Basements, if they are large enough, can be turned into a basement bar with the right renovations and essential items. With a basement bar, your basement can be an entertainment area all year round for you, your friends, and family. However, creating one can be a daunting task. So, what are some must haves for your basement bar?
Basement bars are both old-school and trendy in modern households. Basements bars add a functional and entertaining area to homes, and they can be made beautiful and decorative too. If you are thinking of making or renovating a basement bar, keep scrolling to know the 15 things you must have to include in yours.
Plenty of Storage Space
Basements are usually built and designed as giant storage spaces, however, they are not all one-in-the same.
Basements that are turned into a bar area should still maintain plenty of storage space. Having sufficient storage space will help you in organizing and storing your bar, as well as allow you to have enough room for a seating area and entertainment area.
Being aware of the types of beverages you often consume and how much of said beverages you, and your frequent guests, will consume should help you decide how much storage space you need.
Storage Ideas for Your Basement Bar
If you are renovating your basement from scratch to turn it into a bar, it is a great time to ideate storage options.
Here are some storage ideas you can try out for your basement bar:
- Custom cabinets that are wall-mounted, freestanding, or both
- Built-in wine racks
- Open and closed cabinets
- Drawers that come with storage racks
- Floating shelves
- Trash and recycling cabinets
- Retractable shelves
- Wall or ceiling hanging shelves for glassware display
- Bookcases for keeping glassware and decoration pieces
Open shelves and floating shelves can be bought at the hardware store and easily installed at home. These kinds of shelves are great for storage or decoration. You can add these shelves at the end of your basement bar makeover too. It is easy to see where these shelves would look best once everything else in the basement bar is set.
When making the most out of storage space, keep in mind there are two kinds of space you want to optimize: surface space and storage space. Installing kitchen cabinets, both with and without doors, aids in this.
Under the Stairs Bar
The storage advice is given above, but you can maximize storage and aesthetics in your basement by utilizing the space you have under the stairs. If the stairs in your basement have an empty space beneath them, you can use this to your advantage.
One simple way to utilize the space under your basement stairs is to add shelves under the stairs. This will look similar to a bookcase, but the shelves will be used mainly to stand liquor bottles on. This is both efficient for storage, as well as pleasing to the eye.
An important note is to make sure the bottles are kept at a safe distance from people walking by. You don’t want accidental spills and broken glass to clean up. If possible, you can add a transparent glass sliding door in front of the shelves too to make things more modern as well as keep your bar space safe.
Bar Counter with Seats
Another must-have for your basement bar is bar counters with seats.
Bar counters with bar seats cannot be skipped when creating a barroom in your basement. How else can you, your friends, and family lounge and enjoy a nice drink? Your basement bar will look like a proper bar once the counter and seats are included.
When selecting your bar counter, try to get one with under-the-counter storage. Real bars always have bar counters with storage space underneath. This helps you maintain a cohesive look while having the ability to store the many bar essentials. This is a good place to keep larger bottles too, in case they don’t fit on your shelves or in other spaces.
Here are some great choices in bar countertop materials:
- Maple wood
- Butcher block
Seating is another important aspect of almost every barroom. However, to make a basement bar feel more homely and welcoming to your guests, you want to put your time and energy into choosing the right seats for it. High-quality bar stool chairs, especially ones that swivel, will make your basement bar more inviting.
You should make sure the design, color, and size fit in well with the area of your basement too. The bar counter with chairs will give anyone that enters a realistic but fun bar experience.
Refrigerators and Wine Coolers
Refrigerators and wine coolers are a must-have for your basement bar.
You want the alcohol in your basement bar to stay chilled at the proper temperature and fresh for a long time. Therefore, a small or large refrigerator or wine cooler is essential for your basement bar. This will help keep your beers and mixers in good condition.
If wine is your main type of drink, a wine cooler is highly recommended. This will keep your wines, especially your white wines, in good condition. Wine coolers allow the wine to age better and ones with transparent doors work as wonderful bar decorations, too.
Refrigerators and wine coolers are also good for storing other items you might need to keep cool, including:
- Citrus fruits
- Other drink garnishes
Honestly speaking, a bar is never a bar unless there is a fridge. Or at least, not an efficient bar. Spend some extra money on a fridge; this will make your basement bar very convenient, whether it is just you or a large gathering enjoying drinks together.
A bonus tip: If you are renovating your basement bar, find a fridge that matches the size and shape of your cabinetry. This way, everything can fit together more cohesively.
This one is a bit of a no-brainer.
If you have a basement bar, you want to have all the barware you may need. You can make a list of the barware that you will require, and then go on a shopping trip. This is a fun and important activity to set up a basement bar.
