It might possibly be every guy's dream to have a bar in his basement - a place he can call his own to hang out with friends and just enjoy life, away from everything else. The interior designers at JASON BALL interiors have been working on designing a bar as part of a full basement remodel. When first working with our client, he really only had in his mind he wanted something really cool, different than the rest of the house and artistic (he's a stone sculpture by trade). So began the design process of understanding and interpreting his personal aesthetic. During the course of design meetings the space evolved from a game room/wine bar to a full fledged bar with gaming table in the same space. To help us along the process, we came up with a conceptual theme to guide our design decisions - a "chic nightclub lounge in Rome". We want the space to be a complete amalgamation of old-world and contemporary, rustic with streamlined, high design with fun. More so than other rooms in a home, a basement bar is a destination room. It is allowed to feel distinctly different than other rooms in the house. And, why not? It's a bar - let's have some fun creating a unique experience for bar patrons. Here are guidelines we came up with during the design process to help us put together the prefect space.
A theme is not a bad thing. For most interior designers, we try to avoid being a "theme" designer. We want to create classic, timeless spaces that will serve our clients for years. However, a bar is one room that working within a theme can be a fun and exciting challenge. In this example, the designers/architects created a wine bar fitting of the region. The nautical details are carried throughout the bar - some less subtle than others.
Consider the function for the person serving drinks. There are certain amenities required to make a bar truly functional for the person behind the bar. A small refrigerator, a bar sink, an ice source (either a freezer or ice-maker) and sufficient storage. Having all these elements will not only make it easier for the "bartender," but also a better experience for everyone.
Comfortable seating is key. This one is so easy to understand, but probably easily overlooked. A basement bar is a hangout and not too many people will hang out for hours sitting on some uncomfortable seating. Spend a little extra on quality seating and everyone will thank you.
Include other activities for a well-rounded experience. Billiards, a big-screen TV, game table, etc. all help make the bar experience feel more authentic. It gives visitors multiple activities to do while hanging out.
A bar can fit anywhere. For homes limited on extra space, especially single-function space, build a bar in a cabinet that can be opened when needed and closed off when not in use.
Corollary: A bar doesn't necessarily have to have a "bar." Not everyone will want to sit on bar stools to hang out. Why not build a bar more as a lounge. Four comfortable lounge chairs next to a beautiful bar cabinet creates a super chic setting.
Creating a bar in your home creates a special space for entertaining your friends. If you keep all the above in mind as your designing your bar, everyone will want to hang out at your house so much that you might have to start charging people for drinks. Guess that wouldn't be a bad thing though.
The designers at JBi would love to help you design your perfect bar. We'll await the invitation.