There is more to a basement than just storage. It has a lot of potential for an added living space. Be it living rooms, bedrooms, family dens, and game rooms, the damp and cold basement is up for it.
One of the best things to incorporate in basements would be basement bars. You can utilize its interesting acoustics, dampness, and light to create a cozy nook for friends and family.
If you are looking for basement ideas to draw inspiration from, it is time to spruce up your basement with these bar designs.
Related: Best dehumidifiers for basements
What is a basement bar?
A basement bar is an intimate, functional space for friends and family to convene. It is one of the most popular basement remodeling ideas for modern homeowners. It has become a trend because of its added function to the home. It also has a significant impact in the real estate value of the home should you list it in the future.
Basically, there are two types of basement bars: the wet bar and the dry bar. What is the prime difference between these two?
Simply put, a wet bar is the fusion of a kitchen galley and a minibar. Aside from the countertop, stools, and cabinets, a wet bar features a sink and a faucet. A wet bar is an apt choice for basements with intact water lines or for homeowners who want to install an ultimate man cave bar in their basements.
With these descriptions, it is easy to understand what dry bars look like. If you take away the sink and faucet features of the bar, you have a dry bar. Dry bars are perfect for corner bar styles or for small basements.
Whatever basement bar type you choose, note that you can add more extended spaces in it aside from the bar itself. Most transitional basements fuse the game room, the gym, and the bar together. Some extend the kitchen and the living room along with a minibar to create the ultimate party place in the home.
45 basement bar ideas
Basement bars are cozy and warm additions to your home, so it is understandable that you want one. For this, you need to choose the perfect design that will match well with your home’s aesthetics and your preference too.
If you are looking for some design inspiration, here are some of the basement bar ideas that you can consider.
1. Full mancave
For daytime illumination, the install can light scattered on the ceiling to resemble an English pub. Blue paint is always a soothingly masculine touch. With brushed metal or steel for the stools, you are creating a clean, perfect match.
2. Glass wine rack
The right decorative pieces and accent furniture are also imperative in achieving that ultimate man cave above. Adding a corner wine rack made of glass keeps the whole arrangement clean and regal. Accentuate further by pulling off a chic dining area in a backdrop of modern art.
3. Playful basement bar
Who said that basement bars are only for adults? Sometimes, adults can still be kids, right? If you want a cheerful basement bar, try fusing in that bar cart or shelf along with your toy collectibles. For the walls, you can consider using subway tiles for a change or 3D wallpapers for an embossed effect.
This adds more layer and texture to your basement bar. On the other hand, organize your toys and collectibles on one side and set up a bar counter to separate the playroom and the bar.
4. Industrial transitional basement
For a multifunctional, transitional basement, you can reserve one-fourth of the entire space for an enclosed industrial style bar. Mount wine racks across the wall for a more compelling effect. Use brass or metal pendant lights and go for marble or wood counters.
Longer countertops make the room full. Building a wall-on-wall wine rack is a fine touch in flaunting those wine collections.
5. Backdrop wine enclosure
If you want to utilize the other spaces into functional living spaces, you can make your basement bar a glass backdrop for your living room. With recessed lighting, stylish bar counters, and minimalist liquor racks, you are creating a glass bar focal point for the basement.
Enclosing the wine racks and shelves in a glass enclosure make it a separate haven; not too close to the living room to make it feel like you are hovering and not too far from the people hanging out in the living room to still make a connected crowd.
6. Basement apartment with a bar
If you are thinking of going all in, you can easily incorporate a bar in your basement apartment. Just set the right divisions for a bedroom, living room, entertainment space, and a mini bar. Keep everything matched in a monochrome color.
Stone accents for the countertop and walls complement well with polished wood flooring. Installing recessed can light and focused pendant lights by the bar area make everything a compelling arrangement.
7. Garage style basement bar
If you have materials to repurpose such as galvanized iron, some wood trims, and extra granite or marble sheets, you can go for a garage-style basement bar.
The corrugated metal adds a beautiful rawness, and the wood accents make the space warm. Without a doubt, this design is one of the cheapest ideas for a basement bar that anyone can pull off.
