You know what they say, “A man’s home is his castle.” So let that be your guide when you’re on the hunt for some home bar ideas when building a home bar.
Before reading the home bar ideas below, ask yourself:
- Do I want the home bar design to be more like an old-school pub setup or do I want it to feel more modern?
- What kind of drinker am I?
- Am I trying to please everyone or just me and my roommates with the home bar design?
- Am I going for a beer fridge or full draught and keg setup?
No matter what type of home bar idea you’re going for, there are plenty of ways to make your house party the talk of the town this year.
The benefits of building a unique home bar
Let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite as awesome as rocking up to a friends house and enjoying some freshly poured pints of craft beer, watching the live game and relaxing in a cozy home environment at their home bar area.
But they’ve had their time. Now it’s your turn to build a brand new bar to impress not only yourself but also your close mates – and we have the right home bar ideas for that.
Home bar ideas allow you to take entertaining to the next level, creating a welcoming and unique atmosphere for your friends and family. Not to mention, your group will save quite a few dollars by enjoying the home bar rather than going out to a local bar or pub.
1. Start with a checklist of home bar ideas and bar accessories
First things first, your need to create a checklist of important home bar ideas and accessories that will ensure your home bar is functional and looks the part.
For home bars that are designed for entertaining friends and family you’ll need to consider having the following:
- A well-equipped beer cooler or fridge with plenty of space for storing beers or kegs for your beer taps
- A wine rack and/or shelves if you’re planning on serving wines at your home bar
- Cocktail making kit including shakers, strainers, jiggers and measuring cups
- Spare ice buckets just in case more guests than you were expecting come round
- Glassware including beer, wine and cocktail glasses
Note: If you have children then it’s important to keep in mind they may be present when guests come over so provide them with their own little corner where they can play games such as foosball tables, dart boards or pool cues. It doesn’t hurt to include some comfortable seating for both children and adults, think lounge couches for indoors, or some camping chairs out the back.
2. Pick a theme for your home bar
Next, it’s time to select a theme for your home bar setup. Here are some of our favourite home bar ideas for selecting a theme:
The classic man cave
Guys, this is your chance to rock out in style and watch every sport you can imagine on TV or projector screen + pool table.
An upper-class cocktail lounge
If you’re an aspiring mixologist then there’s no better way to showcase those skills than at your own home bar.
The quick and laid back tailgate bar
Set up that old trailer bed as seating for all guests so they can enjoy their drink while watching sports games from anywhere in the room.
3. Decide on the size of your home bar
You have to decide if you want your home bar to be big enough for multiple people or just one person at a time.
The size of the bar will also have an effect on what accessories you need to buy. If you want a large home bar then there are many more items that could be used, but if it’s for one person only then your needs are much less extensive.
Do not purchase anything until figuring out how big or small the area is going to be! Once you’ve decided, read on for some additional home bar ideas.
4. Find a space in your home to accommodate the home bar
Now that you have the size of your home bar sorted, it’s time to consider the location. First, measure the space you have so that you can buy a home bar that is appropriately sized for that area. You want to also take into account where power outlets are located as well as what furniture may be in the way of your home bar being installed properly.
Depending on whether or not there is any open flooring left, it’s time to get started on building! If there isn’t much free room then try moving some things around and see if anything will work better than before – making sure nothing blocks necessities like outlets and entrances.
If you’re planning to create a home bar outdoors, consider building it close to the kitchen and undercover to protect it from weathering. You could even build decking around the bar to give it a raised seated area – perfect to make your home bar stand out.
5. Choose the perfect bar and countertop material
The next option, selecting the materials for the bar and countertop. Choose a material that compliments the style of your home. Also, consider what type of party you want to host before decorating your home bar. You want something durable and waterproof, even if you don’t plan on hosting parties for a while.
If you’re going for an old-fashioned style, then consider using mahogany wood or dark colours; if you’re looking for something more modern, use stainless steel and glass.
Another common material used by home bar builders is the classic pallet. After all, who doesn’t love an old shipping pallet to create that rustic feel?
The options are endless. You can be creative and roll up your sleeves to make a home bar that’s perfect for you!
6. Pick out an appropriate sink for your home bar
If you’re taking your new home bar ideas to the next level with plumbing, you’ll likely need a sink.
The easiest option for plumbing in a drain, but if that’s not within reach or doesn’t fit with your budget, then consider installing a basin under one end of the island to serve as your washing station.
7. Add a backsplash for extra storage and style
Now that the bar is built, it’s time to move on to the design and functionality.
When designing your home bar, be sure to consider storage space. And since the base of your home bar acts as storage, adding a backsplash can add extra style and hide any unsightly items.
This is an excellent place to store bottles, glasses, cleaning supplies or other essentials that you’d like out of sight when entertaining guests. A marble tile backsplash will reflect light beautifully and make for some beautiful pictures on Instagram too!
When it comes to functionality though, don’t forget about lighting! If you’re hosting parties at night then stylish pendant lights are perfect for illuminating your drink-filled space without being overly bright or distracting from conversations. It’s recommended to hang these overhead so they provide general illumination instead of spotlighting individual areas.
