How to create a basement bar in your home: the ultimate guide
Do you love hosting parties and gatherings at your home? If so, then you need to create a basement bar! A basement bar is a perfect place to entertain guests, and it can be customized to fit your specific needs.
In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of creating a basement bar in your home. We will also provide tips on choosing a theme and designing the space. Let’s get started!
A Basement Bar Area – Garage Theme
STEP ONE – How do I design my basement bar with a theme?
The very first step is to create a mood board, and this is done by gathering images of basement bars that you love. Once you have a collection of images, take a close look at each one and identify the elements that you like.
Do you prefer a rustic basement bar or a modern home bar? What about the lighting layout? Is there a certain type of furniture style that you are drawn to?
Once you have identified the elements that you like, you can begin to piece together your own basement bar design.
How to choose a theme for your basement bar
If you are stuck on choosing a theme for your basement bar, consider narrowing down your options by thinking about the types of activities that you will be using the space for.
Do you want a basement bar that is perfect for hosting a poker night with your buddies? Or do you envision a space that is more intimate, where you can enjoy a glass of wine with your significant other?
Once you have an idea of the purpose of your basement bar, choosing a theme will be much easier.
The layout and the space
Once you have chosen a theme, it’s time to start thinking about the actual design of the space. When designing your basement bar, there are a few things that you will need to take into consideration.
First, you will need to decide on the layout of the space. Will your basement bar have a seating area, or will it be standing room only?
Consider the lighting
You will also need to think about the lighting and ventilation. Basement bars can be dimly lit and cozy, or they can be bright and airy. It all depends on your personal preference.
Related Post: What Is A Good Size For A Home Bar?
Garage-themed basement bar
Our garage-themed basement bar was inspired by a Corvette bar that we came across – hence the theme of a garage space. This design idea will work in a basement bar or even in a garage or outbuilding that you want to renovate.
Your ideas will evolve once you have your theme and measurements of the space that you have available to work with. If you are unsure how to measure your space, we have a handy measuring guide below, which you can download free of charge to get you started.
STEP TWO – The walls and floor finishes
So the inspiration for the walls and floor finishes came from thinking about the average garage that you visit to have your car repaired. Imagine a building with bare concrete walls and floors, which points us in the direction of an industrial-style design.
The floor coverings
If you are creating this theme in your basement, I would not suggest having bare concrete floors. If you have laminate or hardwood floors, this will work. A floor that is already carpeted is fine as well. Work with what you have if you are on a budget.
Unfinished basement solution
An unfinished basement bar will probably have a concrete base. You may find this a little cold, but you do have the option of adding rubber matting which will make areas easier on your feet.
Place the rubber matting around the base of the bar or under the table and stools. A perfect solution if you are working on a budget basement bar area.
This particular rubber matting is non-toxic, odorless, and made from high-quality PVC. The product also has good elasticity with a long service life but will be comfortable on your feet and is flame retardant.
The roll measures approximately 79 inches by 197 inches which is a good amount to make an impact. Priced at $219 for the roll, it will elevate your floor covering and stay within your garage basement bar theme. Available at Walmart.
Ideas to transform the wall
Again, if you have an unfinished basement, you may have concrete walls or walls that are dry-lined. Paint is your best friend but if you want to cover a multitude of sins when you build a basement bar, try wallpaper.
For our design, we have incorporated two types; you can choose one design or both.
A choice of wall effects
The first quirky creative design is a wallpaper that resembles a brick. This has a 3D effect which is made from foam, so it is not on a flat sheet. You can actually feel the texture of the bricks on the paper.
The panels are super easy to install as it is peel and stick. Don’t worry about corners or difficult cuts as it comes with a cutting knife and instructions.
There are 11 pieces in a set, and they are priced at $16.99, and each panel covers one sq. ft. and is available at Walmart.
Our second choice of wall covering is a self-adhesive concrete style paper, which again is peel and stick. Made from high-quality vinyl, it is strong and durable and will hide most imperfections. The roll measurement is 15.7”x 118” and is priced at $12.88 from Walmart.
We selected this wallpaper because it resembles the type of concrete wall you may find in a garage building and fits perfectly in the style of a garage home bar.