8. Corner bar
If you are remodeling a small basement and want to have a bar on it, set up a basic corner bar. Just add some wood and metal stools along with a bar counter. To make sharp angles and added texture to the wall, add a ceramic tile or wallpaper at a given length. Using track lights to focus on the liquor rack is perfect. Contrasting it against a wooden floor also gives a classic touch.
9. Stone columned basement bar
Nothing gives off a formal and rustic vibe at the same time as stone walls and columns. If you have a large basement and you want to go all out, this is a good option.
Enclose the bar area with stones and put a granite counter. Use highchairs for a classy touch. Scatter recessed lights all over the room and then illuminate the shelves with some ambient accent lights to make the room fuller and cozier.
10. Farmhouse style basement bar
The wood barrels, the all-wood aesthetics, some brass and stone accents make a farmhouse style basement bar very comforting. You could go for a wood symmetry but incorporating metal wheels and glass cabinets add to a farmhouse beauty too. Giving a new finish to an old hanging cabinet for the wine glass and a beer keg seal the deal for this design.
11. Rustic home pub
In a time when going to the pub is a big no, it is a big relief to know that you can set-up a rustic pub in your home with marble, granite, and wood materials. This is an appropriate design for an old brick basement. Reinforce the design with some pendant lights on a wood ceiling and you are all set.
12. Curved basement bar
For an added angle and dynamics, you can stray away from the square and flat bar and try a curved countertop. For a more polished look, incorporate stone accents, classic Victorian chairs instead of tools, overhang pendant lights, and scatter some recessed can light for daytime illumination.
This arrangement breaks the monotony and bodes well with natural stone flooring. Complement it with wood cabinets and stone walls.
13. Vintage neon bar
Speaking of breaking the monotony of the bar, you can go for a vintage revamp by adding neon signs and lights by the bar cart. Doing this makes it a standout space from the rest of the nooks set-up in your basement. It feels like you are in a hotel bar given the right accent furniture and accent lighting. If you are thinking about this, go for a full wet bar.
Instead of the ordinary highchairs, go for faux leather, mid-rise chairs. For the bar flooring, natural stone or mosaic tiles will do to make that separation from the other parts of the basement.
14. Contemporary wood theme
For a stylish and formal basement bar, go for an all-wood, contemporary theme. It is a neat and posh take for a bar. Complement the wood countertop, liquor cabinets, and wood highchairs with some mosaic tile flooring or beige and tan natural stone, and all is done.
15. White wall and wood
White walls, wood cabinets, window trims, and countertop must be the neatest ensemble for a basement bar. To add dynamics, use subway tiles for the bar wall and arrange the liquor and wines in a colorful line to add spark to the basement bar. It looks chill, industrial, and chic.
16. Coffee bar
A basement bar does not always mean wines and spirits. You can also have a corner coffee bar packed with an espresso machine, muffins, and stylish mugs. You can keep the liquor in the drawers. Contrast the whole thing with hardwood floors and open shelves for the creamer and coffee flavors.
To make it look like a legit coffee bar, set-up some chalkboards and install it on the wall. If you are a master doodler or if you can draw, might as well decorate it naturally with chalk writings in place of other wall decors.
17. Basement bar and game room
A bar and game room in a basement make a total millennial man cave. Make it as vintage as the 80s by adding arcade instead of just computers. For the bar cart, hang retro decorations and paintings to make it look like it is the 50s. Fill the liquor cabinet with wine and spirits. If you can, a beer faucet is also a retro touch.
18. Feminine chic basement bar
For weekend soirees for the girls, a dash of white and pink set in contrast of tan and beige natural stones for the bar area is a refreshing sight. Light tones and chic decorative pieces enhance the feminine feel of the basement bar.
To give off a more feminine look, consider incorporating bold-colored rugs and patterned throw pillows for the extended living room. Modern pendant lights and crystal glasses are also beautiful additions.
19. Clean lines and symmetry
If you want a full bar but you are working on a cramped space, this is the design that you should go for. Let wood be your focal point. Have wood plank cabinets and shelves for the liquors, wines, and glassware.
