Don’t argue with me when I say that a bottle of wine on a patio during the summer is all you need for happiness, because you know I’m right (OK, you can replace that wine with a drink of your choice, but you get my drift).
You don’t have to go out to enjoy that drink al fresco: Creating an at-home bar for yourself, your friends and family transforms your abode—whether it be by the sea, in the city, the ‘burbs or by a quiet lakefront—into the place to be this summer. The best part? You don’t have to worry about driving home!
Cocktails by the Sea
This beautiful space in a well-appointed villa in Turks & Caicos is the perfect oceanfront bar setup. Fans and a high ceiling keep hot air rising and cool sea breezes moving in, and the full-size fridge and prep area make chopping a pile of fruit for boozy smoothies after a hot morning at the beach easy.
Why not convert a garage to an at-home bar? Just roll up the garage door and you’re ready to party. This design complements the seaside location with surfboards and the colors of summer waves.
A Drink Among the Treetops
This Amazon rainforest treehouse bar is all yours if you rent out the Treehouse Lodge outside of Iquitos, Peru. But it’s not that close to the city—you’ll have to take a boat ride to get there, first on the Marañón River, then across the Amazon River, and continue up the Ucayali River before connecting to the Yarapa River, where this perfect bar awaits. Imitate it at home by creating an elevated all-wood bar with a peaked ceiling.
Borgo Santo Pietro in Tuscany, Italy, shows how laid-back and comfortable a home bar with views of the treetops can be. Why not have a living room-like space with a low table, leather loveseat, candelabra and a fabulous chandelier?
If you have a large, empty covered patio behind your home, the above bar is a pretty (and easy) way to use the space. Just use plenty of texture and interest to keep the larger surfaces from being too plain (a stone facade is a lovely way to go).
This home bar is a beautiful combination of stone wall, brushed aluminum chairs and succulent plants, making for a cozy atmosphere that would be easy to duplicate in even a small backyard space. The key is combining various types of stone and floor tile with some tone-on-tone planters.
Spectacular City Sips
This is not a huge space, but it seems gigantic due to the transparent indoor-outdoor aspect of the garden and open interior bar area. With views like that, it makes sense to maximize this rooftop space to be used—and enjoyed—as much as possible.
The lighting on this home-made (yup!) shed changes colors, the floor is heated from beneath, there’s a tv and a sound system, and outside there’s a pizza oven, outdoor fire and BBQ. Genius.
This sweet bar on a lakefront near Minneapolis is just steps from the lake; it’s the perfect post-swim stopping spot, or just come down for a drink to get away from it all.
A lakeside getaway in Truckee, California proves that all you need for an at-home bar is a view, a picnic table, and some beverages. Of course, a lovely fireplace doesn’t hurt.