Chic Bar Areas

Photo Blog April 7 Spring Entertaining Bar Cart Table

Once spring is here, a young girl’s fancy (okay, I’m not so young, so let’s say my fancy) turns to entertaining. I want to have people over: for dinner, for drinks, for anything to jolt me out of the winter blahs. But in a small house, the question is, “Where do I set up the bar?”

Obviously, the lovely bar above has to belong to someone with not only a big house, but a big capacity for boozing. I am neither (although some friends may beg to differ). But I love how designer Thom Filicia stays away from the ubiquitous bar cart and pulls in something unexpected. Here, he uses a very large workman’s table, one that would take up my entire dining room. But even though this idea wouldn’t work for my space, I do love that he wants to hobble something different together. And there is a bonus: the workman’s table can do double duty. It could be a bar one night, buffet the next, a desk in the day, anything. And so, I am on the search for creative ways to set up a bar.

Photo Blog April 7 Spring Entertaining Bar Cart Domino

Photo Blog April 7 Spring Entertaining Bar Cart Art

A second idea that I think is quite attractive is using a living room side table as an impromptu bar, as seen in the photos above. Of course, this would need to be tucked out of the way of traffic — you don’t want guests toppling the bottles. But you can see how subtle yet still glamorous this idea is. It feels like a movie from the ’30s — the bar has to be where you are seated, no walking that extra 10 steps for replenishment!

Photo Blog April 7 Spring Entertaining Bar Cart Mantel Fireplace

Of course, this last shot is my favourite — what a fun idea. How about setting up the bar on the fireplace? I love this. My fireplace has a deep mantel, is out of the flow of guest traffic, and it’s easy enough to tuck away the display bits and bobs for a night in order to bring out the bottles. And it strikes me as fun that people can sidle up to the bar, albeit a high bar, to help themselves to another.

So what do you think? Should I do the typical, “help yourself, the bar is in the kitchen,” or try something different like the fireplace bar?

For more entertaining tips, check out our Summer Entertaining Guide.

Photo credits:
1. Thom Filicia’s bar, The Kitchn
2. Domino

3. Thom Filicia’s bar, House Beautiful
4. From the Desk of Lola

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