If you want to make your home more efficient (and look better while you're at it), you don't necessarily have to break the bank. Sometimes, the simplest changes can make a world of difference. Many home improvement projects don't add value to your home, especially in a down market. In fact, some improvements can even detract from the asking price when you decide to sell. On the other hand, some projects can add significant value to your home. By working on these projects now, you can enjoy the benefits and updates.
Read on for a detailed look into typical bar style
There are three main styles we base...
There are three main styles we base our designs from and from there, all the aspects of your dream bar can fall into place. Traditional, the look you get when you think of an Old English pub, fancy, ornate and many levels that draw the eye. Modern/Contemporary, a sleek, straight lines bar you’d find in a modern club. Transitional, the basis of a Traditional bar with a Modern spin to it, less mouldings for an easier integration of modern features. To compare all the aspects of each style equally, they will all be listed here and then touched on within each style. Each of these bars have a sort of standard or regulated look to them, they are in no way, shape or form rules though. The great thing about this area of cabinetry is that whatever you want, you can have. The main aspects of a bar that help create an iconic style are: materials, mouldings, bar fronts, bar tops, doors, hardware, back units, canopies, miscellaneous.
Traditional:Think of an Old English Pub, you think of curved mouldings, crown moulding everywhere and a lot of depth to the bar. That is what we aim for when making a Traditional bar. If you go through our Bar Designer, which I highly recommend, you will see the difference between our Traditional Bar Style and our Contemporary Style.
Material: The material most commonly used for a Traditional bar is oak. It has more depth and accentuated grain than its counterpart, maple. The grain is much more visible due to the colour variance as well as the texture you feel when running your hand along the wood, you can feel all of the grain. The colour variance in the grain creates lines in the wood that add more depth and more lines for your eyes to follow giving the elaborate look. That’s not to say maple isn’t used for traditional bars though, use the right stains for each wood and you can easily create a rich, extravagant look for your bar.
Mouldings: The more the better! We use a curved moulding to bridge every depth change in the bar as well as most corners will have a decorative moulding to help increase the classical feel. Large crown moulding can be used as well as fluting in key parts of the bar so every inch displays a different ornate feature.
Bar Fronts: Our Traditional bar fronts have more mouldings than our Contemporary and feature one more layer of wood, these additional lines don’t seem like much but when you have these two panels side by side, you will be able to notice the rich feel of the Traditional.
Bar Tops: A bar top with a wooden bar rail around the outer edge is the normal for this style. The bar rail is a great place to rest your arms when sitting or standing at the bar. To add the richness to this style, we can also add a large crown moulding to the underside of the bar rail which doubles the overall thickness of the bar top, adds a whole new dimension to the front of the bar and could be the bit needed to give the look you want.
Doors: Fully customizable and we mean it, we have many door styles to choose from and for this bar style, door profiles with curves are key. Another option for your doors would include a raised panel door. This is a solid wood middle panel instead of a veneer middle. Feels more solid with an expensive quality feel to the door.
Hardware: When you think Traditional, you think older, to keep with that theme, Brass or Antique English hardware are usually the best route to go. Antique English is similar to brass but has a oil rubbed finish that gives it a nice patina (decorative tarnishing). Both finishes are also used on foot rail that is typical of Traditional bars. The introduction of this colour gives another visual aspect for your eye to be drawn to.
Back Units: Another known feature of a Traditional style would be that everything is more out in the open, that means bottles are displayed and the best bottles featured. This is done through our tiered and display shelves on a bars back unit, brightly lit and integrated into the rest of the bar. The display shelves can be left open or be a glass door cabinet with glass shelves to allow the light to fully distribute throughout the cabinet. These back units can also have either a wood back to match the cabinets, a mirrored back to create that next dimension or even a combination of both.
Canopy: Attached to the ceiling, this is essentially a wooden bulkhead that follows the path of the bar top complete with accent lighting and moulded panels. Take it one step further again, and you can add stained glass into the canopy for a nice glow throughout the whole bar. Canopies of this style are built to be more prominent and deeper to accompany the highly decorative bar below. Canopies are extremely common with the Traditional bar style and through the accent lighting within can create the shadow lines necessary to add even more depth to the overall feel of the area.
Miscellaneous: Traditional is about going as big and elaborate as possible, the more wood, the better. Wall panels and wood covered ceilings are common for the bare walls and ceiling within the bar area. More extravagant bar stools, especially ones with a fabric seat can help transport you to that UK pub you’ve always dreamed of sitting at.
