Solutions: home bars

February 25, 2017 / DECORATING, Solutions / 0 Comments
Frans drinks cabinet by Pinch fron £7,650

How to… create the perfect home bar


Richard Miller of cabinetmaker Halstock shares his advice on everything you need to create the perfect home bar, from the essential tools to the perfect spirits 

1 Planning your space For everyday entertaining, a large cupboard can be easily converted into a practical bar. However, if you regularly throw parties for large groups and require room for two people to be making drinks at the same time, you’ll need a bar that’s around two metres long. Consider the wiring, ventilation and plumbing early on.

2 Wet or dry? You can incorporate a ‘dry’ bar just about anywhere, but having a ‘wet’ bar, with a built-in sink (and preferably an ice-maker) is much more useful for serious mixologists. Including a dishwasher means that no one has to ferry glasses back and forth to the kitchen. The sink does not need to be huge and should ideally be incorporated seamlessly into a stainless-steel worksurface.


Brass and marble drinks trolley, £325, Rockett St George

Brass and marble drinks trolley, £325, Rockett St George

3 Choosing your materials A bar is a great way to express yourself. We have created everything from wooden bars that discreetly match existing panelling to ones featuring built-in aquariums. Designers can use just about any material you can think of, but to avoid damage to surfaces that will get wet repeatedly it makes sense to use stainless-steel, aluminium, glass or mirrored tops.

4 The essential tools You only need six basic tools: a good cocktail shaker, a mixing glass or smallish jug, a long-handled stirring spoon that has a bit of weight to it, a strainer to get rid of seeds and pulp, a ‘jigger’ with a one-ounce measure on one side and a two-ounce measure on the other, and a paring knife for cutting strips of peel.

‘Mid Century Bar Cart’ walnut and brass drinks trolley, £325, West Elm

‘Mid Century Bar Cart’ walnut and brass drinks trolley, £325, West Elm

5 The glassware Unless you always serve one signature drink, it makes sense to collect a whole array of glassware, from short glasses to coupes, and a variety of tumblers. Don’t worry if they don’t match, but do ensure that you have at least six of each type.

6 And finally, the drinks A couple of bottles of vodka, gin, whisky, a bourbon and some vermouth, as well as a light and a dark rum, should be more than enough for most bars, but you may want to add a bottle of Cointreau and some Triple Sec. Have a few fruit purees (as well as lemons, limes, strawberries, oranges, raspberries and fresh mint) in the fridge, along with a good range of mixers and a selection of bottled beers.


'Chariot' trolley by Gam Fratesi for Casamania, £1,925, Chaplins

‘Chariot’ trolley by Gam Fratesi for Casamania, £1,925, Chaplins

Frans drinks cabinet by Pinch fron £7,650

‘Frans’ drinks cabinet designed by Brit brand Pinch, from £7,650

For more inspiration on all things kitchens download ELLE Decoration Kitchens Volume 1 available as a digital edition for just £2.99 via the ELLE Decoration app.

And ELLE Decoration Kitchens Volume 2 is available FREE with the current April “Decorating” edition of ELLE Decoration, now on sale at all good newsagents until 5 April 2017.






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