Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Styling The Bar

 I just love seeing a beautifully styled bar.

 I've been longing to do one in my home for years and I don't even drink!

My friend Gina and I used to wax poetic about setting one up of our own when our kids were grown and out of the house.

This one belongs to my friends Eddie & Jaithan.

Because I'm not a drinker I really don't know the basics of setting up a bar and have been accused of  choosing a wine based on it's label.

I have fond memories wandering the aisles of Bevmo admiring all the liquor bottle eye candy  all the while making mental notes about which ones I would one day come back for.
I actually have several spots in my home that are  just waiting to be transformed into cocktail central.

 I even have this exact bar cart currently in my Dining Room.  I also have collected a stash of fabulous crystal decanters.

 What, you ask, am I waiting for?

Maybe I'm afraid that when my college age son comes home to visit he's going to ask me for a drink!

And then what am I going to do?

Empty nesting has really made me want to entertain more.

And I can't think of a better time to create a fabulous looking bar than during the holiday season.

It's all about the aesthetics for me but I'm sure my husband and guests would appreciate it.

There is so much inspiration in these gorgeous images to draw from.

I'm wondering how many of you have bars set up in your homes?

And do you use them or are they just for looks?

Do they tempt you to do the Mad Men thing and pour yourself a nightly cocktail?

Or do you wait for a special occasion?

I wanted to leave you with this photo I took of one of my favorite bar set ups which belongs to my friend Kevin who writes the blog, Hollywood Forever, Kevin.

It looks right out of a magazine.
He is the consummate host!


Chris Long said...

You better have one set up by the time I come home for thanksgiving!

Beach House Living said...

I see your family is looking forward to your new cocktail central be it bar or cart. We have few bottles of this and that in a closed cabinet no one ever sees.

Hamptontoes said...

I just did a post on this yesterday. I also have another one set up for next week using trays and tops of consoles as pop up bars! I love bar carts, as well as trays set up for "help yourself to a cocktail" bar stations when entertaining. I don't keep a bar up all the time, with my 2 and 4 year olds that would make me nervous. However, I will keep the basics up for the season, as I'll be doing a lot of entertaining over the next several weeks. Loving all of the images you've shown.

Kerry said...

I used to have one in a house I had a while back but there's not room in this house. They look fab don't they...I really like Kevin's. The bloke in the portrait is clearly fond of a drink I'd say! And Terri, is there another way of choosing wine other than by the label...that's how I do it too!

Angie said...

I love Kevin! ;) My husband and I rarely drink as well but something about the idea of having a bar set up like one of these sounds so sophisticated and grown up ;)

Nita Stacy said...

I love a bar set up in a home. I don't have one...but I want one. I do keep a crystal decanter out with a set of sherry glasses beside it. And sometimes a bottle of port is included. I love a glass of port on a cold winter evening. But a full bar set up would be a waste in my home because I'm in to margaritas and that's about it. But I'm thinking maybe I need to study Kevin's bar photo closely and go buy what he has and set one up. He seems to have elegant eclectic living down. I loved all the examples you showed and I'll go back and look through them all over and over.

Kathysue said...

Terri, you know where I stand on this one, but I am with you I love the pretty bottles and the decanters. I do set up a beverage area when I have a party but no alcohol here. Nothing pretty than a pretty decanter.Look at it this way, it will be another place to display some of your treasures, that is the best part of all.
Have fun tomorrow, it is killing me that I can't be there,xo Kathysue

Sarah Greenman said...

See... this is what I need. I am frequently making cocktails for guest or myself or my husband and I'm always digging around in the pantry or a cupboard and what I really need is to own it and create a bar. These are gorgeous. Great post!

A Casa da Vá said...

i also choose wine by the bottle - the cutes one always win! but for a bar i love the idea of using vintage bottles and jars...

Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

I agree, you just can't beat a well-styled bar and this post has rounded up some of the finest! I have now decided I would like a cocktail central in my apartment! Hugs! xo

sharon santoni at my french country home said...

This is such a fun post Terri. Made me realise that in France it's very unusual to see a bar set up in someone's home. I think these pictures are great, ... and BTW, everyone is influenced by a wine label, they just don't always admit it!

Privet and Holly said...

Always loved them
Never had one!
xx Suzanne
PS Crystal decanters
might have to be
my next collection!

Unknown said...

Love this post! Growing up my parents did not drink, so there wasn't a bar nor a bottle in sight. However, I love my champagne and Grant likes his when we moved into this house that already had a little bar built into the library....I dolled it up. Crystal decanters sit next to beautiful bottles...and a few treasures from our mutual friends, E+J!

Yesterday was amazing and I'll get pictures up soon. Thought of you!
xoxo E

quintessence said...

Also love the look of a bar - and love all these images! There are so many wonderful accoutrements to include as well. Love Eddie's of course, and I wouldn't worry about your college age son (have one as well) - he's not waiting for you to offer!

Acquired Objects said...

That first comment is cute! Set up the bar and they will come, trust me on this. Love all the images and yes since we like to tip one or two back we have a bar!

Glamourshoes said...

I have been trying to find the "perfect" one for a couple of years now. It's the holidays! You have inspired me to just do it! I also just finished watching all four seasons of Mad Men, so I really want one now.

