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How to Choose Your Ideal Home Bar

There's something special about having a home bar. It's a gathering place for friends and family. It also brings an air of elegance into a home. An in-home bar shows others that you've officially arrived as a mixologist and you're ready to stir.

What's the best types of home bars for a small space?

If you live in small quarters or only have room next to your chair for a mini-home bar, you can do it. Simply choose a bar of the appropriate size and design which offers you what you need. There are two types of home bars that fit the bill for small spaces, folding and portable home bars.

  • Folding bar: Bars with folding components are compact when closed, and when expanded, they reveal an ample amount of storage and space. You can even find a home bar that's as small as 20 inches wide when closed that expands to 50 inches wide when open.
  • Portable bar: Some home bars have wheels, both hidden and in sight, that let you roll the piece of furniture to wherever it fits. A bar cart is ideal because they're small, lightweight, and packed with stemware holders and shelving. Roll it outdoors or place it indoors in a central space during a gathering.

What elements should I look at to decide on a home bar?

  • Countertop: A home bar countertop is important because that's where the action takes place. Glass, granite, marble, wood, or metal counters are all durable, and they have the potential to help set the tone of the bar. Glass and metal are great for a modern look, while granite, marble, and wood are all a bit more traditional. Some home bars also have fold-out counters that can increase your surface area for prepping and serving drinks.
  • Storage: Behind the bar you'll find storage features including shelving, stemware and wine bottle racks, space for refrigeration, and a drawer for cocktail utensils.
  • Foot rests: Bars with a wood or metal foot rail make it more comfortable for guests' legs when sitting at the bar on a high stool.
  • Locking cabinets: Choosing a home bar that locks can help you keep your alcohol and other bar accessories secure and out of kids' hands when you aren't using the bar.
  • Corner designs: Are you looking for a space-saving solution? Tuck a bar into an unused corner in your home. Corner bars' backs are typically shaped in 90-degree angles to fit neatly against the corner in a room.

Do home bars come with seating?

There's a whole world of seating available for your bar. Stools are the most common option because they're often designed to coordinate with the bar while also being the appropriate height. You can definitely find home bars with matching stools usually with frames that match the main material the bar is made out of.

You can also buy individual bar stools in all materials and styles. Bar stools are typically 35 to 37 inches tall (higher than counter stools). Measure to make sure you can fit two, three, or four stools at your bar. You'll need more space between swiveling stools, especially if they have backs and arms. Make sure there's 28 to 30 inches of space from the middle of one stool to the middle of another stool. That should make sure swiveling backs and arms don't bump into one another.

Related: In need of bar stools? Check out our Bar Stool Buying Guide

Use these helpful tips to choose your home bar. Then, it'll be time to shake, muddle, and stir. Invite friends over, and create a few original signature cocktails. It's amazing what fun a small piece of furniture like a home bar can add to your life.