After a hard day, grabbing a drink is a terrific way to decompress and relax. Going to a bar is an option, but you know how expensive it is, how long you’ll be away from home, and how you’ll have to drive after a few drinks.
What if you could unwind with a chilled drink without leaving the coziness of your own home? It’s easier than you think to build a basement bar with all the functionality and feel of the real thing.
If you enjoy entertaining and have the space in your basement, putting together a basement bar is a terrific way to enjoy your favorite drink at home. Grab a few of friends or relax in your most comfortable clothing with a nice drink and some peace and quiet.
Keep It Functional
Before we go into the 15 best basement bar designs, let’s speak about functionality. When planning to establish this area in any portion of your home, there are a few things to bear in mind.
A basement bar that doesn’t work correctly will be useless to you, so keeping these guidelines in mind will help you make the most of your money and space.
Save Room For Functional Spaces
When you’re laying out your space, keep in mind that you’ll need to store liquor bottles of all shapes and sizes. It’s a terrific idea to use open shelf to display the many bottles and brands you have.
You’ll want to set aside space for future bottles and enable your collection to develop. The process of stocking your basement bar will take time. As you gather additional bottles, your space shelves will begin to fill up, and you’ll want to display your collection.
It is generally preferable to have more shelving than you require than to run out later. When you’re first starting out, spread out your bottles to make your shelves appear completely stocked. If you group them together, it will appear that your shelves are empty, so start by spacing them out and rearranging them when you bring home fresh bottles.
You’ll also need to make room for various sorts of glasses. These should be stored in a functional and secure manner, especially if you have children or pets. Cleaning up glass will not be a pleasant way to spend your time while you are attempting to relax and enjoy a cold one.
Having drying racks or drying mats for your glasses is also a good idea. When you have visitors over, you will most likely use a lot of glasses, and they will need to dry once you wash them.
Setting aside some space for a specific drying area will save you time and effort in the long run.
Consider the type of lighting you’ll use before you start putting everything together. Basement lighting is typically inappropriate for creating a soothing atmosphere or tone.
You’ll want to use appropriate lighting in your basement bar to make it feel relaxed and stress-free. To add to the ambiance, use colored lights.
Lighting is a fun and inexpensive method to change the vibe of your area without having to relocate it.
Measure For Barstools
Before you buy the barstools you’ve been eyeing, make sure you take the height of your bar or tables into consideration. When shopping for the appropriate barstools, measuring the height of the bar beforehand will save you time.
Keep in mind that many companies will provide barstools in a variety of heights. If you intend to have a bar-top and a table in your basement bar, see if you can find the same stools in bar-top and conventional table height to tie your appearance together.
You’re ready to start looking for particular ideas that will match your area now that you’ve had a few ideas and recommendations for setting up your perfect at-home pub.
How Much Will This Project Cost?
If you’re wondering how much it will cost to build a basement bar, the answer is that it depends depend on how much work you intend to undertake.
It will cost you between $5,000 and $10,000 to add plumbing and electrical outlets to your room for this project. It will be substantially less expensive if you already have plumbing and electrical outlets in this area.
The beautiful thing about this project is that you can customize it to your liking. If you want a rustic and vintage design, check for furniture and fixtures from antique shops or yard sales to save money.
If you want to establish a modern bar, you will most certainly spend more money than if you want to create a rustic or natural theme bar.
Whichever route you go, you’ll still get the majority of your money back in resale value. Basement bars increase the value of your home when you sell it, generally returning 70% of your investment.
This is a fantastic effort that you and future homebuyers will appreciate.
15 Ways To Create a Functional and Inviting Basement Bar
1. Use Wood Furniture
When you picture the ideal dive bar, you generally see a long wooden bar top with wood barstools and beer taps made of wood. In your own home, you can recreate the ideal bar environment.
Using wood furniture, such as barstools, tables, and other decorations, will make you feel as if you’re in your favorite bar.
It’s also wonderful for tying everything together and providing your basement bar an authentic feel that both you and your visitors will appreciate.
2. Incorporate Brick Accents
If you’re making a basement bar, chances are you’re working with a limited amount of room. To get the most out of your area, you’ll need to utilize every feature and inch.
Using brick as a backsplash in this room is not only a terrific method to save money, but it is also a great way to give your basement bar authenticity.
It’s low-maintenance, simple to clean, and transforms your basement bar into a genuine downtown pub. When you’re working with a limited budget, every penny counts. Using brick is an excellent approach to save money while creating the desired mood.
3. Add Rustic Finishes
Rustic finishes may make a big difference in your basement bar. If you want to create a genuine pub environment, you should look for rustic furniture and decorations.
Going to yard sales and antique shops will help you save money on your basement bar while also allowing you to find the authentic furnishings you’re looking for.
A light from the early 1990s or antique glass bottles will give your home the desired style while saving you money. When possible, incorporate historical or conversational furniture and accessories.
