Cocktail movie, 1988, starring Tom Cruise from claratsi.wordpress.com

Fashion your very own home bar with these chic tips for transforming small to sizeable spaces.

Looking to host your favourite barflies at home? You don’t need a huge place to create your own home bar. We’ve hunted down these innovative bar styles designed to maximise the area you have available.

Host cocktail soirées, champagne bruncheons, whiskey tastings and more, and show off your flairing skills chez toi. The only question that remains is – shaken or stirred?

Home Bar from House Beautiful
This Manhattan apartment home bar sports an eye-catching painted backdrop. Source: House Beautiful.

The Barmoire

Convert your armoire or cabinet into a chic bar for the long or short term. Transform your aesthetic with wallcoverings tucked in behind. Opt for exposed brick for that Brooklyn loft look or beachy wood panels for ocean-bar rustic.

Relocate a console table out front to create a counter for serving single malts, Bloody Marys, Bellinis, or your intoxicants of choice.

Art Deco-inspired bar carts add decorative accents to your home. Source Apartment Therapy.
Opt for an Art Deco-style bar cart for vintage accents in your home. Source: Apartment Therapy.

The Bar Cart

If you’re looking for a moveable feast after Hemingway’s heart (the liquid kind), a bar trolley or cart is a great way to display your wares. Lockable castors allow you portability and stability.

Display your cut-crystal glassware up top and house your liquor on the lower shelf. Prep an ice bucket with ice cubes so you can accommodate on the rocks, and supply a plate of sliced lime and lemon for that fresh citrus twist.

Bookshelf bars create sculptural vignettes in your home. Source casatv.ca.
Bookshelf bars create sculptural vignettes in your home. Source: casatv.ca.

The Bookshelf Bar

This is one for the bibliophiles amongst us. An excess of bookshelves is a common crime for these folks. (Guilty as charged.)

Secure (or steal) a shelf for your liquor showcase. House tumblers, decanters and mixing paraphenalia on a decorative tray beneath. Then create your own novel concoctions.

WaterfordTray, Bar Tool Set and Nut Dish
Waterford Tray, Bar Tool Set and Nut Dish, online at Zanui.

The Bar-sket

Not spoilt for space? Marshall all the makings of cocktails and mixed drinks on a decorative tray or in a serving basket. This keeps your poisons neat and transportable.

Make merry while the sun shines with an outdoor bar. Opt for tropical flair with Mai Tais, Blue Hawaiis, or Rum Cocktails…

Bar tray paired with a rustic wooden table from House Beautiful
Change up your console table with a vibrant bar tray brimming with tantalising intoxicants. Source: House Beautiful.

The Console Bar

Make the most of untapped nooks in your home by lodging your liquors on (or under) your console table. This makes a great DIY bar when friends drop by. Prep it for self-service, then mingle freely.

Install a mirror and table lamp for a pretty play of light with your glass bottles, carafes and glassware.

Eva Solo Catalyzer Bottle Pourer and Tight Wine Bottle Stopper
Eva Solo Catalyzer Bottle Pourer and Tight Wine Bottle Stopper, online at Zanui.

And lastly, kit it out

Equip yourself with bar essentials and enjoy effortless entertaining, from wine coolers to bottle pourers and cocktail bar sets. Add a magnetic bottle opener to your fridge to uncap bottles with ease. And don’t forget the cocktail umbrellas!

Add palms and fronds (faux or fresh) for that oasis feel. Miniature models and globes inspire a man-cave vibe.

Waterford Elegance Champagne Cooler, 6.15L, Elegance Modern Carafe, 2.5L, Elegance Short Decanter with Round Stopper, 1L, and Elegance Tall Decanter with Round Stopper, 1.2L
Waterford Elegance Champagne Cooler, Elegance Modern Carafe, Elegance Short Decanter, and Elegance Tall Decanter, online at Zanui.

We leave you with the words of Cocktail’s bar bard Brian (aka Tom Cruise, rocking some serious late 80s’ hair):

“I am the last barman poet. I see Australia* drinking the fabulous cocktails I make. Australians* getting stinky on something I stir or shake. The Sex on the Beach. The schnapps made from peach. The Velvet Hammer. The Alabama Slammer. I make things with juice and froth. The Pink Squirrel. The Three-Toed Sloth. I make drinks so sweet and snazzy. The Iced Tea. The Kamakazi. The Orgasm. The Death Spasm. The Singapore Sling. The Dingaling. Australia,* you’ve just been devoted to every flavour I got. But if you want to get loaded. Why don’t you just order a shot? Bar is OPEN!”

*Poetic license invoked.

Waterford Rebel Shot Glass, 60ml (Set of 2) Waterford Dungarvan 3-Piece Decanter Set and collection Cafe Lighting and Living Brooklyn Drinks Trolley, Gold Cafe Lighting and Living Brooklyn Drinks Trolley, Silver
L to R: Waterford Rebel and Dungarvan collections and Cafe Lighting & Living Brooklyn Drinks Trolley in silver or gold, available online at Zanui.

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.