TransitionalTransitional is the great little spot between Traditional and Modern, the standards and normalcies for each of those styles are blurred here. You have control whether you want a Traditional bar with a Modern spin, something more Modern but keeping those rich moulding profiles or finding a sweet spot right in between.
Material: The two main materials we use for bars are used equally for this style, oak and maple both bring a lot of positives to your bar and could be the main factor to the overall look of the area. You can also get a bit outside the generic colours you’d think of on a Traditional. Being in control of our own finishing gives and you the flexibility to find your ideal colour.
Moulding: The moulding used is the same as the Traditional, just less of it. We use enough of it to create the classic bar feel but don’t go to the Traditional extent. The crown moulding would typically be the same style as Traditional but wouldn’t use as much of the bigger crown.
Bar Fronts: The bar fronts are less elaborate that Traditional so you are left with a clean moulding look that is flatter and simpler. The posts in between panels are smoother and less levels to it.
Bar Tops: The bar tops can be anything you like! We offer multiple different styles, the first is the traditional looking bar rail with or without the large crown underneath. The second style is our ‘Shaker’ style which is a wider top with waterfall edges, again cleaner, sharper and more modern. To contrast that modern, we have an option that puts a moulding around the shaker bar top that breaks up the sharp look slightly. Stone bar tops such as granite and quartz are big for the Transitional look, it puts a perfect touch of modern and difference to a Traditional look and can set your bar apart from anything else you’ve seen. The colour in the stone can act as an accent colour to the rest of your décor scheme and set the mood for the whole area.
Doors: The doors are like most everything for this style, middle of the road. Not fully Traditional but not quite Modern either. The same profiles of traditional are standard without the raised panel feature but Shaker doors are a common feature as well. Shaker doors have a chamfer along the door edges and are clean lines throughout with a veneer panel in the middle.
Hardware: Hardware can be the Brass or Antique English discussed in Traditional but can also venture into the Brushed Nickel more commonly seen on newer bars. There are multiple styles of every colour handle so find one that suits your bar the best! Brushed nickel is also available for our LED Pot lights that we use for accenting and lighting the bar so everything is more uniform and tidy.
Back Units: Tiered shelves are popular with Transitional especially when the top half is housing a TV. A TV in this location is a great use of the space and is in a perfect spot to be viewed from all angles. Bottle displays and glassware shelves are a good use of the remaining spaces in your back unit.
Canopy: Canopies are less prominent here, shallower and more minimalistic, skipping the mouldings on the side of the canopy and having just a clean straight look.
Miscellaneous: Many modern appliances are used in this style giving an older looking bar the functionality of a new modern space. Items like an ice maker and wine fridge are popular and caters to a wide array of drinks. A spot for a blender or espresso maker wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Chalkboards are getting popular not only in the Transitional but all styles, they give you the opportunity to write down your beer available, etc. or just a little artistic outlet spot. We have also done a few di-electric mirrors which are mirrors that become transparent when the TV located behind the mirror is turned on, it’s a perfect way to hide the TV and keep your clean simple look you are aiming for.
Modern/ContemporaryModern is a very blurry area since it is constantly changing. We see many degrees of “Modern” bars, from coloured lights (known as RGB) with metal bar tops and accents to a simpler modern that uses minimal mouldings and darker colours.
Material: The most common wood for a modern bar is maple. Its sleek, smooth and shows minimal grain compared to oak, especially when used with a dark, almost black stain. The other popular material would be a wood grain laminate. This is a textured panel meant to look like wood but giving a more modern appearance through colour and grain structure.
Moulding: Mouldings modern is very minimal, often going for a straight-lined crown moulding, and more squarish trims throughout.
Bar Fronts: Bar Fronts generally have no mouldings to tie the panels together, instead just the use of the different panel depths is the best option for a sleek, new look. Straight lines everywhere on this style.
Bar Tops: Bar Tops avoid the use of a bar rail due to its curves and be more suited for a waterfall look ‘Shaker’ style. Metal bar tops with a 2” thick look draw the eye and, paired with a black stained bar, give a flashy, professional appearance. Live edge slabs are also used frequently to throw a bit of rustic into a modern design to help break up a super modern style. RGB is common for modern and gives that bar the coloured accent it needs.
Doors: Doors are flat recessed panels, simple lines and more straight edges. Slab doors, (one flat panel with no decorative designs) will be used to minimize the amount of lines seen on the bar and are especially common when the bar is made from wood grain laminate.
Hardware: Brushed Nickel and Stainless Steel are the two biggest and best choices for a modern look. It has a clean look that accents a black bar or any metal in the bar. Brushed Nickel handles have a sleek profile and give that vibrant colour that makes a bar pop.
