Forget working from home. We want to play from home instead. And no better way to inject a bit of fun into our everyday than with a drinks cabinet or fitted home bar.
Life under the ‘new normal’ has seen us all spending more time within the four walls we call home. The dining room has seen more attention than ever and we’ve worked hard to transform our home office into a place conducive to inspiration and productivity.
But at the end of the day, when the final Zoom call is concluded, how can we signal that work is over and it’s time to relax? By pouring ourselves a glass of something delicious from our custom home bar.
If it has enough style and elegance, a home bar can rival even the finest cocktail joint. You can ensure you always have your favourite spirits in stock and you’re free to experiment with whatever drink combinations you fancy.
So here’s how to reimagine your house with a home bar, whether it’s a drinks cabinet, side table, shelving unit, or full-scale fitted home bar.
Choose the room
You can put your home bar in your kitchen, dining room, living room, or in a designated drinking room. Or why not embrace the work hard, play hard philosophy with a drinks cabinet in your home office, Mad Men-style?
That said, having the home bar in the kitchen is ideal if you cook for your household on a regular basis. It makes running back and forth between preparing food and entertaining much easier. Putting your home bar in the living room is a good choice if cosiness and comfort are your priority. If your dining room is big enough, you could have your home bar at one end. But if the space is too small, it risks feeling cramped and crowded.
A conservatory is also a great location for a home bar with the benefit of feeling like you’re at a garden party.
Respect the size of your space
Ultimately, your dreams of a home bar are limited by the size of your space. The nature of the room will determine whether you choose to go for a full-scale fitted home bar, a drinks cabinet, side table, or cabinet. You don’t want the space to feel cramped and if you plan to include bar stools or other seating arrangements, ensure there’s enough room for everything without people feeling hedged in.
Make it personal
A fitted home bar is ideal if you have plenty of space to play with, allowing you to use an entire wall or nook for shelves and surface space for drink preparation.
For example, this fitted bar, which puts even the most sophisticated speakeasy bars to shame with its glass shelves, mirrored backboard, and sleek cabinets for storage.
Then there’s the option to for a table and bar-appropriate chairs so you can enjoy your drinks within easy reach of all the ingredients needed to make another round.
The advantage of a fitted home bar is that you can make it unique to your space. If you want a bar that can be tucked away behind closed doors when not in use like a little speakeasy, then DAVIDSON’s fitted service is a great choice.
Similarly, if you have a little cranny that’s calling out to be turned into a drinking corner, a home bar that slots directly into the space is the perfect option. We can incorporate the necessary amount of storage depending on your preferences.
Keep it simple
An alternative is a freestanding drinks cabinet, such as the Galaxy Drinks Cabinet, whose eye-catching bronze doors are so impressive, they’re reason enough to pour a drink. Inside, you’ll find a mirrored backboard, downlights, and glass shelving, plus compartments for storing glasses, tumblers, cocktails shakers, and bottles.
DAVIDSON has also recently launched an extension of the Starlight Collection, called The Stellar Cabinet, which is ideal for those who want the same kind of contemporary allure in a smaller space.
Similarly, the Virginia Drinks Cabinet, with its highly-lacquered tobacco vellum finish, is a gorgeous addition to any entertaining space with ample storage space for bottles and glasses.
Another option is a shelving unit such as the Englefield, a statement storage solution whose mid-century modern style is unobtrusive and elegant, providing plenty of room for storing drinking accoutrements without taking up too much space visually.
For others, a simple console table such as the Albany could work perfectly as a place to display bottles, decanters, and glasses, opt for a tray to keep everything neat and tidy.
Add glitz and glamour
If you’ve decided to reserve a whole room for your home bar, why not splash out and transform the space into the coolest of watering holes?
We’re imagining everything from exposed brick for an industrial-chic vibe to maximalist de Gournay wallpaper and extravagant accessories. Anything that delivers the wow factor and creates a fun and playful vibe can encourage an equally fun and playful mood.
Think neon lights, plants, and a mixture of colours and textures for a members’ club atmosphere. Any of the occasional tables from DAVIDSON’S Wanderlust Collection would also work a treat.
To further integrate the bar into your space, keep it feeling personal with little touches such as candles, photographs, or flower arrangements.
Introduce seating and a table
DAVIDSON’s Boulevard Armchair, part of the West Coast Collection, could lend some Californian chic to your space, creating a fun 70s vibe, and would look fabulous paired with the Malibu Coffee Table from the same collection.
The Elliott Chair with its glossy red calfskin leather seat, curvaceous backrest, and black tapered legs delivers the requisite glamour and edge for more sleek and modern home bars.
But if you want the true bar experience, only the Grafton Bar Stool will cut it.
As well as seating, you need a table where guests can place their drinks. We recommend a statement coffee table such as the Broadway, with its cutting-edge post-modern form.
Consider a statement mirror or lighting
How many of your favourite clubs feature mirrors behind the bar? Apparently, this tradition stems back to the days of the Wild West when mirrors allowed barmen to keep an eye on things even when their backs were turned.
You don’t need to worry about the arrival of a dangerous outlaw in your home bar. But adding a stylish mirror, such as the Talisman for an ethereal and exotic mood, or an entire antique mirror backboard in a fitted home bar, could help brighten and expand the space.
And you definitely need to install some stylish lighting. Whether you opt for a pendant lamp hanging over the bar, recessed lighting within the bar itself, or a table lamp at one end, it’s a good idea to trade standard overhead lighting for something more sultry.
Don’t forget the home bar accoutrements
Once all the decorative additions are in place, you can concentrate on the home bar essentials for when cocktail hour arrives. The most important home bar necessities include:
- Tools, such as a shaker, strainer, measuring cap, knife, muddler, and blender
- A bottle of each of your favourite spirits
- A selection of mixers such as soda water and ginger beer
- A selection of glasses, including highballs, lowballs, and flutes
- An ice bucket
We recommend this classic shagreen bar set from AERIN.COM
And what about the entertainment?
You may simply want to create a space amenable to good conversation and trust that keeping the drinks flowing is entertainment enough.
But why not make your home bar one that your guests continue to talk about for weeks to come? Consider investing in the Babington or Alridge games tables where guests enjoy chess, backgammon, or cards.
And avid poker fans will also appreciate the Richmond Games Table, a luxury card-playing table with a high-gloss burr walnut finish.