Setting up a basement bar

18 November, 2014

Winter is coming, and the store shelves are officially filling with troves of holiday decor. While some luckier folks in the warmer areas of the world will be able to host their celebrations outdoors throughout November and December, many of us will have to move our shindigs inside. While there are many ways to entertain indoors, there are few household rooms more ripe with possibilities than your very own basement. Luckily, turning your basement into a bar requires little more than a few barstools and bar tables

The basics
A basement bar can be as small or large as you want it to be. Whether you opt for one the size of a bookshelf or a full-sized, professional-grade spread, there are a few things you'll need as the backbone of the project. In order to make the basement most conducive to hosting, it's a good idea to plan for a bar with a sink – also known as a wet bar.

Many basements already have plumbing and electricity, particularly if it has a bathroom. It's a good idea to set up an at-home bar close to these lines to eliminate costs associated with wiring additional ones. A fridge is a must-have for wine, beer and sodas and are offered in many fun sizes, shapes and colors. Pro tip: attaching a wall-mounted bottle opener next to your refrigerator will make cracking a cold one even easier for the attendees.

A durable, easy-to-clean bar counter and smattering of bar tables will encourage your guests to move around a mingle, while ample barstools mean that everyone gets a seat. Many people even choose to install a TV in their basement to create an at-home sports bar. To make yours on par with your favorite pub, try throwing a few couches and a pool table into the mix. 

Last but not least, make sure you have a waterproof, durable floor underfoot, as messes happen no matter what room the party's in. Carpets can give the TV-viewing area a homey feel, but the actual bar itself should be easier to keep clean and stain-free. 

The trimmings
Indoor bars are perhaps the easiest room in the house to customize since they function as their own separate entity. This means that basements are great places for themes, whether you opt for retro '70s or island cabana. While bartending accessories and the liquors themselves serve a functional purpose, every item can contribute to the basement bar aesthetic.

Regardless of your theme, a great way to make your space more authentic is by mixing materials. Clear, modern chairs with a marble bar countertop and brushed copper serving trays can create an eclectic vibe, and multicolored glass bottles can inspire a color theme. Even small items like napkin holders or cocktail shakers can add to the bar's cohesive decor. 

Basement bars are an exciting addition to any home, especially for those entertaining during the holiday season. Though nothing beats a backyard bash, indoor bars are a close second.