1 bar 3 ways – The Handmade Home

1 bar 3 ways – The Handmade Home

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If you tuned in last week, you probably saw the fun shoot that was the finished product in our wonderful client’s kitchen. We loved the before and after so much, we wanted to address a question we received from a sweet reader, Janet. 

Janet said, “I love the idea of a bar in the kitchen. Just as a beverage center in general, or something like a coffee bar. We’re thinking of including one in our renovation. I was wondering if you had one, what you would use it for? Can you give me any styling ideas?… I’d love any advice you can give!”

Janet came to the right place, because this fabulous kitchen had one fabulous easy peasy bar. And since it was a recent shoot, we loved being able to style it in different ways.

The owners knew they wanted something that was high functioning while also being very attractive, since it was front and center of all things entertaining. We love that you can use it really, however you want. The good news, there are no hard and fast rules. So we thought we’d style the bar three ways, and share a few of our fave tips behind what we used, and why. 

First up: The Bar. 

Yes, just like an actual bar. Full-on entertainment mode for adults. I think other than throwing a lot of oddly-placed wines and whiskeys in your face on a shelf, it’s awesome to think about how you would style such a collection. These sweet owners had lots of bottles given to them as gifts and some that are based on where they’re from. They’d also started a bit of a whiskey collection. So they enjoyed letting the bar tell their story.

And it’s kind of fun to think about how to organize all those bottles, in a highly functional but also stylish way.

Since summer time finds it all used as a main hub of a station with entertaining, it’s great to keep ice, glasses, and mixers at hand.

From beer to wine and even margarita makings, you can find everything you need in one spot. Which is especially great when hosting at your house. {That sweet little mustache can be found here.}

Corral similar bottles in trays, and display unique mugs and cups in fun ways. 

Baskets can be used at the top for things that aren’t constantly in use, or something you wouldn’t want to display: like any swizzle stick garnishes, napkins, extra bottles and more. That way it keeps the clutter contained until you need it. 

Next: the coffee bar. 

Because sometimes you need a little motivation to get stuff done. 

And by sometimes, we mean all the time. {Please tell us it’s not just us?} 

For the quintessential coffee drinker, it’s the perfect space to showcase your favorite mugs, accessories and so much more. 

For this one, we went for a little bit of a zen take on things, simple and scaled back with mostly neutral color. We added the pretty, along with the functional, so you can have the best of both worlds. We actually had that luxury in real life with this kitchen, since it’s nice and spacious, to leave some space to balance out those shelves.

Natural and woven with porcelain and clean whites… blacks and greens – a cozy coffee lover’s dream. 

So here, we were able to strike a balance with decor and function. And all things gittinerdone!

The every day

A bright take with fun colorful sodas, reminds us of an old school pharmacy with the sweet classic tile and nice colorful accents.

Soda shop for the win!

A great way to have shots of color in your kitchen for the every day approach! 

We loved including bright colorful pieces contrasting with the clean whites, which for us, screams playful nostalgia. 

Our client’s last name is Selby, so since I happened to have this little cookbook in my styling spread, I loved bringing it into their kitchen. It actually stayed there, to live, once all the fun styling was done. Edible Selby, anyone? I think it was a hit with the kids. They were probably a little confused. ;}

So whether it’s full on adult entertainment as a bar, getting it done with coffee, or a pharmacy/soda bar approach, these are just three takes on one bar. The possibilities really are kind of endless!

Here’s just a little of our fave advice over all for creating a bar… 

• Know what you want + go in with a plan.

These sweet clients knew that they wanted an ice maker, and a smaller fridge for all things drink needs when configuring their space. They also wanted a water purifier system. Along with their sink, it’s a highly functional area that they use daily for everything, from coffee in the mornings to drinks at night. Winning with a good plan!

• Mix in the pretty with the straight up functional.

Functional doesn’t have to mean boring. Attractive baskets, bowls stacked, and other tools that you’ll need mixed in, are usually the best way to approach it all realistically. Open shelving doesn’t have to be intimidating, and they can be a great accent for a space while still using the storage wisely. 

• Tell your story.

Give it a nod with the personal, whether it’s a fun cookbook that reflects your style or beautiful stacked bowls from your mother in law that have an original purpose. We think that’s the most important part. Be sure to have fun, and enjoy the process – let it reflect who you are as a family, and enjoy!

Here’s the final styling for the kitchen design, if you’d like to see it in all its glory here!

Of course, for the final shoot we ended up making it a bit of a hybrid mix, based on their family and what they preferred it be used for, which is a fun, every day mix between coffee, dranks, and all things every day. A great way to keep things practical, but also reflect all things entertaining what they can really use it for!

We hope you enjoyed our little take on three bars three ways, and hopefully it gave you a few ideas. We hope you feel inspired to create your own little entertainment corner with a bar for your space!

Thanks so much for tuning in today! 

Have an inspired day!


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