How I Style My At-Home Bar

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

One feature I’ve always wanted to have in my home was a bar, as personally, nothing feels more elegant or grown-up than having a bar at home. Whether it’s a cart, a simple tray on the counter, or a cabinet as we have, it just adds a little something when you’re entertaining at home.

When I designing our space, the West Elm Delphine Entryway Console ($599) caught my eye, and I immediately fell in love. While this marble-topped cupboard is super versatile and couple really serve a number of purposes, I decided to designate it to be the home of our little bar. The interior is great for storing extra glasses, bottles, and drink accessories.

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

Now, there is not right or wrong way to style your home bar, and personally, I like to switch up what is displayed from time to time, but this is currently how it’s styled and frankly, I think it’s my favorite bar look yet. Here are a couple of tricks I utilized to dress up the space.

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

Use a tray to delineate spaces

I like to arrange the hard alcohol on a tray just to create compartmentalized spaces. Since it’s just a plain tabletop, this helps keep the look of everything organized.

For some folks who don’t have the space in their homes for a freestanding bar or car, I’ve seen some very attractive countertop minibars arranged on a simple tray. For some added interest, you could consider investing in a round mirrored tray, like this Adous House Mirrored Round Tray ($23). And while my tray is from Crate and Barrel, and no longer available, here’s a very similar silver Faux Alligator Serving Tray ($29).

Include a variety of bottles in the display

I like to keep a lot of options handy and a lot of bottles are frankly quite beautiful, like our bottle of Clase Azul tequila. In another lifetime, I interviewed the founder of the brand, and he actually gifted me this bottle. He explained to me that the inspiration for the unique bottle shape came from an antique table leg that he just turned around. Also, every bottle is hand-painted by artisans. It’s quite the story, and I remember it whenever I look at the bottle.

We’re also big wine drinkers, and on special occasions, champagne drinkers. Also, I like to keep a bottle or two of sparkling water ready for our non-alcohol drinking guests. I like to put the taller bottles in the back, and the shorter ones in front, so everything is always visible.

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

Have your bar tools handy

It’s a working bar, after all, and so keep a shaker, a set of bar tools, and a jigger ready to whip up whatever cocktails you fancy. Mine was purchased at CB2 on sale, but if I were to do a do-over on bar tools, I’m really feeling this super attractive and very comprehensive set ($60) that comes with its own stand from Amazon.

I also like to line up a couple of glasses for drinks. I’m a big fan of coupe glasses, like this pair of Viski Coupe Glasses ($22), because they’re way more practical than martini glasses IMO, and they give me major Gatsby vibes when they’re used for champagne. You could also add some coasters for easy access.

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

Use a decanter or three to class it up

We inherited two crystal decanters from my husband’s aunt, and purchased the glass one from the Brooklyn Flea. I think the variety in styles and heights really add something extra to our tabletop.

A word of warning about decanters is a lot of them, especially older ones, are made with leaded crystal. You don’t want to keep any liquids in these for much longer than two weeks, or you risk lead leaching into your alcohol. Ideally, purchase only unleaded crystal decanters so you can keep your mind at ease. This Godinger Berkshire Crystal Decanter ($24) is a great one, and so is this Paksh Novelty Capitol Glass Decanter ($16).

Add a pop of green

I’m a big believe in that adding something green just livens up a space. While you could add a potted plant or a fresh cutting of flowers (both of which I’ve done before), currently I’m really feeling tall, vertical branches. I feel like the plain green is just so clean and the height just adds drama and interest. My ceilings are 11-feet, so the height actually complements our space. Plus, one extra bonus about using branches instead of flowers is that they tend to last longer than flowers and tend to be lower maintenance (you don’t need to constantly be trimming the ends to keep them longer!).

I also added a single rose that I received as a gift from my local bodega in a bud vase because why not?

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

Put something fresh on the table

Lemons are my favorite fruit to use in cocktails, and the bright yellow also add something visually stimulating to the bar top. Of course, I don’t always have lemons at the ready for cocktails, but if I know I’m going to be entertaining or having friends over for a dinner, it’s nice to have a few ready.

Don’t forget to personalize it

You can customize your area with art, some quirky accents, or a couple of coffee table books. A mirror could even be a great option. The bowl holding the lemons is actually one I made in pottery class, and I like to think it adds something personal.

Featured photo by Kaufmann Mercantile/Unsplash

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