To raise the bar at home

To raise the bar at home

A home bar can be very easy to create. All you need is 

a passion to entertain guests to make your home bar the apple of every eye at the next party you host, reckons Bindu Gopal Rao.

If you love entertaining guests at home, one space that lends itself perfectly for the purpose is the home bar. A bar space is a great place to socialise. Of late,it has turned into a quintessential space in many homes. 

A personal bar inside your home, or on the patio, acts as a sophisticated and convenient entertainment centre, during dinner parties, get-togethers and other celebrations. Needless to say, you need to make this space the go-to spot for a conversation striker with your guests. Read on to find out how you can do that.A home bar can be very easy to create.

Both Indian and imported manufacturers offer bar furniture and a host of accessories from crockery and cutlery that you can pick up. With shrinking home spaces, many of them are coming up with ranges of compact bar units, designed specially for small homes. Rest assured, you have more than enough options that are sure to gel with your interiors and carpet area. 

Full-fledged bars 

Suggests Charu Gupta, interior consultant and owner, Interior Medini, “Some designs have a large cabinet designed for entetaining and serving drinks as well as offering space to store beverages, bottles, glassware and other bar accessories. You could even buy a pre-assembled home bar and then have it installed. Some home bars can accommodate bar stools in front, either high ones or low ones. There are some home bars that fold open to reveal storage for wine and other alcoholic drinks, some that have multi-levels to make the design more interesting and contemporary.”

Closet bars

If you’re not looking for a full-fledged bar, you can get styles that sit up against a wall and function more like a buffet server. You could also try a mini-bar or a closet-bar at home. Vandana Khosla, interior designer and owner, Elvy Lifestyle, says, “To construct a closet bar, all you need is to select a corner of your home lounge area, and place a bar cupboard with mirror background and sufficient shelves. Get a semi-round two-to-three-feet table and 30-inch-tall bar-chairs or stools and, of course, your exclusive collection of liquor.” According to Nilanjan Bhowal, founder and principal architect, Design Consortium, creating a bar, using some old piece of table, counter and music console is a clever and budget-friendly way to have a closet bar; you just need to ensure that the bar chairs and stools are of the right height for the tables. 

Keeping it functional

n Determine how much space you will actually need to make room for essentials like a sink, refrigerator and plenty of bottle storage. 

n The floor of the bar or the counter area should not have slippery surfaces. 

n Always keep your bar area near an open gallery. A bar space in a home-theatre room can be a good option. 

n Never construct your bar place in bedrooms. Stocking of spirits and liquors away from closed spaces is very important.

n Choose the location wisely, if you want to make sure there is a flow of people past the cocktail bar and into standing or seating areas. 

n Place the bar table so as to keep it accessible from at least three sides. 

n Bar accessories like jigger, muddler, bar spoon, ice bucket, citrus peeler, bottle openers, corkscrew, drink stirrers, ice cube tray, martini shaker and strainer, toothpicks, napkins and a good variety of glasses - martini glasses, rock glasses, wine glasses, tall glasses, beer mugs and pint glasses - are absolute must-haves. 

Making it pretty

A home bar needs to look classy, while having a welcoming feel to it at the same time. The best way to achieve that is to use wood to accentuate your bar area. “The Irish love dark wooden panelling in their pubs, while the North Americans are big fans of wooden bar stools. 

Whatever your choice, you can do up a bar area and make it look interesting with knotty lumber; western hemlock is a perfect wood to use for clear or knotty panelling. The same wood can be stained to mimic darker walnut finish, which can be used for the counter and stools,” says Brian Leslie, Technical Advisor, Canadian Wood from British Columbia. The great thing about home bar designs is that they allow you to experiment with various styles, themes, materials, textures and colours. 

Interior designer Garima Bahl says, “Home bar designs can be inspired by various wonderful themes from country style design to contemporary design. One can play around with bold neon signs, back-lit acrylic panels, rustic wood or exquisite artworks on walls.” 

Lighting it right

Lighting, too, is important while you are on bar decor. If you have set up an English bar, then you should install low lighting. Sports-theme bar needs bright lights and romantic bar needs adjustable lights, flowers and scented candles. 

Says Parushni Aggarwal, owner and creative director, Studio Creo, “For a sports-theme bar, bright lighting is a trend, where one can have an LED screen playing their favourite sport. If you have space, you can also have a pool table, which enhances the sports look of the bar.”

Serving it well

It’s a great idea to use clear jugs and glasses, as they lend the most sophisticated look, making them an intelligent choices for home bars. 

Priyanka Kheruka, marketing consultant, Borosil Glass Works Ltd, explains, “Most clear glasses are freezer-proof, so you can easily make frozen drinks for cocktails and mocktails. One can pour a drink / juice 1/4 way - freeze it - and once it forms ice, then pour the rest of the drink.

You will have a perfectly-fitted floating ice in your drink. Also, make sure you use large classic mugs for serving and drinking beer. And test tubes can be the perfect contemporary way to serve shots!” 

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