You can even use a mirror for the back of your bar. A mirror backsplash will make your home bar feel more spacious and inviting.
8. Install shelving to store liquor bottles and mixers
You can never have enough storage space when planning out the design of your home bar.
When it comes to storage, you want to have a place for your liquor bottles and mixer containers. You can install shelving with cabinets below or above the bar that will allow both drinkers and bartenders easy access to their beverage of choice without cluttering up space.
When it comes to shelving, there’s no need to invest in expensive glass shelves when you can make them yourself using wood pallets (they’re surprisingly sturdy). However, if you are planning a more sophisticated design, you can find some relatively cost-effective options at your local hardware or outdoor kitchen store.
9. Decorate your bar with some fun home bar accessories
Now we’ve reached the most enjoyable part – accessorising.
Add some decorations such as plants or pictures on the walls around the bar area so it feels like home. Don’t forget more unique design ideas using neon lights, beer signs, or any other fun decorations you might think of.
Add some fun home bar accessories such as a beer tap light, chalkboard to list your drinks, and even simple guitar decoration for the music lovers out there.
A good way to personalise this space is by adding photos from past family events around the room or on shelves that surround it. These little touches make guests feel at home and remind them why they are here in the first place – celebrating with friends!
10. Choose from different types of home bar furniture and stools
When selecting the right home bar furniture and bar stools, find some ideas that go with the design, theme and feel that you are going for. Nowadays, there are so many different types and styles that you will be able to find one that matches your personal preference.
You may want to weigh up comfort vs style also.
If your group of friends usually only drink for a small amount of time, comfort may not be a big factor. However, if you drink until the early morning, make sure you select home bar stools that are made for comfort.
11. Make a list of your favourite beers and drinks
It’s time to stock up your home bar with your favourite beer and drink options. Make an ideas list of your favourite beers and drinks before you stock up your fridges. Take the time to research all about them, including where they are brewed or bottled. This will give you some great talking points for when your guests arrive.
12. Create a drink menu with signature cocktails and mocktails
Whether you enjoy a cocktail or not, a drink menu is a must for your home bar. This will be both a talking point and it’ll also help you stay organised when people ask what drinks are on offer.
Stick to a few of the most classic options so that you only need to stock up on a few spirits and mixers. It’s also a good idea to stock up on some soft drink options too, such as lemonade or cola.
13. Don’t forget the beer snacks
So your new home bar is sorted (using some of the home bar ideas above) and you’ve stocked up on all your favourite beers, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages. Next up, beer snacks!
The number of beer snacks available from your local supermarket is endless. The easiest way to consider what to stock up on is to think about what’s usually available behind the bar at your local bar or pub. Or, head to your local bottle shop as they usually stock up on a wide array of beer snacks.
Some of the most common beer snacks for your home bar includes:
- Beer nuts (peanuts, cashews, and so on)
- Pork crackle
- Potato chips
Get a selection from the above and you’re sure to have something that will appeal to at least a portion of your guests at your next party.
Time to create the ultimate home bar
So, now we have the basics covered for your home bar and selected one of your favourite home bar designs. We’ve got a selection of beer snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as some seating choices. Now it’s time to finish off your ultimate home bar!
- How about getting an ice bucket with something to keep your glasses cool when they’re not in use?
- Is there space on top of one of those cupboards where you could set up a bottle opener or two?
- What about setting aside that corner near the back door for your guests’ coats so they can take them off before sitting down and sinking into those comfy couches?
There are so many things to consider when you’re creating the ultimate home bar design, but we hope the above home bar ideas put you on the right track to creating a versatile and welcoming home bar that has that WOW factor.
Home bar ideas and frequently asked questions
Before we go, we want to include some commonly asked questions and ideas when it comes to creating the ultimate home bar.
What accessories do you need for a home bar?
We cover a few of the most common home bar accessories in this article about home bar ideas, but if you’re not sure what hardware, liquor and bar equipment is the best for your home bar needs, we recommend doing some research on Google or checking out a local wine store or bottle shop for ideas and to see the variety of items available.
How can I make my home bar look good?
When looking for home bar ideas to make a stylish and well-designed home bar, it comes down to accessorising. We recommend adding a few cool looking pieces of furniture, and if you’re really feeling ambitious, mixing in some vintage items like old beer signs and cans.
How often should I use my home bar?
We like to think you can make your home bar the centre of any occasion – from having friends over on the weekend to entertaining clients during the week. The more you use the home bar, the better you’ll feel about the investment.
Where should a home bar be placed in a house?
When looking for home bar ideas on placement in your home, it is important to consider how much space you have and what your purpose for the home bar will be. It’s worth noting that a corner of an open plan living area or kitchen-dining combo, often has more than enough room for a really stylish-looking home bar.
How much does it cost to build a home bar?
The cost of your home bar will depend on the size, style and what you need it for. Looking at the home bar ideas above, you could DIY your own pallet bar for a very small investment, or spend thousands if not tens of thousands on a custom and premium outdoor kitchen and home bar combo.