They say staying home is the new going out. And installing a home bar is the perfect solution for making entertaining at home a breeze. Whether it’s an entire in-house home bar that emulates the real thing, or you’ve decided to convert a butler’s pantry to a convenient drinks mixing station, there are plenty of home bar ideas for setting up a bar at home. Even if you don’t have a lot of space to spare, styling up a simple bar cabinet or bar cart will add some hedonistic flair to your home.
Make your home feel party-ready with cabinets or shelving dedicated to holding spirits and liqueurs and showing off sparkling glassware and bar tools, whether you go for a complete wet bar with a sink or have a simple dry bar. When it comes to home bar ideas, you can go as fancy or as casual as you like–just make sure your bar is well stocked!
1. Colour in cognac tones
If you just want to set up a little dry bar in your living room, you can really do a lot to spruce up a plain set of shelves. The trick is to use a colour palette that references the translucent warm tones of spirits, have subtle back lighting and add in some metallic pops to give it a fancier vibe. Don’t want to tile here? Try a strip of faux tile hanging wallpaper.
2. Make it feel zesty
You can build a whole wet bar, with its sink and prep area for mixing drinks, and hide it all behind bi-folds in your kitchen. If you stick to white, you always play with the colour scheme with your glassware–citrus hues feel summery and inviting. I like this one with its pack-away counter area and mini fridge below, to keep everything ready and raring to go.
3. Show off with shelving
Your home bar can be as large or small as you like, even if it’s just a display of bottles housed in wall-mounted shelving. Going vertical is a great way to use all your wall space—here, it’s contemporary glass, pipe and birch plywood floating shelving. When there’s a bar, there can be a lot of little bits and pieces to do, so some help with general labour wouldn’t go astray.
4. Mount it on the wall
If you lack floorspace, another wall-mounted option is a drinks cabinet with glass doors, which are helpful for preventing dust gathering on your glassware. This cute one holds everything you need, and can be closed up when it’s not in use. Choose something with gorgeous craftsmanship and functionality, such as adjustable shelves for a custom fit for your bottles.
5. Bring the holiday feels
Lots of people love dark, moody colours for a home bar, but you can also choose to go for coastal brights to evoke a resort bar. I love the design of the bar at Australian restaurant Sisterhood in Hobart, which is inspired by the décor of Tulum, Mexico.
Light, fresh and summery, there’s a gorgeous layering of natural fibres and soft pastel green—pale teal handmade tiles, rattan and bentwood furniture, tropical print wallpaper and hanging plants. If you love that overhead storage, you could get someone to assemble a similar shelf if you want something similar.
6. Use your vertical space
Here’s more overhead shelving in a more conventional home bar built into someone’s kitchen. If your bar is going to serve double duty as a breakfast bar, keeping all the goods up above is a nice way to separate the functions.
7. Make it feel intimate
Love the look of an moody, eclectic home bar like this one? Leopard wallpaper, a statement Arkos lamp fitted with a lampshade that resembles a copper artichoke, upholstered leather bar stools–there’s lots of texture in this North Yorkshire home’s little speakeasy. It all comes together to create an intimate, cosy effect. When it comes to home bar ideas, you really don’t need a lot of room, as this space demonstrates.
8. Use mirrors and metals
Lots of bar equipment is shiny metal—your shakers, jiggers, muddlers, spoons and strainers—and of course the glassware is naturally reflective too. Amplify the glitz and glamour of all the metal and glass by adding mirror to the mix. This will visually double everything and make your bar look even more well-stocked than it is.
9. Set up a full bar
Have enough space for a full bar? This breezy and fresh home bar is an Emily Henderson design and it also houses a coffee bar. A multipurpose home bar is always a great idea, so keeping the décor light and cheerful will help prevent it looking like it’s exclusively for night-time entertaining.
10. Have magic lighting
With a home bar, although you want to keep it somewhat aligned to your home’s decorating style, you paradoxically also want to make it feel like you’re not at home. The trick is to give it slightly over the top, higher end finishes that bring a sense of luxury, for example with your lighting. Installing a series of pendants like this gives the space an authentic bar flavour.
11. Turn your sunroom into a bar
Why not turn your sunroom or conservatory space into a home bar? It’s actually the perfect place for a home bar, enabling you or your guests to relax and enjoy al fresco style drinks with a garden view. Since it’s a separate space, you can be bold with your décor and styling—it’s ideal for experimenting with tiles or wallpaper.
12. Have a wet bar
Committing a wall to a home bar? Spend the time figuring out what you need and where you want to put it, so that function is built into your design as much a style is. This wet bar has everything from display shelving for glassware, drawers and cabinets, floating shelves for barware, wine storage and a mini fridge, plus an expansive counter and sink with cool faucet—all in a fairly limited wall space.