Make this activity enjoyable and get barware that complements the overall design of your basement bar. For example, you can go for more wooden or darker barware if your basement bar has a traditional brick look. On the other hand, you can go for modern and shiny barware if your basement bar looks contemporary.
Here is a basic list of barware you will need for a basement bar:
- Chopping board
- Cocktail shaker
- Double jigger
- Hawthrone strainer
- Whiskey rocks
- Cocktail picks
- Bar spoons
- Wooden muddler
What you need in your bar depends on you, so remember you may need things that are more or less than the list given above. Once you have all the barware and the liquor, you can start bringing people over to your basement bar.
While it may not sound like a must-have, if you go without implementing a kitchenette into your basement bar, you may regret it.
If you have enough space for it, you can upgrade your basement bar with the addition of a kitchenette. A kitchenette is a small kitchen or a small section of a room that functions as a kitchen.
Along with a fridge and a sink, you can place a microwave oven and stove. If possible, have a large-sized fridge over a small one. You will also want to have kitchen accessories alongside the barware so you can actually utilize the kitchenette when you are down in your basement bar, whether by yourself or with guests.
A kitchenette can allow you to enjoy the basement bar to the fullest. You can eat meals and snacks with your drinks while unwinding. You will not have to worry about running in and out of the basement bar to your upstairs kitchen when you have a kitchenette, especially when you are hosting a party in the basement bar.
A Popcorn Machine
A fun element you can add to your kitchenette in your basement bar is a popcorn machine.
This is not essential, but it will add appeal to your basement bar and serve a good bar snack. Popcorn machines come in many shapes, sizes, and designs. You can surely find a popcorn machine that blends in with the theme of your basement bar.
Popcorn also serves as an easy and tasty snack for sports night or movie night on TV.
Access to Running Water
You can never underestimate the necessity of water. A bar area definitely should have access to water. Your basement bar will need access to running water for the bar sinks. This will ensure your basement bar is well-equipped.
Water is needed in your basement bar for making drinks and for cleaning. You can keep the drinking glasses and other kitchen utensils clean easily when running water is available. The overall bar can be maintained and kept hygienic too with water.
Plus, you never know when you or a guest will want a glass of plain water to wash down their alcoholic beverages. You don’t want to be running out of the basement and back now and then simply for a glass of water.
Additionally, it is a good idea to have a drawer dishwasher. A drawer dishwasher will make cleaning the glassware and utensils easier, and it will help you keep all the kitchen items in one area.
If you need to do renovations to add running water into your basement, don’t forget to check if there are proper water systems in the bathroom too (read below).
Good lighting is a must for your bar.
The type of lighting you get for your basement bar can change the whole look and vibe of the space. There are many options for lighting too:
- Regular bulbs
- Recessed lights
- Top bar lighting
- Hanging lights
If you enjoy the dimmed atmosphere of bars, you can get dimmable lights too. This way, you can control the lighting level. Dimmable lights are great because you can create a dark cozy room and you can brighten up the whole space, whenever you want.
Good lighting is necessary for hosting parties, when cleaning, and much more.
Wine racks, in a basement bar, function as both storage capacity and decoration. Wine racks are a strong bar and liquor element, so they can jazz up your basement bar.
With wine racks, you can store more bottles while keeping surfaces clear. They will also save space in your refrigerator, which is great if you have a smaller refrigerator. Wine racks not only look great but can help you always have something at hand when friends visit.
Similar to wine racks, hanging glasses benefit you in space-saving and decoration while turning your basement bar into a standard-looking bar.
Installing a glass rack is very important for efficiency in your basement bar. You can even choose which part of the ceiling you want to install it to. Glass racks also come in varying sizes and colors, hence you should find one that fits your basement bar.
Hang your precious glassware above and upside down. Your mind will be at peace with a hanging glass rack because there will be fewer chances of accidental bumps and slips of delicate glassware.
When you imagine a bar in your mind’s eye, especially a social public bar, there is a good chance you imagine a television in that bar. A large flat-screen television that eyes, almost anywhere in the bar, can get a good view of.
It is fair to say that a bar is never a complete bar until there is a large television present. A high-quality television in your basement bar will let you and others bond over drinks when watching sports games, the top news, award ceremonies, or basic TV shows and movies.
It is important that you find a space that is convenient to keep the television. Ideally, you want the television to be full-motion and mounted on the wall. The television should be high enough and wide enough for people near and far to see comfortably.
You should first find the spot in your basement bar, where you want to place the television. Then you can decide on the size of the television based on the distance from the television area to the furthest space in the bar, where a television viewer may be sitting or standing.
