Home Bar Planning
Few improvements on a home can make
the kind of positive, lasting impression that installing a home bar does. A personal bar in the
home, basement, or patio adds a sophisticated, convenient entertainment center during dinner
parties, celebrations, and get-togethers. A personal home bar is a center during parties- a place
to be found- where the host is available for the guests to stop by and strike up a conversation.
Throw in a blender and a few good stories, and the entertainer can make a party truly
With a growing family, a home bar can also serve
as the focal point for a children's party. The refrigerator can be used to store ice cream, cold
drinks and lemonade as well as napkins, paper plates, and other party necessities. A bar located in
a basement can be used to store snacks and soda and used as a recreation center for teenagers who
can enjoy a pool table and the privacy of a basement area, enjoying themselves while the rest of
the home remains relaxing and quiet without disturbing other occupants.
The planning stage will
include four major factors:
Home Bar Storage and
Balancing floor space and bar space
in a home can be a tricky situation. Homeowners who are choosing a home bar plan may wish to
install a "back bar", as shown on the left, or a classic bar design like the one shown above. The
back bar offers the optimal layout for those who want to save as much floor space as possible.
However, it does not offer the storage or the "elbow room" of a classic bar design, with its area
for bar chairs and socialization.
Many homeowners who choose the classic bar design
will create a combination back bar and classic bar layout that maximizes the usefulness of the bar
area, with the most storage space for glasses, drinks, and accessories. If you choose this home bar
design, just be sure that you have enough space to move around within the bar, as some homeowners
may leave themselves boxed in and cramped once they've finished the project.
Convenience: Wet Bar Design? Portable (non-stationary) Home
When considering creating a home
bar, it's vital to balance whether or not you want a "wet bar" (a bar with a sink, plumbing, and
running water). A wet bar will allow you to have an easy place to dispose of drinks and ice and
will make washing glasses and countertops much easier. Having working plumbing makes it possible to
attach an ice machine and a small dishwasher for added convenience, depending on the space and
budget needed for the project.
Plumbing can be expensive to extend to the bar,
but in some cases, it can be done within a very reasonable budget. In the case of a basement bar,
there have even been cases of homeowners running lines to
the wet bar from the hot and cold washing machine lines that have more than served their needs.
However, the homeowner will need to choose between plumbing and portability when considering this
option: while many home private bars can be moved or even installed on wheels, a home wet
bar should be anchored in place.
high-quality compact fridge is key to a great home bar plan. Beer, white wine, and some
liquors are best served cold, and vodka may need to be stored in the freezer.
It's possible to store these drinks in the kitchen
refrigerator, but in many cases, such as in an patio bar or a basement bar, tromping over to
the kitchen every time the drinks run low can be a distracting
and hassling chore.
Additionally, the compact fridge is
optimal for serving a variety of nonalcoholic items as well such as milk, cream, fruit juices,
cherries, olives, seltzer water, fresh fruit, sodas, and other commodities. When choosing
a compact fridge, remember that many entertainers will underestimate their need for ice (an
amble supply is going to need plenty of space)! Also, make sure that there are plenty of available
electrical outlets. It's easy to run out of sockets when several household appliances are
running all at once. Extension cords are ugly, messy, and can be dangerous.
Durability in a Home Bar
A home bar is going to need a
surface that can come in frequent contact with spilled drinks and food. When choosing materials to
build this bar, remember that marble and many wood surfaces are going to be vulnerable to stains
and damage. Select a high-quality solid or laminate surface that can stand up to this
treatment for years to come, or coat the bar top with several coats of polyurethane as shown
to the left. When building the bar surface, remember that it's important to create a raised
area on the guest side of the bar that will allow them to rest their elbows without an
uncomfortable square edge. Along with increased comfort, this raised area will also protect the
guests and their clothing from runoff should a drink spill.
A good bar design will include a foot rest in
front of the stools that will allow the guests to rest their feet when visiting the bar. These are
best when created out of solid wood or brass for an authentic bar look. Be sure to mount them with
heavy use in mind. They should be attached firmly to the bar or mounted solidly to the floor. A
sports game can last several hours, and it's great to be able to just put your feet up and
A home built bar is a naturally
attractive addition to the home, but the right accessories can really help things come together.
Adding a dart board, a pool or ping pong table, an area for cards, and memorabilia or decorations
can really bring the look of a home bar design together. And with a pool table, some creative hosts
have even placed a plywood board over the surface along with a fancy tablecloth to double the piece
as a buffet table or makeshift dinner table! A little creativity and attention to detail, and your
home built bar will be something really special.
When creating ambiance, it's important not to
underestimate the value of good lighting. Small, recessed lights built into the top of the bar or
into the ceiling near the bar can highlight the bar and add visibility and convenience for the
guests. Suspended pendant lighting is also an attractive idea, but if there is a TV mounted into
the bar, be careful that they will not interfere with the guest's view. Standing lights
strategically placed can add an authentic, warm look to the area. And depending on the design, neon
lights and signs or well-placed LED lighting can be a fun addition. Installing a mirror on the back
of a corner bar is a great way to give the illusion of more space and make the guests feel less
like they're facing a wall, but ideally a homeowner will be able to build their bar near the best
view in the house, so that the attending
guests will be able to sit back and enjoy the scenery as they unwind.
Comfortable bar stools with arm rests are an often
forgotten touch in a home bar plan. Be sure to take the time to select nice, cushioned chairs for
company to sit and relax in. Adding a table nearby the actual bar will add versatility to the
space, opening the area up for face-to-face conversation, card games, and other entertainment. This
table can also become a great place to serve dinner, a buffet, or a birthday cake, as the occasion
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