Happy hour, anyone? Whether you’re prepping for holiday parties or simply want to enjoy a warm summer with a refreshing cocktail, having a home bar set-up makes slinging drinks much easier—and much more fun. (After all, there’s nothing quite so nice as a well-styled bar cart or drink station.)

It’s so convenient to have drinkware, bar tools, and your stock of liquor all in one place so you can get mixing whenever the inspiration strikes! But if you don’t have a bar cart or bar cabinet to use at home, fear not! There are plenty of small bar ideas out there, whether you need an impromptu drink station for a party or want something in place more permanently.

In fact, we’ve rounded up some home bar ideas to help you out! So, mix of a drink and prepare to get inspired! Here are 7 creative bar ideas that give you all the functionality of an at-home bar without having to purchase a new piece of furniture. We’ll drink to that!

creative bar ideas1. Build a Bar in a Bookcase

A bookcase is an awesome solution when you’re in need of a home bar. Just clear the books off a shelf or two and voila! It’s an easy way to work an impromptu home bar design into a living space without it taking over the room.

This works best for a mini bar where all you need is easy access to a few essentials, like glassware, mixers, ice, and garnishes. For a party, you could even work in a few different creative bar ideas around your place!

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2. Top Off Your Credenza

Another super simple way to rig up a handsome bar in your home is to use a credenza to double as a cocktail crafting station. It’s kind of like a bar cabinet already, so it makes sense to stash your bottles in the cabinet and add a beautiful tray on top with glasses and other barware. This is a great way to make use of this key storage piece that you likely already have at home.

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small space bar idea3. Sneak One in a Built-in Alcove

If you’re looking forward to some small space hosting in your future, a built-in alcove can make an excellent spot for mini home bars. It also works if you have a built-in cubby or awkward feature that you don’t know what to do with. You can save money by foregoing a bar cart—and this way, you aren’t sacrificing any square footage so you save on space too!

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creative bar ideas4. Add One to a Side Table

A side table can be an ideal space for an impromptu bar when you’re hosting friends. Just clear off a table and turn it into a self-serve drink station! Try a signature cocktail with fun ingredients that guests can mix up themselves—this also makes a great ice breaker. Or, pre-make a pitcher of punch or sangria so all guests have to do is pour! If the table has a lower shelf, you can use that as a liquor cabinet for additional bottle/bar storage.

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creative bar ideas5. Double Up On Your Dresser

If you live in a studio apartment and your living and sleeping spaces are shared, consider using the top of a dresser as a bar area. Studios tend to have limited space and storage options when it comes to setting up a home bar, but using your dresser can work just as well as the credenza idea we mentioned earlier.

Use a tray to section off one area of the surface for bottles, garnishes, etc. And add flowers and a few decorative touches to give it a little extra personality! It’s the perfect fix for a small space.

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6. Make Use of Your Fireplace Mantel

If you’re looking for small living room design tips, an oft-overlooked place to set up a bar is your fireplace mantel! This long, narrow surface is a great place for a cocktail center and during a party it can be a fun way to encourage guests to mingle throughout the space. It’s an unexpected home bar design that we’re really loving. And it works both if you’re really tight on space or if you just want a creative way to display your cocktails!

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creative bar ideas7. Make It Work on a Desk

If you’re hosting a gathering and none of our other ideas work in your space, our final suggestion is to put your desk to work! If you have a workspace in the living room, consider turning your desk into a makeshift bar. Use a large tray on top to corral the barware into a tidy area—it’s a nice way to visually rope it off from the rest of the styling. Just be sure to clear off all your important work papers and office supplies. Then you’ll have the remaining desk surface to use for cutting fruit, pouring drinks and serving up fancy and festive cocktails galore. Cheers!

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3 replies
  1. JD says:

    I was expecting a shelf with a good amount of spirits on it. That’s the problem we have at my house; we love all types of liquors so we have too many bottles. And you NEVER throw away alcohol…

  2. Modsy says:

    Hi JD,
    We can understand needing space for your spirits, and plenty of people enjoy collecting decorative bottles. You might want to consider a bar cabinet for your space. The extra closed storage can be handy for home bar organization.


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  1. […] way to fit a work area into the living room without overcrowding the space. Plus, you can easily turn the desk into an impromptu bar for an easy cocktail party at a moment’s notice! We also love the adjustable or […]

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