Sunday, July 22, 2012


For me, there's always something captivating about the set up of a bar. I love the array of bottles at my favorite restaurants and lovely arrangements at hotel lobbies I've visited. Whether contemporary or historic, I am always drawn to carefully crafted bar displays-- which are (quite literally) intoxicating spaces.

A source of inspiration, the bar at Las Ventanas

So, when filling little niches in our home over the last month, I've opted to set up several as mini cocktail stations. What would otherwise be a spot covered with framed photographs, decorative boxes or vases now beckons visitors to contemplate libation options. 

This small table houses mixing utensils and books (find the best ones at Absolution) with cocktail recipes. There's even a bar towel for quick clean up!

I've actually crafted 3 very distinct 'bars'; all user friendly with glasses and pitchers nearby. While they aren't in use 24/7 (sigh..), they do always serve as conversation pieces. With so many distinct bottles and barware items on the market, this is just as attractive as a collection of decorative accessories, and most certainly more tempting to view. Just be sure to include a couple of gorgeously packaged liqueurs such as Chambord.

Antiques are ideal for a sophisticated bar. Adding modern crystal decanters is an unexpected, elegant touch (especially when filled with premium spirits of various colors)

What you use for a bar really doesn't have to be a bar at all. I utilized my favorite antique hutch in a formal area for one, a small mirrored top table in a remote corner of my kitchen for another and a space between cabinets (well, that one really was designed for wine/spirit storage..). Overall, I have an instant set up for self- service during parties and am using items usually hidden in the pantry as 'art' in unexpected places.

When designing a kitchen, be sure to carve out some space for easy access to wine.. and most importantly bubbly... and fun glasses to serve it in.

You don't have to have a true built-in spot for a bar, but can create one almost anywhere. Use your imagination. If you have a small space, it may be a tray on a side table, or you can go wild with one of the amazing bar carts from the collection at Bergdorf's. This approach also makes it easier when you are   entertaining. No dragging things out or setting up... the work is done. Add ice, stir and raise a glass!

What's your favorite way to set up a bar at home? Would love to see some photos and ideas.

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  1. It looks fabulous! I love that little table in the first bar set up!

  2. I got that table at a great price at PD's in Franklin-- they have lots like it, fyi...

  3. Cool please check out the bar display steps builds at we make the ones that are lighted.

  4. This is a extremely cool article, thanks a great post. Home bar designs can be created in numerous fashions and styles.

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