The holidays have arrived, which means the season of festive drinking is upon us! This time of year is all about gathering friends and family at home to celebrate and imbibe tasty holiday concoctions—and we all know that the secret to a good party is a well-stocked (and styled) bar. If you don’t have a bar cart or cabinet to use at home, fear not! Here are 7 creative bar ideas that give you all the functionality without having to purchase something new.
1. 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 bar into a living space without 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, garnishes, etc. For an upcoming soiree, you can even work in a few different creative bar ideas around your place!Shop This Room
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 cabinets and add a 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.Shop This Room
3. Sneak One in a Built-in Alcove
If you live in a small apartment or are otherwise really short on space, a built-in alcove can make an excellent spot for a mini bar. 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 you aren’t sacrificing any square footage so you save on space too.Shop This Room
4. Add One to a Side Table
A side table can be an ideal space for an impromptu bar when you’re hosting friends this holiday season. 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. If the table has a lower shelf, you can use that for additional bottle/bar storage.Shop This Room
5. Double Up On Your Dresser
If you live in a studio apartment and your living/sleeping spaces are shared, consider using the top of a dresser as a bar area. Studios likely have limited options when it comes to setting up a home bar, but using your dresser can work just as well as a credenza.
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.Shop This Room
6. Make Use of Your Fireplace Mantel
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 it can be a fun way to encourage guests to mingle throughout the space. It works both if you’re really tight on space or if you just want a creative way to display your cocktails!Shop This Room
7. Make It Work on a Desk
Our final suggestion is to put your desk to work at your next holiday party! 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. Then you have the remaining desk surface to use for cutting fruit, pouring drinks and serving up fancy and festive cocktails galore.Shop This Room