This One’s on the House: Inspiring Home Bar Ideas

7 Apr 2022

home bar

It’s not just during lockdowns that home-lovers turn a corner of their dwelling into a bar – it’s something that has been done for decades, with varying degrees of sophistication. A home bar can recreate your local pub, or it can take on the South Pacific air of that little tiki bar you visited on your most memorable holiday. Your bar can match the decor of the room it occupies so it feels unfussy and perfectly at home, just to make sure you get the welcoming vibe you’re seeking.

So if you prefer the big night in over the big night out, take a look at our inspiring home bar ideas...

Small Home Bar

home bar drinks trolley

Thanks to the drinks trolley renaissance, having your very own small home bar has never been easier. The ultimate accessory for the ultimate host, bar carts and trolleys can be fit into any sized abode, from city apartments and cosy cottages to family homes. These mobile accessories arrive in a range of styles, from antique and art deco to industrial and modern, so you’ll easily find one that complements your decor.

When it comes to filling your drinks trolley for serving, it’s best to stick to the essentials and not overfill. Start with your tipple of choice and include matching glassware, such as Champagne flutes, highballs or martini glasses. If you’re looking to style your drinks trolley, show off bottles in different sizes, shapes and colours, various cocktail glasses and a decanter if you have one. Dress it up with trays, coasters and a snack bowl or two. And if space permits, finish off with a vase of seasonal or dried foliage or candles. Your party-on-wheels will be an instant hit at your next soiree or cosy night in.

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Hidden Home Bar

hidden home bar
hidden home bar

For the home that wants to keep the party a more low-key affair, a hidden home bar can be easily created inside a cabinet or sideboard. Your very own private speakeasy, having everything stored away means that your living room, dining room or kitchen can be easily put back to normal once the festivities are over. Perfect for a family home that’s pressed for space, you can tone down the booze on show, and double it up as a breakfast bar, with optics and bottles kept behind closed doors until it’s past the kids’ bedtime.

Since room inside cabinets and cupboards is at a premium, it’s probably best to keep your best glassware in the kitchen and prioritise your alcohol and mixers, however, if you love nothing better than a finger of whisky at the end of a hard day then keeping a few of your favourite glasses to hand is a good idea.

Modern Home Bar

For the thoroughly modern home, you’ll want a killer set-up with on-trend details such as marble accessories, metallic accents and sleek barstools. Channel your favourite cocktail lounge with contemporary glassware from brands like LSA International and Fferone, chrome bar accessories and neon signs. Don’t forget a statement cocktail shaker so you can show off your mixologist skills for good measure.

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Traditional Home Bar

If you’re into the classics, take inspiration from the wood-panelled gentleman’s club look. Base your traditional home bar around those familiar favourites, such as lacquered woodwork, supple leathers and bronze metallics. It’s all about bringing a touch of luxe to the table, think classic cut glass styles, elegant decanters and antique brass accents.

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Outdoor Home Bar

Rachel Werne

Is there anything better than a glass of your favourite tipple in the sun? Why not bring the party out back by creating an outdoor home bar. Whether it’s a standalone feature made from repurposed pallets or barrels, an outdoor kitchen extension or a wall-mounted style on a balcony, an outdoor bar will prove popular all summer long. If you’re concerned about breakages, take a look at brands like Mario Luca Giusti who specialise in stylish acrylic glassware.

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What To Put In A Home Bar

Tipples of choice come and go but a well-stocked bar is for life. What do you need for your home bar? Aside from your preferred beer or wine, there’s a whole world of tipples to explore so you can create your favourite cocktails right at home. Here’s our list of the essentials so you’ll never find yourself short.

mykola /


The staples that'll get you through almost any cocktail request.
  • Bourbon
  • Whisky
  • Vodka
  • Gin
  • Tequila
  • Rum – light and dark


Non-alcoholic ingredients used in cocktails and mixed drinks to dilute and lower the alcohol volume.
  • Soda water
  • Ginger ale
  • Fruit juices – orange, cranberry, pineapple
  • Tonic water
  • Tomato juice


A refreshing alcoholic drink that’s served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Perfect for serving guests on arrival or whilst you’re preparing the meal.
  • Dry sherry
  • Dry vermouth
  • Aperol
  • Campari
  • Ouzo


An alcoholic beverage served after a meal with the intention of aiding digestion.
  • Port
  • Cognac
  • Cointreau
  • Brandy
  • Coffee liqueur
  • Limoncello


Optional extras that complement your cocktails.
  • Lemons, limes, oranges
  • Green olives
  • Cocktail onions
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Mint
  • Coarse salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Ice

Bartending Equipment

No home bar is complete without the correct tools.
  • Cocktail shaker
  • Strainer
  • Lemon zester
  • Sharp knife
  • Corkscrew
  • Shaker
  • Jigger measures
  • Blender
  • Ice bucket


Whether you’re more Old Fashioned or Cosmopolitan, whatever style you go for, you’re going to need the most fitting glassware for the style you’re aiming to achieve. From wine glasses, tumblers and shot glasses to pint pots and those all-important shorts glasses for nightcaps and one-for-the-taxi. You can hear the clink of ice against glass already – just make sure you choose the right style.
  • Tumblers
  • Highballs
  • Red wine glasses
  • White wine glasses
  • Champagne flutes or coupes
  • Beer glasses
  • Shot glasses
  • Pitcher

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