Thursday, September 30, 2010

Raising the bar...

Here's the conundrum. Every hotel needs a bar, yet no home really wants a bar. A 'home bar' is so declasse, and fit only for the sort of home where pictures of dogs playing poker are considered tasteful. If one is to have alcohol in view, then one ought to have a 'drinks trolley'.

So, with that profound advice out of the way, how does one create the essential, intimate and ever so slightly glam bar for a boutique hotel cum home, where guests can flirt with each other over a nice glass or two of Grande Annee?

We have designed an alcove with a pull out bar on castors, and closable cabinetry. It has all the charm of a luxurious little bar - the warm polished mahogany paneling, the gleam of shiny brass rails, the glint of light off the crystal and chairs so comfy that a day's work on one's feet is quickly forgotten; yet when one doesn't want to be confronted with the commercial aspect of one's endeavours, one can simply close the cabinets behind the bar, hiding all the bottles and glasses behind paneling that matches the wall panels, push the bar back into the alcove, and redecorate the surface at will with whatever object d'art one is in the mood for.

When the bar is open...

When the bar is closed...

The lounge will have lovely deep leather club chairs with plenty of little Louis XV styled tables at hand upon which to rest one's glass, and will double as our informal entertainment area (separate from our private, formal drawing room). At the end of the lounge (correlating to the right hand wall in the above plans, there will be a large plasma TV, recessed into the wall, covered by a framed moving oil painting, which rolls up in the frame when one wishes to watch the TV, and rolls down, when one wants to hide it from view. TVs have become [almost] indispensable household items, but that doesn't make them attractive...

Here are some more TV hiding ideas...

And here are some of the not so garish bars that we have taken inspiration from....


  1. I like bars that are hidden as well. I love them in closets - double doors, each one 3' wide for a 6' long bar. You can have shelves at either end too for added storage. That way close the doors and 'where's the bar?'? Mirror the entire interior and maybe hang some pretty pendants - beautiful and unobstrusive!

  2. Just found your blog. Love this post, especially the ideas for hiding a t.v. I am your newest follower.

  3. I think the push a button and there it is pretty cool.
    Some of those cozy dark wood
    pub like rooms are handsome.
    Can't wait to make a visit..

  4. I agree with ArchitectDesign--having a bar that you can close off with doors is pretty swell, indeed. But more important--one you can open up, too!

  5. What a great line: "A home bar is so declasse, and fit only for the sort of home where pictures of dogs playing poker are considered tasteful. If one is to have alcohol in view, then one ought to have a drinks trolley".

    How the world has changed. Over the centuries, we have seen world globe drinks holders, giant wine coolers that took 4 butlers to carry them into the dining room, glitzy Hollywood-inspired Deco bar cabinets, 1950s island bars, glass and metal trolleys, and fully fitted mahogany cellarettes.

    It will be interesting to see what comes next.

  6. Your proposed plan looks as though it will do the trick. You have the hotel considerations to take into account. Because we have a comparatively large kitchen in which we eat when there are just the two of us, and which has a counter, the drinks tray is placed in the kitchen. This way it is close to the other requisites, such as ice and mixers etc, and because it's a flat, close to the main sitting room. If you have a closed off drawing room, drinks on a trolly look quite atractive to me.

    I agree TVs should either be hidden in drawing rooms, or preferably in a room dedicated to the pastime.

  7. Just discovered your blog and will be sure to return. Your ideas look fabulous and are somewhat similar to what we are looking at on our property in Australia although ours are not nearly as grand. I will look forward to visiting again.

  8. I'm so looking forward to the day when I'm sitting with you both in the guests Living Room @ WP with a glass of Grande Annee & lots of laughter happening! Love your bar ideas & the secret cupboard for the compulsory telly.
    Millie ^_^

  9. Another vote for a bar hidden behind cabinetry, although I love the picture of the pagoda bar.

    I look forward to seeing which design you choose.


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