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9 Modern Bar Designs for Small Spaces

modern apartment bar

Just because you have limited square footage to work with doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice having a bar in your home. In fact, with a bit of creative thinking, you can build something that feels fresh and stylish, and doesn’t take up too much space. To help you get inspired, here are nine modern bar designs for small spaces.

1. Create a hanging shelving unit for a visual focal point that doesn’t take up floor space.

When you’re dealing with limited space, the less you have on the floor, the better. Shelving units allow your collection to be on display while keeping your floor space entirely free. Open shelves let you store your spirits in an appealing way–and out of reach of little ones.

2. Use the bar as a transitional element between the kitchen and the living spaces in your home.

In open-concept living spaces, a wet bar is the perfect setup to help provide a transition from your kitchen to your living room or dining room. Consider dedicating a portion of the wall nearest your living spaces for this purpose. The easy access will allow you to keep the conversation (and the drinks) flowing throughout the night.

Frigidaire Gallery Stainless Steel Wine Cooler
Frigidaire Gallery Stainless Steel Wine Cooler

3. Look for sleek, compact appliances to store your spirits.

When you’re dealing with limited space, every square foot counts. Choose appliances with intention, looking for styles that are functional, but not excessive. For example, if you’re looking for the perfect wine cooler, think about the number of bottles of wine you normally keep on hand so that you can avoid selecting a cooler that holds too many more than that.

4. Build a bar into your living room layout so that you never have to leave the party.

If you always like to be a part of the action, why not build a bar space right in your living room? Consider transforming an empty corner into a small area for drink prep and storage. You won’t need to skip a beat.

5. Tuck your bar into the nook underneath the stairs to breathe life into an underutilized space.

If you have a two-story home, it’s likely you’re not using the space underneath your stairwell for much right now. A creative way to breathe life and functionality into this area is to use it as your bar. Once you’ve opened it up, a countertop, some cabinets and a soundbar to play your favorite party songs are all you need to start using and enjoying the space.

6. Install an alcove with a pocket door to conceal your bar while maintaining easy accessibility.

If you want to be able to get to your bar essentials easily, but also have the option to tuck them away whenever you want, consider building a closet-like alcove into your hallway or living room. Simply slide open the pocket door for access to whatever you need.

7. Make use of all your available space by getting creative with cabinet design.

Do you have an obscure corner that could make a great bar, but you can’t find the right sized cabinets for it? Think of how you might be able to adapt it to suit your needs. Custom cabinetry also might be worth the investment if you have a particularly challenging floor plan or unusually shaped nooks in your home.

brown wet bar

8. Opt for built-ins to give your bar an elevated, custom look.

Built-in appliances are space-saving options that feel quite sophisticated and look at home at your bar. When shopping for a wine cooler or beverage center to build into your cabinetry, don’t forget that they’ll need to be vented!

9. Get a bar cart on wheels for style and easy mobility.

Bar carts are a timeless way to store your beverages. You can store them in a more discreet place for everyday life and then roll them out when you’re ready for entertaining. Another benefit of bar carts is that they’re not permanent fixtures in your home and can be replaced or upgraded whenever you’d like.

Even if you’re limited on living space, if you enjoy entertaining, a modern bar is probably on your must-have list. Thankfully, there are creative ways you can build a bar that still feels fresh and spacious.

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