An interior stylist shares her 8 tips for creating a bar at home

A luxury home bar setup (Photo: Victoria Mitchell)

As more people stay in and visits to the pub or a cocktail lounge become impossible or unappealing, setting up a bar at home may well be the solution.

Searches for ‘home bar’ peaked in the UK in March as people thought of inventive ways to spend their lockdown.

Some built secret pubs in the garden or hastily purchased a drinks trolley.

Now we are here to help you make a stylish bar in the comfort of your own home.

Victoria Mitchell, 48, an interior stylist who is building her own home in Yorkshire, has shared her top tips for a home bar with Bar Fox.

She explains: ‘The idea to incorporate a bar into our home came about when we were planning our second selfbuild.’

‘We do lots of entertaining and thought it would be great to have an area where we can sit and chat and make drinks.’

‘Also, to have a really good range of cocktail options, you do need quite a few different bottles and drinks, so having that separate space, where everything is visible and within reach is so much easier than rummaging about in cupboards!’

The cocktail station with herbs, candles and coasters (Photo: Victoria Mitchell)

Genius. Thankfully, Victoria is sharing her top tips for setting up a home bar:

Give your bar enough space underneath

Make sure you incorporate enough space underneath for your fridges and freezers.

We have an under counter fridge freezer plus a sliding door display fridge.

This means you can keep your ingredients cool and close to hand.

The drinks selection (Photo: Victoria Mitchell)

Get your surface heights right

You will want to make sure there is one height for the bar and one for the work surface.

Designed right, you can ensure you have enough room to prepare drinks and also to hide all the essential bits underneath the overhanging bar top.

Victoria’s favourite drink at home

My favourite drink at home? It changes(!) but at the moment, a Cosmopolitan:
Vodka – 45ml
Cointreau – 15ml
Lime juice – 15ml
Cranberry juice 30ml

Add all the above to an ice filled shaker, shake vigorously, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a slice of lime.

Plan the drinks you want to make

It’s probably a bit of a waste buying a bottle of something only to find there’s only one cocktail it’s going to be used for.

Invest in a good juicer

If you’re using your bar regularly it’s a bit of a nuisance squeezing limes, lemons, oranges and grapefruits and a juicer gets twice the amount out.

Keep the design cool and sophisticated

Design-wise, go for something bold but keep it cool and sophisticated.

It’s a balance, but I love metallics, so have used a brass sheet cut to size for the bar top, but it’s been bronzed so that it’s not brash.

On the front, I’ve used American tin tiles which give an industrial edge – they have been placed on a rough textured surface painted in antique gold.

Good lighting is key

Dimmable is a must and again, to give the look a bit of an edge, I’ve gone for industrial pendants.

The front and side of the bar is lit by an inexpensive strip light, as is each shelf behind the bottles. Plus, don’t forget those candles!

Think carefully about seating

I’ve gone for aged brass stools, but the whole look would be a little harsh and angular without the long haired sheepskin seat pads; they soften the design and are comfy too!

Greenery will soften the look

However well your bar is designed, it will look cold and hard without plants.

I’ve gone for a large raised planter off to the side, a ceiling hung planter to soften the look of the bottles behind it, plus pots of herbs on the bar top, which I can use in cocktails.

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