Thursday, May 9, 2013

How to Create a Home Bar

It's thirsty Thursday! Am I still allowed to use that phrase when I've been out of college for 7 years?? Hmmm- Let's roll with it. We do not have a home bar in our house anymore. Being that my husband is a music teacher, and we have something like 60 students trotting through our downstairs every week, the whole main floor has to be child-proof and G-rated. Back in the days before piano lessons though, we had a couple different home bars, and they were super cool. A home bar is something every adult home should have. They take up relatively little space, are easy to pull together, and are super chic. Don't consume as much booze as me?
Well then, you can have a coffee or tea bar instead, you health guru.

So here are the basics to making a home bar:
1. What will the bar itself be? There are 1001 choices though some pieces of furniture especially lend themselves to it. Antique dressers, any rolling cart, side tables (if they're tall enough), antique tables, sideboards, and hutches all work great. It's up to you to decide how much space you need and if you want the bar to A) hold just the alcohol,  B) hold the alcohol and the glasses, or C) hold the alcohol, the glasses and have a little tabletop work area to mix, slice limes, and all that good stuff.

2. Pretty containers are a must. You can get spectacular vintage cut glass decanters for $1 at tag sales, the goodwill, and the flea market. I swear you can get enough of them to house all your liquors for under $10. Or mix it up and keep some of the liquor in its bottle, put the whiskey, brandy and rum in decanters. The glasses are equally easy to obtain. Tag sales, flea markets and second hand stores are brimming with beautiful antique and vintage glasses. Just buy what you like- don't focus too much on matchy-matchy. Consider each glass to be an individual sculpture. You'll enjoy your drink more if you're sipping it from something unique and attractive.

3. Go for extras- There are so many fun  accessories you can snag for a few bucks to really flesh out the bar. Get a couple antique cork screws or bottle openers. It never hurts to have a cutting board on hand, or some funky coasters. Have a good time with it- every home bar will be a unique reflection or your personal taste!
Here are some fun examples!
I've picked up three of these vintage industrial rolling carts over the years because I find them irresistible. I love the yellow on this one.

As I said, if alcohol isn't your thing, or you have a G-rated downstairs like me- do a coffee bar! It will make your morning routine feel so much more glamorous. This is an awesome coffee bar.

Another super cool rolling cart. Drinks on top, bottom shelf for glasses and accessories.

I like how all the bottles have been corralled in a wicker basket, with the shelves above displaying the glasses here.

Slightly unrelated- but these bar stools. HOLY MOLY - so beautiful!!

Again the alcohol bottles are all in a basket here, with the glasses on shelves above.
I like the neat row of glass pitchers  too.

A gorgeous space with an awesome bar cart to boot. Look at the wine bottles one the bottom shelf- very clever. And of course, the artwork is exceptional.

I love how the vintage blue glasses here add color and personality.

Even if you don't have loads of space, a teensy table can be fully tricked out. This bar has a fine selection of alcohol. highballs, lowballs, shot glasses, a mixer, a little cutting space- so neat!

A regular Federal bowfront chest gets a new purpose as a classy bar here.

For the summer- make your bar mobile by gathering everything you need into a pretty wire basket. You can prep it inside and then bring it outside to enjoy!

For the dedicated drinker- a large piece of furniture does the trick. This antique work bench makes an amazing bar.

Another space saving idea- build the bar right into the wall with some shallow shelving.

A stunning kitchen complete with an antique sideboard turned bar. More modern glass shelves balance the rustic appeal of the rustic chipped paint sideboard. 

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