Design a home bar: 10 helpful tips

a glamorous home bar with smoked glass cabinets and a stone worktop

Want to design a home bar? You’re not alone. They’re on-trend right now, so we’ve got some tips for you on creating your perfect boozy haven.

As entertaining at home becomes increasingly prevalent, one of the most popular areas homeowners are investing in are home bars. But don’t worry, you don’t have to design one on your own. London-based interior design studio Kitesgrove has created several elegant home bar set-ups for its clients. Whether large or small, fully installed or mobile, statement or secret, the home bar provides a sophisticated yet fun touch to entertaining at home.

With a keen focus on originality and nuanced interiors, Kitesgrove’s Head of Design, Clara Ewart, gives us her tips. She believes that it is crucial to consider how you entertain first, and design accordingly. A living room that also functions as a home office might benefit from a bar hidden within cabinetry. While a regular host might want a fully equipped freestanding bar which is on show.

a rustic home bar with a bowl of citrus fruits, a tray of alcohol and several wine glasses
The following handy tips will help you design a home bar. Photography: iStock / contrastaddict.

Design a home bar: firstly, focus on practicality

The perfect design should have plentiful storage to allow easy access to bar essentials and glassware. Additional space to store wine bottles and mixers will make it more functional.

wooden cabinetry and shelving with lots of accessories on it
Include plenty of storage. Photography: Kitesgrove.

Secondly, accessorise to the max

Bar accessories such as a beautiful shaker, or a bowl for citrus fruits, will make all the difference but don’t need to be costly.

a blue bowl with lemons in it against a painted blue wooden background
Buy accessories such as a bowl for citrus fruits. Photography: iStock / didecs.

Design a home bar: Paint the cabinetry a vibrant colour

Thirdly: for a statement bar, choose a vibrant colour for the cabinetry. Colour is powerful and will set the tone for entertaining and introduce character to the space. Try a lacquered or high gloss finish to create a decadent atmosphere.

a home bar painted turquoise with brass hardware and lots of shelving
Design a home bar: use a vibrant colour for the cabinetry. Photography: Kitesgrove.

Embrace bold hardware

Embrace bold hardware to add personality – brass is a classic material for bars and brings texture and warmth.

two brass handles against white cabinetry
Go for brass hardware. Rotunda Pull in burnished brass finish, £79.20, Armac Martin.

Design a home bar: go bijou if necessary

If space or budget is limited, you can create an impactful home bar with a beautiful tray set up with a small selection of favourite bottles, glasses and accessories.

a home bar on an antique mahogany tray with lots of alcohol and accessories
If space or budget is limited, go for a tray. Photography: iStock / FarukUlay.

Design a home bar: Focus on lighting

Lighting is key to creating atmosphere as in any room in the house. A cabinet should have lighting inside but if not, you can light a candle to bring it to life when in use.

a home bar painted fir green with a wooden countertop, nine terracotta bar stools around it, and lots of alcohol on the bar shelves
Design a home bar: focus on lighting. Photography: iStock / nico_blue.

Use a bar cart if you have limited space

For those with limited space, bar carts are a convenient and stylish addition to a smaller dining or living room, and they can be tucked away when not in use. Antique bar carts will add character and personality to a space, setting the mood for entertaining.

a wooden cart filled with alcohol next to a pastel pink armchair in a colourful living room
Design a home bar: use a bar cart. Photography: Kitesgrove.

Embrace built-in shelving

Within larger spaces, such as open plan kitchens and living areas, embrace built-in shelving complete with wine racks, beautiful glassware and bar accessories for a home bar that makes a statement. You can even incorporate a drinks fridge as well as a sink and taps to make it very easy to use.

an open wooden cabinet with lots of alcohol inside, behind two pink armchairs with a brass side table next to them
Design a home bar: embrace built-in shelving. Photography: Kitesgrove.

Design a home bar: mix up the style

Try to mix up the style of your bar – a sleek, modern bar will benefit from some vintage pieces to make it feel layered and authentic.

a woman mixing a drink with a bottle of burgundy alcohol next to her
Design a home bar: go for vintage pieces such as crystal glasses. Photography: iStock / Boogich.

Lastly, include plenty of seating

Make sure your bar area has plenty of seating for your guests to enjoy good conversation as well as their cocktail.

a royal blue home bar with black bar stools around it and shiny wooden flooring
Design a home bar: lastly, include lots of seating. Photography: iStock / iSci.

Featured image: iStock / ExperienceInteriors.

So, did you enjoy this feature? Then read about one homeowner who took on creating a home gin bar as a project.

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