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If you’re the type who likes to entertain at home, there’s no good reason not to invest in a home bar. There’s no need for remodeling and you don’t even need a great deal of space. A small piece of furniture with enough storage to fit a variety of liquor, wine, glassware, and tools, the best home bars even include a tabletop surface area to mix your drinks from. Home bar setups vary in size, style, and functionality, ranging from decorative living room pieces to more functional tables for professional bartenders or marketing displays.
What to Look for In a Home Bar
The best bar carts are multi-functional, with wheels or extra storage compartments that can be used in a variety of settings (think as a serving cart for food, decor piece, or bookshelf). Other bars are made specifically for amateur mixologists and frequent hosts who like to play bartender for friends and family often. Here are things we look for.
Design: Decide what you need on a scale of function to style. Pieces that are going to become a permanent part of your home furnishings should be attractive and cohesive with your established style. In general, we gravitate toward slender and minimal pieces made of materials like glass and iron, as this modern aesthetic works in most spaces, and doesn’t take up much room. More functionally-minded bars offer less in terms of elegance but are often more portable and versatile.
Size and Shape: Your bar obviously needs to fit in the space you have available, including space needed for a person to serve drinks from behind it. Creatively shaped bar designs, wheels for easy mobility, collapsable frames, and even clever furniture arrangement can provide you with more space than you think you have.
Storage Capacity: This is a home bar, not a glorified liquor cabinet, so it should have enough capacity for all your wines, liquors, mixers, tools, and glassware. Most, unfortunately, do not come with a mini-fridge included so don’t forget space for an ice bucket to keep beer, sodas, white wines, and garnishes cool, too.
1. Winsome Martini Wine Storage
If you’re looking for a home bar that really feels like a bar, this piece is hands down our favorite. Its open design, constructed of metal framing and tempered glass shelves, give it an airy appearance that won’t clutter a small space. Meanwhile the curved shape is ideal for both tucking in corners and admitting a bartender behind the surprisingly roomy counter. Users say the counter can easily fit three drinkers side-by-side, while the narrow shelves below provide more than enough space for your entire alcohol collection, plus glasses.
2. South Shore Vietti Cart
When it comes to storage space and versatility, this wheeled bar cart is certainly a standout. Style-wise it tends more toward classic contemporary than modern minimalist, but with a simple black finish that suits just as wide a variety of design styles.
We like its cubic shape and wheeled feet, which means it can be easily rolled throughout the house and tucked into corners wherever it’s needed. We’re also impressed by not just the capacity but also the variety of storage facilities, which include rimmed racks for wine bottles and other jars, adjustable shelves, and even a towel rack.
The company markets this as a microwave cart or wheeled storage cart for the kitchen too. The addition of wheels lets you move this freely from room to room.
3. Coaster Home Furnishings Contemporary Bar Table
If you’re really short on space, this minibar unit is only 40 inches wide and tucks easily against the wall or into a corner. Despite its small size, its glossy lacquered finish and tempered glass shelving lend it a touch of modern glam with more than enough room on its railed shelves and built-in stemware rack for a complete bar setup.
This table is also sturdy. People note the thickness of the glass and how heavy the piece is to move, and according to the manufacturer, the bar has an impressive weight limit of 375 pounds. In other words: don’t be afraid to stack the shelves or lean in for your drink.
4. Trademark Innovations Portable Bar Table
If you’re not looking for a new piece of furniture, but rather just need a simple bar setup for temporary use or an event, you’ll want to consider this collapsible bar table. It’s a convenient 40 inches in height, with a carrying case and simple black skirt included, and is great for everything from trade shows to grad parties. And in case you were worried about storage space, there is an additional hidden shelf for any tools you don’t want on display.