STEP 2 – The furniture and home bar
So our bar ideas evolved from a home bar that we found online, which was styled in the shape of a Corvette. If you are a lover of cars and all things mechanical, where else would you want to entertain your friends and family? Taking a trip to Mr. Lube really isn’t an option.
The home bar
So now let’s build a bar area with the furniture we have selected.
The bar is a stunning red Corvette design measuring 67L X 22D X 41H and will be the sole focal point of your basement bar.
Shipping for this particular bar is normally within three days if it is in stock. The cost of the bar is $2,847.46 plus the shipping fee of $150. Although quite pricey, it is definitely something that will last for many years and will definitely be a talking point for your visitors and guests. Available at Home Thangs.
How do I choose a bar stool style?
Choosing the right bar stool for your basement bar is important. Not only do you want a stool that is comfortable, but you also want one that fits the overall theme and design of the space.
For example, if you have chosen a rustic basement bar theme, then you will want to find a stool that has a rustic design. If you have a modern basement bar, then you will want to find a stool with a more contemporary look.
Comfort is key
When choosing a bar stool, comfort is key. You want to make sure that your guests will be able to sit comfortably at the bar for extended periods of time – especially if they are party animals.
To test out the comfort of a stool, sit in it for a few minutes before you make your purchase.
Height is also important
You should also make sure that the stool is the right height for your bar. The last thing you want is for your guests to be constantly adjusting their stool because it is too high or too low.
Once you have found a comfortable and stylish bar stool, it’s time to think about placement. You will want to make sure that your bar stools are properly spaced out so that guests have plenty of room to move around.
You should also leave enough space between the bar and the padded bar stools so that people can easily get in and out of their seats.
Our choice of bar stool
As our home bar design is based around a garage theme, we selected vintage Pure Oil chrome padded bar stools. Now you may want the placement of your bar stools around the home bar itself or around a table.
These stools are officially licensed and will provide your guests the comfort that they deserve. Printed on the seating area with an authentic vintage logo on luxurious foam padding and the stools swivel 360 degrees.
The base of the stools is made from tubular steel with a double-rung base. The padded bar stools are very reasonably priced at $114.85 each and are available at Walmart.
Extra Bar Furniture
Our home bar design also incorporates a table where your friends and family can sit and enjoy a cold beer or a glass of wine.
Our choice again for a bar top table was the vintage look with the Pure Oil logo printed on the surface, which matches the stools beautifully.
The chrome base is lightweight and matches the materials of the stools. Again the authentic logo gives the home bar an industrial design and keeps in the style of garage home bar ideas.
The footrest is also adjustable, and the overall dimensions are 27.375″ x 27.375″ x 42″. Available from Walmart for just $254.29.
Home bar shelving unit ideas
Your bar ideas really do need to incorporate plenty of storage. You may not have an excessive amount of accessories and bottles when you start to renovate your home bar but believe me, as time moves on, your collection will grow.
So planning ahead, aside from the storage that you have in your Corvette home bar, you need to think about shelves and cabinets for the drinks, supplies, glasses, and accessories.
Within our home bar design, we have incorporated a classic industrial-look shelving unit where you can display your bottles.
The reason why I selected this particular unit is that it reminded me of garage shelves and also had a rustic look to it.
Now bottles come in all shapes and sizes, and if displayed and stored correctly, this can look quite impressive. The less used liquor can be arranged on the bottom shelves, and obviously, the top shelves are great for the premium liquor and your favorite tipple.
The unit is constructed from a durable steel frame in an X design with real wood planks for the shelves. The wood itself is antique nutmeg, and the website states you can build the unit in 10 minutes.
The overall dimensions are 72.44″H x 11.22″D x 47.24″L and is available from Walmart for $278.99.
What are bar cabinets?
Bar cabinets are additional storage solutions for your basement bar. When you build a bar, again, as I have said previously, pre-plan for plenty of space.
Open shelving and wall-hanging shelves are great for bottles of drinks, but cabinets should have room for your glassware and other accessories such as cocktail shakers, muddlers, and so on.
To fit in with our garage basement bar, we have incorporated a stylish industrial cabinet.
This particular bar cabinet has plenty of room for storage and incorporates mesh doors. There is a rack for hanging glasses as well.
