A common idea many homeowners have if they have a great basement space is to build a bar down there to transform what was an unused basement space into the perfect spot for socializing.
While this article will focus on some of the best bar ideas that are intended to be used for a basement, you can easily use these ideas in different spaces, so if you want your bar to be located in a garage or a man cave, or something similar to this, all of these ideas can work in these locations.
While just starting to build your bar might seem like enough in certain situations, we think that you are much more likely to get great results if you go in with more of a vision.
So, the best way to get a vision when you are coming up with one of these ideas is to get some inspiration, and this is what we are here for.
There is so much utility you can get out of a bar, and while a lot of people do not understand the use of a home bar, they add a massive amount of versatility to a space, and essentially transform a space that could be a source of shame into a space that can be used for guests and socializing.
So, if you have any space in your home that you want to transform, then a home bar can be an amazing idea we strongly recommend (see also “Best Coffee Bar Ideas & Stations“). So if you are considering making a home bar yourself, but have no idea what you want to do, then keep reading!
The Best Basement Bar Ideas
These are not all of the ideas you can use when you are putting a basement bar together, however, they are some of our favorites, however, a lot of these are also great ideas to jump off of to start coming up with your own ideas as well!
Hutch Turned Into A Bar
Something that a lot of people have lying around in their home is a hutch, usually located in a dining room. While these once served a purpose, nowadays, they tend to be quite outdated.
They are not very efficient at storing anything and they take up masses of space. So, if you want to refresh your dining room by getting rid of it, but you also do not want to be wasteful, then you can actually repurpose it and turn it into a bar.
This is a great project to try since you save a massive amount of money that you would be spending on materials, and it will also save you a lot of construction time since they have done a lot of work for you already!
If you do not have a hutch, you can actually find them pre owned quite frequently in thrift stores, and other second hand resellers.
These are showing up in these spots a lot more often now since there is not much demand for them since they are just not that useful anymore.
Because of this, you might be able to find one here for quite a good deal and will end up with half of your bar already constructed! You usually just have to get rid of the top portion of the hutch, do some sanding, and add a bar top.
There are some guides to follow, but if you are confident in your ability, you can freehand it.
If you are making a bar and you are unsure what kind of look you want it to have, we strongly recommend using shiplap since it will save you a lot of time you would spend working on a manual trim.
Making a trim can be rewarding and will look great if you do it properly, however, if you are not experienced with woodworking, they can be quite challenging to make.
This is why we recommend working with shiplap since it is definitely a lot easier to work with and will sometimes look better.
Butcher Block Bar
When it comes to ideas for the top of your bar, the natural move is to go for a Chicago bar rail, however, these can be quite expensive, especially if you are buying them new.
Also, this Chicago bar rail can also give the bar a certain classic look which you might want to avoid if you are looking for something a little more modern.
So, if you are looking for something a little more modern as well as practical, then we recommend using a butcher block for the top of your bar.
These are practical since they have plenty of functionality and you can work off it easily, however, they are significantly cheaper than a Chicago bar rail.
One of the best recommendations we can make for a bar is to not get too preoccupied with the size of the bar.
The reason for this is similar to what we mentioned in the introduction, but bars tend to transform a space and give it function instead of taking up the space.
Of course, you are going to want to commit to having the bar in the space, but if you are definitely committed, then the best advice we can give is the bigger, the better.
A main reason for this is that the bigger the bar is, the more utility you can get out of it. If you want to make your bar as small as possible, you will simply not be able to do that much with it, and this would be an actual waste of space.
But, if you have a bigger bar, the space inside the bar can be used as storage, and when you are using the bar, it will be a lot more comfortable. So, if you know you will get use out of your bar, then do not worry too much about the space it is taking up!
Now, the opposite of the previous point, but if you simply do not have the space for a larger bar, or even a permanent fixture, then the best recommendation we can give is to go for a portable bar.
These are less something that you can sit around and relax with, and more of a utility piece like a bar cart. These are perfect for dinner parties, or for bringing into a living space if you want to have space for snacks and drinks at a party.
Working on one of these portable bars will also be a lot more affordable since they are significantly cheaper to either buy made already, or to make yourself!
If you are going for a specific look, then we would recommend a farmhouse bar since the appearance of these really pops. These will have a pale side, we loved using a white beadboard, and then a dark top that pops against the sides.
The look of a farmhouse bar is very distinct, and works amazingly well in certain spaces, so if you like how it looks, we recommend trying it out!
Rustic Basement Bar
If you want a more rustic look, then we recommend doing something like our hutch recommendation and working with pre owned materials.
These will have a lot more natural wear that gives the wood an aged look without degrading from its quality. We would recommend at least giving the wood you use on these projects a fresh finish.
This will help with waterproofing which is important if you plan to serve drinks on your bar.
Another spot where we love to have a bar aside from in a basement is in the garage. These are a great spot for a bar and socializing, but there are some considerations you want to make, mainly to do with temperature.
Firstly, you will want to ensure that your bar is made from materials that will be able to withstand the conditions inside the garage and will not rot, so we do not recommend any raw wood.
You also want to make sure that if you are going to keep the bar in the garage, that the garage is a suitable hosting space, because of this you may want to invest in insulating your garage to keep the temperature in check.
Epoxy Bar Top
There are plenty of different options when it comes to decorating the top of your bar, however, some of our favorite ideas use epoxy resin.
This can be challenging and will require practice, but the possibilities are endless. You can change the color to match your taste, and you can put whatever you want under the epoxy, so if you have a certain vision, then this is something to consider!
Similarly to the garage bar idea, if you want a bar that you can use outside, you will either want to make sure that it is weatherproof, or a bar that you can take outside and inside whenever you want to! These can be great for hosting over warmer months!
Why You Need A Basement Bar
It is a common occurrence that in the home one person might want a basement bar while another might not, so if this is your situation, then knowing the exact benefits of a basement bar is a great tool to have if you are trying to convince someone.
The main argument against bars in the home is that they take up too much space and that they might go unused after all of the effort that is put into making them.
However, it has been shown that those who have basement bars, or just a home bar in general get a massive amount of use out of them, especially if they frequently socialize.
And while some home bars take up a lot of space, this space is less overpowering and more transformative. You can use your basement bar as extra seating which is perfect if you plan to use the space for viewing parties.
And, if you are very worried about space, if you are DIY-ing the project you can tailor your bar to fit in a specific space, or even opt for a portable bar.
Hopefully this guide has given you all the information you need on why basement bars are such a great investment and why they are something you will want to consider.
So, if you want to make a basement bar, try to follow some of our ideas so you are not going in blind and have a good concept to go with.
If you are struggling to choose which idea to go with, we recommend consulting with the other people who will be using the bar, this will help them feel involved and will help you also work out what you prefer for the space.
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