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Article: 7 Effortless Ways to Elevate Your Home Bar

7 Effortless Ways to Elevate Your Home Bar
Inspiration

7 Effortless Ways to Elevate Your Home Bar

From toasting to good times gathered around a table with friends to mixing up your favorite mocktail at home with family after a successful days' work, many memories are made with a delicious drink in hand. With decades of hosting and toasting experience, our family has learned the importance of setting up an area in the home that’s designated for bar service. Discover our favorite home bar ideas and cocktail recipes to find inspiration for designing your own. 

Why You Need a Home Bar

Overall, having a separate bar area from your main entertaining space enhances the functionality and enjoyment of your home. Whether you are hosting a formal cocktail party from your built-in wet bar or are doubling your sideboard as a pop-up bar, having a bar area creates a designated spot for drink service or self-service. It only takes a few well-executed home bar ideas to make that happen. 

A chosen bar area also creates a focal point for gatherings, allowing guests to gather and mingle in a dedicated space. From spontaneous weekend dinner parties to a big holiday gathering, any and every event can be elevated by a decorated home bar — even if it’s just a party of one while you pour yourself an after-work glass of wine. With the right décor and home bar ideas, you can even tie it into the look of your main dining space for a cohesive style.

A designated home bar also helps streamline the overall flow of the party by providing a separate space to house drinks and bar snacks. This area will prevent congestion in other areas of the home, allowing hosts to efficiently manage the party without feeling overwhelmed {something that’s incredibly important, especially if you’re hosting a large guest list}. 

5 Types of Home Bars

Whether you’re designing your dream home from scratch or wondering how to add a temporary bar table to a party, there are many home bar ideas to choose from. Some of the tried-and-true variations include: 

  1. Wet bars — a wet bar is built into a wall and designed around features such as shelves, cabinets, minifridges, and, as the name implies, a sink. These are often found in dining rooms, finished basements, or adjacent to the kitchen. 
  2. Dry bars — dry bars can be either built into the wall or a separate piece of furniture that can be set up in any room. Unlike a wet bar, a dry bar does not have access to running water. 
  3. Bar carts — bar carts are easily transportable and can be set in place or follow the party based on where your main entertaining space is.  
  4. Cabinets — if you’re looking for a home bar idea for a smaller space, such as in an apartment, or want a more hidden option, filling assigned cabinets with liquor bottles and glasses is an accessible alternative for small bar ideas.
  5. Pop-up bars — when you need a quick and easy bar space, you can set up a pop-up bar on any section of countertop piece of furniture, or even a fold-out table, before your gathering begins. 

7 Ways to Elevate Your Home Bar Design

If you’re searching for creative and unique home bar ideas, look no further. Get inspired with our seven favorite ways to upgrade your bar for any gathering:

1. Display Your Bottles

    Make your bar beautiful and functional by displaying your favorite bottles in plain sight. While not all bottles will be considered display-worthy, choosing select liquor, wine, and mixer bottles with interesting labels can help you create a color palette and style for the space. Just make sure to keep the most reached-for options handy so that serving your favorite drinks is easy. 

    For a timeless alternative to labeled bottles, opt for pouring each liquor into a decanter. We adore the rainbow selection of Estelle’s colorful decanters, but you could also go classic with a clear crystal decanter. Eto also offers a functional and stylish decanter with a metallic finish that complements any home bar design and style.

    2. Gather an Assortment of Glassware

      Owning a collection of glassware in different shapes and sizes will ensure you’re prepared to serve any type of cocktail. From short rocks glasses to skinny flutes, there are endless designs to choose from. 

      The shape is more than an aesthetic choice — it’s actually thought to affect the different flavors, aromas, and carbonation of each cocktail. Experimenting with different glasses as you decide on your home bar design can be a fun way to discover what works best for your favorite sippers.

      Must-Have Types of Cocktail Glasses:

      • Highball: these tall and straight-sided glasses are perfect for long drinks with extra mixers.
      • Old fashioned glass: with a thick base and a wide rim, these short glasses work best for drinks served over ice.
      • Martini glass: most known for its long, skinny stem and conical bowl, martini glasses are best for sipping cocktails without ice.
      • Coupe glass: similar to the martini glass, a coupe combines a shallow bowl and elegant stem to make a shape that’s best for serving Champagne-based drinks.
      • Flute: with a tall and thin body and a narrow mouth, the shape of a flute glass helps preserve the carbonation of a bubbly drink. 
      • Margarita glass: whether salted or unsalted, a margarita glass is known for its wide, upturned rim, which works best for blended or shaken iced cocktails.
      • Snifter: with a short step, wide bottom, and narrow top, a snifter glass is best for strong cocktails designed to be sipped. 

      What is the Difference Between White and Red Wine Glasses?

      When hosting a dinner party, a host must know the correct wine glasses to offer their guests. Red wines need more aeration to draw out the aromas and flavors, so a red wine glass typically has a larger bowl. White wines have subtler notes and are best served chilled, so a smaller bowl and a longer stem {to keep your hands from accidentally warming the liquid} elevate the tasting experience. Make sure to have both in your home bar design

      Our Favorite Glassware Brands:

      • NUDE: with unique designs and quality craftmanship, NUDE’s glassware is refined and sophisticated. 
      • Estelle Colored Glass: we love Estelle, with its countless color and shape options, for any and all gatherings.
      • Anthropologie: who doesn’t love the down-to-earth and quirky glassware options from Anthropologie
      • Mociun: for eccentric and whimsical glasses, Mociun is one of our go-to contemporary glassware companies.
      • Fazeek: bold, beautiful, and oh-so colorful, the Fazeek glassware is an easy choice for statement home bar ideas.
      3. Decorate with Multifunctional Dinnerware 

        Dinnerware can be used for more than the dining table. Many smaller, functional dinnerware items are perfect for transforming the look and feel of a home bar design. And while they may seem like smaller details, switching them out for different seasons, holidays, and themes can instantly change the room’s décor. 

