Welcome to our stunning home bars design ideas photo gallery. This is where we feature many different custom bars for your home. Some are small while others are entire rooms.
Browse all bar designs below or filter your search with the options to the right. We add new bar designs all the time so be sure to come back for more inspiration.
The wet bar, or otherwise called simply a home bar, is a common fixture in finished basements for entertainment purposes.
The difference between a wet bar and the type of bar you see in many kitchens is that a wet bar is exclusively used for serving alcoholic beverages, and may not even include a refrigerator.
Of course, many people do include a small mini fridge or cooler in their wet bar design, for obvious purposes. It would be ridiculous to not have the ability to chill pre-made mixtures or drinks before serving.
As mentioned above, wet bars are typically found in finished basement designs, as part of the “man cave” or family room, and are usually open to the seating area or games room beyond.
A large bar may include the eat-in counter with accompanying barstools, as seen above, but a smaller bar nearer to a seating area may forgo this obstruction in favor of a sleeker look.
These smaller home bars can be found in formal living rooms, between the dining room and kitchen, or anywhere you see fit. The popularity and ease of installing a wet bar have made them a popular DIY project for many homeowners.
Some of the designs we’ve curated for this collection are incredibly unique, featuring lighting arrangements, luxury ceiling installations, or other unusual features.
Keep an eye out for the different styles represented within this gallery from rustic to contemporary to incredibly ultra-modern.
We hope that this gallery will inspire you to take on a new DIY project to add your very own wet bar to your finished basement, kitchen, or living room!
Table of Contents
Home Bar Photo Gallery
=> Click here for home mini bars you can buy (our gallery of 80 very cool models).
If you frequently invite friends and family to your house to watch sporting events or for dinner parties, then having a stocked bar can be very convenient. By stocking it with the types of drinks your guests will like, everything is on hand, and you won’t need to worry about making a last-minute liquor run. A bar needn’t take up a lot of space, as you will see in many of these home bar design ideas.
A. Locating the Bar
Before buying a freestanding bar or having a custom one built, you need to decide whether you want a wet bar. If so, then the decision about where to put the bar is crucial as water lines will need to run to it. Even though having running water and a sink is convenient, you can still have a great bar in your home without them.
Next, you will need to choose a location for the bar. If you have a room specifically for entertaining guests, such as the basement or outdoor space, then the bar should be in that area. However, a bar can be put almost anywhere in your home, including a corner of the dining room, a small space in the kitchen, or in the man cave if that is where your guests congregate.
B. Types of Home Bars
There are many options for home bars and the decision about which one to choose will usually come down to how much space there is for a bar and the cost. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can have a stocked bar, but it will be smaller than those in large homes.
1. Portable Stations
Instead of having a bar set in one place, you can bring the drinks to your guests by putting everything you need for a portable bar. There are several options for portable bars, including:
- Serving Carts
- Wine Carts
- Cocktail Carts
a. Serving Carts
Using a serving cart as a portable bar is a good option if you have a small home. Depending on the size and style, you can place a couple of bottles for mixed drinks, two bottles of wine, glasses, and some hors-d’oeuvres to serve your guests. Most serving carts have two levels, wheels, and a handle, so you can easily push it from another room, like the kitchen.
b. Wine Carts
A wine cart is larger than a serving cart and usually has more space on it. It may have shelves specifically for wine bottles to lay on their sides, there may be a place to hang or place goblets, and there may be shelves for adding cocktail bottles as well. While you can place the carts in one area of the room in which your guests are, they have wheels to move it around a room.
c. Cocktail Carts
Most cocktail carts are larger than wine carts, and they will usually have more shelves and compartments for storing various bottles of alcohol. There are some carts that feature a sliding top that covers a tub for keeping beer and other drinks on ice.
While there are different types of cocktail carts, there are not as many options as there are for serving and wine carts. However, if you want a cart that provides more space for different drinks, barware, and to serve snacks, a cocktail cart can be a good choice.
2. Liquor Cabinets
Born from the need to keep liquor hidden during Prohibition in the 1920s, cabinets were made specifically to store alcohol and barware behind lock and key. Today, liquor cabinets are available in many sizes, styles, wood tones, and colors.
Many liquor cabinets allow you to keep everything hidden behind closed doors, so if you don’t want to display your collection of alcohol, you can simply shut them. If you have children, especially teenagers, you can also opt to secure the cabinet by installing locks on the doors so they cannot get into the cabinet.
Some cabinets do have glass fronts so you can display your barware and liquor decanters if you do not keep the alcohol in their original bottles. A nice set of crystal decanters and crystal barware can make a nice display in a formal dining room, the basement, or other areas where you entertain guests.
If you have a smaller home, then a liquor cabinet can be a good option for home bar design ideas because you have a choice of sizes and it can be set against a wall out of the way. Whether you only want a few bottles of wine for dinner parties or a full bar for also making cocktails, you should be able to find a cabinet to suit your needs.
