5 Tips For Perfectly Styling Your Home Bar

After bar shutdowns and limits on nights out during the pandemic, many of us decided to improve our mixology skills from home, via Bacardi. All of the spoons, shakers, and strainers necessary to make your favorite cocktails take up quite a bit of space in the kitchen, but incorporating a bar cart or home bar is a stylish and convenient way to keep these tools accessible and easy to use on a night in or while entertaining guests.

Bar carts have been the preferred way to display tools, bottles, and glassware instead of a built-in wet bar. Nevertheless, any cabinet or corner of the countertop can easily be transformed into a dedicated space to practice your bar skills. Many bottles are pretty enough to count as décor on their own, but if you're looking to add some extra spice to your setup, bar styling may be for you. We gathered some of our favorite ideas to get you started and take your home bar from a functional area to a decorative statement piece.

1. Start with an anchor piece

Before you start haphazardly loading your bar up with bottles, decide on a critical element you want to display, also known as a focal point. Designers recommend this method on a large scale when planning a room, but the same advice applies on a smaller scale, via Pella Windows and Doors. This can help you stick with a theme throughout your styling and keep everything cohesive while adding a point of interest that isn't just another bottle.

Framed art, vases with flowers, a unique lamp, or even a mirror can add some fun variety to your setup. Opt for something a few inches taller than what you plan to place around it to ensure it doesn't blend in with the surroundings. Your hero piece doesn't have to be anything shocking, but a little variety in the contents of your bar can go a long way in terms of styling the space.

2. Get a little bookish

Unless you're an expert bartender, you've likely been Googling drink recipes on your phone while trying to remember if it was an ounce or a half ounce of that specific liqueur. There's nothing wrong with that, but doesn't thumbing through a recipe book just seem a bit more refined? Books with cocktail recipes are a great way to expand your knowledge and add fun décor.

The concept of the cocktail we know and love today has only been around for about 200 years, but popular drinks have seen some major changes throughout the decades, per VinePair. A vintage book of recipes can give you some new ideas and introduce you to old favorites that may have declined in popularity over time. Even if you're not feeling experimental, books can help you add some interest in the form of height and layering as well. Stack a few to display your favorite glassware, or keep them off to the side for easy access.

3. Bring in some marble

Incorporating a marble slab is a great way to add functionality and class to your home bar. According to Favored Stone Guides, marble is a popular choice for cutting boards because of its relative durability and lack of absorbency. If your bar is wood or glass, keeping water off the surface is necessary to prevent spots and stains, and adding a simple slab of marble is a decorative way to do just that.

These slabs can be used as cutting boards for garnishes or fruit, a protective layer against wet glasses, and an easy-to-clean surface to combat drips and spills. Bartending is all about liquid, so things can get sticky and messy — especially if you're still learning the ropes. Having something to protect your surface that can be easily removed to wash is much more convenient than unloading and wiping down the entire area every time you cut a lime.

4. Go green

If you also took up the hobby of gardening alongside drink making, adding a few of your plants to your home bar can bring some life and color to the space. Not a green thumb? Faux also works to add a lush accent. A bar full of glass and metal can look a bit lifeless and sterile, so combatting that with a natural touch can make a big difference.

If you want to take it a step further and truly impress your guests, try your hand at growing some herbs to keep by your bar. Many herbs are easy to grow indoors as long as you pick a pot with proper drainage and have access to natural light, per EatingWell. Mint, basil, and sage are popular ingredients in cocktails, and homegrown herbs are often cheaper than purchasing a fresh bunch at the grocery store. You'll be adding some decor while also enjoying a fresh-picked mint mojito. Win-win.

5. Stow some bottles

It may be tempting to load up your bar with every bottle of liquor you own, but that doesn't leave much room for functional space. Instead, keep your go-to choices on display at the top of your bar for easy access, but place other bottles on a bottom shelf or in a cabinet. They're still available but won't overcrowd your space and leave you with no room to decorate or mix drinks. Adding décor isn't possible if another bottle dominates every square inch.

As we enter into a new era of home bartending, it's essential to give yourself a space to learn to make unique cocktails and entertain guests, via Bacardi. Just because a home bar serves a functional purpose doesn't mean it has to be an eyesore. Incorporate some of these bar styling tips, leaving you with an area you're excited to display, not just occasionally use.