The enigmatic bar

barimage2I love bars in lower levels of homes – the more creative they the better I like them.  The bar is the perfect gathering place where everyone goes no matter what the bar looks like.  You could stack up wooden crates and put some stools in front of them and I’ll bet that’s where everyone will be when they come to your house.  The family bar is like the family kitchen.  If you didn’t have a bar everyone would gather in the kitchen no matter what size it is.  It’s funny how that works out.  So, the moral of the my bar thoughts are – if you’re going to build a bar in your house make it a good one.

Bars are the creative persons dream where letting your imagination run wild is an profound strategy.  Bars and everything that go along with them will conjure up a warm and romantic feeling for everyone who sits around it.  From lava lamps and old whiskey bottles, to flat screen TV’s, your bar will be the center piece of every holiday, birthday and sporting event.  I promise.

The bar top is what all your guests are going to remember and the wide assortment of available bar top surfaces would be too long to list here.  From granite to marble to tin or copper and glass to a polymer coating of 5,000 pennies, the bar top is where the conversation starts.   Even if you only serve soft drinks please make your bar fun and interesting.  Decorating your bar is supposed to be fun and there are so many cool things to do with a bar that involve husbands and wives.  Wine Glasses and beer mugs and a wine chiller are great additions

Barimage1to the bar accessories list.  You don’t need a large wine chiller, they have smaller wine chillers that fit under the bar.  An under counter refrigerator is a must and many local companies make great inexpensive refrigerators with many features that are perfect for a bar.

If plumbing is an expense you’re worried about you don’t need to have running water at your bar to make it great but it’s not a deal breakerfor me.  Sure, it would be nice to be able to wash the glasses right there instead of carrying them to the kitchen to wash them and then carrying them back to the bar.  Oh well.

I recently discovered a convection oven and microwave by GE that can be easily vented outside and great for pizzas and other tasty treats.  When I built our bar that didn’t exists and now I’m somewhat disappointed that I didn’t think a day would come where this would be available.  Hmmmm. . . !

The front of your bar and the pendants that hang above is what everyone will see first as they come down the stairs and gaze upon the bar.


This is where is becomes fun and exciting.  This is a distinct glimpse of your personality- the window into your soul and design skills.  Stone, brick, barn wood and even corrugated metal with low level lights under the bar top shinning down and proudly showing off what you did and how you think.  This is where all your friends are going to start asking you questions about the bar as they run their hands over your bar top.  Are you with me? Can you visualize the experience in your mind?

Bars, as is your entire house for that matter, are all about your personality and how you live so the bar should fit the room to some degree but not necessarily.  This is one area of your home where you can step outside the box a little and let your imagination have some fun.  If you use the area for movies and sports you can certainly have either one as a theme and it works just fine.  If your home is contemporary and you like to travel to far off places then you can bring all your souvenirs into the bar area and let them work their magic.

I’ve been to a beautiful home I would describe as a little transitional contemporary if there is such a thing but they added barn wood from 1890 into the bar area and the look is incredible.  The stone front of the bar and natural wood top fit perfectly and to top it off they added old fashion looking lantern lights above the bar and its stunning.  On cold winter nights they lower the lights and curl up on the couch to watch a movie with the bar right behind them.

Take a look at the bar above.  Doesn’t it make you feel warm and welcome.

The Hart DeNoble Staff.

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