Use antique pub accessories such as old beer taps, kegs, and rustic cocktail sets. This will most likely save you money while also adding history to your environment.
Rustic accents and finishes will make a big difference. They’ll make you feel like you’re at your favorite pub, and you’ll enjoy telling guests about the stories behind your furniture items.
4. Use Low Ceilings to Your Advantage
If you’re designing a basement bar, you’ll almost certainly be working with a low ceiling. This does not have to be an impediment or a challenge.
When creating anything in a location with low ceilings, you’ll want to draw attention away from the ceiling by emphasizing other aspects of your work.
Incorporating interesting light fixtures that hang from the ceiling is a terrific approach to draw attention away from the ceiling’s height.
Use a colorful pendant light with metal and natural features to draw attention away from your ceiling while also adding to your authentic bar environment.
5. Use Live Edge Furniture
Live edge furniture is made by sanding down the top and edges of a piece of wood but leaving one side of the wood’s natural cut. It adds movement to your environment by creating irregular lines.
Using this as a bar top or table top will provide movement and depth to your basement bar. It draws the outside in, giving your home a manly feel without going overboard.
Incorporating live edge furniture is a low-cost approach to achieve a luxurious aesthetic, and it is a do-it-yourself job. Including this will provide you with the authentic and genuine pub experience you seek while saving you money.
6. Incorporate Modern Elements
Creating a typical pub-like atmosphere necessitates the use of a lot of wood and rustic materials in your design.
Try using black metals, textured upholstery, and distinctive lighting to make your basement bar feel sophisticated and inviting.
These features and finishes will give your area a modern look and feel while maintaining a traditional pub vibe. It will welcome everyone in and offer a pleasant modern touch to a genuine bar setting.
You may accomplish this modern appearance on a budget by painting metal finishes black or reupholstering chairs in a contemporary fabric.
When you add these modern aspects, you’ll be drawing guests of all ages to your basement bar, not just those who enjoy the typical dive bar atmosphere.
7. Wrap Your Bar With Stone
Natural stone is an excellent method to transform your basement bar into a pleasant and inviting space. This style is ideal for homes that have an updated and modern appearance as well as a typical cabin feel.
Using stone adds natural aspects that your guests will like, and you will appreciate how low maintenance and easy it is to maintain clean.
You can use stone as a backsplash to give texture and dimension to your room, or you can wrap it around the outside of your bar to draw attention to it.
It will update and modernize your area while bringing in natural and manly aspects, regardless of how you use it.
8. Maximize Small Spaces
If you’re making a basement bar, chances are you’re working with a limited amount of room. You won’t have the entire basement to work with, so you’ll have to make the area you have noteworthy.
It is entirely feasible to make a tiny place feel huge and inviting by including the appropriate features and utilizing the available space intelligently.
First, think about where you want to put your space. Use the space in the corner of the room to your advantage. For optimal storage and practical space, use the wall space to add floating shelves or built-ins.
Using the corner will provide you space on two walls, giving you the space you need while still making it feel comfortable and private.
If you’re just using one wall, you can incorporate components to make it feel warm and inviting. The use of pendant lighting and the creation of a lifting door that divides the countertop from the wall will make the room appear more genuine and larger than it is.
Small rooms allow you to be creative and show off your personal flair. To prevent cluttering your walls or countertops, use glasses and bottles as decorations.
Use one-of-a-kind countertops to complement your décor while still providing a useful purpose.
9. Use A Moving Cart
Creating functionality in small spaces is all about being creative. Using a mobile bar cart will add usable space to your basement pub and give you the freedom to move it when necessary.
If you’re entertaining and need the extra space as a countertop, you can wheel it over to your desired location, and someone could set their drink on it.
You could wheel it to an open area, and your guests could stand around it, allowing for several people to gather and have a place to set their drinks down.
A moving cart will also help you when you’re making drinks. You won’t be confined to one corner, and this will allow you to mingle with your guests as you entertain.
It’s also great for stocking because you can wheel the cart to wherever you need it to stock up with your new bottles and glasses.
10. Use Barstools To Enhance Your Style
When you’re creating the perfect pub atmosphere in your basement, you’ll need to consider the barstools.
There are tons of styles to choose from. You can choose from backless, high backs, adjustable height, stationary, even swivel.
Choosing the right type can add the extra element you’re looking for, and it can help tie everything together and give you the perfect space.
If you want a traditional pub feel, try using either backless leather stools or short-back metal stools. These give off a classic pub feel and add functionality to your space.
If you want a modern spin, try using high-back stools or stools with a modern fabric like white cloth or leather. This creates the contemporary look you’re going for and will tie into your natural wood and rustic tones.
11. Incorporate Used Appliances To Save Money
A great way to save money on this project while incorporating functionality is by getting used appliances. This should be done carefully, but it can save you thousands of dollars when done right.
What appliances should you buy used and which ones should you buy new?
