In home bars: How to create an NYC-inspired design? (+buying links)

Home bar set up in dark brown interiors


A stunning in bar is a must-have for those who wish to be gracious hosts to their guests. bartending is that personal life skill that is bound to astound and impress guests. A tiny bar can be set up in any place regardless of its size. It can be your go-to place to entertain guests or your safe haven to destress after a long day. However, it is essential to have a well-stocked bar that is functional and practical. So, if you want to your in bar, be it mini, small, or large, we have a ton of inspirational ideas for you. Feel free to use this article to understand how to create, stock, and style your own bar.



How to create an in bar


Finalise a location

An impressive bar can be set up at any place irrespective of its size. The size of the bar is going to depend upon the free space available to work with. So, it can range from a mini or small bar corner in the living to an elaborate basement in bar.


Wet bar or dry bar

The main difference between a wet and dry bar is that a wet bar comes with a sink. So, if you want to set up a wet bar, you will have an additional step of providing a plumbing system as well.


When planning to an in bar, be mindful of the overall décor of the to ensure harmony. Keep in mind that using a mirror in cabinets gives the illusion of a larger space. Also, it’s easy to identify the contents if you use a glass door for your cabinets.


Bar stools

The seat of your bar should be proportionate to the size of your tabletop. An adjustable bar stool that can be moved up or down is a great idea for an in bar. Refer to the following picture to identify the right seat height for your bar stool.


Reference photo for bar stool height
Bar stool height

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Furthermore, the number of stools you should place in your bar depends upon the space available to work with. Ideally, these should be placed in such a manner that it leaves the for easy navigation. Refer to the following picture to get a better idea.

Reference photo for Bar stool distance
Bar stool distance

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Keep your alcohol upright and away from the sun. Conversely, always place your wine horizontally and ensure that the wine is always touching the cork. This reduces the chances of corked wine.


The right can be used to set the right mood for your space. Ditch traditional lights and opt for classic bar lights such as overhead hanging lamps, billiard lamps, pendant lights, or cabinet lights.


Overall comfort

If you want to go the extra mile, you can install foot rails that will ensure comfort while sitting. Additionally, you can install bar rail mouldings. This gives the place a finished look and ensures that your guests have a place to comfortably rest their arms.


How to stock an in bar


animated representation of different types of spirits, garnishes, tools, and glassware required to set up an in home bar
In bar essentials

Image Source: Skye Gould/Business Insider


Essential spirits

There are numerous varieties of liquor available in the market. Understanding which ones to keep in your bar can be quite confusing. To solve that confusion, we have a list of key liquors with which you would be able to make most standard cocktails. So, keep a stock of gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whiskey. With that assortment, you would be able to make a wide range of cocktails. So, it’s a good starting point. You can always build on this collection later.


Essential mixers

Another important ingredient when it comes to cocktails is mixers. They are just as necessary to mix magical concoctions at your mini in bar. Just as is with spirits, having a few essential mixers in your collection would allow you to mix up a diverse range of concoctions. So, add the following to your collection:

Carbonated mixers – These include things like club soda, tonic water, and flavoured sodas like ginger ale, cherry soda, cola, etc.

Grenadine – This is a pomegranate flavoured syrup used in a wide range of cocktails.

Juice – Juices such as cranberry, tomato, blueberry, etc. are used in many cocktails. So, keeping them would ensure a diverse collection.

Bitters – They are spirits induced with botanicals that are used to balance out cocktails that contain sweet or sour flavours.

Sweet and sour mix – It’s usually a mix of lemon/lime, sugar, and water that is used in a lot of classic concoctions.

Simple syrup – It is simple enough to DIY your own simple syrup. It’s basically just a mixture of sugar and water that can be infused with other ingredients such as herbs or berries.



Garnishes are often overlooked but they are well worth the investment as they are very effective in creating an experience. These include things like olives, lemons, cherries, mint leaves, etc. These can be easily bought from local vendors or grocery stores. While these are not essential to mixing a cocktail, they are vital for a great presentation.


In bar toolkit

The right tools at can make your in bar experience smooth and convenient. So, keeping the following in your arsenal will make you well-equipped for most mixes –

Bottle openers – Starting with the absolute basic, bottle openers and corkscrews are absolutely essential to bartending.

Jiggers – Mixing cocktails requires precise measurement, therefore jiggers come in handy. Jiggers are just mini measuring cups that ensure an exact measurement for the cocktails.

Shakers and strainers – The two most-used types are Boston-style or Cobbler form shakers. Usually, bartenders favour Boston-style shakers for their convenience and easy cleaning but you can go for either of the two.

Mixing glasses and spoons – A mixing glass is an elegant and practical addition to an at- collection. In addition, bar spoons are made especially with long handles to ensure there is no spilling of drinks while mixing.

