R. BRAD KNIPSTEIN
Bring the style and function of a real bar into your home, whether you enjoy classic cocktails, a neat pour or you’re a true wine enthusiast. With ideas that range from simple to maximalist and rustic to modern, we’ve rounded up 30 designer-approved home bar ideas to inspire your next DIY home project.
While you may keep things neutral in other rooms (with a modern kitchen or minimalist living room), a home bar is the perfect space to mix things up. An eye-catching backsplash, vibrant colors, statement lighting or unique artwork are just a few ways to inject personality into your design. According to interior designer Mary Patton, home wet bar essentials are counter space, storage for glasses and an outlet for a wine fridge. “However, if you are renting or very short on space, a well-styled bar cart will do just fine.”
We foresee colorful cabinetry, daring design choices and overstated hardware taking over kitchens in 2023, which all translate into the best home bars. Keeping with design trends for 2023, Patton predicts a continued interest in designated bar areas and mini bars. “During the height of the pandemic, home bars and lounges were my number-one design request from homeowners,” she says. “Since, people realize they like to stay home, host and entertain.”
Keep scrolling to find inspiration to fit your space, big or small. Added bonus: we sprinkled in budget-friendly ideas (hint: rolling bar carts and closest conversions).
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Get Creative With Your Backsplash
Whether you go for geometric, mosaic or a simple style, a tile backsplash is a great way to create instant character. Here, Hunter Carson Design opted for a neutral gray hue with intricate details.
Adjacent to a modern breakfast nook, this moody bar area features a combination of white, black and wood cabinetry for depth and intrigue. Designers from A1000XBetter chose a black upper cabinet with glass doors to craft a space to display glassware.
Add a Mirrored Backsplash
Not only does a mirrored backsplash help this bar area feel larger and brighter, it also gives the small space a bolder look. Here, interior designer Mary Patton adds clear tiered shelving and layers in gold accents for extra energy.
Don’t Settle for One Statement Piece
While you may typically stick to one focal point per space, the home bar is the place to let creativity run wild. Take a design risk with a striking backsplash, lighting, cabinet colors and whatever your heart desires. Here, interior designer Linda Sullivan does not shy away from attention-grabbing elements — most notably the geometric tiles in metallic antique gold.
From the moody wallpaper and high-sheen metals to the artwork reminiscent of the 1920s, Rise Interiors gives this impressive bar area an Art Deco style.
Whether used for making ice (essential if you love cocktails!) or washing glasses, a bar sink is highly functional. Here, interior designer Jaqui Seerman proves you don’t need a ton of space to install a bar sink.
Draw Inspiration From Nature
Cherry wood cabinetry, fresh flowers, greenery and nature-inspired artwork define this traditional bar space, which Sarah and Sons thoughtfully tucks away in this light-filled home.
Weave in Modern Bar Stools
Bar stools are more than seating, they’re an essential design element in a home bar. To complement the modern lighting fixture and geometric bar design, interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard goes for a pair of elevated silver stools.
Stick to Small Appliances
Adjacent to this family’s media room, this elegant wet bar has everything you need to craft delicious cocktails for movie night. There’s a wine fridge, ice maker, sink and even a small dishwasher that makes clean-up a breeze.
Reminiscent of your favorite sports bar, this rich wood home bar is accompanied by a built-in storage against the wall. Interior designer Hayley English even designates a spot for the TV.
Blend Indoor and Outdoor Living
While the large windows and surge of natural light help immensely, Alex Alonso of mr. alex TATE Design brings the outdoors in with two large indoor trees, terracotta floor tiles and raw wood slatted cabinetry.
From lighting and hardware to tabletop decor, gold elements add instant glitz and glam to any home bar. Take a note from Sara Malek Barney of BANDD/DESIGN and try a gold-rimmed glassware, a gold ice bucket and a cutting board with gold accents to create a cohesive style.
Stay Simple With a Rolling Bar Cart
If you don’t have the space for a full bar, no worries: a bar cart can feel just as elegant and serve the same function. Fill it with cocktail-making essentials, glassware and your favorite liquor.
Take Advantage of Vertical Space
Upper cabinets provide additional storage and make a small area feel larger by making use of vertical space. Another tip: Add a mirror backsplash to create the illusion of more space.
Install cabinetry, shelving and a lighting fixture in a closest and you’ll have a functional home bar in no time. Although with a design this chic, you’ll likely want to leave the doors open to showcase your setup.
Turn Glassware Into Decor
Whether you go for colorful glassware or stick with clear glasses and white mugs, your collections can easily double as decor in a tiny space. Here, Caren Rideau of The Kitchen Design Group goes for glass cabinet doors to reveal a neat display.
No counter space, no problem. Turn a slim table into a small bar counter, filling it with your favorite liquor and adding a few bar stools. For additional storage, keep a bar cabinet nearby.
A mirrored backsplash, five gold sconces, open shelving and purple velvet bar stools are only a few of the luxe design elements Martyn Lawrence Bullard brings into this arresting space.
Build Wine Bottle Storage
Red, white or rose, this built-in wine rack is the perfect way to store your collection. If that isn’t enough, add a wine fridge down below.
Blend Vintage With Modern
Tucked into a small alcove, this stylish bar space pairs earthy red oak wood cabinetry, a wicker shelf and vintage-inspired art with sleek appliances, glassware and hardware.
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Embrace a Monochromatic Look
Here, designer Mary Patton reinvents a tall bar cabinet by painting it a moody blue hue — then, she followed it up by using the same shade for the walls, ceiling and trim.
Illuminate your prep station with recessed lighting beneath your shelving, like this setup from the designers at House of One.
Mount a shelving system from the ceiling, like designer Amy Peltier does here, to add style and storage. Fill the shelves with plants and decor, or keep it functional with glassware and spirits.
Go for a Fresh Cabinet Color
To contrast the white cabinets in the kitchen, the team at Arterberry Cooke settled on a forest green shade on the bar cabinetry. This helps to create the appearance of a separate space, even if your kitchen and bar area are connected.
Bring the Bar Into the Basement
If you’ve got the square footage, turn your basement into your own cocktail lounge. With a ton of counter space, a prep sink and wine fridge, this striking setup by Alluring Designs is almost as professional as a real bar.
Use wall art and colorful glassware (including multicolor shot glasses) to bring a splash of color to your home bar, even if all you’ve got is a bar cart.
Create the Illusion of More Space
Instantly double your space (or at least create the impression that it’s larger) by adding mirrors behind the bar. Interior designer Andrea May adds glass open shelving and stocks them full of essentials.
Add a Full-Size Wine Cooler
Second best to a wine cellar is this large wine fridge, which can easily store your entire collection. Beside it, interior designer Jaqui Seerman adds plenty of counter space and a shelf full of glasses — so you can easily prepare your vino.
A distressed wood bar cart perfectly complements the exposed stone walls in this rustic living space. Complete the look with a floral arrangement set in a vintage vessel.
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