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Bring The Pizazz Back To Home Entertaining, With A DIY Home Bar!

Interiors

It probably comes as no surprise that last year, alcohol sales in Australia turned over a record $15.6 billion in sales (that 26.7% or $3.3 billion more than in 2019 – eeek!). While we are not advocating going hard on the booze, chances are your liquor cabinets are looking a bit fuller than usual. So, now that we can entertain in our homes again, we think it might be time to spruce up your cocktail game!

Here’s Lauren Li with her edit of home bar inspo, along with a whole lot of ideas for bar cabinets, bar carts and home bar accessories to level up your entertaining zone at home. Chin chin!

11th March, 2021

Jono Fleming’s Home. Bar cart from West Elm. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Home bar details. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The Design Files Open House bar made by Gordon Johnson using terrazzo from Signorino Tile Gallery. Photo – Eve Wilson.

San Fransisco Townhouse Bar & Game Room by Jamie Bush + Co. Photo – Matthew Millman.

Cantilever Kitchens’ new EDIT design Photo – Martina Gemmola

Fiona Lynch’s St Kilda Apartment. Photo – Tom Ross.

Heidelburg Home. Photo – Joel Noon.

Lauren Li
Thursday 11th March 2021

With the seventies trending big time right now in interiors, we’re re-living low, laid-back sofas, cane furniture, and indoor plants. Honestly, it was only a matter of time before the home bar would re-emerge too! I know what you’re thinking… but this is not a ‘straight to the pool room’ type of freestanding bar!

The home bar has been reinvented. Think smart, built-in joinery (if you’ve got the luxury of building) or a delightful drinks trolley, or even just a dedicated tray with some snazzy cocktail accessories.

Now that home entertaining is finally back, it might be time to give your alcohol station a bit of the old razzle-dazzle. Don’t worry… we got you!

Kun Design Pipe Bar Cart, $1,125. Available from Domo.

Carlo Bar Trolley by Sika Design, $695. Available from Domo.

Artek Tea Trolley, $3,696. Available from Anibou.

Trace Drinks Trolley, $2178. Available from Tait. Photo – Eve Wilson.

James Bar Cart by Stellar Works, $3,595. Available from Living Edge.

Alfredo Häberli for BD Barcelona Happy Hour Trolley, $2,506. Available from Ajar

Bar Carts

A bar cart is one of those pieces that you didn’t realize that you needed, but once you have one you can’t imagine living without!

They are a very ‘grown-up’ addition to a dining area, and provide an opportunity to flex your styling muscle. You want to strike a balance of a nice-looking bar cart, yet with an emphasis on functionality – so we can mix up a cocktail at a moment’s notice.

It’s not essential to include every single liquor bottle that you own on the bar cart, just edit out the old ones that you don’t use often. Mix in some décor pieces with the bar tools you need for mixing up a delicious cocktail (shaker, jigger, muddler etc). Hang an artwork above, and hey presto – you have your own stylish home bar.

Kun Design Pipe Bar Cart, Available from Domo.

If you’re lucky enough to be entertaining by the pool, roll out this baby and enjoy a chilled refreshment – extra points to this guy for being suitable for the outdoors!

Carlo Bar Trolley by Sika Design. Available from Domo.

This handmade drinks trolley is made sustainably in Indonesia and it certainly gives out those relaxed boho vibes.

Tea Trolley by Artek. Available from Anibou.

Although this piece was initially intended for tea, I see no reason to stock it with the hard stuff!

Trace Drinks Trolley. Available from Tait

You cannot beat the fab powder coated colours of this handsome contemporary bar cart from Tait! (Again, suitable for indoors or out).

Buster + Punch, The Rockstar Bar, $12,130. Available from Living Edge.

Medium shelving unit by Techne Architecture + Grazia and Co, available from Grazia and Co.

Black retro webbing oval cabinet by HK Living, $1,695. Available from House of Orange.

Nomon for Nomon Bar stand, $3,539. Available from Ajar.

Bar Cabinet

If a moveable (drinks) feast is not quite your style, then a bar cabinet could be just the ticket for a more permanent fixture.