You’ll have to be careful about buying used appliances because some don’t have very long life-spans and would save you money in the long run if you buy them new.
If you’re looking to add a wine cooler to your space, that’s probably an appliance best bought new. There might be used ones for sale near you, but you’ll likely have to get it serviced to ensure it’s still working right.
Buying one new will cost you more money upfront but will save you money in the long run.
If you’re looking to have a mini-fridge in your basement bar, you could buy one used. They’re pretty easy to find, and they typically have long lives, even when you buy them used.
Make sure you consider your electrical outlets before purchasing either the wine cooler or mini-fridge to save you time and headaches.
If you’re looking to install a sink, this is also an appliance you can buy used. It would actually add to your rustic and authentic vibe if you found a used farm sink or industrial-looking sink.
After you make sure it works properly and you’ll have the proper plumbing to fit it, you’ll be able to look in antique shops, yard sales, or online for the perfect used sink to fit your aesthetic.
If you plan on adding beer taps or a soda gun, these items are best bought new. If you can find them used from an actual restaurant or pub, they’d be a great addition, but other than that, you’ll probably want them new.
This is one of the major appliances and set-ups that could end up costing you more if it’s done wrong. Spending more upfront to get taps and a new soda gun will end up saving you time and money.
12. Choose The Right Countertop
Choosing the right countertop for your basement bar is a big deal. You’ll want to choose a material that matches your style and atmosphere and serves as a functional and usable space.
You’ll want to consider a material that can be wiped down easily and make cleaning a breeze. Smooth countertops that have a water-resistant coating will be a great idea in this space.
Also, consider that atmosphere and design look that you’re going for. If you mainly use rustic and wood elements in the rest of this space, you’ll want your countertops to be wooden or dark granite to tie in with everything else.
If you have modern elements, you’ll want to install a stylish marble or light-colored granite countertop to match the aesthetic.
For a traditional pub look, try finding or building a classic butcher-block countertop to make cleaning easy and give you a classic look you’re after.
For a modern pub look, use a live edge bar top. This will give you natural and masculine elements to make you feel like you’re at your favorite sportsman bar.
If you want a classy and stylish look, use marble countertops. They’ll likely cost more money upfront but have a very long life-span, and they are very easy to maintain and clean.
Once you’ve selected the perfect countertop, you’ll want to take height into consideration.
Most bar countertops are 42 inches from the ground to the countertop. Make sure your countertops are at this height to keep everything in this space genuine and help you feel like you have the real deal.
13. Use Chalkboard Wall Art
Make a big chalkboard if you have empty wall space and want an inexpensive way to keep things fun. You could do this two different ways.
You can use a traditional approach and create an actual chalkboard that hangs on your wall and use it as a fun way to show your guests the types of drinks you can make, the type of liquor you have, and even show off your wine collection.
You can buy an inexpensive wooden picture frame and paint the glass with black chalkboard paint to make it look like a traditional chalkboard if you can’t find one that’s the exact size you need.
If you want to take a modern approach to this, you can paint the wall with your shelving and bottles with black chalkboard paint.
You can update it as your drink selection grows and changes, and you can even let guests have fun with it by adding their art to the wall.
This is a fun way to use your space wisely and have fun with it.
Chalkboard paint is a great way to create an accent wall while also adding a functional element to your space. You could use it to create a drink menu that your guests will love.
The best part is, the chalkboard paint is really easy to clean and paint over, so when you think it’s time to change things up and go for a more modern look, it’ll be easy to paint over.
14. Make It A Sports Bar
If you have enough room in your basement to extend this space, there are a few great options to make this your favorite spot in the house.
Adding a pool table is the perfect way to feel like you’re at your favorite pub, and it gives you and your guests something to engage in while you’re enjoying an ice-cold drink.
Try finding a pool table that’s being sold online by a previous owner. Buying a used table could save you hundreds of dollars. Even if you find one that’s a bit beat up, it will add to the aesthetic of your traditional basement pub.
If you don’t have the room to add a pool table, you could add a dartboard. This is great because you could keep it covered with rustic doors when you’re not using it.
When you’re using it, make sure you keep extra darts handy in case some get lost or broken over time.
Installing a TV over your shelving that holds your bottles is another great way to make your atmosphere feel like the perfect sports bar.
Whether you have the unlimited ESPN package or use the TV for watching your favorite movies, it will add to your space and provide entertainment to you and your guests.
15. Add A Neon Sign
Nothing screams bar like a traditional neon sign. This is a way for you to get creative and really have fun with this space.
Antique stores are a great place to look for name-brand neon signs. You might find old Budweiser logos or vintage Coors Light signs.
Incorporating these signs in your space will be the finishing touch you need to make this space feel authentic and impress your guests.
If you’re looking for a fun way to let your guests know if you’re still serving up the drinks, you can use an open/closed neon sign.
You can go a step further and look for companies that make neon signs. Get your last name or your favorite saying made into a neon sign to really put your own flare on this classic decoration.