How to Set Up a Home Bar Without Going Broke

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How to Set Up a Home Bar Without Going Broke

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right? Well, if you’re feeling particularly spirited and in need of a social hub to hold happy hour soirees – then what you need is a home bar! Best of all you can set up your own pub in the basement, garage or in an unused room in the house on the cheap. Heck, even a bar cart will do. This is how to go about to set up a home bar without going broke.

Setting the Bar

How to Set Up a Home Bar Without Going Broke

Renovate your room into the ultimate bar and bring on the good times and the laughter! Here’s how.

Tap Room or Bar Cart

Start envisioning your perfect pub by deciding where it’s going to go – you might want to ask your significant other for their opinion on the matter. There’s no sense setting up shop in the living room if it’ll cause ripples in the relationship! Will the bar get prime real estate and gain the main room, or will it be relegated to the basement or garage? Haven’t got the space – then bar cart in the TV or dining room it is!

Design Tip: If you’ve got a small space, opt for a bar cart. Shop vintage for a retro vibe and always remember glasses on top, bottles on the bottom!

Pub Flare or Cocktail Hour

How to Set Up a Home Bar Without Going Broke

Build your bar room around a theme. Then hit thrift stores for nifty throwaways, like beer signs or more practical things like mix and match glasses. Otherwise, watch flyers for sales or buy used items at physical or virtual (yes, it’s a thing) garage sales.   

If you’re into beer, sports and nachos, you have your choice between:

  • Traditional Irish pub: wood, dark wall colour, taps, muted lighting and beer advertisement as art, or
  • Sports bar: sports memorabilia, taps, team colours for the wall paint, track lighting to highlight key features and chrome.


More of a wine or spirits connoisseur or are you the type to find yourself at a lounge with a high baller of something heavy on the rocks?

  • Wine lovers: plum or purple wall colour, wood, barrels for seats, wine rack, vineyard art and wine glass displays.
  • Girls night in: go retro by mixing floral accents or wallpaper with gold, framed vintage drinking ads, fun colours or patterns, raw gemstone art, signature cocktail menu and funky glasses.
  • Liquor lounge: neutrals especially grey, chrome accents, plush seating, posh accents and a display for your liquor bottles and variety of glasses.

Featured Furnishings

How to Set Up a Home Bar Without Going Broke

The bar is your centrepiece, so make it memorable and draw off your theme. Some bar ideas you can use aside from the quintessential look: repurposed and refinished pieces like a bookshelf or TV stand, a chic buffet, tiered wall shelves, serving trays for the corner of your counter or handymen rejoice there are loads of free DIY templates available online to build your own bar.

From the bar out, if you’ve got room to work with, no bar is complete without complementary bar stools and extra seating in the form of a sofa or chairs. Buy new or update existing pieces by staining or reupholstering.

Design Your Designated Drink Space on a Dime

With the cost of living going up, turn a space in your house into a modern Prohibition hotspot for you to entertain guests. Select your theme, pick a bar and build around it and get ready for happy hour!


Eva is a freelance writer and a fashion enthusiast. She’s a writer for over 5 years.

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