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Tasteful stylish home bars

Today, the idea of the home bar is a divisive one, but 50 or so years ago the in-home pub was as common as a starburst clock. The home bar was where couples entertained, parents escaped their children to have adult conversation over pulls of scotch, and where generally questionable holiday parties got out of control. Over the years, the bar has been relegated to America’s basements. With a resurgence of the popularity of midcentury modern design, however, the home bar is stumbling its way to a comeback. Many still think that bars belong downtown, but when done tastefully, a bar can become an entertainment centerpiece in your home.

Owen Ray
  • Photo credit: Lianna Tarantin
    The Bookcase Bar

    Maybe you have a Kindle and all of your friends already know how smart you are, or you finally sold your 1987 edition of Encyclopædia Britannica. Either way, you have an empty bookcase somewhere in your place. Don’t let the space go to waste, get wasted in it. The bookcase bar has to be one of the most elegant and tasteful solutions to home bartending, as they tend not to stick out and take up space. While hard to gather ‘round, you still look rather cool shaking the hell out of a martini in front of one. This former bookcase from now holds the source of all great literature: booze.

  • Photo credit: Contemporist
    The Built-In Bar
    Designed by Joseph Dirand

    If you are serious about your spirits and committed to cavorting over cocktails, the built-in bar is the only way to go. Its permanence requires that an extraordinary amount of care be put into integrating it into your space. You don’t want to walk from the living room and suddenly feel like you tripped onto the set of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. While the bar is allowed in the home, the neon lights and beer mirrors must stay in the garage. This built-in seen on is in the Disrito Capital hotel in Mexico City, but it would fit just as well aside modern living room.

  • The Standalone Bar
    Designed by Venegas and Company

    The standalone bar is a much more popular choice for those just entering the residential pub scene, and if you have a partner that is less than enthused about the idea, this is a lot easier to swallow than tearing down half of the house to build in your version of Cheers. They come in enough styles and sizes to fit most homes and apartments and they range from a basic footrest with a bar top to bars with integrated keg fridges and taps. A standalone credenza bar like this one from Venegas and Company has a built-in wine fridge and enough storage for your bottles and glasses.

  • Photo credit: Dishfunctional Design
    The Crafty Bar

    Again, not everyone has the space to set up a bar that a frosty beer can be satisfyingly slid across. When working with small spaces you have to get creative, and showcasing your favorite adult beverages and vessels is no exception. My personal favorite is the vintage television-turned liquor cabinet. There is just something comforting about that glow coming from an old wooden television console like this one from that makes me want to cuddle up with a glass of bourbon. It could be all the booze in the TV, but hey, it could also be the nostalgia.

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