Entertaining at home has taken on a deeper meaning in recent years, with more and more people outfitting their backyards, patios, terraces, balconies, and porches with amenities that make staying home more comfortable and fun. Building or setting up an outdoor bar is a surefire way to make your exterior space a destination for friends and family. Whether it's a dedicated space; part of an outdoor kitchen, living room, or pool house; or an indoor space with a pass-through window and bar counter that opens to the outdoors, an outdoor bar helps make your leisure time more fun.
Your outdoor bar can be as simple or sumptuous and you want and can afford. It can complement the style of your home, or be a signature oasis with its own vibe that makes your staycation feel more like a private getaway. It can be tailored for grown-ups, stocked with kid-friendly refreshments, or designed as a second space for the family to gather for playtime and movie nights.
Check out these pool house ideas in a range of locations and settings for inspiration on creating your own backyard getaway.
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Skip the Bar Stools
This outdoor bar from Breeze Giannasio Interiors skips the bar stools and includes a comfortable lounge seating area set up around an outdoor fireplace instead. Throw pillows, upholstered seating, a framed painting over the mantel, and a pair of pendant lights defining the bar area makes the covered open air space feel like an outdoor living room.Continue to 3 of 40 below.
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Add Boho Style
Interior designer Mina Duque of Tulum, Mexico-based Interiors Tulum grew up between Casablanca, Morocco and Los Angeles, and this outdoor bar illustrates her Moroccan-inspired take on modern boho style with its combination of clean lines, mixed finishes, Moroccan tiles on the bar island front, and woven accents and decor.Continue to 4 of 40 below.
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Install Accordion Windows
This corner pool house bar and kitchenette from Los Angeles-based Mark Langos Interior Design has a sink, stove top, oven, and a glass front fridge for beverages. Natural materials like stone, wood, and rattan blend in seamlessly with the natural landscape. White subway tiles, black-framed windows, and dishware add a crisp modern touch. Accordion windows open up all the way when in use to the open terrace and pool house. Outdoor seating facing in toward the kitchen creates an intimate feel for drinks and casual meals.
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This colorful Canadian outdoor bar shack from Michelle Berwick Design is part of a Georgian Bay, Ontario family cottage. With its simple lines, medium blue painted wood siding, and bright red bar stools, the outdoor bar is a cozy and inviting place to share a drink.Continue to 6 of 40 below.
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Add Chunky Peninsula Seating
This outdoor bar from Michelle Boudreau Design has a chunky waterfall style peninsula that is a comfortable place for drinks and casual meals. The L-shaped layout makes room for bar stools on both sides of the bar to create additional seating around the pool.Continue to 7 of 40 below.
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Add a Firepit
This San Francisco outdoor bar and lounge area from Seed Studio Landscape Design is built for entertaining, with a central gathering space that includes a fire pit and arbor-covered bar with a fold-down TV for watching sporting events. The cool gray tones of the entertaining space contrasts nicely with the wood fencing and surrounding greenery, creating a sophisticated setting for gathering with friends and family.Continue to 8 of 40 below.
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Choose a Garden Setting
This outdoor garden bar designed by Surrey, England-based Rhiannon Williams of Landform Consultants was conceived for a couple. Inspired by the gardens of the Hotel Alma in Barcelona, the outdoor bar celebrates the joys of al fresco living in an urban garden setting.Continue to 9 of 40 below.
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Use a Hinged Window
This chic, understated pool house bar from Studio Life/Style has black wire bar stools that virtually disappear into the blackened facade.Continue to 10 of 40 below.
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Step It Up
This Montauk, New York beach house from interior designer Ghislaine Viñas has a fully stocked sunken poolside bar that is a few steps down from the pool. The indoor outdoor space features a Greek key awning that gives it classic polish and a foosball table just for fun.Continue to 11 of 40 below.
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Exploit the View
This penthouse rooftop bar and grill from Florence, Italy-based Officine Gullo is oriented to take full advantage of the wide open Los Angeles views. The well equipped set-up includes a built-in wine cellar, ice chest, and dishwasher with polished chrome finishes.Continue to 12 of 40 below.
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Keep It Light and Bright
This light and bright outdoor patio bar and grill from Marie Flanigan Interiors has a timeless and polished look that will never go out of style.Continue to 13 of 40 below.
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Add Bistro-Style Bar Stools
This pastel green pool house cabana bar from Christina Kim Interior Design has a row of bistro-style bar stools that add some timeless French charm to the New Jersey backyard setting.Continue to 14 of 40 below.
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Make It Freestanding
This Ibiza bar and grill from Fantastic Frank is located steps from the pool, a separate structure with a covered roof that is separate from the lounging area to provide shade and a change of scenery.Continue to 15 of 40 below.
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Keep It Minimalist
This minimalist wet bar from interior designer Maite Granda is located on a spacious Florida balcony, with a sink and plenty of counter space for setting up cocktails with a minimum of fuss.Continue to 16 of 40 below.
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Make It Family Friendly
This outdoor bar from Mel Bean Interiors is part of a large indoor outdoor family home that includes a dining table, lounge space, and kitchen bar area that faces in toward the main kitchen, with a glass-front refrigerator stocked with kid-friendly drinks.
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Open It Up
This outdoor bar from interior designer Susan Spath of Kern & Co. is connected to the main living space. A crisp black-and-white palette flows with the rest of the decor, and contemporary black-framed glass windows can be closed after last call.Continue to 18 of 40 below.