Back Units: Back units give you tons of freedom to help make your bar unique. Floating shelves have become popular in replace of a standard back unit. They give a minimalist look and give you the opportunity to put a flair on the wall around the bar to tie everything together. These floating shelves can be all wood, they could have pot lights on the underside of them or even have the RGB Coloured lighting illuminating both the bottles on top and underneath to the bar below. Add this with any RGB under the bar top and everything becomes connected.
Canopy: A thin, low profile canopy is the way to go for the sleek modern look. Metal accenting, pot lights and RGB illuminating the canopy up to the ceiling add to the glow ambiance throughout the bar. Having the coloured lighting on all aspects of the bar show uniformity and completes the look to a whole bar setting.
Miscellaneous: Since modern is constantly changing, the options onto a bar are constantly changing as well. Most of options stated in the Transitional style can be used here. We offer other options such as our infinity mirror, an RGB mirror light that gives the impression of looking down an endless tunnel or a multi-liquor dispenser that will automatically pour your perfect shot, every time.
Best practices to ensure a long lasting bar
When we install your bar, we clean ...
When we install your bar, we clean any remaining dust and buff smudges out with our furniture/wood polish, not only does it smell nice but it’s also a great deterrent for future dust to settle in the bar area. Using this wood polish, we clean everything from the bar top, bar fronts, upper cabinets and inside the lower cabinets.
This means any furniture/wood polish you decide to use in the future is safe to use on every aspect of the bar. It is good to re-polish the high traffic areas periodically, it is there the polish wears off quickest but also the best area the polish’s protective properties will be useful. Any generic polish works for our bar, whether you prefer Pledge or Pine-Sol, you will always get that nice wood sheen.
One thing to remember is that it is a bar, after one or two (or four), accidents are bound to happen! Someone will spill a bit of beer or whiskey at some point. We have worked hard to make this virtually no big deal. We use only the hardest top coat lacquer that we have performed tests on. The finishing system we use is resistant to over 30 different chemicals and acidic materials specifically revolving around bar-like products. We have put multiple chemicals on our bar tops, and left them sitting overnight.
After wiping of the liquids, no mark whatsoever! No need for you to worry after a get together that something might ruin your bar, get some much deserved sleep then tackle it all in the morning. Our bar tops are extra durable because we have applied a second coat of our durable top coat lacquer to give the bars focal point the best protection.
The counter tops are where the bartender will be mixing all the drinks, bound to get messy! If you have gone with our laminate countertops, all liquids will simply sit on top of the textured laminate until cleaned up, whether you clean it five minutes after spilling or five hours, nothing permeates into the counter and cleans off with just a wipe! An extremely durable product. If you’ve gone for a stone counter (granite, marble, quartz) a different care is needed.
Depending on the colour of the stone and the type of stone it is, some of the more porous, lighter colours will absorb liquids after a time and will discolour the area. Spills on a porous stone counter should be wiped shortly after. When we install granite tops, we finish off the process with a Stone Sealer. This protects the surface of the counter as well as filling the stone’s porous areas with sealer to prevent any further liquids from entering. Resealing and stone polishing should be done yearly or more often depending on use.
The glass and mirror in the bar is all cleaned with a name brand window cleaner and paper towel, you can do this as often as you like to remove smudges and dust from the reflective surfaces. Mirrors, doors and glass shelves are the most common pieces of glass in our bars and make the whole bar look richer when cleaned. If when spraying the glass with your cleaner you hit the wood, you can buff that into the wood just like the polish.
It is handy to have a bar towel kicking around the area to clean up little spills or dry your hands, get a unique or personalized towel and it now becomes an accent piece on your bar. When we install your bar, we leave you a few coasters to start you off, they are not just for decoration but should be used to help keep your bar top surface flawless and without small surface scratching that would occur if a rough glass or plate were slid across the bar. Use them!
As a final note, if your bar has a foot rail around it, the main metals we use are brass and nickel. Nickel is pretty much maintenance free and will keep the same look for its lifetime, brass on the other hand will patina over time, and this is a natural tarnishing that occurs. If this is not the look you desire, you can prevent this by using a brass/metal polish periodically on all the exposed metal. This will protect your foot rail and prevent further oxidization that causes the patina.
If you have a bar already and have more tips or little tricks you’ve figured out, let us know! We’d love to hear your feedback on these blogs! If you have further questions about caring for your bar or any other questions in general, we will be happy to answer them and can dedicate a blog post specifically to your question for everyone else to learn from.
ELEMENTS OF A GREAT HOME BAR.
