Basement Bar Must-Haves

by Rachel Laurendeau on July 4, 2012

Maybe it’s because of the era that I grew up in, but every time I think about basement remodeling, inevitably, it includes an open family or rec room with a wet bar and a pool table. Modern homes tend to skip over the mirrored panels and Formica tops and instead opt for a more sophisticated pub or lounge feeling in their basement bars.

First of all you’ll want to choose a style for your home bar and rec room. Since your basement is removed from the rest of the house, it’s ok if the style is a bit different down here than it is upstairs. Whether you go dark and moody, bright and fun, Irish pub or Miami lounge inspired, this will help determine many of your other decisions.

What you’ll need:

A plan and a budget – spend some time dreaming and make a list of everything you want. Then, come up with a realistic budget and scale your dream back to fit into the budget.
A bar – counter, cabinets, shelves to serve as workspace, serving station and to store and display your bottles, stemware, etc. We traditionally think of standing behind a the bar but if your space can’t accommodate this, you could always have your counter and cabinets up against the wall.
A sink – a small bar sink and faucet (aka convenience sink) is usually big enough since you’ll mainly be rinsing out glasses or filling it with ice to keep beverages cold. However, I’ve got friends who entertain so often that they decided to put in a full sized sink, dishwasher and additional tap for filtered water behind the bar.
A mini-fridge – to refrigerate beverages and snacks so you don’t have to run upstairs every few minutes. Make sure your fridge has a freezer for your ice too. (Yes, those friends I was just telling you about, they’ve got a full sized stainless steel fridge with ice dispenser back there.)
A wine cooler – if you are a wine drinker, you’ll definitely want a wine fridge/cooler so your reds and whites are always at the perfect temperature.
Seating – the style of your basement bar will determine the seating type but you want people to be comfortable and relaxed. Stools with backs and arms, comfy club chairs or cozy sofas are all good options. You might also want to include a table and chairs for board games and card playing.
Lighting – sets the mood in any room and your basement bar is no exception. I personally like pendant lights above the bar and pot lights in the ceiling.

Talk to your local home improvement or basement remodeling and finishing experts for more information on finishing your basement bar. The best bar in town can be right in your own basement!

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