Basement Bars: Is This Once-Loved Design Trend Now Out Of Style?

There are several trends from the late 20th century that are still remembered today, including tacky prints, no neutral colors in sight, and clashing patterns, but basement bars have somewhat fallen under the radar. Aptly named for what they are, basement bars are literally that: bars that exist in the lowest level of a house in what's usually referred to as the basement. 

A remnant of the 1970s when properly constructed bars began to overtake previously popular bar carts, they began to go out of style within the very same decade due to changing tastes. This isn't to say they all disappeared, and you might even find an older home with one in it now. However, much like ostentatious swan taps, they can be considered a polarizing style. Similar to how many sunken living rooms packed up and left the interior design consciousness one day, basement bars do still exist, but on a much smaller scale. Once a way to let everyone know you were the best host in town, now basement bars are viewed by possible buyers as something that might not be particularly wanted.

The feature fit right in with the sumptuous home design of the 1970s

Basement bars came in many different styles. If you're looking at an original from the 1970s, the chances of there being some sort of integrated wood paneling are high. Just like flared trousers, wood paneling was a massive 1970s trend, having been carried over from the 1950s and '60s, and what better way to combine trends than building a wood-paneled basement bar?

As they were a way to show that you were the person to go to if you wanted a party, the standard for basement bars was pretty high. Though some probably did just consist of the basics like a couple of beer taps and a sink, others were decked out to the nines, with slots for every different type of alcohol imaginable. They may have been cool a few decades ago, but what potential buyers think of seeing one in a house now is perhaps a different story.

Home bars can still be a cool feature in a modern home

Via Apartment Therapy, mid-century modern specialist and realtor Lou Zucaro shared his observations on how buyers feel about the controversial item. "I would say from a real estate point of view, they fall more into the category of a 'Thank you very much' item that could go either way in terms of personal preference for a buyer, but don't necessarily add or detract from value," Zucaro shared. 

They may have originated in the 1970s, but there's nothing to say you can't have a home bar of your own nowadays. You don't need a big space to pull one off, either. The biggest pro of having a home basement bar is that it makes entertaining a whole lot easier. Don't want to go out during cold weather to meet your friends? Invite them over and stay warm and toasty instead. As well as being functional, a bar can transform your basement into a fun and relaxed space instead of an unused one. However, the major cons are the cost and the space needed to build one. Overall, if you have the money to do so, a basement bar will bring something new to your home and could actually entice potential buyers.