How to Style Your Home Bar

Oh, home bar, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. 

A hostess' secret weapon, we love to dress you up just as much as we love to keep you simple. A functional companion, you’re a blank canvas for decorating and tailoring to the mood of our home. Cocktail, mocktail, or espresso, you’re always prepared to cater to the occasion — our center for gathering, home staple, and familiar friend.

Needless to say, we have cracked the code on building and styling the home bar. Whether you already have a setup of your own and are seeking inspiration for a refresh, or you’re starting completely from scratch, here’s our 5-part formula for arranging your bar.

Pick your base.

Your base is simply the vehicle in which your home bar exists upon. We typically see bases falling in four categories: the bar CART, the bar CHEST, the bar BOX, the bar TRAY. There are so many incredible vintage carts available at flea markets and thrift stores and on Etsy. 

We love the bar chest or bar box for small spaces, or for someone who wants to add a subtle bar element to a more multi-faced room. We're partial to our Scalloped Rattan Tray and use it as a bar box regularly.

However, our favorite of the four bases has to be the bar tray. 

Versatility is our love language and this version of the bar cart is the epitome of flexibility. The tray can be set up on this stand, easily broken down and moved from room to room as just a tray, or even transformed into a bar chest by placing it on top of a chest of drawers. 

Let there be light!

Now that you have selected your base, let’s add some light. Regardless of when you’re planning to use your bar, light is a critical element. A light fixture can also add dimension to your bar setup, so if you’re going with an artificial light, look for something that will sit at eye level. We’re also big fans of candle light and love the feel of our Starry Night Hurricanes to anchor the bar and provide some illumination. 

Set the bar.

Time to add your containers and tools (we’re talking actual liquor bottles, ice buckets and glasses you’ll be using).

  • Place your biggest pieces first. This might be your ice bucket and libations of choice.
  • Bring out the glassware. Here are our six must-have types of glassware for the bar. We especially love to include an assortment of wine and highball glasses, so our guests have options. Choosing a color is hard, but look around your house and see what speaks to you and your design aesthetic. You can’t go wrong with any of these - don’t be afraid to mix and match your styles and colors.
  • Add in any essential tools. These might include a shaker, a wine caddy, our Hourglass Pitcher, bottle opener, or any other bar tools you’d rather not go without.

    Infuse your personality.
    This is where accouterments come into play. Add art, mirrors, and travel keepsakes around your bar. Showcase your personality and make it your own!  

    Then, on the bar, add cocktail napkins (paper or cloth), swizzle sticks, matches and any other items you deem necessary for the evening. From classic to elaborate, there are lots of variations on these pieces, so pick what works for you and your space. 

    Bring in some earth, (wind), and fire.
    The final step is where you take it up a notch with some natural elements:

    • Greenery is classic and affordable. Incorporate one of our smaller bud vases or make a larger statement with our top-selling Lettuce Leaf Vase. Regardless, a little greenery can go a long way. 
    • Even if your bar setup already includes a hurricane, consider adding a smaller votive or two for an even more intimate ambiance.
    • Consider some citrus. This is one of our favorite unique additions. Inexpensive, always available, and particularly practical for cocktails, adding a handful of limes and lemons is the final touch to your bar setup.


    Now that your bar is set… don’t forget the tunes! Find our go-to party playlist here.

    ← Older Post Newer Post →

    Leave a comment

    More Inspo & Tips

    How She Hosts: Priss & Vinegar's Heather Fusco

    The Bar Bundle: Why We Love It

    Mimosa Bar Bundle: Why We Love It