Designing a Dramatic and Functional Bar

Published: August 27, 2020

Since most consumers are mixing their drinks at home these days, many are going to start looking to create designated bars in their own spaces. Designer Jennifer Hutton of Buffalo, N.Y.-based Artisan Kitchens and Baths recently created this fun wet bar and shared her insights.

Both Fun and Functional

Hutton: “Client requirements included a more cohesive feeling with the rest of the house while being fun, updated and interesting. The homeowner was also in need of functional bar storage, including locking cabinets, plenty of drawers and maintenance-free countertops for easy drink making. My main goal of this project was to pack a punch both in terms of functionality and design in a relatively petite space.”

Cabinetry and Countertop Choices

Hutton: “The cabinets, by Masterbrand, are classic and elegant – almost seductive – with a rich, velvety black paint and inset style. The door shape itself is simple and understated, giving way to the deep color. I selected the Caesarstone quartz countertop as it emulates natural marble in color and pattern but has a much longer lifespan than the real deal. With acid from citrus and alcohol, it was vital to have a maintenance-free surface.”

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A Stand-Out Backsplash

Hutton: “This particular backsplash (by Ottimo) is a geometric pattern of various natural stones. The colors in the black cabinets, marble-like gray countertops, warm hardwood floors and taupe wall color can all be found in different stones throughout the tile, making it the perfect option to marry a series of elements.”

Adding Drama

Hutton: “Drama is quite evident in the patterned backsplash but not without competition from the floating shelves, which draw your eye upward and provide an easy-access storage option for liquor and glasses. Matte-brass plumbing and hardware elevate the space with a touch of glamor and shine.”

Best Part of the Design

Hutton: “There’s a lot to love about this cute project, but personally I have to say the backsplash is my favorite part. People are often scared of taking a leap with tile, but in my opinion, backsplashes should be an ‘experiment.’ This project would have looked completely different with plain white subway tile and would not have the wow factor we see here. By installing a bold, multicolored pattern, we get to have a little fun while the more ‘permanent’ elements remain subtle and simple.”

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