As much as we miss being able to pop into our local pub and purchase an overpriced drink, the ritual of going out for cocktails has actually never been completely foolproof. From the cover charge to the lines and limited seating, the truth is, your favorite drink tastes much better in the comfort of your own home. Instead, we suggest creating the ambiance of your neighborhood watering hole (minus the spilled drinks) with your very own, fully-stocked basement bar.
Whether you're working with tons of square footage or looking to convert the unused space in your dark corner, here's how to create the perfect place to hold the necessary liquor, spirits, and accouterments. Ahead, 20 basement bar ideas that make staying in something to cheers to.
The Corner Pub
We bet you didn't think you could transform your basement into the best corner bar in town, did you? Working on a corner space, like this basement setup, allows your to maximize space without taking up too much room. Some wraparound shelves, a sink, mini fridge, and some stools is all you need to set up your at-home cocktail lounge.
The Basement Bar Makeover
If you have the money and space to build a full-on wet bar in your basement, this is the inspiration you need. The black-and-white palette, center island with wooden bar stools, and emerald cabinets look upscale and modern. You'll never need to hit the hottest bar in town again — because it's in your basement.
The Renter-Friendly Bar
Believe it or not, a gorgeous bar like this one doesn't always require the work of a professional contractor. Some clever peel-and-stick tiles on your backsplash and floor will give you the look of a high-end cocktail lounge without the expensive renovations.
The Island Bar
If you have the space, installing an island with barstool seating will make all the difference in the ambiance of your bar. Plenty of seating and standing room, paired with tons of counter space for setting your drinks down will ensure you can entertain without worrying about accommodating your guests.
The Upscale Hangout
If you're committed to transforming the better half of your basement into the hangout of your dreams, this is the image you'll want to show your contractor. From the full-size wine fridge to the hanging TV and plenty of space to sit, this is where you'll spend most (if not all) of your time entertaining your friends and family.
The Built-In Cocktail Nook
Every basement has that narrow nook with just a bit of cabinet storage. A fun wallpaper print, shelves stocked with a new set of drinking glasses, and a mini fridge is all you need to give this underserved space a whole new function.
The Simple Snack Bar
If you have a spare wall in your basement, you can install stylish pit stop for drinks, snacks, and sweets. Install some built-in cabinets with a sturdy countertop, and install some shelves for tons of storage. Display drinkware, candy jars, and cocktail essentials for a space that satisfies your eyes and your taste buds.
The Colorful Cantina
Basements don't need to look dark and dingy and this colorful wet bar is proof. Hang wallpaper in a bright print on your back wall and paint cabinets in an equally cheerful hue. Additions of gold and brass accessories and shiny marble makes even the darkest, most outdated basement look like a colorful cantina.
The Well-Lit Underground Pub
When you're working in an underground space, lighting makes all the difference. This home bar utilizes all sources of light for an upscale feel. From the overhead industrial chandelier paired with recess lighting, and the under-the-bar accent light to the neon sign on the wall, this space shines a light on all the ways you can brighten up your dark basement.
The Built-In Wine Cellar
At-home wine cellars aren't just reserved for mansion dwellers. This built-in setup, featuring an L-shape bar and modern bar stools is just the place to enjoy your cabernets and moscatos. The back wall, complete with hooks to display all your favorite vinos, makes you feel like you're tucked away in your very own wine cellar.
There's almost always an awkward space under basement stairs that's difficult to transform into a useful space. Luckily, this is just the inspiration you need to make use of every square inch on your ground level, even the nook under your stairs, and turn it into a mini watering hole.
The Closet Cocktail Lounge
If you're lucky enough to have a large closet (probably one with sliding mirror doors), you have an opportunity to turn it into your very own closet cocktail lounge. Add a counter space, storage cabinets, and of course a mini fridge to keep your spirits cool. An overhead shelf is just what you need to display your favorite liquors. Get extra points when you dress it up with a marble print contact paper.
The Carry-All Bar Cart
This one goes out to all you dwellers with tiny basements. A fully stocked bar doesn't need to cost a fortune or take up a lot of room. You can source a rolling cart at a flea market or second-hand store or buy a plain one for cheap. Keep it stocked with gilded barware, gorgeous glasses, wine options, and sparkling mixers, and roll it out when guests pile in.
The Cocktail Credenza
Basements were made to act as a storage space, but that doesn't mean it has to be cluttered. A credenza is a perfect place to organize and hide all your seasonal decor, sports gear, and more in a pretty way. Plus, the surface is the perfect place to set up a tray, a collection of drinks and handy barware for the do-it-all space you go to when entertaining guests.
The Floor-To-Ceiling Cantina
If you're lucky enough to have a wet bar in your basement, don't stop there. Instead, install some hanging shelves for even more liquor storage. Display your martini and cocktail glasses along with some beautiful carafes and your basement will beat any bar in town.
The Bar Shelf
The sprawling marble counters and navy island in this wet bar are gorgeous, sure, but the wall-and-ceiling-mounted shelf displaying a variety of liquors is a centerpiece all its own. Whether you have tons of square footage or a single wall to spare, a vertical shelf is turning out to be one of our favorite ways to store bottles.