Of all the custom woodwork you can have done for a home — custom wood kitchen cabinets, custom bathroom vanities, custom furniture and more — few add as much character as custom wood home bars. Bars, whether they’re integrated into a kitchen or set apart in the basement, provide an informal gathering place for friends and family, and make entertaining easier. Here are some ideas that can make custom wood home bars true centerpieces without going too over the top:
- Think Flexibility
Even if you’re planning to use your bar in a more traditional way, mixing drinks and serving your friends, try to keep in mind how else a bar can be utilized and plan accordingly. For example, since bars make excellent serving tables for buffets, make sure there’s enough space to walk on both sides of the bar, and make it wide enough for large trays of food. And even if you have an extensive collection of wines and liquors to display, don’t stop at open shelving; you or a future homeowner may also want some closed custom wood cabinets for storage of less glamorous items.
- Add Appliances and Built-In Features
If you’re already splurging on a custom bar, add in at least a beverage fridge and small sink. If your bar is separated from your kitchen (in the basement, for example), consider integrating at least one heating element and a microwave, too. That way, you can use the area for hosting meals and make plenty of snacks. Also consider a few high-end finishes: Hanging wine racks add instant luxury and can allow you to show off your collection.
- Don’t Push a Theme
Even if you want to create an oasis, don’t try to force a theme that doesn’t fit with your home’s architecture. A tiki bar is going to look cheap and cheesy in an English Tudor home, no matter how well you outfit it. If you insist on adding some tropical flair, try to do so in easily changeable elements — removable lights, fabrics, paint, etc., — rather than expensive custom woodwork. That way, the elements that have the potential to add the most value to your home will still appeal to more neutral tastes when it comes time to sell.
Would you want a custom bar in your home? Share your preferences in the comments.