24 Simple and Stylish Home Bar Ideas on a Budget

budget home bar ideas

Designed by Arlyn Hernandez for Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

If you enjoy relaxing with a drink after dinner or are fond of entertaining, the idea of having a dedicated home bar for storing beverages and preparing cocktails might feel like an unattainable luxury. But setting up a DIY bar doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

Whether you live in a studio apartment or a large house, you can create an easy and affordable DIY home bar by styling an inexpensive bar cart with your drink of choice and some simple glassware, or building out a modest dry bar with floating shelves and a thrifted credenza or chest of drawers. A decorative tray holding bottles, glassware, and accessories can be displayed on a dining room sideboard or a living room console table. Or if you have the space, the plumbing, and the inclination, you can even set up a wet bar in an unused alcove or corner of the kitchen or basement with a few simple elements.

Check out these DIY home bar ideas in a range of styles that are easy on the eyes and the budget.

  • 01 of 24

    Repurpose a China Hutch

    budget home office

    Leanne Ford Interiors

    Leanne Ford Interiors created a simple home mini bar by commandeering some open shelves on a large raw wood hutch, and stocking them with bottles, decanters, glassware and objects. A vinyl collection and a turntable on the bottom shelf is on hand to add atmosphere to at-home cocktail hours and entertaining.

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  • 02 of 24

    Style a Bar Cart

    home bar ideas

    Forbes + Masters

    Forbes + Masters styled a metallic bar cart with a choice selection of bottles and glassware in this high-rise open plan apartment living room that makes it feel ready for entertaining or an after-work drink for one without taking up a lot of space.

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  • 03 of 24

    Add Color

    budget home bar ideas

    Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    In this dining room from Arlyn Hernandez for Emily Henderson Design, a bright blue round tray at one end of a midcentury modern-style credenza keeps a mini bar in order and looks perfectly integrated into the overall design.

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  • 04 of 24

    Top It Off

    budget home bar

    Studio Peake

    Studio Peake created a budget home mini bar by topping a painted dresser with a lacquered tray, a selection of bottles, a sturdy flowering plant, a rope base table lamp and framed art to create an inviting vignette that's there when you're in the mood for a cocktail.

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  • 05 of 24

    Create an After-Work Pit Stop

    budget home bar

    Louis Duncan-He Designs / Photo by Eymeric Wildling

    Louis Duncan-He Designs added a mini bar corner to this polished home office on the credenza behind the desk and a comfortable leather chair and ottoman where you can enjoy an after-work drink before shutting the office door behind you for the evening.

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  • 06 of 24

    Define Space

    budget home bar

    Living With Lolo

    If you have a blank wall in your living room, dining room, or family room, you can set up a simple and affordable DIY bar station like this one from Living With Lolo using a new, used, or vintage sideboard styled with bottles, thick floating shelves on the wall above to store glassware and display objects, and pair of plants on either side to anchor and define the space.

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  • 07 of 24

    Try a Console Table

    budget home bar

    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Max Kim-bee

    If you are a casual drinker who likes to keep things simple, a slim console table like the one in this Pittsburgh dining room designed by Leanne Ford Interiors can house bottles and glassware for an effortless DIY bar solution. Style it with flowers, art, and objects to make it feel homey and lived in.

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  • 08 of 24

    Add Comfy Seating

    budget home bar

    Ashley Montgomery Design

    Ashley Montgomery Design created a minimalist and relaxing home bar corner with nothing but a pair of comfy upholstered armchairs, moody blue wall paint, a small wood table, and a cut crystal decanter of the house spirit with a pair of matching glasses.

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  • 09 of 24

    Go Midcentury Modern

    budget home bar

    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Margaret Austin Photo

    Cathie Hong Interiors set up a small home bar on top of a midcentury modern cabinet that includes a brass tray and cocktail paraphernalia, with closed storage below for glassware and extras.

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  • 10 of 24

    Display Colorful Glassware

    budget home bar

    Erin Williamson Design

    Erin Williamson Design added a vintage bar cart to a wall in the dining room that displays bottles and cocktail accessories alongside a set of colorful glassware that complements the vibrant wall art and bright blue chairs around the table.

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  • 11 of 24

    Be Creative

    budget home bar

    Leanne Ford Interiors

    Leanne Ford Interiors created a stylish minimalist mini bar that looks more expensive than it is by mixing a sculptural wall mounted wood shelf with a contrasting black round sink and simple but striking abstract black-and-white wall art to create an eye-catching corner mini bar that adds up to more than the sum of its parts.

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  • 12 of 24

    Repurpose an Antique

    budget home bar

    Studio Peake

    Studio Peake used a small antique wood table parked in the corner of the room as home base for a DIY mini bar and decorated it with artwork and an eccentric table lamp to add color and atmosphere.

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  • 13 of 24

    Add Vintage Touches

    budget home bar ideas

    Designed by Arlyn Hernandez for Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    This simple dining room bar set up from Arlyn Hernandez for Emily Henderson Design channels old world elegance with a round vintage metal tray holding all of the essentials, and an ornate gilded mirror on the wall above that adds sparkle.

