Add a bar to your home
Increase your home entertainment with the addition of a home bar.
If you have the space, setting up a bar in your home is not only a fun way to entertain, it also saves you money on going out to the pub or for cocktails. The best place to site your home bar is close to your entertainment area so that guests and friends will have easy access. Placing a bar close to your entertainment area, deck or patio will also liven up the festivities. Of course, if alcohol is not part of your lifestyle, you can always set up a coffee bar.
When kitting out your home bar you can choose to go traditional - with wood fittings and accessories, elegant - with details such as chandeliers and a touch of metallic, or you can keep it rustic or plain and simple. At the end of the day it's the look you want for your bar and the budget you have to spend.
Rustic Home Bar Designs
Probably one of the easiest and affordable home bars to set up would be a rustic design. You could design a bar that incorporates a variety of inexpensive materials such as reclaimed pallet wood, salvage finds and secondhand furniture. Just because you're using rustic materials doesn't mean it has to look cheap. Spend a bit of time working on a design plan that allows you to use reclaimed materials in ways that will add to the atmosphere, and browse for secondhand bargains that can be given an overhaul.
When drawing up a sketch for your home bar, give careful considerations as to what materials are available locally. There are plenty of designs out there that look absolutely fantastic but might not be do-able. If you have a salvage yard in your area, pop in and take a look at what materials they usually sell. Alternatively, go online to check out auction sites like Gumtree and Bid or Buy. These sites are filled with sellers who have materials to sell and you might pick up exactly what you need to complete your bar.
Traditional Home Bar Designs
If your home is decorated in a traditional style, you will want to design a home bar that fits in with your decor, unless you have planned to fit the bar outdoors or in a separate room. A traditional bar generally incorporates a lot of wood, and this can be expensive unless you look at alternatives. As with rustic bar designs, check what materials are available before you start to build. You might be able to pick up reclaimed hardwoods like Oregon Pine beams or flooring that can be sanded down and incorporated into your design.
If you need a dedicated space to relax and unwind at the end of the day, or a place to entertain family and friends, a home bar is definitely a consideration - if you have the space to fit one. Whether you prefer a casual mood or a more sophisticated design, there are so many great ideas that you will be spoilt for choice!
Timber merchants and Builders Warehouse stock a variety of reasonably affordable hardwoods such as Meranti and Saligna, and these will cut down on the cost associated with more expensive hardwoods such as Oak and Teak, etc.
The traditional bar features lots of dark wood and wood panelling. If you can't afford to go for expensive timbers, replicate the look using more affordable veneered plywood and finish off with pine moulding and trim. Once you've applied a stain, sealer or varnish, it will be hard to see that you've made substitutes and it will cost you far less.
Modern and Contemporary Bar Design
Adding a modern or contemporary bar design to your home gives you more freedom to experiment with different materials. To think outside the box. You're also not constrained by having to stick to a particular style.
With a modern bar design you can save time and money by installing ready-made cupboard carcasses, or look at how you can repurpose cabinets or cupboards you already have. Look at where you want to install your home bar, whether it be in your kitchen or dining room, or outside on an entertainment area or patio, and see how you can fit ready-made cabinets into the space. Dressing up plain stock cupboards with fancy doors and a granite or marble top will make all the difference to the finished look.
With ready-made cupboards it doesn't take much to showcase your bar accessories, and you can buy these cupboards at a reasonable price from various manufacturers around the country. Builders have a select range of ready-made cupboards and cabinets that you can browse online and you can easily fit these into a space to make the feature look like it's a permanent built-in. While these are typically made of composite or board, they have a laminated finish in different styles that you can choose to complement your existing decor scheme.
Mini Bar Designs
And for those that don't have enough space for a full-on bar, or are renting their home, there's always the mini bar option. A bar cart is an easy way to add a home bar and it can easily be moved around to any area - indoors or outdoors. If you don't find what you want in home decor stores, take a look around at vintage or secondhand shops and see what you can find that only needs some TLC.
If you don't manage to find a mini home bar that you like, grab your power tools and make your own.