August 29, 2007

Home Bar Plans: Planning 101 - Don't Forget the Restroom

In my haste to get my bar design planned out and start building, I neglected one of the key factors that can kill the social gathering power of even the most awesome home bar design...the restroom.

Yes, nothing can keep people from congregating at the bar and just having a good time like the long trek upstairs to the bathroom. First, one person goes, then another, and then they run into each other in the kitchen and start to talk. Then a third comes up, and so on and so on. Next thing you know, you're mixing drinks for yourself and everyone else is hanging out upstairs.

It's one of those weird laws of the universe that makes no sense, but I've seen it happen hundreds of times. The whole point of having a home bar is to make sure your friends are comfortable and having a good time just like they would be at the local pub...and who would go to the pub if they had to hike upstairs every time they had to pee? I know I wouldn't, so I've just added a 1/2 bathroom to my home bar plans. It will definitely up the cost and the time to build, but I think it will definitely be worth it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go look for a plumber...

August 19, 2007

Who needs storage?

While surfing around looking for home bar plans, I came across an article on HGTV's website about a woman who, frustrated with the lack of space in her house, decided to rip all of the coats out of her hall closet and convert it into a bar!

From the original article...
Designer Beth McNally removed the doors off one of her closets and added a wallpaper with a bookshelf motif to the back wall. She painted the sides a deep, rich red and added glass shelving to hold barware. The bar itself is made from PVC pipe, which she painted an antique gold, and fitted with a glass top. A gilded mirror above is a final touch that turned a small, rarely used closet into a cozy bar perfect for entertaining.

The finished product:

Not a bad idea, eh? Looks like she did a decent job of it too. I was thinking that maybe I should start with a smaller job like this. Then I got to thinking that, if I converted our hall closet into a bar, I would end up having to convert my basement into an apartment for me to live in after my wife banishes me there, so I think I'll just stick with Plan A for now.

Creative DIY - Put your old books to use!

What do you do if you're a designer, living with some other designers in Stanford and you find out that one of your other roomates has been charged with the task of disposing of hundreds of old books from the Stanford library? The answer, of a bar out of them! Check this out:

They didn't say how long it took to build, but the amazing thing is they used no glue to build the bar. They simply threaded sheets of paper between the pages of all of the books in order to give it additional support. Very creative indeed! Read the original story and view photos of the entire bar building process here

The quest for the perfect home bar

I, like many of you, have decided to build my own home bar and am now scouring the web looking for the best information on how to plan, build, stock, and maintain my home bar. I have found that I have no idea where to start, so I decided to break this project down into 5 phases:

Phase 1: Research
This is the phase that I am in now. I am currently searching the web for any and all information I can find relating to building a home bar. I will use the information I gather to determine what type of home bar I am going to build, what I should avoid doing, and, most importantly, determine whether or not my rudimentary construction skills will even allow me to tackle such a feat!

Phase 2: Planning
I won't hit this phase until I have decided exactly what type of home bar I want to build and figured out about how much I want to spend. At this point, I'll select my final home bar plans, determine my bar dimensions, plan the budget, & set my schedule. I hope this phase doesn't take too long, because I'm eager to get started destroying my basement.

Phase 3: Construction

This is where all hell breaks loose and I pull out my toolbelt, dust off my power tools, and get down to business. This is probably also where my wife calls a handyman (or my father) and begs them to come over and hold my hand (or even do the job for me). I am determined not to let that happen, however, because this is something I want to do on my own. Well, except for the plumbing...and maybe the electrical....

Phase 4: Bar Setup & Stocking
Okay, assuming phase 3 reaches a conclusion at some point, this is where I'll have the most fun. This is when I get to go hog wild at the liquor store and buy a bunch of things that likely won't be consumed until my daughter starts sneaking downstairs and raiding my bar (God, I hope that's years away since she's only 15 months now...). This is also the phase where I get to buy all of my bar mats, glassware, stirrers, shakers, towels, etc. This could be an expensive step....

Phase 5: Enjoyment
Did I say phase 4 would be the most fun? Well, I lied. Phase 5 is the whole reason we're doing this in the first place right? This is where all the hard work, blood, sweat, tears, smashed fingers, & newly invented cursewords pays off. Until the next morning, that is.