If you’re considering adding a bar to your home but don’t know where to begin, consider adopting the guiding principles of the standard restaurant bar: utility and storage. Vivian Bencich, founding principal of Square Feet Studio, an architecture and design firm in Atlanta with bar and restaurant clients, suggests thinking about “every linear foot, every linear inch” of your space as potential for both form and function.
The home bar, Ms. Bencich says, is also a room where homeowners can feel comfortable taking design risks, by mixing materials, exploring new motifs, and being more daring than they might be in the rest of their home. “You could have so much fun with that,” she says, “because you don’t have to worry about 200 patrons in a night.”
Add visual interest to the bar space with zinc or leather-wrapped bar tops, backlit shelves, decorative ladders, or even luxury materials, like onyx, Ms. Bencich suggests. “A lot of bars do the backlit onyx,” she says. “That’s an opportunity in the bar to under light it, so it glows.”
As for stocking the bar itself, Marilee Foster, farmer and one of the managers of the Hamptons’ Sagaponack Farm Distillery, recommends drawing inspiration from where the home is located. “You can drink where you are,” she says.
Stocking a bar with locally sourced spirits, Ms. Foster says, is a way to connect with a place long-term. “The tomato season will have eclipsed itself, but you can really hold an entire season in a bottle of spirits,” she says.