Thursday, September 14, 2017

Modern Home Bars in Basements

In North America Home Wet Bars are increasing in popularity with more and more Canadians opting to entertain in the comfort of their homes during those colder months. Having a dedicated space for a bar area in your entertainment room is key to accommodating a good sized (dry or wet) bar whether that be the Living room or the Basement. At Wilde North Interiors we have been building modern bars for the last 7 years with each bar being designed and custom built keeping in mind our client's personality and vision.

home wet bar
Brannigan Gate Bar in basement
Wilde North Bars - Design & Build
The bar is designed as an extension or inclusion of the overall basement design with the aim of keeping the space looking cohesive. During our consultations we get asked these questions most often about custom bars and thought we would share them with you.

What kind of bar are you considering?
Depending on the space availability you can either opt for a walk up bar, a U or L shape bar or an island style bar. Some of the best bars are roomy but intimate, lively but able to facilitate peaceful contemplation, and well-spaced but with easy access to the bartender / drinks.
custom walk up wet bar in basement
Scenic Lane Walk Up Bar
What is the best location for a wet bar in your basement?
The optimum location is closest to the drain stack to minimize costs on the plumbing side. However if cost is not an issue and the placement is critical to the design, a drain can be added wherever needed.

Another consideration is placing the bar in a dedicated zone where foot traffic does not impede line of sight to the TV. The bar could either be in a corner of the basement or somewhere more central. We recommend building the bar in proportion to the overall size of the space i.e. if you have a large basement then consider the bar taking up 20% of the entertainment space for it to have presence.

At the Montgomery Bar in basement the logical location for the bar was next to the walk in wine cellar. This L-shaped bar was built with custom cabinetry, floating box shelves, LED lightings,  and the cellar was remodeled to match the finishes of this contemporary bar.
modern L shaped bar in basement with walk in wine cellar
Montgomery Modern bar and walk in wine cellar
Why would I need the wet bar option?
Wet bars are equipped with a sink and hot/cold water for ease of washing up after a party, having drinking water available, etc. If you have a kitchen near by then maybe a wet bar is not so much of a necessity. But if you do consider a wet bar then install a high tap which allows you to fill a large water pitcher or rinse a tall wine glass. 
hammered copper sink in home bar
Rosehurst Bar
What home bar furniture should I get?
Bar furniture would include bar stools that match or compliment the design of the bar, several for your guests and one compact one for behind the bar if needed. Consider whether you want the bar stool to be in a wood, metal or lucite finish, whether upholstered or not, with or without a backrest, etc. If you have a detailed finish on the front of the bar then consider a simple bar stool without a backrest so the eye can see right past the bar stool. If the front of the bar is simple then consider a bar stool in a contrasting color/finish so it stands out and creates impact, for example a saddle leather bar stool against a grey concrete bar would make an ideal combination.

 Recommended bar stools heights are:
bar stool heights
At Wilde North Interiors we lean towards vintage furniture and have a weakness for white & gold bar stools that are partially upholstered but saying that there is an endless range of options out there to choose from.
vintage bar stool
bar stool options
All prices in USD

How to style your home bar?
Since a bar is an already busy landscape with displayed bottles, glasses, etc we recommend that you keep the decor simple. Maybe consider artwork with a subtle nod to the design or pub concept, or something that matches the overall design of the basement. What works is displaying items in multiples as repetition/collections always looks impressive or using trays to group things together. Check out this blog post where we have shared tips on How to style your Home Bar.
how to style your home bar

What features can I have in the wet home bar?
The list of options is entirely up to your requirements, but here are some of the features that we've added to some home bars
  • Kegerator (Beer on tap, could there be a better invention!)
  • Dishwasher
  • Microwave
  • Sunken ice bucket
  • Beverage Cooler
  • Wine Cooler
  • Ice Maker
modern wet bar and walk in wine cellar
Montgomery Custom Bar and Walk in wine cellar
What storage options are available in the bar area?
Aside from the cabinets that form the structure and provide you storage for your glassware and bar implements, we have also built secret or hidden storage options for our clients where ever space is available. At the Fenwick Bar we installed wheels on the lower cabinet which can be pulled out to reveal storage under the stairs.
under stairs bar
Fenwick Bar

bar under stairs
Fenwick Bar
At the Jeffcoat Bar we designed and built a door that displays glasses that can also be swung open to reveal storage behind.
custom wet bar in basement
Jeffcoat Bar

storage under stairs
Jeffcoat Bar
What wine bottle storage options are there?
Wine bottles are best stored in the dark and on their side. At the Rosehurst Bar we clad the walls in palette wood and mounted the wine bottles horizontally on pegs. 
rustic bar with palette wood wall treatment
Rosehurst Bar
walk in wine cellar
Montgomery Bar
And at the Montgomery bar we mounted 'label forward' wine pegs for the clients impressive wine collection in the walk in wine cellar we remodeled.

What Lighting options can be considered?
Aside from the pot lights, pendants and sconces we have added to a basement space, we have also used LED strip lights to light up counter top ledges, along the front panel, backlit display cabinets and even back-lit sunken ice buckets. Lighting can be controlled via a touchscreen panel or by a wireless remote.
Montgomery Bar

sunken ice bucket
Brannigan Gate Bar

strip LED lights under counter
Summer Park Bar
control panel for LED lights
Brannigan Gate Bar
strip LED lights in floating shelves in walk up bar
Scenic Lane Bar

shot glasses in niche lit up by strip LED lights
Brannigan Gate Bar

We have even used LEDs to light up display cabinets like our clients collection of 300+ miniatures here:
display cabinets for miniatures
Brannigan Gate Bar
What treatment is required for the ceiling?
And lastly the ceiling, not forgetting that unnoticed but critical element. You can make your bar stand out even more by treating the ceiling with a unique finish. At the Rosehurst bar we created a bulk head that mimicked the profile of the bar giving the bar a cozy feeling and the bulk head hid an ugly pipe.
rustic bar
Rosehurst Bar
Here below at the Rainpark Basement we created a barrel ceiling that nests a mid size wet bar with three custom display niches on the back wall, giving the space a very unique overall look.

modern bar wtih cement tiles
Rainpark Bar in basement
Visit our Porfolio to see all the images of basements / bars we have designed & built. Dhiraj is becoming quite the barchitect or barstud that he likes to call himself. We are working on two other bars in Etobicoke right now, one of which is 25 feet long and the other is very turning out very glamorous. Follow along on our Instagram for live updates and sneak peeks of behind the scenes shots.



Dhiraj & Lynda

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...