Custom Bars: Tips for Designing and Entertaining in Style

An increasing trend that we are seeing is the addition of bars into homes. Whether hosting family get-togethers, Super Bowl parties, or elegant gatherings, any event can be greatly enhanced for both the host and their guests with a well-appointed and custom-constructed home bar. At Bucks County Cabinetry and Design, we are seeing a marked increase in custom bars in both new home designs as well as renovations to existing homes. As our team knows, no two home bars are the same due to the factors of personal preference, available space, design elements, and budget. 

Here are several tips to help you design your custom home bar to maximize the enjoyment of your gatherings and parties in ways that make you wonder how you ever entertained without a bar in the past! 

1. Location, Location, Location!

In addition to being an accurate consideration in the real estate market, the location of the family bar in the home is also of critical importance. Finished basements, oversized kitchens, family rooms and covered outdoor spaces are all worthy of consideration. Our best advice is to choose the location in your home that is most conducive to entertaining. 

2. Custom Design

Adding a bar to your home is a major decision. The planning process can be significantly enhanced via working with a professional to imagine and then design the perfect bar for your home. Consider the layout, storage needs, and the overall aesthetic of the bar and how it blends with the adjoining areas of the home. The options are limitless, and a design professional will ensure that all possibilities can be considered before you settle on a final plan. 

3. Bar Setup

Invest in a high-quality bar counter, preferably with a durable and attractive countertop material such as granite, marble, or high-end wood that can be milled to your specific design preferences. Ensure that you have adequate space for preparing drinks, serving your guests, and accommodating bar stools for those who desire to sit. An example of a well thought out design as it relates to bar set up can be seen below. 

custom bar

4. Lighting and Ambiance

Planning the lighting layout and accompanying features is important. Consider how you will want to set the mood with appropriate lighting for different types of gatherings. Dimmable or adjustable lighting options work well since they can create the desired atmosphere during evening gatherings. Use under-counter lighting to highlight your bar area and create a classy effect for all to admire. 

5. Seating and Comfort

Make sure to provide comfortable seating options around the bar area. Bar stools with padded seats and backrests are ideal for guests who might want to sit and enjoy their drinks, watch a ballgame, or commiserate with friends. 

6. Music and Entertainment

Consider incorporating a sound system into your bar design. Music can greatly enhance the overall experience and create a relaxed atmosphere for your guests. Experience tells us that investing a few dollars more in high-end speakers that can blare music for a teen party or play crystal-clear smooth jazz for a more “seasoned” group of guests is money well spent. 

7. Don’t Forget the Big Screen!

A ballgame, a music video or seeing which contestants do and do not get a rose are examples of why a television is an important component for many home bars. Even if the volume is down, the television can be a welcome addition to your gathering. 

Bar Decor

There are numerous decorative elements that can be designed into your bar that reflect your personal tastes. Some of these include artwork, signs, mirrors, or built-in shelving to showcase beverages and glassware. 

Once your bar has been designed – and while it is being constructed – you can begin to think about other options to make the bar truly yours, such as: 

  • Stocking the Bar: A well-stocked bar is essential. Include a variety of alcoholic beverages and don’t forget about the soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages for those that prefer them.
  • Glassware and Utensils: Have a range of glassware for different drinks and be sure to include essential bar tools such as shakers, strainers, muddlers, and bottle openers so you are ready for any and all bar orders. 
  • Personalizing the Bar: Adding items associated with your favorite sports team, or perhaps incorporating your family’s shield are two possibilities. 

By following the tips discussed in this blog, a custom home bar – such as the one pictured below – can become the highlight of your gatherings, leading to wonderful memories for your family and friends. 

If a home bar is something you have always wanted – or even if it is something that you are just now beginning to consider – the Design Team at Bucks County Cabinetry and Design in Doylestown, PA is ready to assist you! Check out some of our custom designs and high-end projects here, and give us a call at 215- 489-0851, or fill out a form to get the process started.