You heard it here first: living room bars will be all the rage in 2022. While a cozy night in with your favorite movie and libation is nothing new, the pandemic fueled an unofficial home bar renaissance. Home bars filled a void when crowded dives and buzzy cocktail lounges were closed, and more recently, they’ve been put to the test as many of us are entertaining again. “This trend started during the lockdowns and, as we’ve all got used to staying at home more, continues unabated,” designer Emma Green told House Beautiful when predicting trends for the New Year.
Whether you’re tackling a full-scale basement bar renovation or live in an apartment where even a bar cart is a tight squeeze, now’s the moment to build your very own bar. It will unlock new potential in any space by adding both style—think decorative glassware and cocktail recipe books—and function. And you can do it on a budget, too.
If it still feels overwhelming, grab a glass of wine and relax, because we’ve got you covered. Below, we break down everything you’ll need to build a bar in the comfort of your own living room. You’ll need a bar cart, glassware, bartending tools, mixers, cocktail recipes, and a few accessories.
To make the project come together in a cinch, everything featured here is available on Amazon. Start now and you could have a brand new bar in under a week. Time to host happy hour in style.
Interested in learning about the best tricks to maximize space in your home? We’ve got you covered!
Bar carts are the quick, simple, and budget-friendly solution to building a bar at home. With the right bar cart and a few accessories, you’re one “buy now” button away from making your home bar dreams a reality. Construction woes, be gone!
Thanks to their growing popularity, it’s easier than ever to find the right cart for your space. You can go full-gilded glam with gold hardware and mirrored shelves, rustic with wood and metal finishes, a traditional acrylic trolley route, or anywhere in between (I’m opting for this mid-century mahogany moment). If none of these from Amazon are quite your aesthetic, check out some of our other favorites here.
Cocktails just taste better when served out of fancy glassware. Whether you’re going with a bar cart, open shelving, or something more elaborate for your home bar design, having a sparkling set of vessels at the ready is a must. Not only will they add some decoration to your space, but they’ll also make your bar that much more functional. Martinis, mules, and a champagne toast will be at your fingertips!
Impress your friends with your bartending skills the next night you entertain. Whether you’re a budding mixologist or like to keep things simple, a solid set of bartending tools will meet you where you are—and up your cocktail game. All of the options below come with essential tools like a shaker or mixing glass, jigger, muddler, and strainer. If you’re starting from scratch, some also include a corkscrew, ice tongs, liquor spout, and more.
We’ll leave the spirits up to you, but there are a few mixers every home bartender should have at the ready. Stock these essential mixers on the bottom shelf of your bar to impress your guests (or treat yourself) with a top-shelf cocktail every time.
One of the final touches to a home bar is a sensible stack of cocktail recipe books. They’ll be there to inspire when it comes time to whip up a batch of drinks, so be sure to pick books that fit your personality, skill level, and the vibe of your bar. If you’re honing the cocktail craft, this guide to 3-Ingredient Cocktails is a lifesaver. If you’re well-versed in your favorites and want to learn something new, grab a book that dives deep into the history, flavors, and traditional drinks from a particular region or culture.
Like most things in life and design, no bar is complete without a few accessories. Transfer liquor from bottles with brazen labels into a crystal decanter, or use serving trays to keep everything organized. These final touches will join your collection of spirits, glassware, bartending tools, and recipe books to take your bar from a work-in-progress to a veritable speakeasy.
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