When we first moved into our flat we fell in love with the idea of creating a bar area.
I mean, your own little nook to whip up a G&T in?! Heaven!
Our desire for a bar area was fuelled largely by a once-unused shelving unit. It was calling out for a purpose.
Oli and I quickly plotted a bar area makeover, complete with painted shelving unit and a bar cart.
Here’s how it all came together.
Our Home Bar Area Transformation
The alcove shelving area you see here ☝???? was originally a door between our kitchen and living room. You can still see the outline of the door’s panelling if you look closely.
Long before we moved in however it was sealed up and turned into a shelving unit. If you were to look on the other side of the wall (in the kitchen), you’d have no idea that the two rooms used to be linked.
The original colour of this shelving area was white. And it wasn’t bad.
But Oli and I knew that if we wanted to really transform this shelving unit into a bar area, it needed to have a personality of its own.
Cue, a paint-over.
(Is that a thing?! Ha!)
Choosing The Paint Colour
Before! Trying to Choose A Colour . . .
For the bar area Oli and I were flitting between 4 Farrow & Ball paint shades:
Aside from our engagement and wedding, I don’t think I’ve ever had as many comments on an Instagram post as I did on this one! You guys weighed in on the colour makeover BIG time.
Before! Narrowed it down to De Nimes . . .
After! All painted!
The deep colour distinguishes the unit from the rest of the room, and really helps to ‘zone’ this area.
Styling the Bar Cart
Has there ever been a more Instagram-era endeavor than styling a bar cart?! ????
I love our vintage brass bar cart – it was such a find!
On a trip to see Ella in London, Oli and I visited an antiques shop close to Ella’s home. Upon visiting the shop, two things happened:
- Oli struck up an immediate bromance with the shop’s owner.
- We found our dream bar cart! At a fraction of the price of many of the modern ones we’d seen, and (IMHO) so much more characterful for its original 70s design and smoked glass panels.
It’ll come as no surprise to regular readers to know that two of my favourite pastimes are styling and home organisation. SO when it came to dressing our bar cart area I was in. my. element.
In a practical sense we needed to house our alcohol bottles. And we also wanted to store glasses here too.
In addition I wanted to add some decorative objects, including vases of flowers (dried or fresh) and a bowl of citrus fruits.
Fortunately our great friends James and Georgie recently bought us a beautiful brass-coloured bowl which works perfectly for our collection of garnishes.
Trays too are fantastic for holding specific items, and you can use this styling trick no matter how big your space is. In fact if you only have a small surface, simply dedicating a tray to your bar items can work a charm.
Styling The Whole Bar Area
When it came to our bar area, it needed to feel like a zone of its own.
As such, Oli and I needed to add in some extra elements which pulled the corner area together.
First up – our circle mirror from dwell. Which btw is currently on sale. Yay!
We’d been pondering what to hang above the bar cart for a while – mirror/artwork/mini gallery wall?! So many choices!
Eventually a circular mirror came to mind, and it just felt right.
This brass mirror from dwell is the perfect size (NB: we have the medium size which currently looks as if it’s sold out online, so it’s worth calling to check with a store if you’d like the medium one too!), and I love that the colour works so well with the bar cart and other elements in this space. dwell has SO many nice homeware bit in RN, 100% worth a peruse!
The bar area feels like a part of the room (above), but it’s own space too.
This rug was originally in our entranceway, and I think we’re going to have to buy a second one since I love it here, AND in the hallway.
The print lifts the bar area, and the pink hue helps to create harmony between the rest of the living room and the vintage pink cushions nearby. Speaking of which . . .
One of my favourite ways to truly make a home is to mix in vintage or second-hand pieces.
Oli and I have a handful of items we inherited from our grandparents, this rich green chair being one that was originally my grandmother’s.
I love having a few items from our family, it feels like in a way that they’re with us ❤️
Styling The Shelving Unit
Styling the shelving unit was a little different to the bar cart. There’s more space here, and so we could play around a bit more with the balance of things.
In terms of layering there were three key components to the shelving unit:
- mixers, like tonics, sparkling water and pre-mixed cans
- decorative object inc. candles, vases and this amazing ice bucket from Kalinko.
I’m allll about balance when it comes to styling shelving units (you know I have a TRUE passion for it!) and so I try as best I can to keep things looking organised, with some extra fun additions thrown into the mix.
If you have an alcove in your home, or an underutlised bookcase or shelving area, you can easily repurpose it into a bar!
Thinking back to our previous flat, we could have made the most of a couple of sunken alcoves and turned them into a little bar area too.
In fact, you don’t need a lot of space to create a bar area, just a part of your home which you want to designate to this specific use. I have friends who’ve simply used the top of a dressing unit for a small bar area, or a designated table for the same purpose.
Whatever you use – allocate a specific space and style it up to become your bar.
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?
Do you have a bar area at home? If so, what’s it like?
I’d love to know!
Love, Monica x
BAR AREA CREDITS
Shelving unit paint colour: Farrow & Ball De Nimes c/o
Wall colour: Farrow & Ball Pavilion Grey
Bar cart: vintage
Mirror above the bar cart: circle mirror from dwell c/o
Velvet chair and cushions: from my grandma
Ice bucket: Kalinko c/o
Cocktail shakers: a mix of Corckcircle and gifts from friends