If you really want to build a home where you would want to impress your guests, then a home bar may serve as a key area for you to consider having if space allows. A decently located and stocked home bar would serve as an excellent area for both, entertaining guests and a storage area for your liquor, beer and wines. A bar cabinet is sometimes an overlooked furniture piece for the untrained eyes. Normally, cabinets are considered mostly for their storage functions and not much else.
However there are a range of functions, options and considerations you should go through before settling on any single cabinet for your home bar. At the same time, maybe a bar cabinet is just not the option, there are several alternatives to consider too, from bar carts to globe bars, from fridges to wine coolers.
Types Of Bar Cabinets
Four Key Features Of Bar Cabinets to Choose From
The Hideaway: If you prefer not to have your drinks collection on display, then maybe it’s worth considering a cabinet that isn’t open, or doesn’t have a display area when shut (enclosed bar cabinets). To the casual observer, these cabinets may look just like any other piece of furniture that you have. The fun only begins when you reveal what’s inside!
Show And Tell, but Secured: you may want to display your liquor, especially if you have an impressive collection, however you may want to keep it secured, say from children or greedy house guests! Then consider a lockable bar cabinet.
Portable Or with Wheels: Some bar cabinets are not really cabinets, but carts or trolleys. However these come in a range of options too, from elegant display trolleys to lockable storage. The one thing they have in common is that they can move around, allowing to set the entertainment area in a different part of your home if you prefer. Particularly useful for those with small home or only the occasional entertaining.
Up and Away, on the Wall: Wall space is usually one of the most wasted space in most homes. And just like your kitchen cabinets, bar cabinets do come in wall mounted options, maximising your usable space, at the same time allowing you to store your drinks just as you would want. The biggest advantage of wall mounted bar cabinets is that they come in most styles and designs that you would find in other bar cabinets, the only thing you couldn’t do is turn them into a wet bar! (but you could mount them on top of one!)
Display Table Bar Cabinets
If you have a small house, or space is at premium, it may be worth considering a display table bar cabinet. Some of these units are ideal for aligning along the wall as you would with a normal display cabinet, but are built to store your drinks and drinks accessories, while at the same time functioning as an area for displaying anything else you would like on top of the cabinet.
Bar Tables With Storage
Although not a traditional type of a bar cabinet, these modern introductions to home bars are an excellent addition to any home. Bar tables with storage can run from standard tables with shelving to some amazing designs that can extend from modern to traditional furniture types, either way, you may want to consider a bar table with storage.
Compact Bar Cabinets
These types of bar cabinets are usually built with small homes in mind. They allow you to stock as many mod cons as you like, including a large portion of your drinks accessories as well as the drinks and glassware. Some compact bar cabinets also come built in with refrigerated units, making them a pretty good buy. The key feature of most compact bar cabinets is in the door storage area. When closed, these cabinets look like ordinary cabinets, once you open the doors, they act as additional shelving and look like a well-stocked mini bar!
Portable Bar Cabinets
These are actually very very cool. If you want to move your bar outside, or even take it with you on a trip, then these portable bar cabinets are just the drinks storage that you may want to consider buying. Granted, they aren’t ideal as fixed furnishings for the home, but are pretty fantastic if you like to entertain outside, whether in your yard or at a picnic, or even when camping!
You may or may have not seen these, but they are pretty cool. Globe bar cabinets come in the shape of the Globe, usually in replica historical maps. They are pretty cool, and can come with or without wheels, so you have the option of treating them as a bar cart.
Barrel Shaped Bar Cabinets
These cabinets are pretty much in vogue right now, and go really well with quirky furnishing or those homes whose décor is focussed in a shabby chic style. However they are just as awesome in your man cave or even a dedicated home bar. Some of these barrel bar cabinets come with a range of features, from inbuilt coolers to fully functioning bar sinks to build a mini wet bar.
Bar Cabinets Buying Guide
When it comes to buying a bar cabinet, there are a lot of different choices that you will have to choose from. Depending on your budget as well as the look and size of whichever room you decide to put the cabinet in, you will want to get one that is appropriate for your needs. Let’s take a look at why having wine and drinks bar cabinets is a good idea as well go through some buying tips and where to find the best deals.
Decisions influencing the Choice of Wine or Drinks Bar Cabinets
When it comes to buying a bar cabinet, there are a lot of different choices that you will have to consider. Several factors influence your buying decision:
- Size of Room – you need to make sure that the wine cabinet compliments the size of the room, rather than overpower it.
