Set Up a Home Bar

10 ideas for setting up a home bar

There is something so attractive about a well appointed bar. And no, I’m not talking about the liquid courage! I love the look of all the different bottles, glassware, accessories, and even the mixers.

Many people don’t have an actual bar in their home, but as you’ll see here, you can set up a bar anywhere when you entertain. An easy fix is to set up a tray stand in any nook and turn it into a bar.

Not everyone has the luxury of a built-in home bar. In fact, most people probably don’t need one, but on those occasions when you’re entertaining with adult beverages {or other types} and you need a place to corral those bottles, glasses, and mixers, these ideas may come in handy.

Built-in Shelves

cabinet bar via 47 Park Ave

{47 Park Avenue}

cabinet bar via Furbish Studio

{Furbish Studio}

  • If you’re lucky enough to have built-in shelves in your family room or dining room use some of the space for a bar area. I think the arrangement of bar accoutrements mixed with other accessories looks rich and sophisticated. Doors to close it away are a convenient perk, but even if it stays open it still looks beautiful.

Cabinets + Open Shelves

open shelf bar via Found by Domestic Bliss

{Found by Domestic Bliss}

open shelf bar via A Cup of Joe

{A Cup of Jo}

  • I love the examples above, maybe because it’s so DIY friendly. Seems like everyone has an extra chest or cabinet they could use as a bar, and then adding open shelving above takes less than an hour! Give the space some personality by painting the cabinet an exciting color, and add some great display pieces on the shelves. This is a great option that can be used as a food buffet for other occasions too.


armoire bar via Simple Details

{Simple Details}

armoire bar via That's Smart Deco

{That’s Smart Deco}

  • I think armoires may be the most useful piece of furniture ever made. They can hold clothes, televisions, blankets and towels, craft supplies, and they can be turned into a bar. I ADORE the pieces above! One looks totally modern with its chalkboard door and sleek lines, while the other is full of shabby chic-vintage style. With all the compartments in an armoire it makes it the perfect piece of furniture to turn into a bar. Your guests would never guess what’s behind those closed doors!

Occasional Tables

bar via Rue Mag

{Rue Magazine}

bar via Heirloom Philosophy

{Heirloom Philosophy}

  • You probably have a side table somewhere that can be cleared off and turned into a bar at a moments notice. A chest of drawers or entry table work particularly well for this. Pull out a tray and fill it with bottles and add other items as needed. Throw a piece of fabric on top of a less-than-attractive piece and you have instant hidden storage underneath too!

Classic Bar Cart

bar cart via Styled by Emily Henderson

{Emily Henderson}

bar cart via Small Victories

{Small Victories}

  • Oh how I love a retro style bar cart. It’s so “Mad Men” and certainly romanticizes the home bar experience. It can be rolled around wherever needed and looks particularly well when filled with retro style glassware and bar accessories. Find them at thrift stores and give them a new coat of paint for a modern look that looks great in any home.

If you’re really tight on space, clear off the top of any side table and rally up everything in a nice tidy tray. A tray always makes anything look neat and pulled together.

When setting up a bar (or any party planning detail) my motto is “know your audience”. Don’t serve Gin and Vodka if your crowd is more Bourbon and Coconut Rum.

I also like to pour juice mixers into a pretty pitcher, and smaller sized sodas are more attractive lined up in rows than a couple of big 2-liters, however it is more expensive.

Which is your favorite? How do you set up a bar when needed? Leave a comment and let us know. Cheers!

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  1. Nice round-up of home bar set-ups 😀

    Always amazed at how creative people are when adapting cabinets and other furniture for another purpose. Cheers!

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