A ‘cocktail recipe’ for an at-home bar

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” My friend Chelsea epitomizes this quote. She has managed to keep a happy, healthy home and family of four by constantly keeping busy. She always has a project going on, both at work and at home. What I love most, however, is that while her home projects keep her busy, they also keep life fun.

For instance, in her most recent project, she and her husband revamped the basement to make it the ultimate escape. It serves as a giant playroom for the kids, but also for the adults. The home bar they created is both sophisticated and family-friendly. It matches their lifestyle, which often includes early bedtime for the kids and nights in for the parents. If you want to create one of your own, consider some of these tips for setting up and stocking a home bar:

• Close the doors. While many restaurant bars and public establishments keep their liquor on display, you should aim to keep yours behind closed doors. When choosing a bar setup, pick one that allows you to shut the doors on the bottles, which will keep them out of direct light and cooler overall. If you have kids, opt for doors you can close with lock and key.

• Open shelving. If you want to put something on display, consider using the shelving for glassware. Martha Stewart recommends stocking six to eight of each basic glass: short glasses, tall glasses and glasses with stems. If you are a wine drinker, up the quantity for your wine glasses to at least 12 each for red and white.

• Mind the numbers. Whether you are purchasing a bar or building one of your own, remember that the standard bar height is 42 inches. Sticking with the standard will increase your options for barstools, which are typically 30 inches tall. When spacing your barstools, give yourself some elbowroom and allow for a little more than 2 feet between each stool.

• Anticipate spillage. Bar molding is there for more than decorative purposes. It can stop spilled beverages from running off the bar, which is an inevitable accident if you have kids sitting there. As a bonus, the molding can double as an armrest.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisin@gmail.com.