- Type of Decor – As you can image, most wine cabinets come in many styles, from retro to simplistic modern. Aim for something that matches your decor style.
- Frequency and Volume of use – If you frequently have a lot of guests over and serve wine or other alcohol beverages often, then you would want one that is big enough to accommodate your drinks.
- Storage Requirements – Typically, you would also have different compartments in the cabinet such as drawers, wine glass holders, and wine bottle holders. You can get bar cabinets that will hold several dozen bottles of wine but these take up a lot of room or you can aim for a mini bar cabinet that holds less but will not take up room.
- Location – Another thing you will want to take into consideration when buying one of these cabinets is where you are going to be placing it. This may dictate both, size and type.
Bar Cabinets for Storage
The first consideration you need to think of is of course its storage use.
Bar cabinets can be used to store wines, wine glasses, frills, wine bar accessories such as corkers, bottles openers, among others.
Among the common dilemma of having many wine bottles, glasses and other bar items like serving trays is that they are quite difficult to organize, especially if you do not have the proper storage compartments. Many people will store their wine bottles and glass in regular kitchen cabinets or in the pantry. That can be okay but if you want style and better convenience then you are going to need some type of home bar cabinet.
Consider the Right Size
Typically, there are different compartments in built for purpose bar cabinets such as drawers, wine glass holders, and wine bottle holders. You can get bar cabinets that will hold several dozen bottles of wine but will take up a lot of room or you can get a mini bar cabinet that will store less but will also not take up so much space. (see our guide on organizing a bar cabinet)
If you are the kind of person that wants to stock a range of beers, spirits, mixers and mixing tools, then you may want to consider a multi purpose bar cabinet. Alternatively, if making cocktails is your priority, then you are probably better off considering building a “Wet Bar“. There are a lot of storage cabinets for the wet bar that you can choose from, some with built in wet bars and bar sinks.
If you frequently have a lot of guests over and serve wine or other alcohol beverages often, then you will want one that is big enough to accommodate the volume of items you need to stock in the cabinet.
Bar Cabinet Styles: Get the Right Look
The whole design details of the bar, including bar cabinet furniture, is important to get the right look when designing your home bar. After all, they are a range of looks available, and these fit in an equally diverse areas, from the corners of your living room, in the kitchen, or in your basement wine cellar, if you have one.
Choose a color that matches your other bar furniture or the bar counter top.
If you plan to keep wines in the cabinet, an ornately handcrafted redwood or mahogany cabinet is perfect. Be sure to consider the basic rule of thumb when it comes to storing wines, though. It would be best if the cabinet has built in racks for holding the wine bottles in horizontal or tilted position to keep the corks moist. You can have the cabinet doors made of glass for a revealing display effect. Just make sure that the wine bottles are not exposed to sunlight which affects the wine’s flavor.
Wine glasses would look sleek when kept in revealing glass bar cabinets with built-in racks for suspending the delicate glasses. Choose a glass cabinet design which is plain and without embellishments to create a simply sophisticated air in it.
Consider the Features
There are bar cabinets that have small refrigeration unit installations made specifically for storing frills like chocolates, cherries, or pre-cooling drinks. Usually, the designs for these cooling cabinets are very simplistic.
The perfect bar cabinet has both function and style.
There may also be an option to buy a cabinet that doesnt display, but rather, keeps your drinks out of sight. This is especially important to consider if you have children, and would prefer to lock the alcohol away. Not all bar cabinets come with securing mechanisms; if this is a feature you need, then start your search with this parameter in mind.
Consider the Placement
Another thing you will want to take into consideration when buying one of these cabinets is where you are going to be installing it. If you are going to be putting this in the kitchen, you will want to get one that will have a color and look that will compliment the rest of your kitchen. You can also get a corner bar cabinet that will make use of the corner of your kitchen where you might not have anything there.
If you are going to buy one to put into your family room or some other room other than the kitchen, then you may want to consider getting an ice maker or wine cooler to make things a bit more convenient.
There are many other types of bar cabinet furniture that you can buy as well. If you havent got sufficient space to build seating around your home bar, then a moving bar trolley or cart may be more suitable, allowing you to move it closer to the entertaining area, and then wheeling it away to its usual storage place.