living Rooms

21 Small Home Bar Ideas

Jared Kuzia

Whether or not you miss crowded bars, it’s safe to say that being able to fix yourself a drink at home, whether it’s an alcoholic beverage or not, has become increasingly important. You don’t need to have a full-blown bar setup—custom counter builds, stools, the works—to have a stylish and functional home bar. This is good news for those of us who simply don’t have the space for all that jazz…We simply won’t let a tiny blueprint space cramp our style and break up the party! Ahead, discover creative small-space solutions from some of our favorite designers to have the home (mini)bar of your happy hour dreams, no matter your square-footage restrictions.

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1

Just a Tray

Pretty bottles don’t need to be stashed away! Keep your collection out in the open on a tray in your dining room or living room atop a dresser or cabinet. Another pro tip? Maximize the perceived size of your space with a mirror above the buffet, as designer Ellen Kavanaugh did in this whimsical Florida home.

2

Book Shelves

Elizabeth Cooper Interior Design chose an unexpectedly striking color combination: cool blue and gray tones and rich chocolate browns. The de Gurnay wallpaper brings the entryway to life and also makes it feel like a sophisticated study, thanks to the library-inspired book cabinet-turned minibar.

3

Mini Wine Storage Nooks

To hide the slanted ceiling of the stairwell below, designer Beth Diana Smith fashioned a wine holder that fits an ample supply in tiny square footage.

4

Converted Nook

For this Palm Beach living room, designer John Fondas turned a shallow closet into an out-of-the-way bar nook by removing the doors and building in cabinets. Tortoise wallpaper by Schumacher gives it a Caribbean feel.

5

Behind Dutch Doors

A dutch door in this living room designed by Jessie Carrier and Mara Miller conceals a small but fully functioning wet bar. The farmhouse veneer allows it to blend right in, and, style aside, the bisected door enables easy reach-in access.

6

Slim Display

High Street Homes utilized a narrow, ceiling-height brass shelving unit from the luxury custom fabricator Amuneal to connect this kitchen and bar, keeping them visually joined but functionally separated.

7

Secretary Desk

We aren’t all in a position to dedicate a whole closet to booze storage, or, sometimes not even a whole long media cabinet or armoire. So shrink things down with a smaller secretary desk. It’s easy to tuck everything away when it’s not in use or when you need to open up a walkway in a narrow hall or corner. We’re digging the surprising yellow gloss inside this one in a living room by Philip Gorrivan.

8

Dining Adjacent Buffet

The open loft space called for an exposed home bar instead of an entirely separate room, so designer Jae Joo added a bespoke corner unit to function as both a mixing station and a buffet for dinner parties.

9

Skirted Pantry Shelves

Designed by Gary McBournie, this dapper walk-in pantry is also serving double duty as a home bar. To add instant hidden storage, enclose your shelves with a fabric skirt.

10

Pull Out Drawer

Even a well-organized drawer can become a home bar. To prevent all your bottles, cans, and other pantry items from toppling over in their respective drawers, purchase some drawer organizers that help keep them all in place. Heidi Piron Design and Cabinetry installed flexible dividers here to keep liquor bottles from clanking together, but separators will be handy for anything in your pantry drawers, really.

11

Repurposed Nightstand

Fitz Pullins used a small cabinet to prop up barware and hold glasses in this dining room. This is a great alternative for anyone who doesn’t want to splurge on a new bar cart and can repurpose an exister dresser or nightstand.

12

Upgraded Wine Rack

This freestanding storage piece hits the small-space home bar jackpot. It’s slim enough to slide into a corner without blocking any prime usable space, and the minimalist design ensures that it doesn’t take up too much visual real estate either. That way, we can focus on the superb lines of this sofa in a living room by ETC.etera.

13

Plumbed Wet Bar

The prep sink and under-counter refrigerator drawer in this bar. by designer Vani Sayeed allow for seamless serving and quick clean up. Pull-put trays also enable extra counter space in an instant.

14

Kitchen Zone

If you’re going to make room for a home bar in the kitchen, make sure to put it in a good spot. In this space designed by Emily Henderson, the home bar zone is close to the dining area, making it easier to run back and forth when you’re entertaining.

15

Behind Folding Doors

Designed by Studio Shamshiri, this home bar is like a little speakeasy. The sliding doors open to a spacious serving bar. This way, you can keep it closed up and save space when you’re not entertaining.

16

Optimized Armoire

NICOLEHOLLIS transformed a navy lacquered armoire into a surprisingly roomy bar cabinet. When closed, it blends right into the sophisticated living room. But when the clock strikes five and the doors swing open, it feels like a full-fledged bar. Those extra interior door storage compartments are especially crafty.

17

Wall Unit

This home bar accomplishes everything a stand-alone home bar in a room of its own would, but it doesn’t take up nearly as much space. From the mesh enclosures to other compartmentalized nooks and upside-down stemware storage, this bar has it all.

18

Just a Bar Cart

A rounded rattan bar trolley gets us every time. The colorful accents draw attention to the cool curves of this cart in a parlor by Beata Heuman. Very Mrs. Dalloway meets The Parker Palm Springs.

19

Hidden Media Storage

How clever is this flip-top-cabinet-meets-bar? Designed by NICOLEHOLLIS, this modern living room is always ready to party. With a piece like this, you won’t have to run back and forth to the kitchen to make cocktails for your guests, but you can also hide the booze when need be.

20

Colorful Coat Closet

Tuck your little home bar behind a closet door and line the back with a wallpaper that pops or mirrored tiles and colorful cabinets (designed Jean Liu opted for a deep teal). And remember: No space, no matter how small, is too small for a wine fridge.

21

Double Storage Duty

This bar unit is actually really just one fully stocked tray. If you look closely, this homeowner actually uses the bottom cabinet for shoe storage! If your space is small and you only have one media unit to make things work, here’s proof that it’s doable.

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