There is a wooden trolley with various bottles and glasses on it in a living room with a dining table and couch.
© Getty Images / Olga Saliy

Furnishing

House bar: furnishing, models, costs

Torben Schröder

Formerly frowned upon as bourgeois, house bars are now back in fashion. The latest models look much more modern and delicate than their counterparts from the 1970s and 1980s. It’s incredibly stylish to be able to offer friends and guests a drink from your own house bar. Here we give you some tips on furnishing and explain the different types available.

In this article

Finding the right place

Remember that a house bar is a place of entertainment and communication. The environment should be bright and friendly, and there should be a smooth supply of drinks. This means that furnishing the basement – common practice decades ago – is not always the best solution. If you don’t have a library or similar room in the house, the dining room or living room is a possibility. A house bar does not have to occupy an entire room but can easily be integrated into an existing room.

Style and equipment

Materials, surfaces, accessories and colors: the look of the bar depends entirely on the style of furnishing of your other rooms. And especially on the decoration of the room in which you want to integrate the house bar. For example, if you want your bar to become part of a colonial-style men’s study, dark wood and golden emblems are the obvious choice. If you want your new house bar to enhance a modern living room, a fresh design with light tones and glass surfaces is recommended. In a traditional country house room, a rustic style with carvings on the counter is more appropriate.

The general rule is that you should make sure surfaces are easy to clean to avoid sticky residues of glasses and liquids.

You definitely need to provide seating if you want your guests to stay at the house bar for longer periods. Bar stools are the traditional option. Pay attention not only to the appearance, but also to stability and quality. Seating comfort can be increased if there is a backrest and if the height is adjustable.

Overview of different models

Do you just want to pour the occasional drink? Or do you want to actually stand behind the bar and mix drinks? Would you like a counter and chairs? Specialists on the Internet offer various possibilities, which we present below.

1. The mobile butler

You don’t need a complete bar to be able to offer your guests a drink – the serving trolley is a space-saving and inexpensive alternative. The Normann Copenhagen Block from Galaxus is available for 213 francs (price on 21 September 2020). It’s easy to assemble, looks impressive yet simple, and has two shelves with space for glasses and drinks.

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2. The practical beginner’s model

The bar table is a solid piece of furniture placed in a room – unlike the mobile butler, which is on wheels. Thanks to its compact dimensions, the table can nevertheless be easily moved around if necessary. The FRANZ bar table from Vente-Unique, available for 169.99 francs (price on 21 September 2020), has two large storage shelves. The upper one is approximately at hip level. The material consists of wood fiber boards and chromed metal. Bottle and glass holders give it a stylish look.

3. The unobtrusive quick-change artist

At first glance it looks like a simple dresser, but it can be transformed into a well-stocked house bar if required: the bar cabinet. A lockable cabinet is particularly suitable for households with children. The “Profi” Mexico Bar by MiaMöbel GmbH made of solid pine wood is almost 1.4 meters wide when open and offers plenty of space for bottles, glasses and accessories, both on the shelves and in the hinged doors. It also has a special feature: a revolving secret compartment. It costs 639.90 francs (price on 21 September 2020).

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4. The stylish all-rounder

To reproduce the true feeling of a visit to the bar in your own home, there’s no other choice but to install a bar counter. Your guests sit on stools in front of the bar, with their feet resting on supports. You stand behind the bar to prepare the drinks. There is plenty of space on large worktops next to, behind and in front of you. You can hang the glasses above you, then casually pull them down from the racks when you need them. An eye-catching counter for any home can be purchased for example from Adrian Lissy: the Oklahoma bar counter is available for a starting price of 8,569 francs (price on 21 September 2020).

Close-up of bartending equipment on a counter. Blurred bottles can be seen on shelves in the background.

A large bar counter allows you to prepare drinks for your guests in style – you just need the right equipment such as measuring cups and shakers.

Here are some tips on the essential utensils for your new bar:

  • Alcohol and mixed drinks: ingredients to suit your tastes
  • Glasses: for example cocktail glasses, martini glasses, tumblers and champagne glasses
  • Shaker: mixing cup for preparing cocktails
  • Jigger: cup for measuring small quantities of liquids
  • Strainer: bar strainer for retaining ice or fruit residue
  • Mixing glass with bar spoon: for mixing cocktail ingredients
  • Ice container with ice tongs: for storing ice cubes
  • Juicer: for pressing lemons, limes and oranges
  • Chopping board with sharp knife: for cutting fruit and spices

5. A unique self-built model

If no ready-made models appeal to you, you have the option of creating a fully customized house bar. Either you contact a carpenter, who can build you a high-quality all-in-one solution. Or, if you are good at DIY and have a bit of imagination, you can design your very own house bar yourself. There are of course no limits to the choice of material or design – from simple constructions made of europallets to copies in a pop art, glamor or 70s look, anything is possible. There is something to suit every taste – and every DIY fan can also find the right tutorial on the Internet.

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Conclusion: something for everyone

Having a drink with friends and relatives in a cozy and stylish atmosphere – a house bar could become your new center for meetings and conversations. You can choose from a variety of options ranging from a mobile serving trolley to a solid wooden counter.

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