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  • 14 of 24

    Make It Portable

    budget home bar ideas

    Design by Forge & Bow Dwellings / Christa Tippmann Photography

    Forge & Bow Dwellings stocked a painted thrift store bar cart with cocktail hour necessities to create a self-contained mobile drinks cart that can be wheeled from room to room depending on where the action is.

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  • 15 of 24

    Fill a Niche

    budget home bar ideas

    Gianpiero Gaglione Interior Design / Pablo Enriquez Photography

    Gianpiero Gaglione Interior Design installed a mirrored backsplash and some simple glass floating shelves in a corner niche to create a cozy home mini bar, and added wallpaper to make it feel more finished and interesting.

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  • 16 of 24

    Add Industrial Style

    budget home bar ideas

    Leanne Ford Interiors

    Leanne Ford Interiors used a trio of vintage industrial pieces with a well worn patina to set up a drinks station that is warm and inviting and adds character to the room.

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  • 17 of 24

    Build a DIY Liquor Cabinet

    budget home bar cabinet

    A Beautiful Mess

    This DIY wall-mounted liquor cabinet from A Beautiful Mess is located in the dining room, hung high off the floor to keep it safe from curious toddlers.

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  • 18 of 24

    Add Floating Shelves

    budget home bar ideas

    Design by Bartone Interiors / Lissa Gotwals Photography

    Bartone Interiors incorporated a simple home bar on one end of this neutral toned kitchen thanks to an under-counter wine fridge, a small sink, and some chunky glass shelves stocked with transparent glassware that allows the stone backsplash wall to take center stage.

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  • 19 of 24

    Maximize Unused Space

    budget home bar

    JL Design / Reagen Taylor Photography

    If you have an unused alcove, niche, or closet in your basement, pantry, or kitchen, consider turning it into a mini dry bar like this one from JL Design. A wine fridge, a decorative patterned tile backsplash, and a few chunky open shelves are all it takes to transform an empty space into a little hub for home entertaining.

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  • 20 of 24

    Add Farmhouse Style

    budget home bar ideas

    My 100 Year Old Home

    My 100 Year Old Home created a simple home bar set-up in the corner of the dining room by topping a modern farmhouse style chest of drawers with a silver tray, some glassware, a selection of favorite spirits, a table lamp, and a sign reminding you that it's five o'clock somewhere.

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  • 21 of 24

    Keep It Light

    budget home bar

    Designed by Mel Burstin for Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Tessa Neustadt

    This DIY bar corner designed by Mel Burstin for Emily Henderson Design is perched atop a golden wood midcentury modern cabinet and blends in with the white and wood tones of the bright and airy space.

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  • 22 of 24

    Install Corner Shelves

    budget home bar

    Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop

    Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop created a small home bar area by installing chunky wood L-shaped corner shelves to house a curated selection of favorite libations in this indoor-outdoor space.

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  • 23 of 24

    Spike the Side Table

    budget home bar

    Leanne Ford Interiors

    Leanne Ford Interiors installed a vintage round glass and brass bar cart with double storage shelves in place of a side table in this light and bright living room, squeezing in a vintage lamp on the top shelf.

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  • 24 of 24

    DIY a Marquee Sign

    budget home bar

    A Beautiful Mess

    This home bar from A Beautiful Mess has a DIY marquee sign on the wall above a stocked vintage bar cart that lends at-home happy hours a sense of occasion.

How do you set up a small bar in your house?

A home bar set-up can be as simple as a tray filled with a few choice bottles displayed on a living room credenza or dining room buffet, or something more elaborate involving floating shelves and seating for a crowd. Depending on your home and lifestyle, you might set up a small bar in a corner of the kitchen, the living room, family room, basement kitchenette, dining room, game room, or even your home office. You can set up a mini bar using something as simple as a bar cart or a vintage or modern bar cabinet. Or you can install a small freestanding bar in the corner of a room, or transform an unused niche or shallow closet into a small bar that suits your needs. If you’re looking to set up a wet bar, be sure to consider access to plumbing and electrical when choosing where to place it to keep costs affordable.

What do you need for a DIY bar?

A DIY bar can be as minimalist or as fully loaded as you need or desire. If your tastes are confined to wine or beer, a small stocked fridge or a wine rack and some glassware might do the trick. A Don Draper-style home office might include a midcentury modern bar cart with a choice bottle of something strong and a crystal glass. If your tastes veer toward complicated cocktails and frozen drinks, a DIY wet bar can be set up if you have the plumbing for it with a small sink and a freezer for ice and a socket to plug in your blender. Some people might set up a bar corner with comfortable seating for two in a corner of the basement. Or build a DIY bar complete with space for game nights and entertaining. Or commandeer some of the built-in kitchen cabinets and counter space to devote to an adult beverage station that's always at the ready.