There’s nothing quite as luxurious and comfortable as walking in your front door after a long, hard day at work and seeing a lovely wet bar waiting to dispense your favorite adult beverage. Especially for lovers of mid-century modern design, a bar is an integral part of your decorating scheme, conjuring up images of sleek silver shakers, beautiful crystal stemware and an ice bucket to get just the right temperature for your dry martini, shaken, not stirred.
Today, it’s easier than ever to recreate the romance and sophistication of your own home bar. Read through our tips to design one that fits perfectly with your personality and within the design scheme of your home.
Where to Put a Bar
That’s the first decision to make. Whether you are incorporating a wet or dry bar in your home or office (great way to entertain clients!), the location is the number one consideration. Wet bars can be added to a nook, a wall with a view or become a built-in extension of any room. Traditionally, bars were part of the main living area but today there are no rules; it can just as easily become an addition to your kitchen or dining room as it could be added to a bedroom suite or home office space.
Floating shelves above a cabinet, in particular, make it simple to store decanters and glasses while doing double duty as a sophisticated design element. An empty wall or space below a picture window are also ideal. Then again, a mobile cart lets you move your bar to any location you desire!
Configuring Your Bar
A built-in cabinet with a sink and shelves that take up floor-to-ceiling space is wonderful, if your area will accommodate this configuration. But even if you don’t have a lot of space available, that doesn’t mean you must forgo a bar. Lack of a sink isn’t a detriment, either; although it can’t be officially called a “wet” bar, using the Henry console table would work perfectly to display beautiful crystal pieces and stow supplies such as napkins and towels in the drawers. The Bijou buffet provides enough surface space to easily offer hors d’oeuvres along with a nice selection of cocktails. A glass top ensures your bar is easy to clean up.
For very small spaces, try incorporating a small, mobile cart such as the Roy accent table or the Diamond accent table, each of which have just enough room for an ice bucket, pair of glasses and a couple decanters. An advantage of a mobile bar is that you can wheel it outside to enjoy your cocktail while viewing a beautiful San Diego sunset, then simply return to the indoors when the temperature drops.
If you have an island with a sink in your kitchen, this can be a great place to add all the elements necessary to be classified as a real wet bar. Adding a row of barstools, such as this beautiful Amy stool in silver and chrome, invites guests to cozy up to the island and enjoy a cocktail while you prepare dinner.
Keep the lighting low in order to create the right ambience. A row of drop-down lights, like these modern red swags, is a good solution but sometimes just a table lamp, such as this sleek Column lamp, will suffice.
Once you’ve got the location and configuration of your bar in place, all that’s left is to stock it with a nice assortment of beverages and accessories and enjoy!