Raising the Bar: ‘Sipping’ on These Basement Bar Remodeling Idea & Design Tips

Looking for basement bar ideas to set your basement remodeling project into motion? If so, great, says RemodelWerks, the premier 3D design firm in Massachusetts, custom building and remodeling firm for MetroWest and Central Massachusetts.

Basement designs often scream for a bar. Adding a basement bar is a great way to bolster the square footage to your living space and give your family and friends a hang out for socializing, playing games, and watching TV.

By seating them at the bar, your friends and family will be engaged in stimulating conversation in no time. Plus, the basement bar can do double-duty, acting as a homework and activities station for the kids when the adults aren’t using it.

Here are some basement remodeling questions to ask as you begin the basement bar planning and design process:

Which bar design configuration is best for me? Basement bars like any design+build project can be customized to your specifications. Common designs include the straight bar, the L-shaped bar, the U-shaped bar, and the C-shaped bar. Also, RemodelWerks has seen many homeowners opt to add a back bar—a smart design feature that allows for the storage and display of glassware, bottles, and other items. (If you have children, consider adding glass doors to the back bar with locking mechanisms to ensure that bottles are safely secured at all times.)

When deciding which design is right for you, consider the layout of the area where bar will be housed. Do you have a walkout basement with large windows looking out onto your backyard? If so you may want to position the bar so your guests can look out and enjoy the view. Perhaps you don’t have much space to work with but you want to create a cozy and intimate space to entertain—a corner bar may be ideal for your situation.

Consider, too, how much room the bartender needs to be comfortable in the space. A straight bar or an L-shaped bar that’s built close to the wall may not provide as much behind-the-bar room as a C-shaped bar that’s positioned more in the center of the basement, for example.

If you want a space that can accommodate several guests at a time, L-, U-, and C-shaped bars are a strong bet. Positioning stools around these will surely stimulate conversation and create a warm, friendly space for entertaining.

If you’re unsure about where you want the bar to go, consider having it built on wheels so you can move it freely—just be sure to consider constructing it with lighter materials than heavy woods, such as mahogany and maple, if you’re opting for a mobile design.

The bottom line when it comes to designing the shape and positioning of your bar: An experienced design+build firm should have the capability of using 3-D technology to bring your ideas to life, so you can see precisely what to expect from the finished look.

How will the bar reflect my style? A basement bar gives you the chance to express your personality. Can’t get enough football, baseball, and other favorite American pastime? Perhaps a sports-bar themed space centered around a giant flat screen TV is right for you. The bar itself doesn’t have to be “themey,” though.

Rather than going for a kitschy design, invest in materials that reflect your overall style and add in accessories, additional furnishings, and window treatments later that bring out any particular theme you want to convey. This will make it a lot easier to change the feel of the space if you ever grow tired of the look. Think classic, beautiful, rich woods, metals or stones when designing your basement bar.

Keep in mind, an experienced design+build firm like RemodelWerks  can customize the bar just enough to fit your style—be it country, contemporary, or traditional.

What will the bar counter be made out of? Fortunately, there are many options for the bar counter—wood, stone and tile are all popular choices. Keep in mind that if you choose marble or wood for the counter, stains may be more readily apparent over time than they may be if you choose granite, tile or metal—a sleek alternative for those seeking a bar with contemporary flair.

Another consideration is edge of the bar. Raising the edge of the bar closest to where your guests sit is a great idea. It’s purpose is two-fold: 1) It gives them a place to comfortably relax their arms; and 2) it prevents any spilled drinks from overflowing onto them or the floor.

Finally, don’t skimp on storage space. Be sure to factor in room to house glassware, dishes and cutlery, as well as bar stock, i.e., wine, spirits, mixes, etc. As a rule of thumb, try and incorporate about 50 percent more storage space than you think you’ll need into the basement bar design.

Have I thought carefully about the bar’s surroundings, that is, above and below? Because the bar area is one where food and drink will be served frequently, it’s best to select flooring that is waterproof and slip-resistant. Tile, for instance, may be a good choice. Consider hanging pendant lighting or recessed lighting with a dimmer to give the bar area a warm look and feel.

Do I want a wet bar? A wet bar is equipped with a sink and plumbing, giving you a handy way to dispose of ice and drinks or wash glassware without having to trek into the kitchen. With a wet bar installation, it’s a good idea, too, to consider adding a compact dishwasher to the area. Some clients will opt, too, for having an ice machine installed.

By thinking about what you really want out of your basement bar now, you’ll be all that more prepared to communicate your basement design and basement remodeling needs and desires to a competent design+build firm.

If you have any questions or concerns about ‘raising the bar’ in your home, contact RemodelWerks today for your free, no obligation consultation.