Ready to take the plunge and build that custom bar in your home? Are you already in the process of searching for home bar plans and layouts in the web? Before you do all that, here are some questions you need to ask yourself first.
Take a notebook and list down all the details that you liked about your favorite bars and see if you can put them all together in a cohesive way. Loved that traditional bar decor in your favorite hangout but liked the ultra-modern feel of another?
Which one do you like best and is it possible to incorporate bits of each in your bar without everything looking mismatched?
Jot down every possible idea you have, from the look of the bar stools and counters to the beer systems and foot rails. You might be surprised at what you’ll come up with.
Where do you plan on building your custom bar? The space should be near where you entertain guests often, be it the library, your home office, or living room. Jot down the measurement of the area where you plan to build.
Take note of the ceiling height, doorway width, location of electrical outlets, and if that particular area has access to a waterline. Most home bars are wet bars, i.e., with sinks, so the location of a waterline is particularly important.
Keep in mind that you’re not just working on the bar itself but will need to add appliances and fixtures later on too. How wide should your sink be and will it fit in that particular corner? How high are the storage spaces and the bar itself?
Unless you plan to DIY your bar stools, most stools that can be bought come in at the height of 30 inches. Remember that detail when planning how high your bar should be to give you and your guests enough legroom when seated.
Also, give each guest at least 24″ of room width at the bar for a comfortable elbow room.
This takes you back to number two. Are there obstacles in your home that you need to take into consideration? The shape and amount of your space will determine the shape of your bar, whether it’s a traditional rectangular setup, an L-shaped one, or whatever else you might fancy.
An L-shaped bar can be ideal for a large space, and it encourages conversational flow because the guests will be facing each other while the host serves. A tiny apartment, meanwhile, can still squeeze in a fully functional bar in the form of a hallway cavity and this can be excellent for a self-serve bar setup.
This depends on your space again. For limited areas, a bar that can be moved or stored after use, or serves a dual purpose, is ideal.
That makes your area more flexible, and the room can be used for purposes other than socialization. If space is not an issue, a permanent bar will save you time in setting up.
If you’re a handy Manny or have lots of friends, who are and are willing to help out in exchange for free drinks, consider going the DIY way. If the plan is simple enough, say beginner to intermediate level, and you have all the tools to do the job, why not?
However, building elaborate custom bars will consume a lot of time and might be best reserved for professionals.
Once you’ve answered these set of questions and have formulated your plan, it’s time to move on to the smaller but no less important details.
So, your major home bar plans and layouts are done. Now you must focus on the bits and pieces that make up your custom bar.
The appliances and fixtures you install in your home bar depend on how much and how often you entertain. If you like cozy gatherings or only entertain on occasion, you probably won’t need a dedicated ice maker. However, if you enjoy having a lot of people over and doing it regularly, you might need to look into buying one.
Having an ice machine will save you time and money in the long run. Also saves you the hassle of having to go out to buy a pack of ice if you run out.
A TV set is also another thing to consider. If you have the space for it, consider adding it to your bar area. Conversations can flow just as freely with a TV as without and your friends can bond with you over a shared love for a particular movie or TV series.
You probably already have a sink figured in with your plan but if you have space, try adding a dishwasher as well unless you like doing the washing up.
You need lots of lighting for your bar and more than one layer of them—all controlled by different switches. One switch should control the lights on your cabinets and storages, one layer should be above the bar itself, and maybe another layer for the whole room. Make sure your lights can be dimmed but would be bright enough to let you see the drinks you’re mixing.
This one is, of course, the most obvious but we still have to mention this. Your storage should be able to hold all of your supplies.
Invest in organizers such as drawer inserts to make finding tools such as corkscrews and the like easier. If you have small kids, or well, teenagers too, putting a lock on your cabinets is a good idea.
Once you’ve got your home bar plans and layouts ready and the other tiny details, you’re ready to build. Enjoy and have fun.