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15 Living Room Bar Ideas For the Ultimate Hostess

living room bar


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.

lucite and gold bar cart
Living Spaces Wilkin Bar Cart $295.00 $250.00

This bar cart is sleek, simple, and will work with any existing décor.

marble and silver barware

To be a real cocktail pro, you need a set of pro tools. These combine function and beauty seamlessly.

pink wine glass gold rim
Anthropologie Gilded Rim Red Wine Glass $28.00

Everyone needs wine glasses – these just happen to be gorgeous as well.

gold and marble serving tray
Cost Plus World Market Marble And Gold Tray $35.00

For those short on space, a tray can pull double duty as a makeshift bar and a nice décor moment.

black wallpaper with peony print
August Abode Peonies Wallpaper in Noir $6.00

A little wallpaper can go a long way in distinguishing your bar from the rest of the living room.

gold and white bookshelf
West Elm Zane Wide Bookshelf, White/Antique Brass $499.00

A pretty bookshelf is great for your favorite reads and your favorite liquors.

Whirlpool wine fridge
Whirlpool 24-inch Wide Undercounter Beverage Center $1,299.00

Splurge on this beverage center to keep your white wine extra chilled at all times.

real wood floating shelf
Threshold Real Wood Floating Shelf - 36" $35.00

A single floating shelf is a great way to display your fanciest liqueurs.

wooden credenza
Anthropologie Handcarved Samuel Buffet $1,098.00

The buffet is back! Bring back an old entertaining staple in a gorgeous way.

Gold Barstool
CosmoLiving by Cosmopolitan Ellis 24.5" Bar Stool $90.00

No bar haunt is complete without a set of barstools.