If you have ever visited a tropical resort, you probably remember spending a good part of your days or nights sitting on a bar stool at an outdoor bar, sipping cocktails and eating bar food. There is just something very relaxing about drinking and eating at an outdoor bar. It feels like an escape from the everyday stresses of life. But unless you can afford to regularly take expensive trips to these tropical resorts, these memories are few and far between.
When having over guests, an outdoor bar that has bar stools and cocktail supplies is a place where everyone wants to be. An area with pub tables and chairs is a nice guest-friendly feature. And adding a lounging area with a sofa and soft chairs adds yet another option to the outdoor entertaining experience.
An outdoor home bar design can have all of the comforts of the indoor variety, adding a sense of openness and unhurried relaxation to the bar design. It gives guests a natural gathering point where they can stand with drink or snack in hand, chatting without feeling out of place. You can also think of an outdoor bar as kind of an extra dining table, where it makes the perfect place for a relaxing, casual breakfast or lunch.
Designing a bar for an outdoor space allows for many more design ideas than a bar inside the house. Because it is exotic by nature, they give you a great creative outlet. For example, you can design it with a theme in mind, stringing colorful lights around the area, giving it a festive feel. Outfitting the bar like a grass hut is another option, giving it that tropical look. Decorating it with sports paraphernalia like a sports bar is yet another design theme. The options are unlimited because you are not forced to stick with a similar design of the inside of the house.
Because you want your bar to be a fully functioning part of the whole patio or entertainment space, it is important to make it integrate within the whole patio design. You do not want it to appear like it was just added on as an afterthought.
Think about where you want to place the outdoor bar. Should it be a freestanding one, or should it be attached to a cooking station or grill. You might place the bar between the grill and a dining area, where you are able to use it as a pass-through or buffet station. If you intend for it to be a wet bar, think of placing it where it would be easy to add plumbing.
For the bar itself, make it useful as well as nice to look at. Choose a surface that is easy to clean. A sink with faucet will allow for easier food prep and cleanup for larger parties. Storage drawers are very nice to have. Other options include a refrigerator or icemaker under the counter, or a beer kegerator within the unit.
The cost of purchasing an outdoor bar varies a great deal. Small, freestanding bars can be found rather inexpensively. Larger bars that attach to an outdoor kitchen and have all the bells and whistles can be extremely expensive. It all comes down to your needs, your budget, and your imagination and creativity.
Billy Bristol is the editor and chief BBQ pitmaster for TexasBarbeques.com, an outdoor cooking and entertaining website devoted to backyard living. TexasBarbeques.com has been providing barbecue recipes, cooking tips, grilling techniques, and backyard entertainment ideas since 2005.
Texas Barbeque [http://www.TexasBarbeques.com]
Billy is also the writer and editor for YourHomeBar.com, a website devoted to Home Bar Designs, Ideas, and Plans that make your home entertainment experience richer.
Home Bar Ideas [http://www.yourhomebar.com]
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