13. Steal from hospitality
To get an authentic flavour, I’m a big fan of borrowing from commercial bar design and seeing what you can incorporate on a smaller scale at home. For instance, there’s a few things to steal from the Parisian La Riviera restaurant’s bar—like the streamlined, tiered overhead shelving holding potplants and barware, the curved rattan bar counter and the relaxing, muted earthy tones.
14. Install a wine fridge
If you can’t plumb your designated home bar space to add a sink and make a wet bar, you can still add luxe elements to your dry bar. A beer or wine fridge is de rigeur, whether it’s built-in or as a standalone mini-fridge. Below, a simple cabinet with plenty of shelving including wine storage. Get a hand putting together your cabinet.
15. Fill a niche
The location of your home bar, if not in a dedicated room, should be in an easy to access, central and sociable spot, such as in a recessed niche in your living room. It won’t take up any floor space and you can design it so it has a door to tuck everything neatly away when not in use. This one packs a lot into the small space, including a mini-fridge.
16. Travel to the tropics
It doesn’t take much to recreate a tropical bar at home—take cues from Cara and Poppy Delevingne’s Los Angeles home, fitted out with all kinds of décor that suggests cooling down in a heatwave. There’s the dramatic inlaid shelving behind the custom bar, vintage rattan barstools, palm frond and banana leaf wallpaper, smatterings of green velvet, gold finishes and emerald lacquer.
17. Go for a luxe look
If plumbing is possible in your chosen space, a wet bar can fit into the tiniest wall niche. The beauty of having a home bar in a small space means you can afford to splurge with glam finishes, like a section of marble or a beautiful faucet. You can take style inspo from luxury hotel mini bars, like this one.
18. Go the mile with tile
If you love tile, you’ll love the aesthetic of the hospitality venue Blacksmith at Lake Mulwala in NSW, Australia. Perhaps we can’t all have this much tile in our home bar but we can dream—and copy! Tile is perfect for home bars, as it’s so easy to clean. And I find mosaic tile has such a hypnotic effect. Also, how good do these ephemeral white chairs look against the pale ochre subway tile below the counter?
19. Home bar ideas – have a surprise bar
Another hideaway drinks cupboard here, in a London home. This one promises a truly dramatic reveal with its gold leaf and neon interior. Like a powder room, a home bar is a small enough space to turn into a ‘jewel box’ that’s more intense and dramatic than the rest of your home. Whether it’s with paint or wallpaper, or interesting lighting, your home bar space should have personality.
20. Make it tiny but stylish
A small home bar can still be a place to show off, not only your bottles and glassware but luxe finishes, like an interesting bit of tile work. This dream setup is simple but stylish, and the perfect opportunity to style up for shelfies. I like the addition of a cute miniature pendant in this space.
A bar like this is a great room divider idea!
21. Try terrazzo
If you have the room to set up a space where guests can gather, then a home bar with a striking curved bar counter like this may appeal. A well-designed home bar has personality and drama and is also organised and functional—this one ticks all the boxes. For home bar ideas, a statement light adds drama and the terrazzo flooring gives it an authentic bar feel too.
22. Give an industrial feel
How’s this full-size home bar with plenty of genuine bar vibes? There’s the bar island with under-counter lighting, industrial style lighting and whitewashed brick wall, and backlit open shelving to display the good stuff—all adding up to a moody, intimate bar space.
Cool touch: a light-up sign personalising the bar with its own name in homage to the homeowner’s grandparents, Scotch and Ted.
23. Have fun with colour
The materials in your home bar should be highly durable, as they’ll need to handle use. For countertops, which have to deal with things like lime juice or red wine spills, your best bet is a hard stone surface (something like quartzite rather than marble or limestone).
When it comes to other surfaces, such as your under-counter area or walls, tiles are a way to introduce bold colour, whether you love a matte or gloss look. How gorgeous are these canary yellow glazed porcelain tiles?
24. Add velvet
Here’s a genuine, full-size home bar in Hollywood with the appropriate amount of glitz and glamour, from the opulent wallpaper to the gold trim counter to the exaggerated lighting. Velvet bar stools add to the sense of luxury and makes it all the more alluring for your barflies!
25. Light it up
Adding lighting to your shelving will give your home bar a commercial feel as well as making the space seem larger—and it works especially well with mirrored or tiled splashbacks. Even when you only have a dry bar, a splashback is practical for a space devoted to mixing up drinks, because things inevitably get messy.
26. Add edgy angles
This modern home in Sydney, Australia has a uniquely designed home bar with plenty of wine storage in a zigzag pattern for extra visual interest. Whether it’s a wine vault or rack, adding wine storage is essential for the wine connoisseurs!