3. Folding Bars
A folding bar, also known as a trunk bar, is a more compact version of a liquor cabinet. When it is shut, many of them look like a regular cabinet that will hold almost anything. However, when opened, a folding bar is a great place for mixing drinks as it can hold multiple liquor and wine bottles, barware, and all the tools you need for making cocktails.
A folding bar is a good option for an apartment or small home where there isn’t a separate entertainment area. It could be placed in the living or dining room as most of them look like regular pieces of furniture. Then, when you’re entertaining, you can unfold the bar and serve drinks to your guests.
C. Traditional Bar Designs
If you have the extra room in your house or have another area for entertaining, such as the patio, a pool house or a refurbished barn, then you can design a more traditional bar for serving drinks. For a traditional bar, you can choose from several styles of free-standing or custom-made bars.
Whether you choose a free-standing or custom bar, some of the home bar designs ideas include:
- Straight bars
- Wrap around bars
- Back bars
1. Straight Bars
Most free-standing bars are built as straight bars that can be brought to your home and set-up where you wish. However, if you want a wet bar, then you should consider having it custom-made as you will need to modify most free-standing ones.
The designs for straight bars include a countertop and decorative front and sides that face your guests. When you step behind one, there will be a variety of shelves and compartments for keeping alcohol bottles, mixes, wine bottles, barware, and other tools you will need to mix cocktails.
When planning a bar area, consider including appliances for mixing drinks and keeping wine or beer chilled. So, you might need a blender if you want to make frozen drinks or to crush ice, and a refrigerator for chilling wine and beer.
The placement of a straight bar is important because you can buy bar sets that will include bar stools. You may not want to put a straight bar against a wall as the person sitting next to it may not have elbow room. Placement in the middle of the designated bar space may be a good idea because it will allow you to move around the bar from either end.
2. Wraparound Bars
A wraparound bar usually has an L-shape, though if you have space and customize the bar, it could also be a U-shape. As with a straight bar, these bars include a countertop with a decorative front and side. Free-standing bars are available in real and faux woods, with a wide variety of wood tones from which to choose.
If your home has a contemporary or ultra-modern design, then you can choose from stainless steel or metal and glass designs. However, when gathering home bar design ideas, always consider what size the bar will be before choosing the material from which it’s made.
A design idea to consider for a large space is to customize the wrap around the bar, so it attaches to cabinets and a sink to make it a wet bar. It will provide more storage options, and you could add a microwave for making snacks to go along with the drinks. A full-size refrigerator could be a good addition because it will help chill drinks and hold food, like the fruits you may need for cocktails.
While you can add seating to the bar, if it sits in an entertainment area, then you may not need it. If there is a table for dining or chairs for relaxing in to watch television, then your guests will already have places to sit. By not adding seating, you will have more space at the bar and in the room for guests to mingle.
3. Back Bars
If you want an even more traditional bar area, then you should consider a back bar. A back bar comes in two to third pieces in which there is a straight bar with shelving and cabinet unit for storage. The shelving/cabinet unit may also have shelves for displaying the barware and alcohol, so guests will know what drinks you have to offer.
For back bars with three sections, the middle one may have space to display a painting, put in a TV, or hang a mirror. Then the third section will be a shelving unit for displaying the glasses, goblets, and the choices of alcohol for making drinks. By having a custom back bar built, you can add a wine refrigerator beneath the straight bar to keep wines chilled and ready to serve.
A mini fridge for keeping fruits for drinks and garnishes, along with some foods for snacks, would also be a good addition to a back bar. With the addition of a coffee maker or a cappuccino machine, you could offer guests who don’t drink a variety of hot beverages, as well as keep cold sodas and teas behind the bar as well.
A back bar can serve as a great display area for a man cave, a basement, or bonus room when you invite people over for a barbeque, a dinner party, or to play cards. It will have everything you need to make drinks, and you can add features to include more, such as a draft beer station or a keg cooler if you prefer a certain brand.
4. Outdoor Bars
If most of your entertaining is done outside, then you can add a bar to your patio or pool area. Since it will be exposed to the elements, you could use a portable bar and put it away in the garage or roll it inside your house to secure it. However, you can have a permanent stainless steel bar or one made from teak that you can protect by covering it when it rains or snows.
If you drink beer, you could consider a keg cooler instead of a full bar for use outside. For bars kept outside, you should add locks to the cabinets if there will be alcohol or barware left in it, no matter how close it is to the house. Someone could easily get into your stash if it is left unlocked when you’re away from the house for the day.
There are many home bar design ideas for creating a bar area for your home or apartment. If your home is small, you could use a cart for a bar or tuck a small corner bar out of the way in your living area. A smaller liquor cabinet could be a good addition to a smaller house as well.
For larger homes, you can have fun designing a bar space that will catch people’s eyes along with keeping the ingredients for their drinks. Whether you choose a free-standing or custom-made bar, you can add your own touches to it.
You can choose from different types of lighting for over the bar, buy crystal barware to serve drinks in, and put in features like a cappuccino machine or draft beer station to broaden the drinks selections. A stocked bar means you are ready to receive for guests whenever they are in your home.