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Creative Home Bar Ideas

Perhaps we can thank Mad Men for the show’s influence on our modern cocktail culture. Regardless… home bars are on the rise!

Sea-glass back splash and bar setup!
Sea-glass back splash and bar setup!

Can you Relate

My parents, like their parents, kept their libations locked-up in a “liquor cabinet.”  As a kid, I always wondered why those beautifully shaped bottles with their amber liquid and exquisitely cut glassware were tucked away where no one could appreciate them. I found the pageantry of “cocktail hour” mesmerizing. Perhaps that’s why this stuff stayed under lock and key until my sisters and I were deemed old enough to be trusted with these tantalizing elixirs? Needless to say, I was fascinated by the entire process. I wanted to know what was so special about cocktails, and why my parents ditched the Tupperware cups for something fancier? Those were the, a-hem… 60’s and 70’s. Fast forward to today. Home bars are more popular than ever!  Here are some creative bar ideas that run the gamut from DIY  to Sprucing-it-Up with a Tweak professional! We suggest you sit back with your favorite cocktail and enjoy our favorites, while we show you some of our creations from over the years. Enjoy!

Bar Carts

Lately it seems that bar carts are one of the trendiest decor and functional pieces you can have in your home. Who doesn’t want to feel a little Don Draperish once in a while? Bar carts are beautiful, useful, and can often be just the accent piece your entertaining space was missing. But how did the bar cart rise to such popularity? Go to The Barcartist to understand more about the history of bar carts. For information about the silver cart, go to Restoration Hardware,  and to see the full project, go to the Farm to Tampa House.  For information on the gold cart, go to Wayfair and to see the full project, go to Golden Glamour.

Libation Cabinets

The term “liquor cabinet” is a thing of the past with the revolution of trendy home bars. I’ve heard these stylish cabinets called Libation Stations, Lockers, and Cabinets. They come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles to fit any decor, and they are great at organizing your bar-ware. For information on the Libation Locker (Armoire Style), go to Universal Furniture Libation Locker .  For information on the Libation Console, go to Wayfair, and to see the full project, go to Industrial Cyclist.

For the DIY Lover

Picnic Basket Bar
Picnic Basket Bar

Picnic Basket Bar – I get a kick out of re-purposing things. Not only does it save money, it’s better on our environment, and it makes me think! When I’m Tweaking, I sometimes find myself needing a few more accessories to complete a look. When there’s no more money in the budget, and I’ve exhausted all the obvious hiding places where I can “shop” in the home, I turn to digging deep and thinking outside the box. In this case, I was working in the kitchen of the Modern Farmhouse and wanted to organize, in an aesthetically pleasing way, of course, their collection of “drink making paraphernalia.” I was brainstorming when I noticed a pile I was told was headed for a local thrift shop. In this pile was this awesome picnic basket!!! Hmm… so I got to thinking… this would make a decorative, but functional, way to organize drink essentials on a counter top. Unless you are having a party, it’s not usually necessary to have every bottle and mixer out.  By editing down the essentials needed to make a “Drink of the Day,” I was able to give the homeowner another option for keeping on hand what she really needed at the moment. She loves her new Picnic Basket Bar and gets a kick out of creating a new drink of the day!

Bookcase Bar – When I’m Tweaking, I get approval to “shop” within the client’s home for furniture and accessories to use during the Tweak. On this day, I was working in a small loft that didn’t have any extra furniture or accessories to spare. Before the client left for the day, she mentioned she had a storage closet down the hall, and up a few flights of stairs – so I asked for the keys. Thank goodness! What I found there was this bookcase that had been painted black and left to never be heard or seen from again. Until… a “Tweaker”, like myself, needed a piece of furniture that could pull triple duty as a bar, overflow storage, and place filler for a long, lonely wall. I cleaned it up and started to get to work making this piece shine.  When I say shine, I mean really s-h-i-n-e. I wanted this bookcase to have lights! To learn how to install your on LED lighting, click here to go to How to Install LED Lighting!  Illuminating the items on the shelves helped to give them importance and elevated it from storage room junk to a classy Bookcase Bar providing much needed life to a lonely wall. To see the Before & After’s for this project, go to Downtown Living .

Custom Home/Bar Tweaks

Custom Dry Bar                                                                                                                                                                                                              Custom Dry Bar

This dry bar was custom designed with entertaining in mind for a hip, waterfront, condo remodel in the sky. The design aesthetic for this project is described as modern, with a monochromatic color palette of grays and whites, and industrial accents.  The dry bar was constructed in an alcove adjacent to the dining and living rooms. A perfect place for the preparation of a refreshing cocktail! It’s all in the details.  The cabinets have a custom, vintage, galvanized metal finish, the pulls are antiqued copper, and the herringbone-patterned back splash was made from re-purposed wood flooring left over from the new floor installation. To see the full project go to The Herringbone House  .

It’s becoming more and more popular to eliminate the need to have duplicate dining and living spaces. What’s important is for you to have spaces that suit you and make you happy. It doesn’t matter if it’s the “formal” or “casual” living spaces that get re-purposed. For this custom Tweak project, we did just that. We transformed the breakfast nook into a bar, and what used to be the family room is now equipped with a pool table and snack counter – perfect for family and friends to hang out! As with the previous The Herringbone House  project, we re-purposed wood flooring for the walls and constructed a simple, but functional, bar adjacent to the pool table and snack counter. To see the full project go to the Pool Table House.

Happy Tweaking!

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