The plus point is you can enjoy watching sports and movie nights, with your close buddies, in the comfort of your basement bar. Televisions also function as additional decor on empty walls. Large, clear televisions make any bar feel like a real bar.
Another must-have for your basement bar is a fireplace, especially if you live in an area that gets really cold or even snows during the wintertime. Since heat rises, your basement is more likely to be a colder space.
Fireplaces add warmth, color, and a cozy ambiance to any room. Fireplaces help people unwind and relax, hence they are a great option for basement bars. This will help you, your family, friends, and guests enjoy the basement bar on another level.
If you want to add a fireplace to your basement bar, you can either go for a real traditional fireplace, a gas fireplace, or even an electric fireplace. Traditional fireplaces not only look great, but they sound relaxing too with the crackle sounds.
As for gas fireplaces, they are much easier to handle and maintain. Electric fireplaces have all the benefits of warming your home, comforting your eyes with the fire image and they lower your home heating bills as they use less electricity than standard heating systems.
The fireplace models available today come in various designs. Hence you can surely find one that matches your basement bar’s visuals and constructions. You can truly magnify the aesthetics and the cozy vibes of your basement bar with the addition of a fireplace.
A Bar Sign
Another great addition to your basement bar is a bar sign.
Anyone who enters your basement bar will forget they are in a basement when a sign decoration is present. A bar sign can vamp up your basement bar and make it feel like a commercial bar.
A sign for your bar will be noticed, and probably complimented upon, by your friends and guests. Make sure you put it on a wall where it is easy to see.
Bar signs can come in different designs. There are metal, wooden, or glass signs. However, light-up signs are usually the win for the class bar appearance, and they remain in sight when the lights are dimmed.
Bar signs are fun and friendly, and you can get customized ones that have your name, your family name, or whatever else you want on them. Whether you buy a ready-made bar sign, have a custom handmade one delivered, or even take an old one from a bar in the neighborhood, your basement bar will look sharp.
Art and Decorations
Aesthetics and decorations vamp up any space. If you want your basement bar to feel like a regular bar, try choosing visuals similar to public night bars.
Artwork is essential to beautify your basement bar. Artwork comes in a lot of variety, hence you can have fun exploring online shops, physical stores, garage sales, and more to find artwork to put in your basement bar.
The rustic barn look is very common in bars. If that is the look you are going for then you should go for rustic, woody, brick-textured, and grainy-textured looks in the furniture, paint, decorations, and so on.
In most cases, basements have unique features such as brick walls or wooden beams. Before you remove these features from your current basement, you should try to see if they can be incorporated into the final basement bar appearance. Your basement bar can have a fancy and unique vibe if you do not remove all its ordinary features.
If you want a formal bar look, then you can install a backsplash. Typically, a backsplash should go behind the bar counter and bar stools. The backsplash should be in clear view of anyone sitting on the bar stools. Moreover, backsplashes will make cleaning a breeze when you have spills and splashes.
Try to Keep the Decoration Minimal
The main aim here is to have a good-looking functional basement bar. This is not a gallery, so you do not need to overdo the artwork. Usually the furniture, wallpaper, and so on are enough for aesthetics.
Bars look good for their bar elements, the artwork and decorations are just extras. Moreover, you don’t want your bar to become less efficient if you have too many decorations everywhere. Spills, splatters, and other accidents are more likely to occur if you make the basement bar too cluttered.
What’s great about artwork is you can always change it up from time to time. Frames arts, hanging plants, pot plants, floor rugs, vases, creative calendars, aesthetic clocks, and more can be switched up if you get bored of them.
You should remember that minimalism is an appealing style in itself.
Mirrors are both functional and decorative. There are many benefits of having mirrors, small or large, in your basement bar.
Here are a few ways mirrors can enhance your basement bar:
- Illusion of more space for smaller basement bars
- You (and your guests) won’t have to go upstairs when you need to check your face, teeth, hair, etc
- Illusion that you have double the liquor bottles when placed on the back wall
- Make splendid decorations when framed
- Brightens up rooms by reflecting light that is already present in the room
- Makes guests feel more welcome when placed at the entrance
- Hides imperfections, such as holes or wall stains
Mirrors can make any room look better. Mirrors come in many shapes, sizes, and designs. You can even get custom-made mirrors. This means there are mirrors out there that fit your ideal basement bar style. You can reap the benefits of mirrors while maintaining your personal taste and style.
Basements can function in various ways in a home. Basements are often used as an extra storage space, and for water and heating utilities. With a large enough basement, your home can back a beautiful underground bar.
With the 15 must haves mentioned above, you can be sure to have a wonderful adult-friendly basement bar. You will look forward to coming home and unwinding or inviting friends over to hang out when you have a functional and appealing basement bar.