Jennifer Leischer Design and Decor

From drinks to games, a home bar is all about the fun

From drinks to games, a home bar is all about the fun
The key to the tabletop bar tray is to collect bar items that are unique, new or vintage, and definitely eclectic and interesting.

Jennifer Leischer Design and Decor(Apr. 29, 2022) — It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, and there’s only one room in your house made for this spectacular moment in time: the home bar.

This dedicated party space can be home to a whole bunch of fun just waiting to take place.

Swiveling barstools with leather upholstery and shiny brass nail heads quietly sit idle, martini glasses hang upside down, clinking quietly in anticipation of more exciting things to come, and a handsome, vintage penguin cocktail shaker stands stoically, ready for anything that may be poured his way.

When it comes to the home bar, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all design. From a basic tray of liquor bottles sitting on top of a piece of furniture or built-in cabinet to a grand statement with barstools, multiple TVs and liquor stacked to the ceiling, a home bar can be as basic or over the top as you desire.

Simple yet unique

A basic bar is just that, simple and practical. It could be an oversized rustic silver tray sitting on top of your dining room buffet, displaying your favorite liquors, neatly poured into decorative decanters, stacked Old-Fashioned glasses and a glass bucket, generously filled with ice. Add a few other essential cocktailing ingredients, and you’ve got yourself a perfect bar setup for one, two or many.

The key to the tabletop bar tray is to collect bar items that are unique, new or vintage, and definitely eclectic and interesting. Look for old glass decanters that have tiny alcohol name labels, colorful canisters that house different cocktail ingredients and glassware that tells a story all on its own.

The tray for all of these goodies is a key element. Old and rustic or shiny and modern, whatever your aesthetic is, embrace that feeling to create something special and cocktail inspired.

Create a relaxing space

The next level of the home bar is something a little more established. This could be a built-in cabinet, with uppers and lowers, recessed into a wall in your family or dining room or a dedicated area in your kitchen, similar in size to a pantry. This home bar may have an undercounter beverage cooler, an ice maker and a counter just big enough for a petite sink and an area to muddle mint for a tasty mojito or two.

When you have a more established home bar, you can fill your cabinets with glassware, collected silver and crystal bar accessories and unique bottles of liquor. Then adorn the area with artwork and decorative lighting.

If your built-in bar has a sink, consider a hand-painted sink with the colors of your living space, an elaborate faucet in a unique metal finish and a countertop material that is equally as interesting as your plumbing fixtures. Light fixtures and cabinetry for this space don’t necessarily have to look like everything else in your home, as long as the bar design is complementary to the other finishes and features in your home.

The home bar can be a destination, a place where you prepare a beverage that relaxes you from head to toe.

A bar as big as Texas

A larger option is the “belly up to the bar” kind, where liquor bottles line the walls, TVs are in abundance broadcasting every sport from A to Z, and the general space is shared with an 8-foot Olhausen and a Texas hold’em poker table.

When a home bar is a destination within a home, pool tables, poker tables, foosball tables and even pinball and darts aren’t too far behind. The home bar can definitely focus on adult beverages, but it’s also a destination for friends and family to gather, share some laughs and play games.

The design of this space can reflect the general aesthetic of your home, or you can focus on a specific design theme and have a little fun: an elegant cigar bar, retro funkiness, classic car collectibles, old movies or a mini Las Vegas. Whatever the theme or design, the home bar should be a comfortable and functional place to come together and just have some fun.

A home bar can be a festive destination regardless of its size: from a tray in the living room, with all the classic bar time accoutrements, to a built-in cabinet in the kitchen that houses cocktail accessories and appliances, or a full home bar, with all the goodies to entertain, from beverages and swiveling bar stools to classic games that everyone can enjoy.

Contact Jennifer Leischer with questions, comments and suggestions at See more from Jennifer at her website Hello! | j-designs

Jennifer Leischer
Jennifer Leischer

Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton, CA. Combining a public relations degree from California State University, Chico, with further studies in design and interior architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, Jennifer began her career as an interior designer in 1998, working for various firms in San Francisco and Orinda, and Denver, Colorado. She describes every designing moment, throughout her career, as a wonderful tutorial about the importance of relationships, open communication, and getting down to the basics of functional, yet stylish, living spaces.