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The Year of the Home Bar: How to build the perfect bar for at-home socialising

Thinking of creating a stylish bar in your home? You’re not alone. The pandemic spurred a lasting shift in our priorities as homeowners, with our desire to entertain family and friends at home surging. After all, why go out when you can host your own cocktail hour in complete comfort – and with full control over the playlist?

Such is the change in how we want to live in our homes that research by Rated People found that more people were looking to build a home bar in 2022 than were planning to upgrade their kitchen – and not only that, but they were happy to spend more than a new kitchen would cost too.

“Our priorities are shifting, with homeowners wanting to use more of their money on creating new spaces for at-home socialising instead of spending it on staples like a new kitchen. 2022 is definitely the year of the home bar.” Adrienne Minster, CEO Rated People

The perfect addition to your hybrid home

Creating a hybrid home interior has become the key way to add value to your property – both for you and your family, and in real terms should you decide to move on in the future. And, though the term hybrid may initially conjure thoughts of work-from-home, to be truly multifunctional our spaces need an equal focus on fun-from-home.

Whilst it’s true that few things add as much “wow” factor as the elegance and decadence of a home bar, designing your own dedicated drinks space is about more than that. It’s about adding another level of experience to how you entertain in your home – whether that’s the ability to greet guests with a homemade cocktail/mocktail or treating yourself to a touch of luxurious escape after a long, hard day at work.

With that in mind, let’s explore how you can build the perfect bar for at-home socialising.

The right spot – and the right purpose

Your home bar doesn’t need to take up a huge amount of space – in fact, it’s the perfect way to add life to an unloved corner, make use of a tricky alcove or repurpose the area under your stairs. Thinking further, building a home bar is also a wonderful opportunity to create a piece of furniture that offers you – and your room – more than one function.

Pictured here, our designer incorporated an ingenious corner bar into the cool, restful Vinyl Room created for our client below.

Slotting seamlessly into the overall design, the home bar features bespoke storage for wines and liquors, display shelving for glassware and accoutrements and a mirrored backdrop that bounces and refracts light through glasses and bottles into the room beyond.

Our designers are experts at spotting the ideal place for any transformation, and the beauty of our bespoke service is that each piece is handcrafted to suit your space, style and requirements – so, if you’re struggling to find the ideal place for your home bar, why not book a free design consultation now?

Be daring with colour

Such a playful piece calls for a little adventure, so don’t be afraid to let your creativity loose when it comes to choosing colours for your home bar. This special addition to your home décor should ooze with opulence, luxury and uber-cool style, so think glamorous exterior, statement interior and unexpected touches – from decorative papers to coloured glassware; vintage crystal to quality barware.

For this stunning bar painted in Midnight, our designer chose to combine the traditional shaker-style cabinetry with a moody and ambient colour. Featuring our Eclipse handles this otherwise traditional piece of furniture has been given a contemporary twist that will last a lifetime in any home.

Consider layout

When it comes to planning the layout of your bar, your options are truly endless thanks to our custom-crafted designs. The key is to think about what you want from this space.

Are you a wine buff? You’ll want to incorporate racks for your reds and perhaps a cooler for your white and rosé wines. Cocktail or mocktail lovers will need space to prep, chop, ice and shake, not to mention plenty of shelving to keep liquors within easy reach – and show off those ornamental bottles in their best light.

But of course, there’s no need to limit yourself to one or the other!  Thanks to the interiors nous of our top experts, your cleverly designed, bespoke Neville Johnson bar will seamlessly combine the two with style.

Light it up

When it comes to creating the right ambience for your home bar, lighting is key. Depending on the size and placement of your bar, you might need to think about both task and feature lighting – the former to gently illuminate your workspace as you mix another delicious drink and the latter to shine a soft glow on pretty glassware and decorative bottles.

Integrating lighting within the cabinetry of the bar is a wonderful option to create the perfect mood, especially when teamed with a reflective backsplash that bounces light back into the room beyond. As well as having an obvious aesthetic appeal, mirrored or glass splashbacks are a wonderfully practical option. Being water (and alcohol!) resistant, they’re easy to clean and will stay looking good for many years to come. For an added touch of sparkle, antiqued glass looks beautiful whether it’s lit integrally or by candlelight for a little extra magic.

Stylishly dressed

Once you’ve found the ideal spot for your home bar and pinned down the perfect design, it’s time to add the finishing touches! Fortunately, most bar and glassware is as beautiful as it is functional, so it’s not too difficult to gather a stunning display that dresses your bar with the maximum of style.

For items ranging from the drop-dead gorgeous to the fabulously eclectic, we’re big fans of Anthropologie, NotontheHighStreet and Rockett St George, while vintage lovers can source some incredible finds on sites such as eBay, The Old Cinema and Etsy. Personalise any remaining space with flashes of artwork and your favourite ornaments and you’re ready to serve up the best martini in town!

We hope we’ve inspired you to create a truly special space for socialising in your home.

Our expert design team is on hand to bring your décor dreams to life – request a free design visit today and begin your Neville Johnson journey.