While an eye-catching cart of bottles and glassware can invigorate home gatherings, a full-fledged bar set-up takes soirées to luxe new heights. And from a design perspective, a personal station for cocktails or mocktails can be an opportunity to make a bold visual statement. Like a powder room, a petite bar is just the spot to flaunt jewel-toned hues and maximalist patterns. Plus, even when no one is behind the counter stirring old fashioneds, shelves can elegantly display your favorite stemware and tumblers. With these 11 home bar ideas, AD PRO Directory designers have deftly married drama with comfort and functionality.
The media room of this duplex in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood embodies multifunctionality. Brought to life by local practice Hines Collective, it reflects the client’s desire for a home theater “in the style of a modernized 1920s speakeasy,” says founder Devin Hines. Given the apartment’s various living areas, the glamorous bar—which Hines Collective made possible by reconfiguring bathrooms—helped to differentiate the space from the others with its artisan-applied metallic plaster finish that recalls hammered gold. “The surrounding walls are high-gloss oxblood lacquer with draperies and an upholstered ceiling in velvet of a matching color,” says Hines, “for a decadent, acoustically pleasing experience.”
Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates
Eager to “flip the narrative on ‘man caves,’” as he puts it, AD100 designer Corey Damen Jenkins transformed the light-deprived lower level of an Atlanta abode into a soft, feminine sanctuary. “I feel like we don’t often see spaces that are designed for women’s relaxation,” he says. “Sure, we see dressing rooms with vanities or luxurious bathrooms, but where is the space a woman can recharge?” Rejuvenation can certainly be had in this room: Awash in blush pink, mint, and celadon green, it mixes reflective finishes with artwork and botanical motifs, and the centerpiece bar maintains a soothing aura. Framed by two Visual Comfort lamps and bolstered by a Temmer natural stone backsplash, it could easily double as a spa reception desk.
Holly A. Kopman Interior Design
As her clients’ two children grew older, Holly A. Kopman watched their apartment in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood evolve. The results? Delightful. For example, there was the request for a “wet bar that felt like a gentleman’s bar placed in the corner of their living room,” recalls the Mill Valley, California–based designer. Considering its prominent location, Kopman had to ensure that it meshed with the open-plan layout. It had to “vibe with the living room design where the whole family gathers and still feels sophisticated enough for an adult cocktail party,” she adds. This was accomplished by pairing a well-stocked, utilitarian Sub-Zero beverage center with rich ebony cerused oak, serrated bronze door inserts, and an antiqued mirror backsplash, notes Kopman, that “reflects the light and adds dimension to an otherwise rectangular room.”
Socializing was so important to one family in Carmel, Indiana, that they tapped local studio Lantz Collective (which also has an office in Naples, Florida), to design a place just for their rampant merrymaking. At the front of the residence, just off the entry, was an underutilized area that was “most likely a formal sitting room in the past,” says president Amanda Lantz, “but we decided to convert it to a receiving room and bar, the perfect setting for Manhattans and card games with friends.” From the beginning, Lantz “wanted to go with a rich, green room,” she says. “We loved the concept of saturating a lot of color from the rug and the fabrics to the paint color and window treatment.” Garden Gate, a grassy shade from the Sherwin-Williams portfolio, came to the rescue, brightened by gold touches and custom artwork by Lantz’s father, Barry, that she believes bring “balance and dimension to the room.”
Liz MacPhail Interiors
Tucked in the corner of a windowless basement in the Dallas area, a striking pink bar crafted out of Brazilian Cosmopolitan quartzite from Stone Boutique awaits behind a triple-tasseled wool curtain. Austin designer Liz MacPhail orchestrated this vignette as part of a wine cellar and lounge for the Kips Bay Dallas Show House in 2021. Flanked by a trio of Signature Kitchen Suite wine columns, the room features brass and glass Amuneal shelving, vintage rugs from Arsin Rug Gallery, and warm, ambient sconces. “Because this sprawling home already included two other bar areas with more broad design appeal, we approached this space with a more singular focus,” says MacPhail. “We were inspired by a sultry, moody still life photograph featuring papaya, eggplant, and passion fruit. We leaned into and embraced the lack of natural light by swathing paneled walls in a deep aubergine—Caponata by Benjamin Moore—and bounced light around with panels of antiqued mirror.”
Bradley Odom Interiors
For the renovation of a home in Atlanta’s ritzy Buckhead neighborhood, local designer Bradley Odom wanted the bar to seem as if it were lifted from the lobby of a buzzy boutique hotel. So, taking cues from the outdoors just beyond, he enveloped it in Farrow & Ball’s richly pigmented Green Smoke. “The back of the house abutted a small, idyllic pond so that informed the energy of the project. We tried to bring in nature as much as possible,” he explains. Other highlights of the gleaming, lacquered room are the glass-faced cabinets showcasing the owners’ extensive collection of barware and the complementary brass hardware that “goes so beautifully with the smoky green of the room and the veined marble we had installed,” adds Odom.
Ahmad AbouZanat, who leads the New York studio Project AZ, turned a bachelor pad in a Tribeca loft into a three-bedroom home that accommodates the owner’s budding affinity for entertaining. The bar, AbouZanat recounts, was “a must-have moment for the homeowner, who was adamant about the color blue.” Built in a one-time pantry, the bar is set into a fluted wood wall, and enlivened by Caesarstone countertops, custom blue velvet stools, and glass shelving.
Relaxation was the objective of this third-floor bar and library by Austin designer Fern Santini. Opening onto a deck nestled in the treetops, it’s an edgy yet chilled-out lair “to lounge and listen to music, have a cocktail, and watch the sunset, surrounded by a world-class photography collection of musicians who’ve changed [the field] forever,” shares Santini. Along with a robust library of music books, Santini is smitten with the trippy Kyle Bunting dyed cowhide ceiling. It’s visually stunning, but it’s also “a great acoustical element that works when the McIntosh MTI100 Integrated Turntable is cranked up a bit,” she points out. A midcentury FontanaArte chandelier, antique Turkish rug, and custom Shota Yamaguchi desk all buoy the semi-circular bar crowned with towering brass shelves.
Mary Beth Wagner Interiors
When Dallas designer Mary Beth Wagner and local architect Christy Blumenfeld were summoned back to the residence they tackled together a few years back, they were asked for home bar ideas to create a dedicated space for entertaining close to the kitchen and family room. Born from an unused patio, the now-enclosed area melds deep blue-green walls and a showstopping bar. The latter is adorned with geometric-print tiles and “a metallic grasscloth that became the backsplash so as to not take away from the patterned front of the bar,” says Wagner, who also incorporated brass shelving to show off a gorgeous stash of stemware. The result? “Elegant but a little funky,” as Wagner puts it, “which suits the homeowners’ personalities.”
Designed as a subterranean speakeasy for the Dallas Kips Bay Decorator Show House in 2021, this gallery-like bar, rounded out by a lounge and secondary kitchen, draws from the aesthetics of hedonistic Prohibition-era haunts. “The star of the space is certainly the cantilevered island that features a Cambria countertop. We designed it with a structural engineer and it’s so secure that you could even dance on top of it, which is perfect in our speakeasy environment,” says Bryan Yates, principal designer at Dallas-based Yates Desygn. Even the chains dangling from the delicate light fixture fabricated by Wired Custom Lighting to the studio’s exact specifications “are reminiscent of a flapper’s swinging fringe dress,” adds Yates.
Looking for a design professional to help you create a lavish home bar of your own? Browse hundreds of AD-approved designers on the AD PRO Directory
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
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