How to Create a Home Bar

If you consider yourself a socialite and love to have get-togethers or if you just want to add something fun in your house, this might just be the perfect time to finally build that home bar you’ve been wanting! Here are some things to consider when deciding to build a home bar.

Exploring Options

Ask yourself the following questions to figure out exactly what you want out of your home bar:

  1. Moveable bar or permanent bar?
  2. Do-it-yourself or professional contractor’s job?
  3. Wet bar (sink) or dry bar (no sink)?
  4. Full back bar or wall shelving?
  5. Draft system/beer on tap or refrigeration units for bottled/canned beer?
  6. One “all-purpose” refrigeration unit or different fridges for different drinks?
  7. Built-in ice machine or temporary ice accommodations?
  8. Bathroom in the bar area or existing restroom usage?
  9. Set theme or “evolving” décor?


Layout and Design

Going through this important part of the planning process will help you determine what size bar your space can accommodate, what type of bar furniture and beer refrigeration you’ll need and the time and resources that you’ll need to make the dream a reality.

Visit your favorite establishments and pay close attention to elements you like. Do you like a big glass mirror behind the bar? What types of stools and bar rails fit your style? Take special note of the bar’s structure – how it was made and what’s it made of. Bring along a digital camera if you’ve got one – pictures always help! Don’t be afraid to get creative with your creation either; think outside the box with how you can make your home bar unique to you!


Things to take note of:

  • Overall look and feel
  • Bar surfaces
  • Bar stools
  • Carpentry
  • Draft beer systems (towers, tap handles, etc)
  • Bar foot rails
  • Bar décor; signs, mirrors and the like

More important than what you want, is what you can actually have. Identify possible restrictions and obstacles in your home, particularly in the room where you will be building your home bar.


Things to keep in mind:

  • Ceiling height
  • Doorway and stairway widths
  • Sump pump location
  • Electrical outlets
  • Cable TV hookups
  • Access to waterlines


Creating Your Blueprint

When you are ready to lay out a blueprint for your home bar – the first thing to think about is how much space you’re working with. If you have a basement that you want to get more use out of, this is a great way to utilize that space.


The average home bar is 42-inches high and 24-inches deep. Of course, you should customize your bar’s size to fit the area that you have available and your preferences. Just remember that most bar stools are 30-inches tall, so your bar should not be much lower than 42-inches high, to allow for leg room when seated.


You’ll also want to think about the shape that you’d like your bar to be. There are several options to consider including L-shaped, horseshoe shaped or rectangular bar designs. Find something that works perfectly in your space.

Sinks, Refrigeration and Other Things to Keep in Mind

During the planning stages, you should also take anything that will be housed behind the bar into consideration, particularly sinks and refrigeration. Building a cocktail hutch may be a valued addition to your home bar, check out this video how-to for a DIY model.

Sinks are usually placed under the front bar, but putting them in the back bar is not unheard of. The location of your existing plumbing may play a part in where you decide to build your bar or install the sink and drainage.

Refrigeration needs will depend on whether or not you’re including a draft system and also what kind of entertaining you do. If you are planning on having beer on tap, you’ll need a kegerator or refrigerator to keep your keg cold. Big wine drinkers may also want to install a separate wine refrigerator for their favorite bottles.

Television placement is also key. You’ll want to position or mount your TV so as many people as possible can have a clear view of what’s on.


The Look and Feel of Your Home Bar

Bars are a great place to make a statement about yourself and what you love, and to have some fun with your furnishings and décor.  When choosing a look for your bar, you might want to ask yourself how much time will be spent in the bar room and whether or not the room will be used for things other than entertaining.

Once you’ve decided how creative you can get, these popular bar themes might spark an idea:

  • Irish/English Pub
  • Game Room
  • Biker Bar
  • Cigar Bar
  • Country Bar/Saloon
  • Sports Bar
  • Tiki Cantina

When it comes to the look and feel, you’ve got tons of choices and the decisions are all yours. Spend a few minutes thinking about what you want your bar to ultimately look like and how you want people to feel when enjoying your bar. Have a vision and make it happen, and most importantly enjoy it!.