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.
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Repurpose a China Hutch
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.Continue to 2 of 24 below.
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Style a Bar Cart
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.Continue to 3 of 24 below.
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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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Top It Off
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.Continue to 5 of 24 below.
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Create an After-Work Pit Stop
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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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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Try a Console Table
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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Add Comfy Seating
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.Continue to 9 of 24 below.
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Display Colorful Glassware
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.Continue to 11 of 24 below.
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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.Continue to 12 of 24 below.
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Repurpose an Antique
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.Continue to 13 of 24 below.
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Add Vintage Touches
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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Make It Portable
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.Continue to 15 of 24 below.
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Fill a Niche
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.Continue to 16 of 24 below.
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Add Industrial Style
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.Continue to 17 of 24 below.
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Build a DIY Liquor Cabinet
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.Continue to 18 of 24 below.
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Add Floating Shelves
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.Continue to 19 of 24 below.
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Maximize Unused Space
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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Add Farmhouse Style
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.Continue to 21 of 24 below.
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Keep It Light
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.Continue to 22 of 24 below.
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Spike the Side Table
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.Continue to 24 of 24 below.
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DIY a Marquee Sign
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.