Enjoy a 5.99% 30-Year Fixed Rate on select U.S. homes*! Limited time offer. Explore All Promotions


How to Create a Home Bar

February 15, 2023
Home bar in Plan 5 at Villas at Los Coyotes Country Club in Buena Park CA

Designing a stunning kitchen has always been one of the most popular areas of the home to dream about, but home bars are working their way up the list. One of the major home design trends for 2023 is connectivity. This year is about entertaining-focused design, intended to spark deep conversation and connection with family and friends. A home bar fosters an environment perfect for entertaining and creating an experience for your guests. It’s festive, collective, and inviting.

Whether you’re looking to incorporate a home bar within your kitchen, or create a separate, dedicated space entirely, we have the top tips for creating the perfect home bar.

Find the Right Space

Bar basement in Lavello 2 at Cranstons Riverstone by Brookfield Residential in Calgary, AB

A home bar doesn’t have to take up a lot of space – you can go big in the basement or keep it efficient by repurposing a closet, as long as it makes sense for your lifestyle. If you choose the option for a finished basement in your new Brookfield Residential home, you have plenty of room for a sports bar and your friends to watch games every weekend. If you prefer an intimate setting to enjoy pre-dinner cocktails with friends, go with a statement-making bar that’s more tucked away.

If you’re going to incorporate your home bar into your existing floor plan, you want it to coincide with where you primarily host guests. You can designate a section of your kitchen to be the “bar zone”, include it in your dining area along the buffet wall, line the back wall of your formal living room, or use the butler’s pantry if your home has one.

You can also venture beyond your home’s primary walls into other spaces like the garage or back patio. It gives you a place to socialize without actually having to invite a whole group inside your home, which can be beneficial if you have kids or anyone else trying to sleep.

Consider Plumbing & Appliances

Bar basement in Wellington 5 at Cranstons Riverstone by Brookfield Residential in Calgary, AB

A home bar doesn’t have to be equipped with a faucet and sink, or have appliances like a wine cooler and ice maker. They’re nice to have, but depending on how you want to use the space and your budget, you can get by without them.

If you opt to include appliances, tailor them to how you and/or your guests prefer to enjoy their beverages. If you enjoy sharing and collecting nice bottles of wine, a proper wine fridge is a must-have. If you prefer beer and seltzers or non-alcoholic options like soda and juice, a regular under-counter fridge might be a better choice. It’s not a good investment to buy something for looks if you won’t get any use out of it.

One thing most interior designers agree on? Include an ice maker. You’ll never regret having one near your home bar, no matter how you choose to stock it. If the plumbing doesn’t already exist for you to tie into, opt for a freestanding ice maker. They come in a wide range of price points, sizes, colors, and even ice shapes.

Choose the Right Storage

Bar basement in Maranello at Cranstons Riverstone by Brookfield Residential in Calgary, AB

No matter the size of your home bar, you have to have thoughtful storage. A messy, unorganized setup doesn’t create the welcoming, relaxed ambiance you want.

Plan for items you’re going to display. Cocktail glasses, champagne flutes, ice buckets, wine and liquor bottles, and bar tools are often things of beauty deserving to be showcased. Let them have their moment with open shelves, glass-front cabinets, and handsome trays to hold various items on the counter.

If you have the option to build a bar in your Brookfield Residential home, you will have the benefit of closed cabinets. You’ll need somewhere to stash your extra bottles, glassware, less-used bar tools, red Solo cups, and napkins. If you don’t have a lot of space to work with and your lower level is used by your bar appliances, go vertical and mount wall cabinets above.

Make a Statement

Basement with bar in Catania at Artesia at Heritage Pointe by Brookfield Residential in Calgary, AB

A home bar should inherently be a space that feels welcoming, so adding some personality is a must. Because it’s often tucked away in an inconspicuous spot, you can take more design risks here.

Use unexpected accents like a vibrant wallpaper, bold paint colors, or a dramatic backsplash. Add some sparkle by incorporating antique mirrors, glass shelving, high-gloss cabinets, or unique cabinet knobs. Find glassware in unusual shapes or colors to give your display an extra pop.

Find light fixtures and artwork to help set the tone for your home bar. If you want that sports bar vibe, hang some framed jerseys or humorous bar signs. If you want to feel like you’re away on vacation, incorporate pieces from your favorite trips. Snag a cute neon sign to make your home bar feel even more fun. It’s a playful addition to make the space feel as kitschy, cozy, or classic as you want.

Dim the Lights

Basement bar in Palermo at Rockland Park by Brookfield Residential in Calgary

Few things can kill a vibe quicker than harsh lighting. That’s why most cocktail bars keep the lights low. While you want functional lighting for your everyday tasks, you also want the option for mood lighting when you’re using your home bar.

You can add smart lights to your existing overhead fixtures, use decorative sconces to surround the bar, or add picture lights to illuminate artwork and provide a soft ambient glow.

Add the Finishing Touches

Home bar in Cadence 5 in Townhomes at Midtown by Brookfield Residential in Denver CO

You’ve tackled the basics for creating an amazing home bar, now it’s time for the little cherry-on-top touches – literally. Keep some standard garnishes like cherries, lemons, limes, and oranges on hand so you’re ready to take your drinks to the next level.

Add pieces that are functional and stylish. Vintage ice buckets, cocktail shakers, tongs, coasters, and other utensils can double as decorative accessories when they’re not in use. Invest in a beautiful decanter to help you serve wine properly and look great on your counter.

Curate a collection of cocktail books for display. They can serve as inspiration for your next signature drink, give your guests something to flip through, and serve as home décor.

Bar in Lucca at Cranstons Riverstone by Brookfield Residential in Calgary

A home bar is a great way to connect with family and friends in a relaxed, personalized environment.

Have fun with your own design and be sure to follow the Brookfield Residential blog for more design advice, homebuying insights, mortgage tips, and more. Explore where we build and connect with our sales team when you’re ready to learn more. We’ll be expecting you!