Expecting guests? Shake things up with these refreshing design ideas.
A vintage bar cart by Paul McCobb for Calvin is always well-stocked and ready for entertaining in this colorful Nantucket home.
Stark's China Lack wallpaper adds a chic note to a Manhattan apartment's built-in bar unit, painted in Farrow & Ball's All White and Benjamin Moore's Blue Lagoon.
An Italian neoclassical table serves as the bar in a colorful New York apartment designed by Christopher Maya.
While the hanging chair in this sunroom may be whimsical, the stocked side table requires a little more maturity. The Ties needlepoint pillow, McMillan screen, and Meurice butler's tray table are all from Jonathan Adler's collection.
Richard Keith Langham created this Art Deco-style bar in a Miami Beach high-rise apartment. The backs of Artistic Frame barstools are covered in Ogee from Sonia's Place, and the seats are in Pindler & Pindler's ostrich vinyl.
In a Spanish colonial, illumination from the floor and behind wood shelves brings out the varied textures of the terra-cotta walls and vaulted ceiling.
A gilded mirror and cart add the appropriate amount of glitz to a six o'clock cocktail.
To greet guests properly, take notes from this console bar designed by Miles Redd. Fill an ice bucket (or a bowl), supply lemon and lime wedges, and top off the glamorous spread with a vase of fresh flowers or foliage.
A shelf resembling a surfboard holds all the liquor bottles in this backyard tiki bar. Above it are delightful blowfish light fixtures from , a great source for every imaginable Polynesian-themed furnishing and accessory.
If there's no room for a cart or tray table, just empty out one bookshelf instead, like this cozy Vermont living room.
One of two kitchen islands in an Alabama lake house doubles as the living room bar.
"Show, don't tell, what you're serving with a well-appointed bar," says designer Bunny Williams. "Guests feel more at home when they can help themselves."
The owners of a Manhattan loft had a painted bamboo bar installed for easy entertaining. Mirror tiles cover the backsplash to maximize light.
In a niche of a Southern manor, a small bar is set up on a custom tray table. The vintage mirror is a thrift-shop find.
Drawings are grouped for impact below an Anglo-Indian mirror in a vibrant fifth-generation family estate.
The homeowner of a house in East Hampton, New York, asked artist Richard Woods to work his fun, faux-bois magic on the bar, transforming a closet-like space into a vivid focal point. "It's artistic, but very much a bar," designer Mica Ertegun says. "It's whimsical, fun, unexpected — and one-of-a-kind."
In an upstate New York house designed by Gray Davis of Meyer Davis Studio, drinks are served from the "barmoire."
The walls of the Patrick Gallagher's palazzo apartment in Rome are almost three feet thick, which means the windowsill is large enough to serve as a bar during parties.
In a Manhattan apartment decorated by Amanda Nisbet, walls lacquered in Benjamin Moore's Aura in Midnight Navy embellish a tiny hallway bar.
An antique bookcase doubles as a bar in this Manhattan apartment designed by Phoebe and Jim Howard. Inside is glassware by .
In designer Peter Dunham's Los Angeles apartment, a Samsung TV hangs above a 1960s Danish credenza that doubles as a bar.
Vintage French furnishings — two leather chairs and a rope bar cart — add European flair to the living room in Leslie Klotz's Parisian-inspired New York apartment.
"A little bar tucked away in the corner of a living room is such welcoming gesture," designer Meg Braff says of this house in Lattingtown, New York. She chose antiques and a mellow palette to lend "an old-world charm" to the space. Walls are lacquered in a custom gold shade to bounce around the light.
In the dining room of their Barnard, Vermont, cottage, Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber set up a sumptuous old-world bar on her childhood desk, placed against a backdrop of vintage wallpaper from .
In a colorful and small Manhattan apartment designed by Philip Gorrivan, a vintage bar cabinet by De Coene Frères is as glossy as the walls, which are lacquered in a custom red from Fine Paints of Europe. It makes entertaining easy.
In a Malibu home, an 1860s refectory table from Hideaway House holds designer Lawrence Rizkowsky's favorite living room accessory — a lamp from a glass beaker — and an antique wicker basket that serves as a casual bar. The root wood mirror is from .
A console serves as a bar in the sunroom of designer Amanda Lindroth's Bahamas house. "Every island house needs a fantastic, spilling-over bar," she says. A painting by the prominent Bahamian outsider artist Amos Ferguson serves as a backdrop. The poufs and rope clock from .
"Kay brought this étagère from her old New York apartment," says designer T. Keller Donovan of the bar area in Kay Gilman's Palm Beach apartment. "It's classic yet modern. The large lacquer trays make it look younger."
Designer Ashley Whittaker's clients "wanted a house with comfortable rooms for the family and formal rooms where they could entertain." For the bar, she choose Aladdin tile from to conjure up an exotic Moroccan feel.
The bar is original in Liza Pulitzer Calhoun's Florida house. She had it faux painted to resemble pecky cypress. Stools are from Fran's Wicker.