Bring the party home! These tips from KC interior designers will help you perfect your home bar.

Photography by Matthew Anderson.

Whether you’re looking to spruce up a space where you can unwind after a long day or entertain during a Chiefs game or you’re simply looking for a stylish spot to stow your spirits, these home bar tips are sure to shake things up.

Play with lighting

In this bar, Lindsay Brungardt of Schloegel Design Remodel focused on one major feature: lights. Lights play a crucial role in any bar. Consider the way translucent spirits shimmer in their bottles in the right light.

“[This client] loves to entertain and have parties, so they wanted something different,” Brungardt says. “This is evident in the rest of their house as well. They’re not afraid of color and have a pretty eclectic style.”

Everything about this bar is well-thought-out, from the light fixtures to the custom asymmetrical shelves to the tile in front of the bar. The panel wall changes color with a remote, allowing the homeowners to set the mood for any game or event.

The lights positioned beneath the front of the bar also serve a significant purpose. “We really wanted them to wash down the front of the bar and look nice on that tile that we picked,” Brungardt says.

Add in something unexpected
Photography courtesy of Mid-West & Co.

And by unexpected, we mean a portrait of George Washington smoking a bubble pipe. (Kidding—kind of.)

This home bar space, which was a collaborative project by the team at Mid-West & Co., exudes a speakeasy/pub feel. The dark ceiling and cabinetry and brick backsplash contribute to this ambiance, as do the vintage thrifted books and (revisionist, at times) historical art.

“We also had the floors refinished with an intentional imperfect finish,” the Mid-West & Co. team says. The gold hardware and faucet stay true to the style, and the brick backsplash makes for a cozy, old-world charm. Mid-West & Co. also includes a horse motif in their projects as a signature. “[The horse head statue] and the cowhide covering the floor bring just the right amount of Midwest flair to our ol’ English pub.”

Roll with the punches
Photography by Bob Greenspan.

While bars can be placed virtually anywhere in a home, they’re often situated in basements. Basements are also common places for bulky appliances like furnaces and HVAC systems, exposed pipes, storage areas and more. If you wish to conceal these eyesores, you may have to think creatively.

In this polished basement bar, Maureen Lindstrom of ML Designs faced the challenge of hiding a sump pump. “[It] gave us the opportunity to be creative with the custom cabinetry design, with the mechanism being hidden inside one of the center cabinets,” she says. 

Concealing the sump pump allowed the bar to shine. The reeded cabinets, glossy snakeskin wallpaper, brass shelving, alabaster sconces and leathered black countertop all contribute to their own unique visual appeal.

Make it yours
Photography by Matthew Anderson.

Sure, you’ll likely use your home bar to entertain guests, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it a reflection of you and your own interests.

When Donna Kirsopp of Schloegel Design Remodel was approached about this home bar project, the client had one request: that his prized Blanton’s Bourbon barrel stave serve as the centerpiece of the space.

“It was sitting on the table, and he said, ‘I want this to be the front and center part of this bar,’” Kirsopp says. Wish granted. The entire bar is catered to the homeowner’s taste and bourbon collection. The custom reconstituted veneer shelves were even designed to create distinct spaces for displaying different bottle heights.

A diffused LED ribbon around the shelves creates an amber bourbon glow from the bottles, and the strip is spaced to eliminate hotspots on the wall. The textured wallpaper adds a rustic feel not unlike one you’d find at distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Social Media

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to our newsletters

Kansas City magazine keeps readers updated on the latest news in twice-weekly newsletter. 

On Tuesdays, Dish brings you food news and our critic picks. 

On Thursdays, The Loop offers exclusive news reports and our curated events picks.