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Add Some Retro
This Surrey, England outdoor bar from Officine Gullo recalls a more glamorous era with its generous proportions, classic marble flooring, white and polished chrome cabinetry, and a decked out prep area that contains everything from a beer dispenser to an ice chest.Continue to 19 of 40 below.
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Consider the Elements
This sprawling outdoor kitchen, lounge, and bar space from Lisa Kahn Designs is ready for all kinds of entertaining, built beneath an airy wood-clad roof structure that allows groups to socialize in comfort protected from the harsh Florida sun and sudden rainstorms.Continue to 20 of 40 below.
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Style the Bar Shelves
This indoor outdoor bar from Christina Kim Interior Design has a bar counter on the outside and a stocked bar area on the inside complete with shelves that are stocked with essentials and styled with photographs and decorative objects.Continue to 21 of 40 below.
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Add String Lights
A freestanding wood bar in a San Francisco backyard from Seed Studio Landscape Design is part of a larger entertaining space complete with a farm style table and lounge space. Edison bulb string lights and a concrete fire pit add warmth on chilly Northern California evenings.Continue to 22 of 40 below.
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Create a Bar and Grill
This luxurious Beverly Hills outdoor bar and grill from Officine Gullo is located at a private residence but designed like a restaurant, with extras like warming drawers, a pantry and wine cellar, a dishwasher, and plenty of storage to keep it looking organized and chic.Continue to 23 of 40 below.
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Start with a Bar Cart
If you're working with a small space or still saving up to build an outdoor bar, there's no shame in setting up a nicely styled rolling bar cart like this one from Emily Henderson Design.Continue to 25 of 40 below.
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Add Woven Accents
This crisp and modern patio space from Christina Kim Interior Design features an indoor-outdoor bar with seating for five, and a large dining table for eight. A mix of white finishes and woven accents adds cohesion and contrasts with the gray stone flooring.
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Screen It In
Depending on the climate and insect situation where you live, you might want to consider installing your outdoor bar on a screened porch. This summer home in Maple Lake, Minnesota from Martha O'Hara Interiors has a spacious screened porch that accommodates an outdoor bar counter facing in toward the main home, plus a dining table and lounge area with a fireplace and TV.
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Modernize the Farmhouse
Blogger Leslie Saeta from My 100 Year Old Home used brick from a demolished chimney from her home renovation more than 20 years ago to build an outdoor bar and cooking station that matches the rest of the exterior with its brick patio containing an outdoor living room.Continue to 28 of 40 below.
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This pool house from Maestri Studio is reached by a winding path, with an outdoor terrace that comprises a bar and grill tucked away on the side so it's out of the way while staying within close reach.Continue to 29 of 40 below.
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Use Upcycled Materials
Blogger Leslie Saeta from My 100 Year Old Home also used leftover slate from a renovation of the mudrooom, bathroom, and craft room to build an outdoor bar and cooking station.Continue to 30 of 40 below.
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Use Moody Finishes
This Southern California outdoor bar from Raili CA Design demonstrates that your lounge space doesn't have to be bright and coastal. The moody outdoor space mixes brown wood, black and gray stone, and cognac leather bar stools that creates a relaxing feel.Continue to 32 of 40 below.
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This impromptu outdoor bar from Raili CA Design can be rolled out and set up when it's time to entertain, and stowed away when the party is over.Continue to 33 of 40 below.
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This dedicated pool house bar from The Novogratz is modern and cool, with its dramatic veined marble, pale wood flooring, walls, and open shelving, and a black-and-white photo on the wall.Continue to 34 of 40 below.
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Mix Concrete and Wood
This backyard bar and grill from Blakes London has built-in waterfall edge concrete bar seating with a front clad in wood that adds warmth and contrast.
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Create a Bar Corner
This spacious Florida kitchen from interior designer Maite Granda includes a corner bar area with storage for refreshments, plenty of counterspace, and a sink. A long table under a glass and metal skylight roof can serve as a place to sip a cocktail in a rainstorm as well as enjoy a family meal.Continue to 36 of 40 below.
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Hang It Up
If you don't have the space for a dedicated outdoor bar, take inspiration from Jess Bunge, who designed this outdoor terrace for Emily Henderson Design. The simple and budget-friendly set-up includes a pegboard shelf that houses a minibar with glassware and a few choice bottles located next to a rattan table and small lounge area.Continue to 37 of 40 below.
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Keep Clutter Out of Sight
This outdoor bar and grill area from interior designer Maite Granda are built to the side of a Florida backyard that allows the clutter to be hidden from the adjoining outdoor living room and poolside lounge space.Continue to 38 of 40 below.
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Install a Live Edge Bar Counter
This rustic outdoor bar from West Sussex, England-based Randell Design Group has a live edge bar counter that gives it a one-of-a-kind look, complemented with natural wood siding, vintage bar stools, and black metal sconces.Continue to 39 of 40 below.
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Use Dramatic Stone
This sleek outdoor bar from Studio KT uses slabs of dark gray marble with dramatic veining to contrast with the expansive pale stone patio.Continue to 40 of 40 below.
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Own the Kitsch
And for those who like a theme, take a page from Lisa Kahn Designs and go all out with a nostalgic nautical themed outdoor bar that will make your backyard feel like your own private theme park, delighting kids of all ages and making guests feel relaxed and ready for a good time.