Once confined to small dark rooms filled with masculine memorabilia, cocktail bars are now the focus of entertaining areas with decor that complements the rest of the house. Here are some stylish examples that caught our eye
“We often entertain large crowds and wanted to create different sitting zones in the open-plan living area,” explain Cathy and Peter Cleary of their decision to include a bar in their Mtunzini home. Designed by Caryn Overton of Dandelion Design and made by Jurgen Bezuidenhout, it seats eight comfortably and has two tiers – one for preparation and serving and one for glasses and snacks. A sliding window enables drinks to be served on the veranda. “As you enter, the bar is the first thing you see so it had to be in the same modern style as the rest of the house, but not be too overpowering,” explains Caryn. The textured base doesn’t show marks and the chairs from The Original Furniture Company were upholstered for comfort.
“When entertaining, we find that guests gravitate to the bar,” say Lionel and Pauline Bouttell of Hillcrest. Finished with rustic brick and oak, the bar, installed by Kitchen Classics, is situated on a lower level than the living room to make it more intimate, a feeling enhanced by the bulkhead. Pendant lights illuminate the counter which is underlit by strip lighting. Drinks are stored in a wall-mounted cabinet, while a wine rack from BlitzMNF shows off their favourites.
“As the bar is situated between our kitchen and entertaining area, it’s a natural gathering place where guests can be in the middle of the action,” say Ashley and Hagop Jaghlassian, who often entertain a crowd. To fit in with the contemporary look of their Centurion home, the bar was clad in glossy black subway tiles from Lime Green Sourcing Solutions and combined with comfortable bar stools from The Grand Living. The pendant lights can be dimmed to create an intimate atmosphere in the evenings.