Use industrial-style stools on the side and a billiards’ table on the center. The pendant lights should be positioned above the billiards table. This design is perfect for a standing wet bar.
20. Foldable bar cart
This is another way to maximize a small basement. Instead of installing a full bar, you can just get a customized foldable bar cart that you can position on one side of the basement wall. You can have everything from wine, to hard drinks, to coffee and muffins. It also comes with a small refrigerator for the beer and spreads.
21. All-black ensemble
The all-white arrangement is a go-to backdrop for basements, but an all-black arrangement gives an air of sophistication to any room. Play with the dynamics of a small basement by adding a herringbone black flooring, modern recessed lights, glass cabinets with black trims, and a customized ref drawer. This makes a beautiful contemporary design.
22. Airport bar cart
If you dig those bar carts that you can take anywhere in the basement (like in the bedroom, living room, or while you play darts or pool), consider an airport bar cart in your basement. With this, you do not need a lot of refurbishing especially if you just want some cold drinks to be passed around.
23. Wooden mini bar
If you still want to fuse an element of surprise to your bar cart, try this wooden mini bar that has everything from liquor, hard drinks, coffee, and wine glass. If you want it to become more portable like the airport bar cart, simply add wheels. It is another variant of the foldable mini bar but this one is more accessible because it is just mid-rise.
24. Victorian liquor cabinet
If there is already an existing basement living room or family den, you might just want to add a standout liquor cabinet that will serve as your focal point. For this, you can consider a Victorian-style tall cabinet like this one.
25. Closet bar
If you have a spare closet in the basement that you want to convert into something else, consider setting up a built-in closet bar. Just add up shelves directly on the closet wall and make drawers and racks below for safekeeping the glassware and other prized wine collections. Add some ambient lighting for a posh bar vibe.
26. Marble, metal, and wood
The combination of marble, metal, and wood is a match made in heaven. The palleted wall of the counter exudes a raw, rustic vibe. Add some accent lights to it giving focus to your feature wines. It offers a polished look, a level of masculine sophistication, and the warm vibe of a barn bar. Just allow the design below to speak for itself.
27. Metal and accent lights
If you are working on an old brick basement, all you must do to transform it into an industrial style basement bar is a dash of metallic wall and accent lights. Floating shelves nailed on the metallic wall is one of the finest touches you could to this design. Arrange the glassware and the liquor in an elegant fashion and add a ref drawer to keep the drinks cold.
28. Hidden basement bar
If you have a spacious basement, you can notch up a transitional design by adding a hidden bar. Customize a two-way shelf-door that opens to the study room from the bar and serves as the entrance to the hidden bar when pushed from the study room.
You can have an unlimited stash of drinks hidden inside or it could be the entrance to a posh basement bar. Whatever works, this reels in a lot of elements of surprise.
29. Urban style bar
It is not enough that you have a great stash of drinks. Sometimes a bar needs entertainment too. If you are not high on darts and billiards or arcade and computer games, simply mounting a large television set in the middle of a bar cabinet can elevate your basement bar’s look.
30. Unfinished basement bar
For a raw-looking unfinished basement bar, combine corrugated metal, wood, and accent wood. It makes a unique focal point in a polished wall and flooring. Aside from this, it really is an affordable design for a basement bar.
31. Soapstone bar
We are all familiar with the sophistication and gloss of marble and granite but if you want a more edgy and patterned gloss for your basement bar, try soapstone for a change. It is a beautiful countertop reflecting more light than its marble and granite counterpart.
32. Galactic tones
If you have the budget to spare and a spacious basement for a standout bar, go for a futuristic vibe. Brush the walls with purple and deep blue and set the accent furniture to metal and brass. Make scattered lounging spaces and use metal and leather seats for a more galactic tone.
33. Basement tavern bar
If you are working on the basement of your log cabin or if you want a deep country looking tavern bar, you will have to look for a lot of sealed hardwood. From ceiling, flooring, wine cabinets, glassware hangers, and countertop, everything should be wood. Cue in a small jukebox on the side, a beer keg, and some vintage pictures and you are all set.
