28 Cheerful Home Bars, Where Everybody (Literally) Knows Your Name

Simple or sophisticated, equipped with console, cart or custom cabinetry, these stylish bar areas deserve a toast.
Jeff Andrews bar in Venice Beach, CA.
Photo by Stephen Busken

Tasked with restoring and refreshing the clients’ circa 1910 bungalow in Venice Beach, California, Jeff Andrews rose to the challenge. In this funky bar area, the relatively small space didn’t deter him from going big and bold.

For inspiration, he looked to a longstanding Hollywood hangout: “The palm pattern by CW Stockwell is the actual wallpaper used at the Beverly Hills Hotel,” Andrews says.

New York living room by Duan Curry
Photo by Emily Gilbert

For their assigned space in the Sotheby’s Show House, the Daun Curry Design Studio team took their cue from the Jean-Pierre Cassigneul portrait. Its sensuality and warm palette are echoed in the Vladimir Kagan sofa, with a counterpoint provided by the funky Judy Kensley McKie baboon sculpture, which serves as a fully functional bar, and the stark Ed Ruscha painting.

Bar by Kelly Behun in the Hamptons
Photo by Nick Calcott

In designing this ultra-contemporary Hamptons bar, Kelly Behun discovered her muse in an unusual spot: the neighboring bowling alley. “The wallpaper around the alley is inspired by French artist Jean Dubuffet’s Chambre au lit sous l’arbre,” she explains, “a remarkable sculptural room that had a strong effect on me from the moment I saw it. It was nice to create this little homage to his genius.”

Martha's Vineyard bar by Heather Wells
Photo by Joshua McHugh

This basement-level bar on Martha’s Vineyard “was meant to feel like a cross between a men’s club, speakeasy and Soho loft,” says its designer, Heather Wells. It may look like an old-school haunt, but all the furnishings, including the Restoration Hardware chandelier and the Bright Group stool, are contemporary finds.

Lisa Queen residence in Calabasas, CA
Photo by Michael Wells

In decorating her own Calabasas, California, home, Lisa Queen enlisted the help of her daughter and business partner, Sara. “Our design intention for the entire home,” says Sara, “was to use color to create spaces within spaces, which is a time-honored Christopher Alexander design technique.” Setting the color scheme in the bar and game room is an enormous floral painting by a 20th-century American folk artist.

That work is just one of the space’s vintage treasures, which also include the 1970s metal bar cart. The drink table next to it is a sort of customized readymade. “The base is a scrap piece of molding Lisa found in the early 1990s,” explains Sara, “and she had her friend the artist Melissa Koch handcraft a mosaic-tile top for it.”

Sasha Adler bar in Chicago
Photo by Tony Soluri

For this Chicago billiards room, Sasha Adler‘s goal was cozy yet sophisticated. An abundance of walnut creates warmth, seconded by subtle design details like the navy suede upholstery just below the ceiling and the custom charcoal-gray felt on the pool table.

And the sophistication? That’s provided by the pair of matching vintage metal pendant lights from 1stDibs.

Studio Duggan bar in London
Photo by Alex James

Tiffany Duggan designed this bar area for clients who “were keen to create a moodier evening space that added an extra dimension to their otherwise light and airy Hertfordshire home,” the designer explains. “We chose a tone-on-tone blue palette and played with contrasting textures.” Bright accents are provided by the pineapple table lamp and lantern, both vintage.

London bar by Peter Mikic
Photo by Kate Martin

“The client wanted to a bar that didn’t look like a bar, so we found this antique Giò Ponti cabinet and changed the use,” says Peter Mikic, describing this West London space. Other star pieces include an Anish Kapoor dot and the duck-legs table, which the client already owned.

Dubai bar by Alix Lawson
Photo by Alix Lawson

This Dubai bar by Alix Lawson is infused with a spectrum of neutral tones recalling the surrounding desert. Except for the Oluce table lamps and rattan tables, the furniture is all custom designed. “To create the clean and fresh yet warm look, I layered tone on tone with the stone, veneer and fabrics,” says Lawson. “The pops of color come from the palms and the poufs.”

Bar in Palm Beach, Australia by Blainey North
Photo by Tom Ferguson

In designing this Palm Beach, Australia, hideaway bar, Blainey North looked to distant continents and times, borrowing the abstracted forms, colors and straight lines of the Dutch De Stijl movement, spiced with the glamour and ultra-cool of America icon Frank Sinatra.

Mona Hadjj-designed bar in Washington, DC.
Photo by Erik Kvalsvik

“The client wanted a space that had a true bar ambience in their Washington, DC, home,” says Mona Hajj. “That gave me the idea of creating a moody, comfortable, inviting lounge space.” She pulled it off with the aid of pieces like the Italian crystal chandelier, 19th-century French bar doors and, of course, the 1930s Art Deco French bar.

Godrich Interiors-designed bar in Ibiza, Spain
Photo by Geoff Fenney

Ed Godrich and Rupert Hunt transformed a former farm on the Spanish island of Ibiza into a sophisticated oasis. In the living room, the designers fashioned a bar out of pieces of church furniture. Keeping in theme, Godrich and Hunt arranged a collection of vintage Playboy covers in a cross formation.

