Photo Description: This pass-through working bar is an artistic and dramatic focal point
By Stephanie Vaughan, Eklektik Interiors Designer
When remodeling, more homeowners are wanting to incorporate a bar area into their home. With the trend of entertaining at home becoming more commonplace, along with the recent “stay at home” mandates around the globe, specialty spaces in the home set aside for entertaining have been utilized more than ever. Whether that is a wine storage space, a bar or beverage serving area, or a full-on lounge, the typical homeowner is looking to have that special place in their home to “belly up to the bar!”
Interior designers love this trend in home design because it offers an opportunity to utilize significant spaces for practical needs, while also offering the chance to create an unexpected and exciting focal point. A beverage serving area can add beauty and function to your home and can be utilized not only for intimate personal or family time but for entertaining clients or friends.
What this space looks like is different for every homeowner, but incorporating a designer’s eye and input on different areas in your home that could be transformed into a bar space or wine storage can save you a lot of time and money and give you a working plan to move forward. Most homes have hidden nooks, which often go unnoticed by the homeowner, that would make perfect points of interest. An empty wall in a dining room, a cabinet section in your kitchen, or the space under your stairs can become something new and exciting like a wine display or full-service bar.
Asking the right questions before you begin a renovation project will ensure that your space is designed according to your needs and lifestyle. Here are a few questions to ask to begin the design process. How do I want to use this space and how can this add to my home’s function? Think about how you are going to use it and how to get the best bang for the buck. If you don’t really drink wine, why spend money and space on wine storage. Make it a liquor bar instead. If you don’t drink liquor, then concentrate on wine and all the bells and whistles you can fit into the space. Also consider, if I make this a focal point, who will see it the most? Will it be visible enough to really create a visually interesting space? For instance, if it’s going inside the pantry it should be designed for utility, but if it’s going in the living area or along an entry wall, it definitely should make a statement.
Important elements to consider in your design that add to the function but also the fabulous:
• COUNTERTOPS: Selecting durable countertops for preparing glasses of your favorite elixir, such as quartz or porcelain, add beauty and won’t stain from citrus acids or wine spills.
• LIGHTING: Lighting is very important and can create drama and effect in your new focal point.
• LAYOUT and STORAGE: A flashy or exotic backsplash is usually a good place to start in adding some interest. Storage can be hidden or used as display to add to the feel of the space. Shelves that hold liquor or beautiful wine racks add to the decor, while below the counter cabinets can hide various bar tools and appliances to keep the area uncluttered. Storing glasses is best when in a closed cabinet and even better if that door has glass and lighting on the inside for drama.
• APPLIANCES: A wine chiller with dual temp settings that will keep your reds at the perfect 65 degrees and your whites at 45-50. Depending on the space available, this could be under the counter or a tall unit for maximum storage. An ice maker and a sink are great additions if space and budget allow. You may also consider a drawer dishwasher that is great for washing glasses. One of the newest appliances that is a wine enthusiast ‘must-have’ is a wine saver/dispenser. It holds 4-6 bottles of open wine, keeping it fresh for days after opening and dispenses it into your glass when you push the button.
Originally published in the Houston Chronicle on July 4, 2020 https://www.chron.com/news/article/GHBA-Remodelers-Council-Home-bar-design-15382216.php