Going out for drinks always sounds good in theory, but it’s never as simple as one hopes. Wrangling your entire group to the (same) bar is difficult enough, but getting everyone in your party a cocktail is near impossible. Skip the lines, spilled drinks, and the cover charge at your local pub when you stay in with a fully stocked living-room bar.
Don’t know where to begin creating a space that holds the necessary liquor, spirits, and accouterments? We’ve got you covered. Ahead, 15 living room bar ideas that make staying in something to cheers to—no matter how much square footage you’re working with.
The Carry-All Bar Cart
Position a pretty bar cart in the corner of your living room, and roll it out when guests pile in. Keep it stocked with gilded barware, gorgeous glasses, wine options, and sparkling mixers. Fresh flowers are a nice finishing touch.
The Bookshelf Bar
It's amazing what a couple of fully stocked bookshelves can do for your living room. With the addition of a podium and some bar stools, this will become your favorite hang-out spot.
The Linen-Closet Cocktail Lounge
We all have a linen closet, but most of us lack the linens. Instead of using it as a junk closet, clear it out and transform the inside into a beautiful bar. Install mirrors, hang up some shelves, and plug in a mini fridge before stocking up on a variety of wines and liqueurs.
The Expensive Wet Bar
If you have the money and space to build a full-on wet bar in your living room, this is the inspiration you need. The black-and-white palette, antique mirror, gold accessories, pendant lights, and wooden bar stools look upscale and modern. You'll never need to hit the hottest bar in town again — because it's in your living room.
The Built-In Cocktail Nook
Every home has that awkward nook that seems to serve no purpose. A fresh coat of paint, a new set of drinking glasses, and a collection of drinks will give this underserved space a whole new function.
The Upcycled Bar Cart
A fully stocked bar doesn't need to cost a fortune. You can source a rolling cart at a flea market or second-hand store or buy a plain one for cheap. All you need is a can of paint or some printed contact paper to breathe new life into your custom bar cart.
The Butler-Tray Bar
If you don't have the space to house a full-on bar at all times, bring one out only when you need it. A foldable tray table serves as a pop-up cocktail stop when guests come over and can fold away and be stored in a closet when you need to save space.
The Bookcase Minibar
Whether you live in a studio apartment or a mansion, chances are you have a bookshelf in your living room. Clear off a shelf and stock it with your favorite spirits. And voilà, you have yourself a bar.
The Cocktail Dresser
If storage is your main priority, install a dresser with tons of drawers to house everything from clothes to office supplies or seasonal items. A collection of drinks and handy barware displayed on top will ensure the dresser doesn't feel out of place in your living room.
The Floor-To-Ceiling Watering Hole
If you have a spare wall in your living room, you can install a floor-to-ceiling pit stop for drinks, snacks, and sweets. Slide a pretty cabinet up against the wall 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 Cocktail Credenza
The hostess with the mostest deserves a place to store all the essentials for hosting friends and family. A credenza is a perfect place to organize all your favorite china, party decorations, and serving tools, without looking like clutter. Display spirits and pretty décor on the surface, for the do-it-all space you go to when entertaining guests.
The Spirit Shelf
As you've already learned, a foldable tray table can act as a temporary bar cart; but this mini tray setup sparked a new idea for us. Even the most cramped apartment can surely accommodate a single floating shelf. Visualize this tray without the legs and you have the world's smallest fully stocked bar.
The Side-Table Bar Setup
If you're tight on space, you don't need a full wet bar to entertain guests. We're willing to bet you at least have a side table situated near a chair or couch. That's all you need to get the party started. Place a gorgeous tray on a table and display some liqueurs on top of it. And there you have it: a bar.
The Versatile Bar Cart
Finding a roomy bar cart that fits your living room aesthetic to a T is no easy feat, but when you find it, it'll change your perspective on the functionality. A bar cart that complements your décor so well will find a permanent spot in your living room. When you're hosting guests, fill the shelves with drinks, barware, and an ice bucket. When they clear out, use it as storage for books, knickknacks, and picture frames.
The Cocktail Console
A console table is surprisingly perfect to convert into a living-room bar. Store taller wine and liqueur bottles on the bottom shelf, organize tumblers and glasses on the smallest shelf and place the most popular drinks on the top.
Raise The Bar
Below, all the essentials you need to ditch the corner pub and bring the party to your living room.
This bar cart is sleek, simple, and will work with any existing décor.
To be a real cocktail pro, you need a set of pro tools. These combine function and beauty seamlessly.
Everyone needs wine glasses – these just happen to be gorgeous as well.
For those short on space, a tray can pull double duty as a makeshift bar and a nice décor moment.
A little wallpaper can go a long way in distinguishing your bar from the rest of the living room.
A pretty bookshelf is great for your favorite reads and your favorite liquors.
Splurge on this beverage center to keep your white wine extra chilled at all times.
A single floating shelf is a great way to display your fanciest liqueurs.
The buffet is back! Bring back an old entertaining staple in a gorgeous way.
No bar haunt is complete without a set of barstools.