The bar cabinet itself is constructed from metal, and the tabletop has a wood laminate grain for anything that you want to display.
This bar cabinet is also portable as it is constructed with locking castors so you can move it from room to room if the need arises.
Unfortunately, you do have to assemble this unit yourself, but full instructions are provided – no difference from Ikea, I suppose. The built dimensions are 38″H x 33″L x 17″W and can be found online at Walmart for $335.33.
STEP 3 – How do you light a bar area
Lighting is an important aspect of any basement bar. You want to create a space that is well-lit so that your guests can see what they are doing. However, you don’t want the space to be too bright, or it will feel like you are in a nightclub.
To find the perfect balance, consider using a combination of ambient lighting and task lighting.
What is the definition of ambient lighting?
Ambient lighting is the type of lighting that creates a general glow in the space. This can be accomplished with recessed lights, pendants, or even floor lamps.
What is an example of task lighting?
Task lighting is designed to illuminate specific areas of the basement bar so that people can see what they are doing. This might include under-cabinet lights or track lighting.
What is accent lighting used for?
Once you have your ambient and task lighting in place, you can add some accent lighting to really make your basement bar shine.
Accent lighting is designed to highlight certain features of the space. This might include spotlights that showcase a piece of artwork or sconces that highlight a mirror.
Lighting suggestions in our garage home bar
For our home bar, we have just incorporated ceiling lights. When putting together your bar ideas for your own home bar, you need to consider the lighting more carefully. You may need to have your lights reconfigured, more added or stronger lighting in some areas.
Our garage-style home bar features industrial-style spotlights. Spotlights can be turned to face in different directions, for example, over your bar or near a darts board.
The type of light featured in our mood board is made from metal and can support a dimmer function; they can also be used as a wall light as well.
The joy of this ceiling light is that the lights can be adjusted 360 degrees, so you could even face one onto your bar top. The bulbs are not included to stay in the design of a garage home bar; selecting old-fashioned lightbulbs will give a more rustic look.
These lights are at a really good price at just $39.90 from Walmart, and we allowed for two sets, depending on how large your bar is and the number of outlets you have available.
STEP 4 – How do I decorate my home bar?
A Vintage style garage home bar deserves vintage/retro style decor, whether it is custom-made or you make your own on a budget.
To stay within a budget, you could frame a poster or custom make your own prints and frame them individually to build up into a collage.
Your project could be totally inspired by a certain piece of decor.
What happens in the Garage
Our basement bar is going to feature two rustic vintage-style signs. Our first obvious choice was this What’s Happens in the Garage, Stays in the Garage vintage sign. A no-brainer, really.
The sign is made from tin and measures around 10 inches by 13 inches, and will certainly make your guests smile. This particular sign is available at Walmart for just $22.95.
Get your Kicks
Our second choice piece of wall decor is a rusty Route 66 tin sign. It even comes complete with bullet holes. You are sure to get your kicks on Route 66. So make it the start of your collection.
Measuring at 11 1/2″ long, 11 3/8″ wide, and so very reasonably priced – not in a garage sale – at just $18.48 from Walmart.
There is such a wide choice of wall decor that you can decorate your bar with, including drink dispensers, old posters, and lighted shelves. So when you build a basement bar, always remember to keep your design theme in mind.
Related Post: Ideas For An Outdoor Bar For Your Backyard
STEP 5 – What accessories are needed for a home bar?
The sky is the limit when it comes to accessories. Are you going to serve cocktails? Then, accessorize the bar with cocktail-related drinks and menus.
To serve wine, you will need wine glasses, a corkscrew and maybe a carafe, or even an ice bucket for bottles of white wine and coolers.
No bar is without beer. Do you have room for the small fridge for your beer and soda? No guest wants a warm beer or a dry bar.
The list is pretty endless when it comes to accessories but adapt them to suit your particular bar top.
We are here for the beer
In our garage basement bar, we have added a nice touch with a few personalized beer glasses. These Pilsner-designed glasses add a touch of sophistication to your garage home bar ideas, and they also make great gifts.
This Pilsner glass measures 7.25″ x 3.5″ x 3.5” and holds around 20 ounces. It will not only look great, filled with beer but also be displayed on a shelf, ready to serve your next guests.