A slightly more mature option, the bar cabinet is somewhere between a drinks trolley (see above) and a built-in bar (reserved for very bougie occasions only!).

These freestanding pieces mean you can conceal (and reveal) the booze from display, as needed.

Buster + Punch, The Rockstar Bar. Available from Living Edge.

Okay… so this one is just a little bit fancy… but dare to dream! Feeling those Don Draper vibes with this ‘Rockstar’ bar…  it must be 5pm somewhere, right?

Medium shelving unit by Techne Architecture + Grazia and Co. Available from Grazia and Co.

A statement piece with an architectural edge – fitting, given it was designed by Techne Architecture!

Black retro webbing oval cabinet by HK Living. Available from House of Orange.

This cabinet is a delightful solution to keep some of the bar things on display, whist hiding other messy stuff in the cupboards.

Nomon for Nomon Bar stand. Available from Ajar.

Okay, so this isn’t *quite* a cabinet, but I thought it still deserved a spot here. This is a compact solution for small spaces, but it also is totally unique and elegant. A neat solution for storing glassware and a mini bench for pouring – genius!

Ripple Long Glass ($85 for set of 4), Fein Long Spoon ($23) and Fein Tipping Measure ($29). All available from Ferm Living.

Grib Tray ($100), Alza Ice bucket ($332), Ripple Long Glass ($85 for set of 4). All available from Ferm Living.

Pale Orange tumbler ($50) and pitcher ($145). Available from Lope Home.

Maison Balzac champagne flutes ($79 for a set of 2) and goblets ($69 for a set of 4). Available from David Jones – as seen in the latest issue of Jones magazine (available in store now!).

Klukflaske, $275. Available from Great Dane.

Rock Candy Cup by Danielle Rickaby ($99). Available from JamFactory.

Nomon champagne bucket, $1,071. Available from Ajar.

Optic Jug  Designed by the 2019 JamFactory Associates, $230. Available from JamFactory.

Accessories

Having the right equipment on hand means that mixing the perfect cocktail is as pleasurable an experience as enjoying the results – it’s all about the journey, not just the destination, right?

You’ve watched the YouTube tutorial on how to make the perfect cocktail, then you’ve muddled, stirred, strained and/or shaken your concoction into the most divine cocktail glassware. It almost feels like you are back in Bali, and not surrounded by a pile of washing in your living room. That is the power of a strong cocktail, my friends!

Ripple Long Glass, Fein Long Spoon  and Fein Tipping Measure. All available from Ferm Living.

Nothing says ‘lockdown bartender’ like a few snazzy accessories to swizzle with – I love the tipping measure and long spoon combo with these fab tall glasses!

Grib Tray, Alza Ice bucket , Ripple Long Glass . All available from Ferm Living.

This round drinks tray is absolutely GENIUS for portable drink dispensing, and the ice bucket takes it to the next level. A tray might be all you need to create a dedicated cocktail mixing area at home.

Lope Home Pale Orange tumbler and pitcher. Available from Lope Home.

These pitchers and tumblers take on a fluid quality, dipped in sublime colour. Made here in Melbourne, too!

Maison Balzac champagne flutes and goblets. Available from David Jones./

Australian homewares brand Maison Balzac was way ahead of the coloured glassware trend before the rest of us caught up – they even do champagne flutes in a range of hues. Love!

Klukflaske. Available from Great Dane.

Almost like a droplet of water itself, the Klukflaske is made of mouth-blown transparent glass, which makes it particularly decorative with either whisky or cognac in it on the bar trolley. It makes a special glug-glugging sound when the liquid is poured from the bottle.

Rock Candy Cup by Danielle Rickaby. Available from JamFactory.

These glass tumblers by Danielle Rickaby of Yo Dan are truly a work of art!

Nomon champagne bucket. Available from Ajar.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a piece that screams ‘good time!’ more than this delicious champagne bucket – how glam!

Optic Jug. Available from JamFactory.

This handblown blown coloured glass jug that is made in Australia will add a pop of colour to any home bar.

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First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net