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Yup, I'm a label lover too! I don't have a bar set up. I have things in a cupboard if I
entertain but to be honest, I really don't know how to set up a bar except with pretty decanters and glasses. I really don't drink except for a little wine or champagne now and then so if someone asked me to make them a drink, I'd be lost! It's so embarrassing.

cjsullivan133 said...

I don't drink either, but you inspire me to want to arrange one now too! I love the first two images!
I like that you love wine bottles because of their labels! I like cigar boxes too! I know where to buy them for only $3!

Stitchfork said...

Have you ever noticed in the liquor store how many beautiful bottles there are?! I'm always tempted to buy them just to have the bottle itself.
xo Cathy

Nutbird said...

I think I am with Kathysue on this issue. I think any house with people under 25 years old should not have a bar. I also think that all these magazines are glamourizing alcohol use. Alcohol abuse is too much of a problem in our country that anything to do with drinking should not be used in decorating. I sound like an old crank, but I am a second level sommelier and have seen first hand the problems of abuse. Most of you that commented don't drink, yet like the look of a bar and want to have one. Would you want to have a smoking room, and do you have ashtrays in your house? Same thing. Sorry, Ann

Hollywood forever, Kevin said...

Hi Terry, Such a great post! To have a bar or not to have a bar, seems to be the question? My bar is placed on a old oak dresser that was owned by my grandparents and then my parents, and now me. This piece works as a side board to serve food as well as drink, I'm thrilled to own it. The top drawers are perfect for the tools, napkins, etc. The bottom drawers keep the table linens, candles, and some glasses. I am not a huge drinker, but my friends and neighbors and everyone in between seem to need a tiny glass of Sambuca to calm the nerves one has, living in this hectic city. I like having everything out and ready just in case. You know those Hollywood types. I am touched and pleased you included my bar in your wonderful series, I just wish I had polished the silver.

kate from Party Resources said...

I love this post and a good cocktail! Can't wait to enjoy a well styled bar with friends and family over Thanksgiving. xx

Burlap Luxe said...

Hi "T"
I love the white bar with the built in cooler, and that rustic villa style one wow!!

I don't drink yet love the look and style as well, I will have a Virgin Screw driver :)

Natasha in Oz said...

Thank so much for this post. I have been trying to set up a bar area and like you am not a big drinker so didn't know where to start. I will be back to have another look soon.

Best wishes,

Pamela Hunt Lee said...

I do enjoy my cocktail or glass of wine, and we did allow our sons the same after they ventured off to college, to help instill the thought of moderation, which is so important. No bar cart, just a cupboard, but now, after your post, I will seriously consider setting up a bar area with glistening decanters and silver ice bucket, bowls of limes, and greens for the holidays....such an inspiration....

cjsullivan133 said...

A wet-bar speaks about the pure "feel at home attitude" a hostess wants to convey. I'm a teetotaler and totally get the appeal. I would not be offended to see a stylish wet-bar in a home. In response to alcohol being an epidemic in marketing etc., I would say that "Out in the open" isn't going to change a child's perception anymore than if the bottles were in a liquor closet. We can't hide what is socially acceptable. But we can educate children on addictions and over-indulgence.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

We have a bar set up with a collection of crystal decanters. Its funny because neither one of us really drinks. But it sure is pretty!

I am visiting from Vignette Design and have been browsing your archives. I love your style and I just became a follower.

Blondie's Journal said...

I have two crystal decanters and have wanted to use them for so long...set up a little bar...fill them with colored water, but what COLOR to use??? They DO fake it it on TV!!???

Love Kevin's chic and orderly. That's my bar, when I have one.

Jane said...

I too have found you through Vignette, and I'm sad to see what I've been missing! Sounds weird to say about alcohol, but a bar, especially the ones you've shown, have such a sense of romance to them. While we do have the ocassional weekday drink, I've never thought to have a bar out all the time. Like others, maybe when the kids are out on their own! :) I love your blog and will be adding it to my blog roll today!

Tamra said...

I have had a bar set up twice in my home over the years and will be setting up one again in our place soon.

I find a bar makes peopel feel relaxed whether they drink or not. It's the beauty of the bottles, it's the quiet message of "I want you to enjoy yourself so if you want something it's right here just ask". How many times have you offered your company a drink and they say "Oh don't go to any trouble" With a bar they help themselves and love that they can make it the way they like it.

I think Kevin's bar is tops! Simple, no fuss, no muss yet very chic.

Great post! Just found you through Vigenetts and am now a follower!

A Toile Tale said...

Bars? Bars? Do I have a bar? I have a whole room dedicated to a bar that is bigger than my kitchen!!! The former owner is a bachelor and he made this "addition". I must admit that it has the main door out to the pool in it, so it is a good location with the terrazo floor for wet feet, and even wet bottoms. How I wish this house was laid out so that I could annex this big space to my kitchen. Meanwhile, all the cupboards are filled with dishes, dishes, dishes, and of course, some glassware!
Linda @ A Toile Tale

Unknown said...

Love a bar in a house...even it is for show. I just set one up because I just think they look fab. Even though I don't use it least I will be prepared when I need it!

Reichel Broussard said...

Martha copied you! Did you see this?