Over the past few years, crowded public events have had to be minimised or even brought into private homes, hosting smaller house parties, sharing evening drinks and watching movies in the living room. Therefore, it is unsurprising to discover that Homes and Gardens declared: “home bars are a bigger priority than a new kitchen”. They interviewed 2,000 home owners and many declared that they would “set aside approximately £14,000 for the renovation process.” That is not to say that you’ll need a huge budget; the joy of bespoke comes from having the flexibility of choice.
So, what exactly is a home bar?
If you were picturing a full worktop with bar stools, you wouldn’t be far off. Some people may opt for a whole bar experience, but many of us would rather conceal our stash of alcohol from our parents and children.
Instead, people often opt for cleverly designed pieces of furniture that contain a fridge for drinks and maybe even a freezer for making cocktails. These pieces masquerade as traditional pieces of furniture hiding in plain sight and can appear to be dressers or part of other furniture, such as kitchens or media units. A classic bar has space for stemware that can cover a host of different cocktail and wine options, as well as shot glasses and more.
Depending upon your specific needs, a home bar can even conceal a fridge or freezer so that everything is contained to one space.
Elements of a home bar
Stir sticks, small umbrellas, candied cherries or even sparklers can be stored in a great home bar, providing even an amateur mixologist with the ingredients to wow any guest.
No bar is ever complete without plenty of mirrors and lighting, providing instant glamour as soon as the doors are opened and the bar space revealed. When the bar is at home, you have total creative freedom. This could include glass shelves and endless stemware display options, to elevate the space further. Some clients have incorporated their bars into their media units, so you can have a drink in one hand and a remote in the other, giving another dimension to the home cinema experience.
Considerations when designing a home bar
Many rooms suit a home bar. Living rooms may seem the most obvious starting point as so much leisure time is spent in front of the TV, however kitchens also serve to host most informal gatherings and many now include an aspect of living space as well.
Creating an attractive piece of furniture is as important as having a really practical bar space. It is worth considering linking your bar therefore to a home media space, kitchen dresser or china display area near the dining table.
If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated games room or library, these spaces are a natural environment for a home bar that can easily become part of an extended bookcase (with faux books, concealing the upper portion of the bar).
You could also forgo a floor to ceiling bar and keep open shelves on top, with a cupboard beneath for ingredients and glassware.
Ultimately, the design is up to you and your aesthetic ideals. A bar space in the home really allows for centralised hosting and control over your drinks.
Okay, this sounds wonderful, but how much does it cost?
When it comes to a home bar, bespoke is the only way to go; offering full customisation and an assured longevity that would not be easily or cheaply available from high street, off-the-shelf kitchen or living room suppliers.
Whilst home bars are a relatively new phenomenon that has only recently begun to acquire widespread popularity, the tradition of enjoying a tipple in the home environment has a long history and will endure in its appeal, making this a worthwhile investment.
A bespoke bar option can deliver a piece of fitted furniture that not only provides enjoyment and enhances quality of life, but can really pack an aesthetic punch, creating a beautiful piece of furniture as a focal point for your space.
It all depends on the space available, your aspirations and the details and specifications that you require to ensure that your bar serves you both now and in the future.
With the inclusion of a fridge and freezer, LED lighting, mirrors and a stone surface, most bars start at £8,000 and can go up to £20,000 depending on their size. However, a home bar can be made to suit most budgets and should increasingly be considered as desirable a part of the home as the master bedroom dressing room, which not long ago was regarded as a luxury.