9 Home Bar Ideas to Elevate Any Night In

home bar ideas

PHOTO: Zeke Ruelas; DESIGN: Emily Henderson Design

Needless to say, we're all spending a bit more time inside our homes these days. Of course, we here at MyDomaine are all about helping you make the most of your space during this time of self-quarantine and beyond. Whether you want to make your home more comfortable by rearranging your living room, transforming your small entryway, or bringing greenery into your bathroom—we've got you covered. In the spirit of finding moments of joy within the comfort of our own homes, we're using this space to share ideas for creating an at-home bar.

For a pro's perspective, we tapped interior design pro Emily Henderson, the founder of the wildly popular lifestyle site Emily Henderson Design, and asked her to spill the details on how to turn any space (no matter how small) into a happy hour-ready home bar. "I think it’s best to not overcomplicate it," Henderson tells MyDomaine. "Some beautiful bar tools and a fun glass to sip (or sometimes gulp) out of will make any night feel a little more special. We all deserve a little more of that right now." Of course, we couldn't agree with Henderson more.

To help you do just that, we scrolled through Instagram in search of interior designer-approved home bar ideas that will make you want to stay in and imbibe tonight. Read on for 9 home bar ideas that, frankly, raise the bar.

01 of 09

Keep It Simple With a Credenza Bar Set-Up

bar designs

 Design: Emily Henderson; Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Heed Emily Henderson's sage advice and keep it simple with a credenza bar set-up. There's no need to splurge on a brand-new piece of furniture (think: a bar cart or a bar cabinet) in order to turn a corner of your home into a happy hour-ready space. A tray, a set of glasses, and your favorite spirits are all you really need.

02 of 09

Splurge On a Classic Bar Cart That Won't Go Out of Style

bar cart design

Design: Velinda Hellen for Emily Henderson Design; Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

That said, if you're ready to take your design and cocktail game to the next level, invest in a classic bar cart, such as this gold metallic and mirror-shelved cart. Follow Emily Henderson's lead and incorporate functional design elements into the vignette. For example, here, a table lamp sheds light on an otherwise dark corner.

03 of 09

Anticipate Future Entertaining With a Tray-Top Bar

bar cart design

Candice Luter

A simple tray-top bar is taken to the next level thanks to this gorgeous macrame mirror by Candice Luter—check out her Etsy shop here—and an oversize plant. The bar itself is styled simply, with just a handful of essential bottles and a lovely framed print.

04 of 09

Bring the Outdoors In While Styling Your Bar Cart

bar cart designs

Ginny Macdonald

The health benefits of spending time in nature have been scientifically proven. To reap the benefits while you raise a glass, copy Ginny Macdonald and style your bar cart with a sprig of greenery. Take a pair of shears with you on your next walk and cut a bit of branch to place in a vase as soon as you get home.

05 of 09

Mix in an Indoor Garden

bar cart design

Sara Toufali

If you're looking for a place to proudly show off your plant parenting skills, your bar just might be the spot. Follow Sara Toufali of Black and Blooms and adorn your liquor cart with flowing plants and cacti, which will breathe color and life into your space.

06 of 09

Opt for an Old-School Bar Cabinet

bar cart design

Design: Emily Henderson Design ; Photo: Zeke Ruelas

Between the classic bar cart and the luxurious built-in home bar we have the bar cabinet. Take notes from this space designed by Ginny Macdonald and opt for a cabinet that offers the best of both worlds: A glass compartment for showing off your best glassware and a concealed compartment for stowing unsightly bottles.

07 of 09

Elevate Your Dining Room With a Bar Cabinet

bar cart design

Madelynn Furlong

Take a page from self-professed interior-obsessed Madelynn Furlong and keep your bottles, glasses, and other cocktail hour accessories stashed inside a swoon-worthy bar cabinet. (Psst... if you want to snag the exact one pictured here, designed by Leanne Ford for Crate & Barrel, you can add it to your cart.)

08 of 09

Take Your Boozy Bar Cart to the Backyard

bar cart design

 Design: Emily Henderson; Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp 

Allow designer extraordinaire Emily Henderson to remind you that you can take your booze into the backyard too. (It is summer, after all!) Be sure to opt for a bar cart that can withstand the elements and don't forget to apply plenty of SPF before you head outdoors to shake up your cocktail of choice.

09 of 09

Make Your Home Bar Work For You

bar cart design


Who says a bar cart has to actually be a cart? Gain inspiration from blogger Kiara Colombani at Kiaracol and turn an extra shelving unit into a bar. Here, the shelves hold spare liquor, coffee supplies, and all the tools a mixologist would ever need. Talk about a dream bar.

Article Sources
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  1. Franco LS, Shanahan DF, Fuller RA. A Review of the Benefits of Nature Experiences: More Than Meets the EyeInt J Environ Res Public Health. 2017;14(8). doi:10.3390/ijerph14080864