Laying out the design of your home bar is where it all starts to come together. Going through this planning process will help you know what size bar your space can accommodate, what type of bar furniture and beer refrigeration you will need, as well as how long this project may take.
We suggest that you visit your favorite taverns and/or restaurants and take a close (sober) note of what you like in a bar. Think about what elements and styles you like: Do you like a big glass mirror behind the bar? What types of stools and bar rails are your style? Take special note of the bar's structure – how was it made, what’s it made out of? Bring along a digital camera – pictures always help!
Before you sketch – consider these important factors:
When you are ready to lay out your home bar – the first thing you must consider is space.
With this in mind, think about the following:
- Will the bar be just one straight side? L-shaped? Horseshoe? Rectangular?
- If you’re working off of a concrete floor, outline your layout in chalk. If the floor is already finished, use coins, paper or string to outline where things will go.
- Once you have your initial layout complete, transfer it to paper. Be sure to use precise measurements.
- Remember, your bar is going to be three-dimensional. So, the outlines on the floor won't visually take up as much space as your finished bar, because you're going to add a height component.
- The average home bar is 42″ high and 24″ deep. You can adjust these measurements to fit your own needs. Just remember that most bar stools are 30″ tall so your bar should not be much lower than 42″ high.
- What are you going to keep behind the bar? Are you going to have a sink and where will it go? If so you will need to have plumbing and drainage.
- Sinks are usually placed under the front bar,but putting them in the back bar is not unheard of. They come in all shapes and sizes from a simple, shallow one-bowl hand sink to a standard bar sink (with legs and up to three bowls and a drain board). These are usually made of stainless steel and can be built-in.
- Take into account where your existing plumbing is located. This can help determine where to build your home bar.
- Ask yourself: What restrictions and obstacles are there? Low ceiling height? Sump pump? Where are the electricity and cable TV outlets?
- Are you going to have refrigeration for beer and cocktail mixers? You will need to figure out where they will go and make sure you have an electrical outlet near by.
- Glassware is another thing to consider, will you be putting in an overhead stemware rack, stacking it on back bar shelving or putting it in drawers?
- Will you be adding a big screen TV or entertainment center? Positioning these correctly is key.
- Also think about outlets for a TV, additional lighting, popcorn maker, blender, etc.