Building the perfect home bar

Building the perfect home bar

Whether for your living room or a special corner on the terrace, your home bar says a great deal about your personality. Growing up, most people dream of owning a home bar where hosts will congregate with friends and show off their latest collection of single malts and champagne. While in the throes of naivete, one believes that the perfect cocktail sets the tone for one’s enigma, in reality, our better sense tells us that it all starts with the bar!

Depending on the space and your personal style statement, you must pick a home bar that suits your social agenda — entertaining colleagues, throwing
lavish brunches, wooing that special someone or a sit-down game-night. First things first, where will you place it? This part is usually determined by two major factors – the first one being the area where you will be doing most of the entertaining, and second, the proximity to the fridge, sink, wine cooler etc. The sink plays an important role in elevating your “bar status” to a wet bar which makes it rather convenient for cleaning up after your decadent soirees.

So, where will you entertain? Popular choices remain the kitchen, living room and dining room, but if you live in an area that has great weather round the year, then, you can even consider a bar on the balcony or in the garden. Of course, one must be ready for the possibility that additional care will be required for an outdoor bar as opposed to an indoor one. You can take a step forward and designate a specific area in your home simply for the purposes of entertaining guests. It really is your choice!

The next step is to determine the type of bar to complement your placement. In today’s day and age, there are a million bar design options available; your theme can be picked to match your home’s interiors. Polished and painted wood are the most common materials used; they add a bit of vintage and Victorian glamour. You can choose between the wide range of ready-made units or have one specially customised for you. While we are at it, here are a few ideas to begin your journey

What is your bar type?
“If you are looking to create a separate bar area, then a straight bar or front bar will work well. This is designed to accommodate the host on one side while guests sit, eat and drink on the opposite side. There is usually some space between the end of the wall and the bar to accommodate the bartender. Most straight bars feature a flat serving area and include storage cabinets and/or shelves,” says Parul Amla of Antrik Design Studio, Delhi. It can also be a simple free-standing bar, smack in the middle of your entertainment zone, located near shelves, which can serve as a display area and also a place to store your glassware.

If you don’t fancy standing behind the bar, a back bar may be apt for you. This will usually have three sections — a counter top for prep, a storage area for glasses or bottles and a display area for showing off that fine liquor collection. It can also include additional features like a wine rack, stemware rack and utility drawers. Maybe you want additional counter-space. In that case you may want to think about investing in creating a built-in island which can serve well as a prep area and also for serving your guests. Add a few high bar chairs and you are ready to go.

“If space constraints are a concern, then a corner bar is best. In reality, this is merely a cabinet for storage but when utilised well, it doubles up as a nice looking practical bar which fits into an elusive nook. You may not need to invest in a new one, you can easily repurpose an old cabinet and transform it into a full-service home bar. And the best part? After your party, this goes back to being a prop in the backdrop while hiding all evidence of the previous night,” says Arnab Saharoy of Homefuly, Bengaluru.

Similarly, a swing open bar or folding bar is also effective as a space-saver and can bring in utility and style to maximise the available floor space of your home. Once the sides are opened, it looks like a regular full home-bar; some even have foldable counter tops which work well to create additional space for serving and stacking.
Now, if you still don’t find any of the above designs appealing, want something absolutely simple and not designate a separate section of the home for your bar; at the same time you want to have the freedom to have a party wherever you drop your coat, then there is a solution for that as well, a bar cart! These inexpensive and portable carts are an effortless alternative to creating an illusion of a fully-stocked bar and can easily turn any room into a personal pub!

Build vs buy
Online retailers and local furniture stores should be your first pit stops to get an idea on available options and prices. You can even look at thrift stores, vintage
collections or your grandparents home. For a customised experience, get in touch with your preferred interior designer and get some basic designs in place. Keep in mind, merely selecting a bar type is not enough — numerous design elements need to be taken into consideration, such as, lighting, colour schemes, themes, and finishes. Creating the right mood will depend on a combination of these.

Set the scene
After putting in all this effort, upgrade your drinkware and stock up with your favourite liquor. You can spend as much money as you please on the right
shakeware, serveware, cocktail napkins, quirky glassware, bottle openers and your choicest flea market treasures. Don’t forget the mixers and basic modifiers such as vermouth, bitters, campari, soda, tonic, soft drinks, syrups, juices and lots of lemon. So what are you waiting for? Your home bar is only limited by your imagination, the liquor and your social timetable. Buy your preferred wines and whiskeys, get out the ice, make a few calls and let the fun times begin!

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