Ever since I was a little kid, my favorite part of any house shown on television or in movies was the basement bar. Granted, most of them were pretty ugly, but I liked the concept of having a place to chill with drinks and friends. When I moved into my last house, the basement had a water hookup sticking out of the wall. We later used that as the catalyst to build a small wet bar. It was always my dream to be able to build a bar with a place for people to sit. We recently bought a new construction home that gave me the opportunity to build out the basement bar of my dreams. Let’s take a tour!
Special Components of My Basement Bar
When it came to upgrading from my previous bar, there were a few things I had to have. I wanted:
- a place where people could sit and enjoy a drink,
- plenty of storage,
- a clear ice maker, and
- a glass rinser.
As you can see, I got all of those things and more. Since I have a full-sized fridge right around the corner from the bar, I used that space for a dishwasher. For the first month we were in the house, I just ran the dirty and clean dishes up and down the stairs. I knew what had to happen. This Bosch model is fairly quiet and moderately priced. I’ve had great luck with the brand in the past, so it was an easy decision. Plus, it has the third rack for my small bar tools. It is definitely a bit of a splurge to have two dishwashers in the house, but it’s working out well.
The Glass Rinser
The glass rinser was maybe the one feature I wanted the most in the bar. To be able to rinse barware and glasses between drinks is a dream. And then the fact that I could get one to match the finish of my sink faucet was perfect. The company that installed our countertops just came out and drilled a hole for $20 so the plumber could hook it up. I love it so much I made an Instagram Reel of it in action.
The Ice Maker
If you’ve ever looked into ice makers you will know they can be expensive. You’ll find everything from a fancy full-sized refrigerator that makes one clear ice sphere at a time to a modest, countertop clear ice maker. Since I don’t need that much ice at one time, a tray of ice in less than 15 minutes is perfect. I make some in advance and store in some reusable bags that keep everything fresh. The ice maker comes with a scoop and a drain in the back so you can easily dry out the machine. (For more on how to keep it clean, check out this post.) The one I have is not a freezer so you do have to empty the ice and not store it in the machine.
Finding the perfect bar stool is not easy. You want one that is comfortable and stylish, and available! (The backorders on things is no joke.) I also figured out that I really wanted stools that could swivel all the way around. This makes for the best experience for sitting at the bar and hanging out with a larger group of people in the basement bar area. These ones were perfect, and they’re vegan! One of my friends loved them so much that he bought them for his bar already.
Other Things I Love in the Basement Bar
In addition to the items above, I also have a few finishing touches that I love. This brass mermaid apron hook is one of them. I bought it when I was home in Portland, Maine a few years ago. While I can’t find the exact version to share here, you can find one like it here. I also love the step trashcan (pictured at the top of the post) because it traps in odors well and is easy to clean. The fact that the bar is stocked with so many special bottles of liquor and liqueurs from my travels helps too. If you need a little more action, check out this Reel of the bar I made before it was finished.
Final Touches Coming Soon
The last things I need to finish in the bar are:
- wallpapering behind the floating bar shelves (with this),
- designing and commissioning a neon sign, and
- organizing the cabinets with these.
And there you have it! My basement bar come to life. Let me know if you have any other questions or need ideas. I tried to edit down the highlights so I didn’t overwhelm you. Cheers!