34. Bar décor
If you have already refurbished your basement for something else, adding decorations apt for a bar. Putting neon-lighted bar signage across the wall and setting up a simple countertop, bar shelf, and rack, and just making a beautiful arrangement out of the liquor, wines and other drinks are enough for a basement bar.
35. Stylish mini bar
If you only have a corner space for a bar, incorporate a lot of bar décor for it to look very visually appealing. It can be positioned in the basement’s entryway corner, facing the living room.
36. Honeycomb wall lighting
Sometimes, a notch up in the type of backdrop lighting is sufficient to make a standout basement bar. For this, you can try honeycomb-style lighting for a change. Make it as the accent wall of the shelf along with metal trims and drawers. Arrange your wine collection in a neat manner and place the glassware on the sides.
37. Tiki basement bar
If you want your basement bar to feel like you are in Bali or in the tropics, go for the classic style of outback bars with small contemporary tweaks. You can make divisions on the wall for various types of liquor collections. Use herringbone patterns for the wood countertop too.
38. Theme basement bar
If you are a member of a solid fanbase, be it comics, retro stuff, or Hollywood films, you can transform your basement bar into some sort of a theme park. Customize everything from the walls, to the countertop, the decorations, and the shelves and racks. Also, invest in ambient custom lighting for you to highlight your theme.
39. Wall bar
This is like the fusion of a corner bar and a portable minibar. In here, you will technically use your corner wall as the shelf for the wines and liquors. You will just need something to hold the spaces together like metal pipes or steel. Incorporate a modern take on minibars by infusing a ref drawer in the middle of the drawers for the glassware.
40. Chest high bar counters
For a medium to large size basement, you can add more angle and dynamics to your basement bar by going for chest-high bar counters made of either marble, granite, or soapstone. This creates the traditional bar feel of having a safe distance between the bartender and the guest. This is especially ideal for those who regularly host big parties.
41. Exposed beams
Small or large, nothing beats the beauty of unfinished basements with extended spaces such as bars. For this design, you can use the minibar as the focal point of the unfinished basement. The exposed beams coincide with the wood posts of the minibar as well as the leather furniture.
42. Classic corner bar
If you want a solid yet low-key bar vibe, go for the classic corner bar. Set-up a curved corner or countertop to add more layers to space. For a more visual appeal, echo the existing contrast and design of the home. Adding the right light or accentuating the stairs with some track lights are also good accents.
43. Budget basement bar
For a low-budget basement bar set-up, just make sure that the staples are well-coordinated with the basement’s interiors. If you have white walls, go for a wood and white accent countertop. You can also use neutral accents like marble or granite polishes and some simple shelves and racks as well as stools to complete the traditional bar look.
44. High-end basement bar
If you want to go for the overkill, and you have enough space and funds, synchronize your transitional basement with ambient bar lights. Divide the basement into functional spaces such as an extended living room, a basement gym, and a bar. Imagine being able to do a lot of activities in just one basement, right? This makes the design high-end.
45. Color pop
Most of the time, neutral colors are the safest interior colors because they are easy to echo when it comes to decors. This should not limit you from getting a color pop style for your basement bar. Flush the room with bold colors such as red or deep green and even orange. Accent that with beige or pink walls and go for red stools and cabinet trims. Be bold in adding light styles too.
Basement bar ideas – Frequently Asked Questions
What should I put in my basement bar?
There are some default pieces that should go with basement bars. For one, a countertop must be present, stools, wine cabinets, and glasswares. Other than these, there are also considered trendy additions to make a basement bar more visually appealing and the vibe cozier and inviting.
- Counter appliances: The counter should not just be where the drinks are placed. It should also be a multifunctional accent piece for storage and in keeping the drinks cold. As such, you can incorporate multiple drawers, a pull-out wine rack, and a ref drawer in the middle. If you want for the basement bar to be a kitchenette, add an oven somewhere in the counter drawers.
- Wine storage: The centerpiece of any bar are the wine and liquor collection featured in the shelves and racks. You must be creative on how to flaunt these and for that, you need a lot of wine storage. Consider the temperature and of course, the design of your basement. It could be pull-out storage, two-way door cellar storage, and more.
