How to Decorate a Bar

Installing a bar in your home is a classy way to entertain family members and guests. Bars can be used and decorated in a variety of ways, so it is a good idea to establish your theme and budget before buying stylish elements. Decorating a bar is about both function and personal style. A bar should be stocked with glasses, drinks, stools and storage, but also feature art, lighting and décor elements. If you have bought or built a bar, but you don't know how to decorate it, then follow these guidelines to create an oasis in your home. Learn how to decorate a bar.


  1. Image titled Decorate a Bar Step 1
    Define what your bar will be used for. Chances are that if you have installed a bar, remodeled your home or dedicated a space, you have a general idea about the bar's use. Decide if it will be a wet bar, a coffee bar or a breakfast bar before you start to decorate.
  2. Image titled Decorate a Bar Step 2
    Choose a theme. Although it is not required, many people like to decorate in themes. The following are common bar theme ideas:
    • A wine bar. If wine is your drink of choice, then you may be acquainted with the special equipment needed to keep wine in perfect condition. You will need to consider cool storage, wine racks and safe glass storage. Classic Tuscany, contemporary Napa Valley and the Mediterranean coast of France are all places that inspire décor choices in a wine bar.
    • A tiki bar. This kitschy look is playful and fun for both adults and children. Bar elements are often made of bamboo or wicker, rather than traditional wood. Depending upon your budget and desire, you can be as subtle or daring as you want, with a few South Pacific accents or with a faux straw roof and coconuts.
    • An English pub-inspired bar. If you love British culture, sports and/or traditional elements then a pub environment is comfortable and classic. Accent dark wood with comfortable armchairs, keg taps, pint glasses and empire-themed décor.
    • A family/recreation room bar. If your whole family will be using the bar, then create a beverage center that has fun in mind. Decorate with posters, vacation photos and storage for every type of glass and drink.
    • A cafe-themed bar. Your bar may be inside, but you can give it the feeling of a street-side cafe in Paris, Florence or Prague. Choose a European country and look for décor in those languages. Purchase cafe tables and chairs, a chalkboard menu, flowers, an espresso machine and coffee cups.
    • Other possible bar themes include poker, sports teams, disco, ice cream bar, library or travel.
  3. Image titled Decorate a Bar Step 3
    Decide your budget. It is a good idea to have a figure and price out all the options before making any purchases. For example, you should know whether you have enough money for a custom wine cooler, or if you should buy a mini-fridge.
  4. Image titled Decorate a Bar Step 4
    Install your appliances. If you want to have a large bar, then you should consult an electrician about what is required to wire appliances, such as a refrigerator, cooler, dishwasher and outlets, into the area. Measure the free areas and go shopping for appliances that fit into small bar spaces.
  5. Image titled Decorate a Bar Step 5
    Install lighting. This step may also require help from an electrician. Your theme will have bearing on what type of lighting you choose.
    • For example, English pubs are known for their low lighting. A cafe or sports-themed bar may need bright lighting for use during the day and night. A romantic wine bar may require adjustable lighting for entertaining a group or a date.
    • There are generally 3 types of home lighting: ambient, task and accent. Ambient lighting provides the general lighting in the room, usually from large central fixtures. Task lighting may be required right above the work station or sink, but be distracting above a relaxed seating area. Accent lighting can draw light toward memorabilia, ceilings and art because small lights direct the eye to those areas.
  6. Image titled Decorate a Bar Step 6
    Consider installing storage options. If your bar is filled with storage, then this might not be necessary; however, think of where you will store glasses, shakers, cutlery, wine openers, condiments and more. If you install cabinets, choose a wood that matches your bar and theme.
  7. Image titled Decorate a Bar Step 7
    Buy furniture. If you want people to sit at your bar, then buy bar stools that match the theme and are the correct height. Other furniture options include cafe tables, armchairs or a bench.
    • You can place your furniture so that it faces the bar or faces away. If you plan to have a television nearby, you may want to turn armchairs away from the bar to create a comfortable place to watch a sports match.
  8. Image titled Decorate a Bar Step 8
    Find posters, art, photography and/or wallpaper that match your theme. If you have a small space, then wallpaper the area between the cabinets and bar to create a feeling of a separate room. Frame your art and posters and hang them on the walls near the bar.
  9. Image titled Decorate a Bar Step 9
    Stock your bar. The following are things that are important to serve drinks to people, but they also add to your style:
    • Buy glassware that matches the drinks you plan to serve. Most cocktails, wines and beers have a specific type of glass that is used in a bar. Invest in the right glasses for your favorite drinks.
    • Buy stirrers that match your theme. If you plan to serve cocktails, then you can find stirrers in almost any theme through party supply stores. You may want to provide coasters and napkins in the same theme.
    • Buy dishes that match your décor, if you plan to serve food. A cafe theme may have simple white plates, while a wine bar may opt for cheese trays and non-traditional shapes.
    • Buy drinks for your bar. Display fancy bottles of wine in an easily visible rack. Buy creative taps online or display your hard alcohol on a fancy bar cart.
  10. Image titled Decorate a Bar Step 10
    Add additional décor elements. Choose books, knick-knacks, candles, vases, plants, trays, photo frames, a telephone, mirrors, flowers or other elements that match your style.


  • If you have small children, make sure that all alcohol is stored high above the bar or in child-safe cabinets.

Things You'll Need

  • Theme
  • Budget
  • Storage
  • Glassware
  • Wall décor
  • Lighting
  • Bar stools or chairs
  • Appliances
  • Drink stirrers
  • Beverages
  • Coasters/napkins

Article Info

Categories: Home Decorating