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Home Bars Buying Guide
Types of Home Bars
If you are an individual with a larger standing collection but do not have the space for an expansive console bar, the good news is you’re not obligated to have a home bar that can take the entirety of your collection. Store the remainder of your less-frequently served wine, spirits and liquor in a kitchen cabinet or elsewhere but use your home bar to showcase the “good stuff”. Consider where you would like to put your home bar and how much space you have to spare. Since home bars come in all shapes and sizes, it’s helpful to know what is available before you go shopping for one.
A straight bar or front bar is designed to accommodate the host, hostess or bartender on one side while guests sit, eat and drink on the opposite side. It is usually placed away from the wall to make room for the person preparing drinks or serving food; has a flat serving area and includes storage cabinets and/or shelves.
A back bar can be used by itself or paired with a straight bar to create a real life pub atmosphere. It typically has a set of shelves for displaying liquor bottles, a counter top that can be used as a prep area or place to store glasses and cabinets underneath the counter for additional bottle storage. A back bar can also include additional features like a wine rack, utensil or utility drawers and stemware racks.
A corner bar is a great space saver for smaller-sized rooms, living areas or awkwardly sized rooms. Designed to fit into the corner of a room, it can also be an ideal decorating solution for utilizing “dead” space, turning it into a focal point rather than an unused area. It also has the added advantage of being out of the way in terms of traffic flow, making it an ideal place to prepare a cocktail or to chat one on one, while others play a game of pool or watch a movie.
A folding bar or swing open bar is another ideal way to maximize the available floor space in your dining room, family room, den or home office. The sides can be opened out and extended to create the look and feel of a standard size home bar. Flexible and compact, it can be folded out of the way until needed again when not in use.
A hide-a-bar, from the outside, can resemble an armoire or a small door chest. The doors open to reveal wine and spirits storage, a stemware rack, drawers and other necessities for creating the perfect cocktail. Close the doors to protect the contents from dust and other potentially harmful environs such as sunlight. If curious little fingers are a concern in your household, choose one with lockable doors and/or cabinet.
A wrap-around bar has extended counter space on both sides of the front part of the home bar, forming a U-shape, with one side somewhat shorter to make room for a small fridge or a sink.
An outdoor home bar is constructed of materials and finishes that can withstand the outdoor elements, from extreme heat to a rainy fall day. They can come in a number of themes and styles suited to an outdoor patio or poolside environment.