So to make an impression check out Home Wet Bar, and for just $18.95, you will have your very own beer glass.
Ice, ice baby
Nothing worse than a warm bottle of white wine. Keep it super cool with a custom ice bucket to grace your bar top.
A faux leather ice bucket personalized with the name of your home bar or with a custom logo will look great and filled with a variety of drinks.
Each custom ice bucket measures seven ¾” x 7 ¾” and holds 3 quarts, and the brown faux leather will make your friends look twice when reaching for their cold drinks.
This ice bucket fits in with our home bar garage theme, and it can be purchased from Home Wet Bar for just $89.95.
STEP 6 – What games do you play at bars?
Let your mind run riot. You may only have the space to play board games or cards in your basement bar.
If you have plenty of space, think about a pool or poker table or a darts board.
How much does a good dart board cost?
Darts is very popular around the world and if you have a spare wall going free when you build a basement bar, then plan a dart board into your bar ideas to entertain your guests.
Our garage basement bar design features a dartboard for entertainment. In our own basement bar, we also have a variety of board games like Sequence, Dominos, and Chess. We are also fortunate to have designed it with enough space to incorporate a poker set, which hangs on the wall when it is not in use.
A good dartboard will cost around $50 upwards. If it is just for fun, buy something in a lower price range. If you play for a darts team and need the practice, look for something more mid-range.
Our choice for our home basement bar is an electronic board. It comes in a nice sturdy cabinet with a wood finish, and up to eight players can participate.
The board is very good quality and will fit on most walls, and can be easily mounted. Get ready for hours of fun for $195.99 at Walmart.
STEP 7: Basement bar opening night
So, you have taken the incentive to build a bar with a garage theme, and your project is now ready to be put into action. It’s time to invite friends and family. So let’s have a bar opening night.
It is cocktail time – Garage Home Bar style
Basement bar top snacks
Opening night needs bar-top snacks to soak up the home bar cocktails that you have already created.
Let’s start with a charcuterie board. Very easy to put together and can be prepared way in advance.
What is needed on a charcuterie plate?
- Cured meats – think of salami, chorizo, etc.
- A selection of cheeses – Brie, Gouda, Blue Cheese.
- Green and black olives.
- Fruit – such as grapes – black and green.
- Slices of baguette and crackers
- Dried Fruits.
- Crackers or small slices of bread – visit our blog on crackers for a charcuterie board or, alternatively, sandwich presentation platter ideas.
- Jam or specialty jelly.
Next up for a bar snack for your bar top is homemade chips. Plenty of salt and is perfect for guests to nibble on when enjoying the bar scene.
Things to dip bread in
Another bar top favorite – things to dip bread in like – hummus, dips, and flavored oils – see our blog post for ideas.
FAQs – On how to create a basement bar in your home
How much does it cost to put a bar in your basement?
A very important question but only something that you can probably answer. A basement bar can cost between $300 right up to $20,000 and more.
Always start with a budget and work within it. If you cannot afford a custom-built bar, then build a bar with old kitchen cabinets or pallets. If you are not skilled in DIY, opt for something more simple like a bar cart and some nice seating, and a coffee table.
Should I put a bar in my basement?
If you have the free space and do not need the basement for another use – why not? It is a great place to have family and friends around to entertain, gather, eat and drink.
If done with a little thought, a DIY home bar project will be a great addition to your home and will be more attractive on resale than just an empty basement space.
Are home bars outdated?
I would say a resounding no to this question. Since Covid, more and more people are seeking not only outside space but other areas that they can relax and have fun in.
You can have hours of relaxation and entertainment in your own bar if designed and implemented correctly. Friday night game night, Sunday afternoon sports day. The list is endless. Check out our ideas to elevate your basement bar.
Do it yourself bar ideas?
Start small with your do-it-yourself ideas and purchase a bar cart or a bar cabinet. See our section on bar carts.
A wet bar will be more expensive as if you do not have the relevant plumbing, then this will need to be budgeted for. Do you really need a sink? Will a dry bar be just as good for your home bar ideas?
We hope this has been of some help on how to create a basement bar in your home – the ultimate guide. Please feel free to email us if you need any assistance. You can also find more ideas and styles in Home Bar Designs.