best bar we've ever done, bar none

Wet bars. The concept is pretty passe. Once a staple in family homes of the 1950s and 60s, they were later relegated to the basements and “rumpus rooms” of the 70s and 80s. They all have a few things in common: a mirrored backsplash, exposed metal brackets and a grimy sink. No one ever uses them. Except for storage. 

When we first laid eyes on this tiny bar tucked into a nook in our client’s home, we thought “Let’s rip it out!”. However, after taking thoughtful notes on his needs and wants, he divulged that he worked as a bartender in his 20s. Not only did he have tons of booze, he also liked to throw soirées and needed a place to mix drinks. “It stays!” we cried out in unison (okay, maybe not — but we were excited)

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See? Exposed shelving hardware, grimy sink and a dirty old mirror. Throughout the design process we kept thinking, “Mad Men, Mad Men, Mad Men”. We could just imagine our client getting up from his desk to stroll over to his very own bar at 10:30 am, and pour himself a Vodka Gimlet a la Roger Sterling. 

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Taking cues from the incredible set design of the show, we chose a 60s-feel walnut wood tone for the cabinet and an organic-look grasscloth for the wall behind. A warm white countertop by Caesarstone is topped with a fresh Moen bar sink and a cornered gooseneck faucet. Here is our original design concept:

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The obligatory progress shots:

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Our contractor stained three simple floating shelves with a medium-gloss and picked up some brushed chrome piping that slides over the unsightly hardware. We finished it off with matching brushed chrome door handles and a sleek new bar light. Our client supplied the hooch!

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The day construction finished, we quickly styled the shelves and our client hosted a shindig the very next day. Luckily, no ones legs were amputated by a John Deere lawn mower