within the lower cabinetry of your buffet or console, and come in a wide variety of styles and prices. A vintage ice bucket will create a focal point on the bar as will a modern stainless steal drink mixer.
Once you’ve set up your bar, complement it with great service-ware such as shakers, cocktail napkins and a variety of glasses for all types of beverages. You can spend as much or little money as you’d like doing this, ranging from matching cut-glass pieces to quirky antiques and flea-market finds.
Regardless how small or elaborate your bar may be, you’ll learn that having one will become the catalyst for a good social event. Last of all is a good reason to invite your friends over for an evening of fun and drinks, keeping in mind that sometimes the best reason is no reason at all. Cheers!
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