Nick Olsen bar in Manhattan
Photo by John Bessler

An abstract painting by Michel Cadoret hangs over a Georgian mahogany console table that serves as a bar, visually dividing the space between the living and dining rooms in a Manhattan home by Nick Olsen. The console includes a counterpoise lamp in polished nickel, a Burmese tray and a mercury-glass vase.

Singapore penthouse by Sara Story
Photo by Robert McLeod

Sara Story sought to converge Asian and Art Deco style in the rooms of a Singapore penthouse. Carlton House Restoration created the lacquered-wood bar with brass and marble inlay, whose sleek lines are accentuated by Powell & Bonnell’s Alto stools. A pair of Le Tre Streghe pendants hangs above the bar.

London Mews home by Maddux Creative
Photo by Andreas Von Einsiedel

Maddux Creative converted the garage of a London Mews house into a wine cellar and tasting room. The designers covered the garage door with a wall of vintage wine boxes, some of which Maddux sourced from a few favorite sommeliers, who saved their best crates.

Jan Showers bar in Austin, TX
Photo by Stephen Karlisch

Topped with the homeowner’s barware collection, a silver serving cart pops against the midnight blue walls of an Austin, Texas, dining room by Jan Showers.

Paris home by Isabelle Stanislas Architecture
Photo by Olivier Löser

In this Paris home, Isabelle Stanislas Architecture had to create a multiuse area that would function as a kitchen, bar and gathering place for friends and family. The space includes a Boffi stainless-steel island and custom Provintech wine cabinet.

Amy Lau-designed bar in Upstate New York
Photo by Josh McHugh

Amy Lau chose a vintage Florence Knoll wall-hung bar for the foyer of this open-plan home in Upstate New York. The pair of benches are by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, purchased from Mark Frisman, and the mirror comes from the Amy Lau Studio Four Season collection.

Ike Kligerman Barkley-designed home in NYC
Photo by Durston Saylor

Jean Royère Yoyo stools are arranged around the bar of this Ike Kligerman Barkley-designed Park Avenue apartment in New York City.

Tucker & Marks 2010 San Fransisco Showcase
Photo by Matthew Millman

Yellow #5 by Carole Pierce hangs above an antique Swedish console table with stone top in the dining room of a Normandy-style mansion designed by Tucker & Marks for the 2010 San Francisco Showcase. A cocktail tray sits between a bronze lamp sits and a set of silver bar accessories.

Kristen Keli-designed home on the Upper East Side
Photo by Stephen Karlisch

On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a townhouse by Kirsten Kelli features a mahogany bar, where an Art Deco mirror hangs over the lapis-blue marble countertop. To the left of the sink is an antique Russian samovar, and the blue decanter on the right was a gift from the Dallas Cowboys.

Alexandra Loew-designed bar in Long Island, NY
Photo by William Waldron

The master bedroom of a Long Island, New York, beach house by Alexandra Loew features a 1920s Swedish secretary by Erik Chambert, which was retrofitted with a Sub-Zero fridge and freezer drawers. Doors on the top half of the secretary open up to reveal rows of glasses and a Nespresso machine, alongside pottery by Arne Bang from Freeforms.

Mendelson Group bar in the Hamptons
Photo by Eric Piasecki

For the the dining room of this year’s Hamptons Designer Showhouse, the Mendelson Group brought in a 1960s cerused bar cart, which includes a double-sided drawer and flip top. The cart sits below the wood sculpture c.16, 1978, by Gunnar Theel.

Argent Design bar in London
Photo by Argent Design

A custom Lalique bar in the dining room of a London villa by Argent Design features a bespoke tabu harewood veneer, custom-etched Venetian glass panels with metalwork detailing and a smoked black onyx bar top with floating inlay onyx shelves.

Oakland, CA home by Geremia Design
Photo by Melissa Kaseman

A console cabinet and mirror comprise the simple, streamlined bar area of this Oakland, California, home by Geremia Design.

west village apartment by Katie Ridder
Photo by Eric Piasecki

In the living room of a West Village apartment by Katie Ridder, the bar unit features Stark‘s China Lack wallpaper.

Vaughn Miller Studio home in Amagansett, NY
Photo by Derrick Miller

The bar area of this Amagansett, New York, beach house by Vaughn Miller Studio is located in the foyer, and it’s composed of an ebonized wood chest of drawers with a sterling-silver tray and bar accessories, plus bronze and metal statues and decorative objects acquired at the Brimfield Antique Show.

Timothy Godbold-designed bar in the Hamptons
Photo by Rikki Snyder

In this Hamptons home by Timothy Godbold, a nook under the stairs was converted into a bar, which features custom open shelving. The leather and glass accessories from the Future Perfect, and the spiky objects are from Towne Palm Springs.

Loading more stories …

No more stories to load! Check out Introspective Magazine

No more stories to load! Check out Introspective Magazine