- Floating shelves: More and more homeowners are going towards the modern and minimalistic design to better maximize their basement spaces. One of the popular accent pieces that go well with that style would be floating shelves. They keep the space arranged and neat as they take over a lot of cabinets around the basement.
- Entertainment spaces: Basement bars are no longer just created for the purpose of a comfy and warm drinking session. Incorporating other extended spaces such as living rooms, arcade rooms, and even having a gym on the side do not only make the basement a haven but also upscales it for more value.
- The wet bar looks: This is the trend in dining room countertops, but it is now incorporated in basement bars too. The most used materials for a wet bar look would be granite, marble, and soapstone. The use of tile, concrete, finished wood, as well as steel are now clustered under the wet bar look too.
Does a basement bar add value?
Yes. As a matter of fact, the value that a basement bar adds to the home depends on the refurbishing that you will do with it. On average, a basement bar with a bathroom adds 70% home value. A basement bar with a game room, gym, or family den along with an added bathroom gives the home an 85% moneyback for the total remodeling cost of the basement.
How much does it cost to build a basement bar?
It depends on the design and space in the basement that it will occupy. For instance, a small corner bar will cost from $650-1500. A full bar with simple aesthetics is at around $2000-4000. Large basement bars with full amenities and extended spaces, at an average, costs from $8000-20,000.
How tall should a basement bar be?
Following the requirement for bar seats, it should be at around 65inches high. Bar seats are set at 40-42inches in height at 24inches in depth. To accommodate everything, from seats to cabinets, a basement bar should be above 60inches.
How do you update an old basement bar?
There is no easy way to refurbish an old basement bar. Most times, you need to start from scratch. The first thing to do is to make an inventory of what can still be refurbished, and which ones should be totally scrapped. Next, check the condition of the flooring, the walls, and the entire foundation. Evaluate if the existing beams, pipes, and electric lines can still handle a major overhaul.
With your list, you can now compute for an estimated cost of the basic furnishing first. This includes changing structural elements like the beams, walls, flooring, and re-installing electric lines. After this phase, you can now plan for a design and print a blueprint to follow. Considering your design in mind, you must make another estimated cost to carry out your blueprint.
After everything is set, it is now time to secure the necessary building permits and zoning certificates for your basement bar project. As soon as these certificates are secured, you may now look for trusted contractors to execute your basement bar blueprint. For visuals of some DIY basement bar projects, here is a video from Renee Romero.
How to build a dry bar in the basement?
If you have a basement with no water lines, building a dry bar is an exceptional choice. The first thing to do is to identify the fixtures that you will install. Will you buy pre-made ones or will you make them on your own? If you go down the DIY route, you must prepare all the materials that you will need. A sample list of tools and materials in making the cabinets would be the following:
- Power drills
- Power strips
- LED lights
The next thing to do is building the dry bar itself. The best location for a dry bar is below the hanging cabinets. Install the countertop first. Just take note that the longer the countertop, the more drinks, and people it could accommodate at once.
The countertop could be wood but the best materials for a dry bar are marble, granite, quartz, and soapstone. After this, navigate through what could be added to the countertop itself. More drawers? An oven for an extended kitchenette? Will it be a standing bar? Make the deal.
After these two steps, you can now move to the wall finishes. Will you add accent lights for the backdrop? How about the paintings be used? What other wall decors could be incorporated to echo the interior that you have built?
For the final touches, you can fill the room with extra storage. You can upscale your LED lighting and add more electric lines for small appliances such as blenders, ice crushers, and a fridge. It is also the best time to plan what your wine racks and shelves to be added. For an idea of what the whole process looks like, check out this clip from Rogue Engineer.
Basement bars are some of the most uncomplicated spaces that you can add to your home. It is not just space where you could have drinks alone or with friends, but it could also be an extended space for a living room, a game room, or a kitchenette. For it to become a full-fledged basement, there should be countertops, shelves, racks, cabinets, stools, and of course, drinks.
While it is uncomplicated, it is something that must be well-thought-of too. And since it is hard to draw inspiration from anywhere because you are trying to echo a particular bar vibe, having a full list of what to consider is beneficial.