Reservations are not required ...
Reservations are not required when you have your own bar at home. Whether you are a wine connoisseur or simply want to sit back with a nice cocktail at the end of a long day, it’s nice when you can enjoy a good drink in your own home. Having a bar in your home is also great for entertaining.
With so many options for designing a bar, where do you start? Here’s a handy list to work from when turning your space into a stylish pub:
Cabinetry – This should be customized according to the drinks you will stock. If you like a good glass of wine, be sure to include cabinets that include a way to stock your wine collection, such as open wine storage. Your cabinets should also provide easy access to your stemware. Glass front cabinets are a nice way to show off your glassware or collectibles. Another option is under cabinet stem glass holders which will free up space in the cabinets.
Plumbing – If your bar is located off of your kitchen or close to it, consider putting in a bar sink that corresponds well with the kitchen sink. Same with the faucet. Whatever your kitchen faucet style may be, find a bar faucet in the same product line or one that looks closely like it in the same finish. This offers continuity.
Appliances – Your home bar will likely include a refrigerator of some kind. Depending on how you like to entertain, it can house wine or other beverages. Choose one that fits your space and works with the rest of the room. If space allows, you may want to add in an ice maker for convenience.
Backsplash – If you want your bar to fit in with the rest of the room, use the same backsplash as you have if it’s off of your kitchen. If you want to make it stand out a bit, go with a different texture or colour.
Add some personality - If you like rustic, you might want to clad the front of your bar with reclaimed wood. If you like transitional, go with a mirrored backsplash and recessed panelled cabinets. If you are a minimalist, how about flat panel cabinets with quartz countertops? We have installed stained glass as a glass cabinet front for one of our clients because it was a family heirloom. This is the area where you can add in some fun.
10 Reasons we should build your own home bar.
You don't need us to list off 1...
You don't need us to list off 10 reasons why we should build your own bar; you already know how life changing it can and will be.
We just thought we'd help you plead your case, in case there's someone in your life who doesn't quite understand why building a home bar is one of the best investments you'll ever make.
1. Driving is for suckers
We all know that drinking and driving don’t mix and maybe beer isn’t cheaper than gas, but wouldn’t you rather fill your glass than your tank?
2. You are the bartender
You control the pour. You dispense the wit and wisdom. You create the killer cocktails that combine unique flavours, premium mixers and your own ingenuity. In other words you are the star of the show.
3.You are the owner.
No decision gets made without your approval. From the decorations on the wall to the bottles on your shelves behind the stick your word is law.
4.There’s always room to take a seat and rest your feet.
Does this sound familiar? It’s been a long week and you just want to belly up to the bar and have a couple of relaxing refreshments. Unfortunately it seems like everyone in your zip code has the same idea.
At your own home bar, you’ll never get stuck standing. Grab a stool, put up your feet and let your troubles melt away.
5.You like to drink.
Not all drinks are created equal.
A lukewarm macro-brewed beer slurped from the can doesn’t approach the same levels of artistry as a well-mixed cocktail classic served in a glass designed to enhance the experience.
Home bar owners are detail- oriented drinkers in search of something more than a mere bottom – feeding buzz.
6. You’ll be a better host.
If it is built, they will come. A home bar is the home base that every party needs. It’s a central area to gather, prepare drinks, serve snacks and tie everything together.
After we build your bar and it won’t take long before your place is the place to be.
7. Give your space a shot of style.
Home improvement projects come in all shapes and sizes they all have the same goal: to transform your home for the better.
When we build your bar, we recreate your vision and make it come to life. Whether it’s sleek and contemporary or rustic and comfortable, your home bar is a part of your home.
8. Make a night in feel like a night out.
For many of us the choice of “staying in vs. going out” is similar to “sitting by myself in sweats vs. putting in the time and effort to get ready.
Look we all need some quality time with the couch and the clicker. But sometimes, that just doesn’t feel like enough. Embrace the best of both worlds by making your cozy home bar feel like a world-class pub.
9. Bathroom breaks are easier than ever.
When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. But if there’s a line six people deep and a drunk dude praying to the porcelain god in the stall, it’s definitely not an ideal situation for your bladder full of booze. Luckily, it’s also a situation that you’ll never run into at your own bar.
10. Because, Why not?
No one ever built a home bar and though “meh, this isn’t cool.”
Do you like hanging out with friends? Do you want to dedicate some space in your home to a bit of fun loving relaxation that really classes up the joint?
Yeah, us too. Give us a call to start building!
At Mediterranean Bars we will change that extra space in your home to a luxurious bar that you have always dreamed of.