Gone are the days (for now, anyway) of Saturday brunches with your crew at the best hotel restaurants in town, after-hours wine and tapas with your colleagues, or the well-deserved a péritif out with your spouse. The pandemic may have put these gatherings on hold and forced restaurants to do business a bit differently but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue your weekly traditions… in your own luxury home bar.
This classy (and convenient) alternative to going out is not only a safe way to get your drink on (sans mask), but can also be oh-so-stylish. And between you and me, the possibilities are endless…
The rustic trimmings of a bespoke basement man cave complete with a luxury wet bar? The elevated modern aesthetic of an in-home wine lounge? Done and done! A custom luxury home bar knows no limits — if you can dream it, it can be designed. So why not make it an awe-inspiring space that uplevels your life?!
How? With a shot of imagination, a splash of personality, and a healthy pour of luxury.
Whether your home is delightfully modest or a mesmerizing mansion, the following 5 luxury home bar ideas will get those design wheels turning. And who knows? Your in-home bar may very well surpass that high-end hotel as your new favorite drinking spot of choice…
Luxury home bar idea N1: Recreate your favorite bar setting
When a client requests a luxury home bar design, there’s one question I love to ask… Do you have a favorite restaurant, lounge, or even hotel lobby that you absolutely love? If the answer is yes, we get to dig deeper. Is there innovative architecture at play? A dramatic vibe or killer ambiance? Certain colors or materials working in harmony?
Drawing inspiration from these answers helps us design a space with the feel of their favorite bar setting in mind — and then we can take it a step further to tell the one-of-a-kind story of the people who live there. (Can you imagine your favorite setting coming to life in your home and feeling like an expression of you? Look out, world!)
For you, this might mean using a similar color palette to the establishment you love, duplicating the wooden bar stools or upholstered chairs, mirroring the wallpapered ceiling in the bar, or purchasing glassware in a similar make, weight and style. It might mean adding touches that are personal – the cigar humidor you picked up in Havana or the Baccarat set of rocks glasses you’ve been waiting to display.
Beginning with a jaw-dropping design that you already love, modifying it with various aspects of yourself, and then adding in opulent finishing touches suited for your life of luxury… well, that’s a surefire way to create a home bar that you’ll be drooling over for years to come.
Luxury home bar idea N2: Designate a lounge separate from your dining room
In order to truly recreate the “going out” experience, a key component of any contemporary luxury home bar is separation from the main dining space.
Now, this doesn’t mean the bar area has to be positioned across the home from the traditional dining room, because, after all, your future gatherings (when life returns to normal) will likely include entertaining in both of those spaces simultaneously. Instead, designate a space in your home as the lounge or bar area.
It should stand out in the home and commands attention while also playing up the grandeur and beauty of the home surrounding it. With the lounge experience and a standout space of this caliber, can’t you just imagine dressing in your finest, turning on the smooth jazz, and sipping cocktails with your special someone? Yes, please.
Luxury home bar idea N3: Invest in a bar cabinet and all the elegant accessories
If you don’t have a spare room to dedicate to a home bar, you can still bring home the elegant bar experience on a smaller scale. Simply invest in a luxury home bar cabinet that is small in stature and big on personality.
Adding a bar cart or cabinet to any luxury living room, dining room, or foyer not only creates a wonderfully multipurpose space, but elevates the whole feel of the home. It welcomes guests to stay a while and catch up over drinks…it encourages nightly cocktails and conversation with your spouse… it even invites you to pour yourself a glass of wine as you pass through on your way to that delicious bubble bath. (Don’t mind if I do…)
When designing this type of space, in addition to the gorgeous bar cabinet, you can invest in beautiful barware, including a variety of glasses (highball, lowball, martini, etc.) and basic bar essentials for crafting and garnishing.
If space allows, you could also install luxury home bar display shelving (for beauty and additional storage),. Then add some finishing touches that take the space from elegant to extraordinary — a fresh bouquet of seasonal flowers, mixology coffee table books, vintage photos or paintings of bar settings, and top-shelf bottles. These can really bring a small-scale luxury bar space to the next level.
And last but not least, to make the bar cart area feel larger, give it the illusion of space by placing tall mirrors as a backdrop!
Luxury home bar idea N4: Ensure your bar area flows well into the rest of the home
Whether your designated luxury home bar area is an entire room full of custom built-ins, or a single gorgeously-adorned bar cabinet, you must continue the home bar experience into the immediate rooms of your home to prevent the bar from feeling disjointed (as I mentioned in tip #2). You want the luxury home bar to feel special and unique, but not isolated and abrupt within the aesthetic of the home.
If you’re perplexed at this point, rest assured that this concept sounds more complicated than it really is. Simply tying in cohesive interior design elements throughout your home will do the trick. Incorporate common colors, textures, materials, furniture styles, and patterns into both the home bar and the adjoining living room, dining room, kitchen, and/or foyer. For example…
If you choose a marble countertop for the bar area, opt for a marble-top coffee table in the next room. Or if you have fireplaces in both the bar area as well as the dining room nearby, update both of them with a similar stone tile.
Walking through a space where each room has its own identity while also feeling the harmonious flow of the home… well, that’s the sort of professional design that chic cocktail bars and lounges are made of… and now you can enjoy it at home, too.
Luxury home bar idea N5: Illuminate your space with layers of lighting
Any modern luxury home bar is all about the ambiance, and when speaking of ambiance, lighting is key! No matter what your favorite establishment is to frequent — small and cozy or large and lively — it is the way a place is illuminated that truly sets the tone.
Dim, layered lighting at various eye levels is what creates the intimate atmosphere that we all know and love from our favorite bars, whether in the home, or at an outside venue. And the good news for you? Lighting is one of the easiest components to play with for a luxury home bar.
For example: you might try hand-made pendant lights on a dimmer hanging over the counter of your home bar, coupled with under-cabinet lighting to show off your top-shelf bottle selection. Or you might opt for a more simple and less permanent solution, by placing contemporary floor lamps around the space on a dimmer and carefully curated candles on the bar cabinet and end tables to give the space that cozy touch we all adore.
Whether you crave the deep calm energy of a high-end cocktail lounge or the stone cold drama of an ultra-modern vodka bar (hey, variety is the spice of life!), it is the lighting that draws you to the ambiance of the place. Allow yourself to be creative with the lighting in your own home bar, crafting a layered effect that pushes the limits, and I guarantee it will give you and your future guests all the feels.
During these unprecedented times, we don’t have to give up absolutely everything that we love. So maybe we can’t go out with a crowd for drinks on a Friday night, but you can host a small fête of family and friends at your brand new luxury home bar.