If you want to turn your basement into a great place to hang out with your friends, one feature you must have is an awesome bar. A basement bar not only makes your home more conducive for entertaining guests, it can also help you save money that you may otherwise spend on night outs. Building a great bar doesn’t have to cost a lot, but you have to make sure it has all the necessary equipment and supplies to meet your entertaining needs. Below are some ideas that can help you create your ideal basement bar:

Choose a Beautiful and Durable Bar Surface

Basement bar

Image via Unsplash by byrdman85

Avoid skimping on the bar surface because it’s the most visible and hardest-working component of your basement bar. There’s a wide array of bar surfaces available to suit different needs and preferences. If you prefer a classic look, consider getting a granite or marble bar top. This type of bar surface may be more expensive, but it’ll give your bar a high-end appearance and last forever. You can also opt for dark, grained wood to replicate the atmosphere of a traditional pub or stainless steel or glass for a contemporary look.

Regardless of which type of bar surface you choose, make sure it doesn’t scratch, peel, or crack easily. This part of your bar comes into contact with glassware, dishes, and moisture, so it makes sense to invest in something that’s highly resistant to wear and tear.

Opt for a Unique Bar Layout

In most cases, a home bar is just straight or L-shaped, which isn’t really interesting to look at. If you want to make your bar area stand out and impress your friends, consider getting something with a more unique layout. For example, a bar that has two 45-degree corners can add style and practicality to your basement. It offers extra room for sitting and standing, but it only takes up about the same amount of space as an L-shaped bar.

Consider a Two-Tier Bar

If you have enough space in your basement, it may be a good idea to get a two-tier bar. This kind of bar comes with two different surfaces: one at standing bar height and another at normal table height. With this design, it can be used for drinking, eating, and chit-chatting. A two-tier bar makes it easier for you to serve snacks to your friends and entertain a larger number of guests.

Pick the Right Bar Stools

After you’ve selected your favorite type of bar, you can choose your bar stools. Typically, the top of a home bar is 41 to 43 inches high, which is taller than a kitchen counter. As such, the bar stools need to be 29 to 32 inches from the seat to the floor. Such bar stools should be suitable for most people. If you prefer a bar that’s close to 46 inches tall, get bar stools with seats that are 30 to 36 inches high.

For additional comfort and support, it’s recommended that you opt for bar stools that have a back. If you don’t have enough space, you can skip the bar stools and get a bar top with rounded edges, which is more comfortable to lean against.

Combine Pendant Lighting and Recessed Lighting

The traditional way to illuminate a home bar is to hang pendant lights from the ceiling. You should have three or four pendant lights hanging above the bar, but make sure they’re high enough so you won’t bump your head. If you want to create a pub-like atmosphere in the bar area, choose soft lights and low-wattage bulbs.

It’s also important to have recessed lighting or under-cabinet lighting to improve visibility in the drink prep area. With the availability of highly adaptable LED lights, you have the freedom to install lighting anywhere you want and change the light color to create different moods.

Install Shelves on a Nearby Wall

Look at the area around your bar and see if you can use a nearby wall for storage and decor purposes. Decorate the wall in such a way that it accentuates your overall theme and install a few shelves for holding bottles or a stemware rack for your glasses. Alternatively, you can create a wall niche to store and display bottles.

Mimic Your Favorite Pub

There are countless bar styles and materials for you to choose from. Take a look at different bar designs from around the world and select one that best suits your taste and preferences. You should do this before you make any major purchases. Make sure you choose materials, stools, lights, and glassware that complement your desired style. You can also decorate the walls around your bar to reflect this decor theme.

Invest in a Small Refrigerator

A small refrigerator makes a great addition to your basement bar. Besides keeping your beer and wine cold, it can also prevent lemons and other fruits from going bad, preserve appetizers, and frost glasses. Instead of buying a wine cooler that only has wine racks, look for a mini-fridge that offers versatile storage.

Get an Icemaker

Whether your basement has a sink or not, you should consider adding a countertop icemaker to your bar. An icemaker is a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use appliance that adds convenience to your basement. It eliminates the need to run back and forth from your kitchen with an ice bucket and makes serving on-the-rocks drinks a breeze. Your guests will surely love it.

Maintain a Well-Stocked Bar

basement bar

Image via Flickr by Zaheer Baksh Photography


Keep your basement bar well-stocked with all the supplies and ingredients you need. It’s essential to have a classic bar book that contains instructions for making any drink your guests may desire. This also means that you need to have the required ingredients around. Ideally, your bar should have enough space for storing an array of glassware, gadgets, and knives, as well as drinks and ingredients such as beer, wine, spirits, sodas, soda water, simple syrup, bitters, and fruits.

If you need more advice for creating your dream basement bar, feel free to speak with the friendly staff at Steiner Homes. Contact us today!