The Idealist

How to create a home bar (even if you live in a small space)

Many of us love the occasional cocktail or glass of fine wine. Others are really into craft beer or fine whiskey. Whatever your favourite tipple, consider indulging it in a safe place – your home. The idea of a home bar may feel a bit retro, but it actually makes a ton of sense during the holiday season (and even more so in the darkish days of slush and austerity that will surely follow).

Dedicate a corner of your living area to a home bar and your friends will thank you. You don’t need a ton of space, just a few smart pieces and some thoughtful accessories. Oh, and the booze, of course. Here are a few of our favourite finds for the perfect cocktail hour setting chez vous:

Establishing a Home bar

While not strictly necessary, having an actual bar is a great way to define your drinking space. We found two wonderful versions at Maisons du monde. This recycled pine stand alone bar can match rustic, industrial or traditional decors. The top is galvanized metal and there are lots of compartments and shelves in the back for storing bottles and paraphernalia. £839 We also love this showstopper that references the colourfully painted trucks you see on roads everywhere in India. £839

Pull up a Stool

Pull up a couple of bar stools – this mid century modern brass and mango wood style from Swoon Editions is simple, stylish and comfortable – and you’re ready to rock. £129

If your place is small and setting up a dedicated bar seems like a questionable use of valuable real estate, you can still design a home bar for wheeling up to existing seating arrangements as needed. Tuck it away when not in use.

Bar Trolleys

This sleek gold-toned Carrello bar trolley is reminiscent of the Art Deco drinks carts featured in almost every Hollywood movie from the 30s and 40s. We love the on-trend gold (paired with metal accessories), but it’s available in less bling-y black as well. £179

The mid century silhouette of the Xanthe black and white marble bar trolley screams martinis, but is sturdy enough to serve the single malt or craft beer crowd just as well. It’s elegance is also versatile – we can see it fitting into just about any existing decor. £349

Bar Necessities

Although not strictly needed for concocting more mundane drinks (just pour already), bar accessories are lots of fun for budding and experienced mixologists. Take a look at this gold-toned cocktail shaker. £25 Or this sleek Deco number. It’s part of the classic Georg Jensen Manhattan collection of bar accessories and would make a great Christmas gift for cocktail nerds also. £30 – 270 Add great glassware, like a set of proper whiskey glasses from Habitat, and you’re set to be an impressive host. £25

Adding a Personal Touch

Decorating your home bar area is a great way to exercise both a sense of humour and a desire to wrap friends in a warm and inviting atmosphere. We’ve found some great ideas for pesonalising and warming up your own personal cocktail bar. Start with some strategic ambient lighting such as this glass table lamp – pink casts the most flattering glow. £20 Or check out fixtures that perform double duty. This word wall decoration leaves no doubt about what’s going on in this location and it casts a soft light also. Or consider this backlit clock for help calling ‘time’. £48/£389

Round out your decor with some clever and gently humorous bar-themed artworks. Photographic portraits of famous drinkers perhaps? Check this stunning David Steen portrait of actor Oliver Reed. £1380 We also love this limited edition Cold Beer print by contemporary artist Eddy Bennett. £435

Ending Tone

Designed with warmth and personality your finished home bar may seem like a dream come true. Enjoy responsibly and organize the space, no matter how tiny, as you would your very own pub or wine bar. In other words, keep things practical with hard-working accessories such as this slimline bar bin. £110 Cheers!

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All photos courtesy of respective brands.

  • Ellie lives in a village outside Oxford and works in fashion in London. She loves the vintage look, traditional English afternoon tea, prosecco and hiking in the Lake District.

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