Home Bars: Why They’re on Charlotte Wish Lists
In evaluating the ebb and flow of ongoing trends the other day, we were discussing the evolution of today’s home bar. Home bars are still incredibly popular, usually as part of a greater kitchen remodel, but they are far from what they once were. From simple, compact dry bars to complete entertaining spaces in their own right, home bars still feature prominently on our clients’ wish lists.
Say Goodbye to the Tiny Wet Bar
Home bars of the late 90’s and early 2000’s almost always featured a tiny, impractical sink, smack in the middle of the countertop, rendering what was left of the counters unusable for much of anything. They were usually hidden in an alcove near the kitchen, or off the living room in an awkward hallway. The bowl sized sinks were deal breakers for most of our clients, and they wanted them gone in favor of more flexible counter space.
Multi-Functional Dry Bar
Fast forward to today, and home bars are still requested in at least half of the kitchen remodels we design. Nowadays, we take a multi-functional approach to the design to best utilize the space available. Most home bars err on the simpler side, and most do not feature sinks unless they have a significant amount of extra space.
Dry bars often include an appliance for wine, beer or other beverages and act as a landing zone for entertaining. Whether you’re having friends over for a casual dinner or you’re celebrating your child’s birthday, a dry bar gives you space separate from the kitchen to stage beverages, appetizers or dessert.
Where to Place Your Home Bar
Whether wet or dry, ideally your home bar would be located in close proximity to the kitchen, between it and another space like a formal dining room or living room. Locating the bar in the transition space between two rooms creates a natural flow for traffic and conversation, and allows guests to help themselves easily without entering the kitchen while you’re cooking.
Home Bars Aren’t Just for Cocktails
While most home bars do feature stemware and bottle storage of some sort, they aren’t limited to alcohol. Many of the families we work with prefer beverage centers—small built-in refrigerators with multiple zones that can properly store a few bottles of wine and a case or two of La Croix or Kombucha. Beverages tend to take over the main refrigerator if left unchecked, so having a smaller space just for your daily drink of choice leaves room for more fresh produce and leftovers. Having a flexible space to store the special occasion china that also acts as a snack station for the kids is still a worthy feature of any modern kitchen design.
Take Your Home Bar Up a Notch
If regular movie nights and football parties are your jam, you may want to consider a more elaborate casual entertaining space. With enough room and the right design, a dry bar can easily become a full-fledged kitchenette, preventing repeated trips to the actual kitchen. A beverage center and a small (but usable) sink are must-haves in this case. Ice makers and refrigerator drawers for mixers and snacks are also a nice touch. An 18” dishwasher wouldn’t be a bad idea either, especially if your hang out zone is in the basement or a detached garage.
Whether you’d like to incorporate a multi-functional dry bar as part of your kitchen remodel, or you’re interested in creating a completely separate entertaining space, we’d be happy to help you design the space that’s perfect for your needs. Schedule a consultation with us today!