5 tips to enhance your outdoor bar

22 May, 2014

If you plan on entertaining frequently this summer, having an outdoor bar is crucial. You and your guests can gather in this area during dinner parties and have a drink or two while enjoying the beautiful weather. Having an outdoor bar is also super convenient – you won't have to keep running inside to grab beverages.

Think about location
The location of your bar is crucial. You don't want it facing a wall or bathing in full sun. Instead, consider placing it where you and your guests will have a spectacular view and will be able to cool off under the shade while enjoying a drink. Place a pergola over your bar area to provide just the right amount of shade and seclusion while still allowing those summer breezes to blow through. Have your bar face a focal point in your patio, whether it's a fireplace or a pool. This will give you and your guests a beautiful view as you sit down and enjoy your outdoor bar.

Choose a functional countertop
The countertop of your bar must not only match the style of your patio, it should be functional as well. You don't want to choose a material that will deteriorate quickly after being exposed to the elements and potentially frequent spills. For instance, limestone and marble look luxurious, but they can easily be stained with beverages like wine. Granite may be your best bet for an outdoor countertop. It looks sleek and elegant, but is also tough. It doesn't absorb stains and odors and also doesn't fade after constantly sitting in the sun. If your bar countertop will be in the sun the majority of the day, you'll want to stay away from dark-colored granite that will be hot to the touch.

Offer comfortable bar stools
There's more that goes into choosing bar stools than you think. They must be the appropriate height for your bar's countertop, and they should be comfortable. Look at the style of your patio – is it rustic? Vintage? Modern? You should select bar stools that match that same design aesthetic. Backless reclaimed wood bar stools, for example, would look great in a vintage outdoor kitchen. Wicker stools can contribute to a casual space, and metal stools are best for a minimalist or modern outdoor bar.

Have the right tools
One of the reasons that people include an outdoor bar on their patio is so they have everything they need to entertain guests throughout the evening. They won't have to keep running back and forth between the interior and the patio, missing out on interactions with guests. Make sure to keep your bar fully stocked with the proper tools to craft beverages. Bottle openers, corkscrews, cutting boards, a peeler, a long cocktail spoon, a shaker, koozies and cocktail napkins are just a few items that you'll always want to have on-hand.

Stock up on the basics
Glassware is essential for an outdoor bar. Different glasses will be required for various types of alcohol. For instance, if you plan on serving wine at your party, you'll need 12 basic stemmed wine glasses. Beer, on the other hand, will require chilled glasses.