Inspirational DIY garden bars – all competing to be crowned ‘Britain’s Best Home Bar’

Homeowners are creating brilliant boozers in their own backyards during lockdown
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  • Lockdown has sent the DIY outdoor bar trend through the roof. Meaning if you’re looking for garden bar ideas there’s never been a better time to seek some serious cocktail-hour inspiration.

    Dubbed Britain’s own ‘Independence Day’, the 4th July will see pubs up and down the country reopen their doors after months under lockdown.

    However, while some will be desperate to prop up the bar of their mush loved local, we imagine plenty of people will prefer to stay at home. Particularly those who have created their own garden bar in their back garden.

    From transforming sheds into replicas of much-loved locals to fashioning tropical Tiki huts it’s happening right now across the nation.

    Related: Make your own DIY bar using old wooden pallets – for as little as £35!

    To celebrate the growing trend Liberty Games has launched a competition – to find the best home bar. They are asking the British public to share photos of their pub-style setup, to be in with the chance of being crowned ‘Britain’s Best Home Bar’.

    Garden bar ideas

    Which of these would you crown ‘Britain’s Best Home Bar’? The following are just some of the impressive entries in the running to win the title…

    1. Luxury-look garden Tiki bar

    Image credit: Grey Rhodes

    ‘If you can’t go to the beach, bring the beach home,’ says Greg Rhodes, the aptly named owner of this holiday-themed tiki bar. It’s made from sheets of bamboo, with a straw roof, and LEDs that light up sheltered seating.

    This is channeling the vibes of Mahiki, one of London’s hottest night spots. From the bamboo cladding to the under lights on the bench seating, this is a throughly well executed DIY Tiki bar.

    Celebrity spotting won’t be as good here of course, but we bet the tropical-themed cocktails are just as impressive – and nowhere near as expensive!

    2. ‘The Staying Inn’


    Image credit: Lisa Carty

    If we were awarding the prize for most genius name, surely The Staying Inn would come out on top. This garden bar is the brainchild of the Carty family from Durham – who built it so they could be together.

    ‘We have three adult daughters living at home,’ explains mum Lisa. ‘Due to one of our daughters being pregnant, her two sisters had to move out to protect her and my husband – who is also high risk. Our whole family was devastatingly ripped apart in the space of a week.’

    ‘My husband, who was furloughed from work, decided to build the bar to enable us to all be together at least in the garden where we could have a socially distanced drink and a catch up. He has no official joinery experience and works as an electrician.’

    Thanks to his hard work, ‘The Staying Inn’ is definitely the new going out for the Carty clan.

    3. Tempting garden gin bar

    Image credit: Ciaran Tommey

    A bottle of Hendrick’s in a bowtie, Fever Tree bunting and balloon gin glasses, what’s not to love?! Surely every garden deserves a gin bar just like this one.

    4. Clever converted garage bar

    Garden bar idea in a garage with artificial grass turf

    Image credit: Peter Bowcock

    Maybe you’d prefer a speakeasy vibe, with your bar hidden from view or you simply don’t have the garden space to spare? Whatever the reason this ingenious garage bar is a fabulous idea to inspire. From the artificial grass flooring the faux palm tree we love it all!

    5. Nautical hot tub bar


    Image credit: Daniel Keenan

    Christened ‘The Fat Pug’ Daniel Keenan’s bar incorporates a hot tub and even flowerbeds. ‘The bar is fully equipped with a TV, fridge and freezer and LED lights that are paired with Alexa,’ Daniel explains. Sounds like he has few reasons to use the house!

    6. Mediterranean terrace bar


    Image credit: Allan Murdough

    St Andrews-based Allan’s garden bar features a fire pit so it can be enjoyed late into the evenings. Well it does get especially chilly north of the border.

    ‘We built it in the first place as a family project, and it has been a great help during lockdown,’ says Allan. ‘We can’t wait to get to use it with the rest of our friends and family once lockdown is lifted.’

    7. Sophisticated shed bar

    Image credit: Damien Barrell

    Simply taking some panels out and staining it black has made this shed-like structure a sophisticated garden bar – worthy of high praise. We’d happily sit in the sunshine in this garden, cold beers and fun outdoor games. Win, win.

    8. Lit garden bar with rope lighting

    Garden bar ideas for lighting with exposed bulbs

    Image credit: Joe Allen

    We’re big fans of this rope light feature, what a fabulous use of lighting above the bar. This feels like a feature you’d seen in a trendy hipster bar, a great take-away to inspire the humble garden bar.

    Related: Shopping edit – best garden solar lights to illuminate your outdoor space after dark

    9. Fancy garden cocktail bar with ceiling drapes

    Image credit: Alan Wigg

    To create a fancy cocktail bar finish this competition entry has swathed the ceiling in fabric – to create an upmarket marquee kind of feel. The upcycled country-style dresser and the cocktail sign add further attention to detail.

    10. Beach-style Tiki bar with bright colours

    Image credit: Paul Cranham

    This Tiki bar feels more like that found on the beach in a paradise location. The pops of sunshine yellow help to create a summer vibe.

    11. VW Camper van themed bar

    VW Camper van garden bar

    Image credit: Nicholas Bardell

    This garden summerhouse is on the road to being one of the best ‘themed’ designs surely? From the VW caper van bar to the matching dog bed and road sign wall art, it’s busting with character.

    There’s some stiff competition among this lot. We’re just glad Ideal Home isn’t having to judge to pick a winner, because they’re all winners in our eyes. The competition is open until 30th June, so there’s still time to be crowned winner if you enter now.

    More outdoor fun: How to create an outdoor cinema in your back garden

    Have any of you created your own garden bar during lockdown? We’d love to see them. Join The Ideal Home Room Clinic group on Facebook and show us your creations!

    If not, have you developed a thirst for your own garden bar after seeing these?


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