I wanted to share a project we did a while back that had a pretty big impact for as simple as it was.
Having our home be a social place was pretty important to us in a number of our home buying and renovation decisions. It’s part of the reason I really wanted a house that was conveniently located and the reason I really wanted a nice porch. It’s probably the only reason we ended up designing a very open floor plan because before we designed this house, we’ve both always said we prefer the feel of good old fashioned rooms.
One of the other features we wanted in order to make our house feel inviting for social gatherings was a drink station. I call it a drink station and not a bar for two reasons. First, it’s not set up so someone can be behind the bar serving you, it’s set up directly against the wall so you can serve yourself. And secondly, it’s for all drinks – coffee, tea, cocktails, beer, wine, whatever.
When we were initially getting the house renovated, I couldn’t decide exactly how we wanted it set up so we only had the bottom half of it done. If I were better at the whole blogging thing, I’d have a picture of just the finished bottom part. Or a picture of the painters tape we had on the wall for a couple months to help us decide on a design for the top part before we actually built it. Or any progress pictures. But I don’t. So here’s what it looks like now.
Pardon the cat toys.
The lower drawers and cabinets store all sorts of hidden things. The left cabinet section, below the coffee maker and grinder, stores hot beverage related items including: tea bags galore, coffee beans, hot cocoa mix, a French press and an AeroPress, and a bunch of coffee and tea cups.
To the right of that is a wine fridge that contains wine but also a number of canned and bottled bears and a few mixers.
The middle cabinet section contains wine and cocktail related items including: a corkscrew, cocktail umbrellas and swords, cocktail shakers, wine glasses, and a variety of specialty cocktail glasses.
To the right of that is the kegerator. We typically keep three beers on tap – one home-brew and two commercial beers.
And the right cabinet section, to the right of the beer taps, stores beer related items including bottle openers, tacky coozies, and various beer glasses.
Hanging above the lower cabinets is a mirror I built using one of windows from the original house that we didn’t put back in. I basically broke out the only remaining window pane, sanded down the frame as well as I could by hand, painted the whole thing, and then had some mirror glass cut to size at my local Ace Hardware, which I fastened using special mirror clips and then caulked it. I love how much texture shows through from the old chipped paint.
In front of the mirror, I placed a couple Ikea window boxes which hold a few plants as well as some cocktail supplies.
Although I had originally wanted to use white cube shelves for the upper section, Andrew wanted to add more warmth with the wood and I ultimately decided that open shelves would allow more light to reach the mirror. We ordered the same shelves and brackets from Etsy that we used in the kitchen.
These shelves mostly hold our liquor supply but also house a few plants, books, and penguins. I’m still trying to get the balance right.
The liquor on the shelves is loosely sorted by type as well as use. So above is the tequila section. What do you do with tequila? You make margaritas! So there’s also Triple Sec on the shelf, along with mezcal and grapefruit vodka which I use for making something that vaguely resembles a paloma.
The shelf shown above is the gin shelf. What do you do with gin? You make martinis! So there is also vermouth on this shelf. We also have a whisky shelf and a rum/vodka shelf. Our top shelves contain brandy, baijiu, and a variety of liqueurs.
So that’s the grand tour. What do you think? Any tips on styling the shelves better?
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