        As you create your home bar design, consider the multi-functionality of each dinnerware item. To keep your space organized, corral bottles into one spot with a decorative gold scallop platter or a black arabesque platter. Collect and display corks or matchbooks in a small iris blue bowl to give your bar a homey, personalized feel. When you’re coming up with home bar ideas, these little touches go a long way.


        Essential Dinnerware and Serveware Bar Ideas

        When brainstorming your home bar ideas, don’t forget to bring out these must-have dinnerware pieces to elevate your space:

        Ice Buckets

        Ice buckets should be brought out when serving something chilled, such as Champagne or white wine. After filling the bottom with ice, you can place the bottle in, keeping it chilled {and stylish!} throughout your entire party, encouraging guests to refill as they please. Made from durable stoneware and featuring gold metallic accents, our Deco Gold Scallop Ice Bucket is our go-to option for any home bar design.

        Pitchers

        Pitchers are versatile and essential items for bar set ups, they can be utilized for just about anything. Use your pitcher to pour water, organize straws and picks, serve mixed drinks or homemade wine, or purely as décor. With sleek designs and darling shapes, our white ruffle pitcher or iris blue pedestal pitcher are great choices for any drink you’re pouring. 

        A favorite home bar idea is owning a few pitchers so that batches of drinks can be easily swapped out and remade throughout the event. That way, the flow never gets interrupted.

        Serving Bowls

        One of our most recommended home bar ideas is to stock up on serving bowls of all shapes and sizes. This is the key to offering garnishes and adding dimension to your home bar design

        We offer a large assortment of trinket trays, dipping bowls, and small bowls that are perfect additions to your home bar design. Smaller plates and bowls can hold all sorts of drink garnishes like mint leaves, lemon wedges, cut fruit, sugar, or salt. With three identical bowls wrapped into a single serving dish, we always recommend the Signature White Trio Bowl for an all-in-one option. 

        4. Style with a Stack of Cocktail Napkins 

          Cocktail napkins are a must-have home bar idea, as they enhance the overall presentation of your drinks and add effortless sophistication to your bar setup. Offering these easy grab-and-go napkins for your guests accomplishes more than a beautiful presentation — they’re also a  way to protect hands and furniture from condensation. Coordinate them with the season by swapping out different designs throughout the year or choosing colors that tie into your dining table décor for a cohesive style. 

          5. Keep Cocktail Recipe Books Handy

            Whether you’ve been given one as a gift,  or curate your own collection, cocktail recipe books are one of the best décor-focused bar ideas. When you’re in the mood for a refreshing summer cocktail or a cozy winter warmer, you can always look to your favorite cocktail recipe books for inspiration and guidance. And, with cocktail books on hand, you can customize your drink menu to suit your and your guests’ preferences at each gathering. 

            Another bar idea is to line cocktail books up on one end with a bottle as a bookend or stack them vertically underneath a platter with the spines facing out for all your guests to see. 

            6. Add Life with Flowers and Plants

              Don’t let your bar be a stagnant area in your home — add some life to it with gorgeous flora. Consider putting fresh-cut flowers out in your favorite Signature White Ruffle Vase right before your gathering for you and your guests to enjoy. For a low-maintenance option, set up a leafy potted plant next to your other bar essentials. Anyone can accomplish this home bar idea, whether you grow your own flowers in the backyard or stop at the store to pick up a bouquet on your way home. 

              7. Choose Interesting Lighting to Set the Mood

                Lighting can help create your intended atmosphere at an event, so don’t forget to consider light options when brainstorming home bar ideas. For permanent, in-home builds, choose a visually interesting ceiling fixture or installed track lighting. A unique lamp can add a cozy tone for semi-permanent setups for every “cheers.” For temporary arrangements, the easiest portable bar idea is a trendy rechargeable table lamp.

                Why Should You Curate Your Drinks for a Gathering?

                By serving cocktails, wines, and other beverages that complement the flavors and styles of the dishes being served, you ensure that every aspect of the meal works together seamlessly. From learning how to make wine pairings to inviting your friends over to try your new cocktail concoctions, curating your drink recipes makes the event extra special. 

                Our Favorite Drink Recipes

                As you draw inspiration from our home bar ideas, consider which drinks you want to serve. These are some of our favorite mixed-drink recipes: 

                Our Go-Tos For Any Occasion:

                Traditional Favorites: 

                Summer-y Options:

                For Dessert or Late-Night: 

                Whether setting up a makeshift bar at a backyard barbeque or designing your dream home bar from the ground up, one thing remains the same: there are countless ways to make it your own. From adding a vase of handpicked flowers to stocking the shelves with a plethora of beautiful glassware, every home bar idea counts. With our guidance and a little inspiration, you’ll be able to host an unforgettable event in no time—just don’t forget your favorite signature cocktail.

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