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Setting Up A “Help Yourself” Bar

These days, everyone seems to be gravitating towards an open floor plan concept. And, let’s be honest, it's no wonder. When everyone is together in one space, it creates an inclusive vibe … for almost every occasion.

Our kitchen opens to both our dining room and living rooms, so it has to work really well in this regard. We don’t have a lot of space to dedicate to a wet bar area, so we revamped a corner of our kitchen by adding different cabinet doors, and set up a small portion of the counter where friends and family can whip up their favorite cocktails. It’s a popular spot!

Here’s a few simple steps to create a space in your kitchen that will feel intentional for entertaining guests.
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1) Cabinetry

To set up a “help yourself” bar, consider changing up the cabinetry style, whether you choose open shelving or a different door style like we did. We added brass grilles to the door fronts instead of glass to create something different, and to display beautiful glass and barware. The idea is to make this spot feel different than the rest — a little more special — and designate the area as a spot for everyone to check out!

2) Tray on Countertop to Hold Supplies

I’m a firm believer that if you put things out for guests to easily access them, it creates a more casual, “help yourself” kind of mentality. We always leave liquor and mixers out for friends so they can make their own concoctions, and if we are serving our favorite cocktail, we leave all the fixings in a pitcher out on the counter for refills. 


3) Invest in Good Barware

Bar Essentials:

  1. Serving a cocktail in a beautiful glass makes all the difference. Don’t just use your everyday glasses! Make it special and have glasses for all different types of drinks. I highly recommend having double old fashioned glasses, high balls, champagne coupes, martini glasses, stemless and stemmed wine glasses. 
  2. A pretty ice bucket is key. If you are like us and don’t have room for an icemaker in your kitchen, we recommend having a beautiful bucket full of ice for easy access when making cocktails. 
  3. A sleek cocktail shaker is essential … we use ours all the time!

Hope this helps you make a special spot in your kitchen or dining room where you can have all the essentials you need for creating cocktails and imbibing with family and friends!

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