With Christmas and New Year coming up, it's time to crack open the bubbly and dig out the cocktail shaker. Rather than routing around every time someone wants a drink though, why not take inspiration from our bar ideas and create your own drinks station?
Get ready to celebrate with all of our Christmas ideas
Whether it's an elegant Champagne bar with flutes and an ice bucket, or a cocktail corner, complete with umbrellas, have a think about where's best to put it. You could even hang a bar sign, or a peg or chalk board drinks menu.
1. Add Deco decadence with a drinks trolley
What could be handier than a trolley on castors to wheel your drinks between rooms? Gold and brass designs are the way forward this season. We love this 1920s style design, which will look great in a dining or living room year-round.
2. Build a bar into your kitchen
Lucky enough to have a big kitchen? Then you could make room for a dedicated bar. This one has an end-grain block worktop to sort out your slices of lemon, a wine fridge below to keep Shiraz and Chardonnay perfectly chilled, and ample storage for glassware and bottles. If you're not a big wine drinker, you could instead have a large Belfast sink that you can fill with ice and cram with beers, soda and vodka.
3. Invest in a statement cabinet
If you'd rather keep alcohol out of view of little ones, go for a cabinet. Ideally, pick one that's big enough to store not just a few bottles of spirits, but wine, mixers, glasses and accessories. This Ercol design is our ultimate favourite and a worthy investment.
4. Add a side table for service
Should you go down the cabinet route, it might also be wise to invest in a small side table and position it nearby. That way, if you're doing your best Tom Cruise impression, you can focus on mixing rather than serving, and resist also have somewhere to pop drinks if they're mingling.
5. Clear off your sideboard
Not all of us have room for an extra piece of furniture, but dedicating the top of your sideboard to drinks is an ideal solution. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a mixologist, then don't forget containers for those all-important stirrers and cocktail umbrellas.
6. Serve with some flair
Place wine and bubbly on a tray or in an ice bucket to group them together. You can then carry this into a room once guests have arrived, complete with sparklers for a true celebratory feel.
7. Make it non-alcoholic
You don't need to hit the booze to enjoy a good bar. This is a family-friendly idea the kids will love. In a corner of the kitchen, set up a hot chocolate station where there's everything you need to enjoy your favourite drink. You'll need mugs, cocoa, and – most importantly – marshmallows.
Set the whole thing on top of an old butcher's block for a rustic effect, and try your hand at making a cafe-style chalkboard sign.
Amy Cutmore is Editor-in-Chief, Homes Audience, working across the Future Homes portfolio. She works on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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