The Perfect Home Bar

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Creating the Perfect Home Bar

Written by Jamie Sward

When it comes to creating the perfect home bar, where do you start? Why not start by thinking about your favorite neighborhood bar or pub? What is it about this place that makes it your favorite? Does it have a cozy and homey feel? Does it give off a chic, modern vibe? How comfortable are the bar stools? What sort of artwork is there on the walls? While you don't necessarily have to copy the look of your favorite bar or pub, you can bring some of your favorite elements into the design of your home bar. Here are some tips you can use when creating your new hang out space.

1. Complement Your Style:

Your home bar needs to not only complement your home decor, but also your personality. If you are going for a more old fashioned feel, look for a bar with a nice hardwood finish or a marble top. Traditional bars come in a variety of finishes, from a nice dark cherry finish to a lighter, burnished oak finish. A contemporary home bar might be better if you are trying to add a touch of modern styling to your home. Contemporary bars are going to have a simple, contoured shape, with very little in the way of detailing. This is in stark contrast to a traditional bar which might have ornate wood carvings or other embellishments. Contemporary home bars typically come with either a dark hardwood finish or some sort of metal and glass combination.

2. Choosing The Right Bar Stool:

If you purchase a home bar by a certain manufacture, chances are that same manufacturer has matching bar stools. This is the best way to ensure that your bar stools match your new home bar perfectly. Not everyone wants their bar and bar stools to be all "matchy-matchy", in which case it's OK to get a little creative. Whatever type of home bar you decide on, your bar stools should complement the overall design aesthetic of the bar. For instance, a modern metal bar stool should not be paired up with an ornately detailed hardwood bar - as the two styles would clash. Instead, you should consider an old fashioned wood bar stool with either a plush or vinyl cushion. When shopping for bar stools - here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Height: Height is determined by the seat height, not the total height. Counter-height seats are typically between 24 and 26" high, whereas bar height stools are between 30 and 32" high.
  • Style: It's generally a good idea to match the overall style of your bar stool to your home bar. You don't have to match them exactly but you don't want to choose two clashing styles.
  • Features: Bar stools today come with a variety of different features that you can choose from. From extra back support to seats that swivel, height adjustment as well as customizable seat fabric - make sure that your bar stool comes equipped with all of the features you need.

3. Dressing Your Bar:

Once you have chosen your bar and bar stools, it's time for the fun part - decorating and accessorizing your bar. Dressing the bar should be an exercise in creativity. Here are some things to keep in mind when adding the finishing touches to your bar.

  • Bar Lighting: Having good lighting at your bar is essential. You want the lighting to be comforting and relaxing - not too bright, not too dark. It's a good idea to install a dimmer switch with your bar lighting - as this will give you the most versatility. Hanging directly over the bar, pendant lights are probably your best bet for bar lighting. Pendant lights are available in a variety of styles, from beautiful stained glass to modern stainless steel fixtures.
  • Wall Decor: Think about your favorite bar or pub - what sort of artwork is up on the walls? Vintage movie posters? Modern wall sculptures? Floor-to-ceiling mirrors? Take some time to plan out what you want the walls of your home bar to look like. You can decorate them as sparsely or as elaborately as you want. If you want to create your own sports bar - consider throwing up some sports memorabilia or framed sports posters. For a modern bar, go elegant with a beautiful metal wall sculpture. Wall mounted tea-light holders are a great way to add some flickering mood lighting to your home bar.

Whether you plan on using your home bar for entertaining guests or for relaxing with your family, it needs to be the perfect blend of both comfort and style. By choosing comfortable bar stools, a sleek looking bar and stylish barware - you incorporate all the elements of your favorite neighborhood bar into a relaxing and convenient retreat.