Ice makers, moulds, and buckets – Ice is indispensable because it plays a vital role in every cocktail. So, keeping ice makers, moulds of different shapes, and ice buckets with a scoop is essential to ensuring a smooth mixing experience.

Juicers, cutting boards, and peelers – Firstly, juicers are needed for adding freshly squeezed juices into the mix. Secondly, cutting boards are required for slicing citrus fruits or herbs. Finally, peelers are used for garnishes.



As is with everything on the list, having a few standard-size glasses will be sufficient for most mixes. So, keep the following in your collection –

Collins glasses – These are tall, straight, and skinny glasses that look elegant placed inside cabinets.

Old fashioned glasses – It is a short tumbler glass that is named after its signature drink. It is used for serving neat spirits.

Coupe glasses – This elegant-looking glass has a curved rim that is less prone to spilling.


In bar carts and cabinets

Finally, a cabinet or cart to proudly display your collection is a must-have for a fully functioning in bar.  They come in a wide array of designs, shapes, and sizes that can elevate the look of your mini in bar whether it’s small or larger than life.


7 ideas to spruce up your in bar


The secretary desk


beautiful black wooden cabinet repurposed as liquor table
Repurposed desk bar idea

Image Source: Zoe Feldman


For those short on space, one of the best ideas is to transform a secretary desk into a small in bar. It is clever, convenient and with the right layout, doesn’t compromise on style.


The repurposed bookshelf


bookshelf bar
Repurposed bookshelf idea for bars

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A fun project for you can be to repurpose your bookshelf as an in bar. Since they offer plenty of storage space, bookshelves are one of the most clever ideas for a small in bar.


Add a


black wooden liquor counter with mirrors

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Beautiful mirrors can enhance the look of any space while simultaneously creating the illusion of a bigger space. So, adding one with a fancy to your small in bar is a clever idea.


Utilise that corner space


corner liquor vertical table with mirror work
Mini bar tucked in the corner

Image Source:

For those of us working with a compact space, utilising that corner space can be a game-changer. This shows that a stunning mini bar is achievable even in compact spaces.


Convert a closet


closet liquor cabinet
The closet bar

Image Source: MATT architecture


Closet space can be a great idea to tuck in your small in bar. Not only does it optimise space, but it also has the potential of looking classy.


Jazz up with mirror


in home liquor counter with mirror tiles
Mirror to add interest

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Mirror can be very effective in creating a lively space. These would work well in creating the right ambience for your in bar.

Tiny tray in bar


tray liquor counter in silver colour
Portable bar

Image Source:


Bringing out a tray and creating a portable mini in bar is a great idea. You can experiment with beautiful, elegant, or quirky trays to take this look to the next level.


Buy magnificent in bar here!


SpeedX Bars, All-In-One Bar Cabinet with built-in Fridge

in home bar cabinet

B U Y  H E R E 


GKW Retail, Sixteenth-Century Old World Globe Bar Cabinet on Wheels

globe inspired mini in home bar

B U Y  H E R E 


Centre, Noir Novelty Brown Engineered Wood Bar Cabinet Curio

dark brown wooden in home bar

B U Y  H E R E 


Baroutdoors, The Monty drop down bar

drop down bar

B U Y  H E R E 


of America, 4-tier Bar Cabinet with 24-bottle Wine Rack

stunning small in home bar set up

B U Y  H E R E 


West Elm, Mid-Century Bar Cabinet – Small, Acorn

in home bar wooden cabinet idea

B U Y  H E R E 


Source, Corner Bar Unit Charcoal

Corner mini in home bar design idea

B U Y  H E R E 



in home bar setup design idea

B U Y  H E R E 


GKW Retail, Bar Cabinet with Adjustable Shelf Inside Storage Cabinet

wooden cabinet bar

B U Y  H E R E 


Urbanladder, Caledonia Bar Cabinet

Beautiful living room with brown wooden cabinet and black chair

inspiration for setting up the perfect in bar




The secret behind an eventful party is fun fuelled by liquor. Thus, having an in bar can take your hosting skills to the next level. The great thing about in bars is that they can be created in the smallest of spaces and a fine mini bar can be just as effective as a large one. The only thing you shouldn’t compromise on is comfort and functionality. So, finalise a location where you want to build a bar very meticulously. Then, style it keeping in mind the overall of the room. Also, make sure that the bar stool height is proportionate to the height of the counters to ensure comfort while sitting. Then, add some mood to the mix and consider additional elements such as foot rails to make the space a little more comfortable.

Regardless of the size, even the smallest bar will be functional if it is well-stocked. For that, you must build a collection of basic mixers, spirits, garnishes, glassware, and a handy toolkit. With that, you’ll be good to go for most standard cocktails. However, finding the right ideas to your in bar can be a bit challenging. That is why we have come up with an article that has it all. Now that you have an idea of how to create and stock your bar, you can browse through to get inspired by the enticing buying options and styling ideas displayed here.


*The featured image used in this article is from Bar on Behance




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