The space also features a premium quartz benchtop and timber-alternative veneer cabinetry, and the little details glam it up – how stunning are the copper cocktail mixer and champagne bucket?
27. Go for authentic bar vibes
If you have the space for a dedicated home bar room, it makes it easier to play around with a different colour scheme to what you have in the rest of your home. For example, you might like a dark, sexy colour palette like that of Octave, aka the “culinary crown jewel of Chocolate Nation” in Antwerp, Belgium. I love how light is used to subtly accentuate the bar counter and the overhead shelving. And those stools look so comfy!
28. Use luxe finishes
This one is a classic New York home bar, pictured by famed food and lifestyle photographer Nicole Franzen. It shows how much an accent material can help you create a real drama moment in your cocktail bar—whether it’s tile, fabric, mirror, marble or something else that’s textured, covering your inset recessed panel in your shelving can make your home bar look ultra-glam.
29. Paint it pastel
How about this contemporary pastel living and dining room with its panelled bar backdrop? So much to love in this soft, streamlined and sophisticated space. There’s plenty of texture and pattern and a lovely overall soft ambience, and I like the minimal bottle and glass arrangement in the integrated shelving. Adding a “restaurant” sign to your dining area is a cute touch too.
30. Style it with plants
This image is of another bar zone in seaside Australian restaurant Sisterhood which I mentioned above. It’s got all the casual coastal, Boho charm of a beachside bar, which you can emulate in your own home bar using lots of timber, natural fibres and a palette of lush greens and sand tones. Add some gorgeous houseplants—and a bit of neon never goes astray in a home bar!
31. Have a tiny wet bar
Fit-out a home bar with just a tiny slice of your wall space, here with a marble countertop on a simple timber sideboard and a simple black floating shelf. I like the addition of the statement downlight that complements the dark timber below. The oversized dried flower arrangement is a nice contrast too.
32. Go for an organic look
If you love the modern organic interior style, then this one shows how your home bar can be both full of natural elements but also appear sophisticated and upmarket. It’s got plenty of organic curves and colours, giving that sense of connection to nature, but there’s a refined elegance in the design. And whatever size of your home bar, adding dramatic lighting like this series of pendants can really lift it into something special.
33. Accent it with a mirror
If you prefer just a scaled-down version of a full home bar, a moveable bar cart is the way to go. Not only is it a cinch to style up because it’s so small, a rolling cart can be a display for other décor or trinkets as well as your bottles and glassware. A nice living room spot for your bar cart is below an accent mirror to draw attention to it.
34. Dress it with flowers
Have fun styling up your bar cart to reflect your personality and home décor style. This one is feminine and glam in gold and pinks, with everything you need to mix a cocktail right there. Adding fresh flowers to your bar cart always looks gorgeous, too.
35. Go wild
It will always be relaxing to look at happy, verdant plants at home. So if you want a tranquil aesthetic for your drinks zone then go for a proliferation of plants in terracotta teamed with classic spirits and liqueurs, like Cointreau and vodka, et voila! Rustic French and instaworthy.
36. Paint it pastel
Pastels are guaranteed to make you feel happy, and that’s the whole vibe you want for happy hour, right? In Sacramento, the US, a mint bar cabinet bursts at the seams with bottles and, topped with a vase and some artwork, is casually coastal Boho.
37. Keep it casual with cane
If you like a beachy luxe, Hamptons-Down-Under look, invest in a gorgeous bar cart in organic fibres rather than metals. This one’s an inexpensive department store bar cart but you could also scour the flea markets to find a lovely vintage cane or rattan one. Then just add a couple of small sculptural plants and a sign.
38. Give it Mid-Century elegance
Another option for home bar ideas is to have a dedicated drinks cabinet, preferably something a little dramatic or retro to give it those Mad Men vibes, like this Mid-Century Italian piece. On the outside, a diamond pattern in the walnut veneer adds visual interest, while brass legs match brass hangers inside. Adjustable glass shelving is handy too.
39. Go for a conversation piece
How about the huge wheels on this oak bar cabinet? Make your bar cart a showstopper and talking point with a unique design. This one has plenty of hidden storage and I like the yellow steel handle/brake. Don’t forget you can hire a carpenter to bring something bespoke to life.
40. Make it temporary
Don’t have much space? Go for a fold-up tray like this or perch your bottles on a side table when entertaining. The best side tables to transform into a serving station are those that have a touch of vintage class to them. But then again, if you prefer something organic and coastal, you might just load up a beautiful tree stump. When it comes to home bar ideas, the only real rule is to please yourself.
So that’s a wrap on my cut of the best home bar ideas out there right now. Which is your favourite style of home bar? Drop a comment below!