Raising the Bar, Right in Your Home
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Raising the Bar, Right in Your Home
Having people over to the house—getting the place ready, welcoming them in, fixing drinks, serving hors d’œuvres, and above all, making sure that people are having a pleasant, memorable time—does it excite you or do you think of one big headache? Oftentimes. it’s more work than fun for you, the host, and it’s almost as if you are the entertainment your guests came to see. A home bar can be a great way to entertain you and your guests.
Since entertaining guests usually involves food and beverages, this not-so-simple task often means that people end up in the kitchen instead of enjoying the rest of your home. And, if you manage to get everybody into the place where you planned to entertain them, you’re constantly running back to the kitchen to grab essentials instead of being social with your guests.
At Build.com we’re here to help you enjoy the entertainment for once with an in-home wet bar. In this article, we’ll show you what makes for a perfect wet bar and, for those who are short on space, we’ll talk about entertaining with a standard, unplumbed bar (also called a “dry bar”). Either way, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to have folks over to the house without one.
Before getting this project started, you should know a few things. The key to completing any project deliberately and effectively is planning. First, we’ll talk about bar-location planning, and then about the amenities you’ll want in your bar, which go hand-in-hand. Finally, we’ll discuss lighting for your wet bar.
Location planning is crucial. A few things to consider are: water, waste lines, and electricity.
* Access to a waterline and a waste line is mandatory for the bar to be considered a wet bar. This is where talking to your plumber really helps. He or she should be able to suggest a place that’s within reach of these two necessities—and hopefully within the area of your proposed place of entertainment. Accessing water and waste lines should be relatively simple, and your plumber should be able to make it work. A bar faucet will keep dishes clean. The bar sink will allow for easy clean up dishes and drink glasses.
* Second, access to and wiring for electricity makes lighting and appliances at your bar possible. Of course, your electrician will need to know what major appliances you’ll want in your wet bar (see below). He or she will situate the proper amount of amperage/voltage you’ll need for running your appliances. Also, plan for extra electrical capabilities in this area should you decide to add more appliances later.
Planning for the wet bar’s amenities is the second (but equally important) aspect of planning. Your appliances and facilities will simplify life when you’re in the midst of entertaining and will also make cleanup a breeze. Remember, aesthetics are always important in any room. That “pulled-together” look begins with establishing consistency for the right look or style, but don’t be afraid to get creative.
- Because it’s a wet bar, sinks and faucets are a must. The standard bar faucet will usually be just fine, but for greater cleaning efficiency, try one of our faucets with a pull-down spout. It adds reach to the faucet and makes filling up buckets of water or cleaning out the ice bin a piece of cake. Bar sinks are generally smaller in size than a kitchen sink, but variations on the design of it can up the ante in terms of overall style.
- Having an icemaker right within reach is wonderful. No more trips to kitchen (or store) to grab ice and the ice is made more quickly than in a standard refrigerator/freezer!
- Depending on how often you’ll be entertaining, a dishwasher right in the bar area makes it so cleanup is quick and more sanitary. No heavy lugging (and perhaps dropping and breaking) glasses and dishes when everyone has gone home and left the mess for you to deal with. All is made more fluid and efficient.
Other amenities that make having a wet bar that much more enjoyable:
Since most people think of beer on tap when they’re at the bar, beer dispensers can really add a degree of finesse and convenience to the bar. Plus, a good draft beer right in the home just can’t be beat!
Wine coolers keep the wine you love at just the right temperature. Plus, they add a certain class to your entertainment area.
Mini fridges, beverage centers, and refrigerator drawers make it so that quite a few drinks can be kept cold and on hand.
Greater possibilities in the bar make for less time required to set up and subsequently clean up. Everything –food, drinks, dishes, decanters, and other beverage servers—is confined to that singular location, rather than all over the house. And, a certain level of attention to detail can be achieved as well.
Now all it takes are some structurally-sound designs and you’re on your way to creating the perfect wet bar. Good, sturdy cabinetry and a beautiful countertop for the bar itself really show the sophistication and style of your tastes. And don’t forget lighting!
Turn “On” the Light
Finally, what excellent wet bar would be complete without lighting? It pulls everything together and completes the exact look and feel you want. There are many types of lights and fixtures that will complement any theme. For instance, if you’ve got a pool table near your wet bar, you’ll probably want billiard-style lighting to complement this component. Similarly, pendant lighting adds an element of sophistication and is generally not as illuminatingly invasive as larger lighting fixtures. Recessed lighting works well to illuminate certain corners/areas in the home while adding a clean, symmetrical, and uniform look to the room. Another option is under-cabinet lighting. This provides excellent ambient light and adds an inviting warmth to the bar area. The light fixtures themselves are usually out of sight, highlighting the surroundings rather than the fixtures.
No matter what your plans for lighting entail, it is good to have a dimmable light switch that allows for various levels of light. The idea is to create whatever ambiance is perfect for you and your guests, and that means being able to adjust the lighting.
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A note on the number of people at the bar
Accommodating different people’s needs is easily accomplished with barstools. For comfortable seating, a good rule of thumb is 24 inches of space for every person sitting at the bar. So, if you want to accommodate four seated persons, you’d want to have a bar that is at around 96 inches in length. Also, make sure that the bar’s counter hangs over the legs of people sitting at the bar for about 12 inches. This makes it so people can get comfortably closer to the bar and closer to you, the host.
The Beautiful and Functional Standard
For those with limited capabilities or space, our featured bar tables make excellent centers of entertainment, even if you can’t run water to them. It’s simple and elegant, but a classic bar works well in smaller spaces and contains just the essentials of what you’d want in a bar. Plus, carving out a place for it in your home involves no home construction or remodeling since the bar is self-contained. However, for those who don’t have space constraints but who have limited access to water, the larger pub bar or, taking it one step further, the canopied bar looks fabulous and appropriate as the central piece in an entertainment space. The beauty of these bars is that you can suit them to what you want them to be, and the bar usually requires little assembly. And once it's set-up, you’re ready to start pouring!
Having the social-entertainment place of your dreams can become a reality with a little money and a little planning. Whether it’s a wet bar or a classic bar, there are many available options to suit your tastes. If you have any questions about what bar, amenities, or accessories might suit you best, please give a call to our knowledgeable customer service representatives and we can help make your dreams a reality.
Build.com: your online source for appliances…and all the fixings for the perfect in-home bar.
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Until next time, Happy Home Improving From Build.com, Inc!
by Sean Murphy