“While I can’t walk on water, I can certainly wobble on whisky.” – Ashwin Sanghi
Whether you’re a homebody by nature or by circumstance, nothing can replace your favorite neighborhood bar. You may not be able to bring the atmosphere home with you, but you can at least recreate the drinks.
If your disorganized liquor collection is making your kitchen feel like a frat house, though, it can be hard to enjoy a well-crafted cocktail or glass of wine. You can solve this problem in an instant with the addition of a liquor cabinet.
Check out these innovative liquor cabinet ideas to learn how to enjoy a bar-quality drinking experience within the comfort of home.
1. Closet Liquor Cabinet Ideas
Owning a liquor cabinet is undoubtedly nice. Yet, not everyone wants a full bar in the middle of their kitchen or living room. Or you might not want your liquor collection on display at all hours of the day.
Building out a small closet as a liquor cabinet is both easy and practical. Just close the doors, and everything tucks out of sight (and it’s not hard to install a lock if children are around). At the same time, you won’t need to sacrifice any usable living space.
It’s best to choose a closet near your kitchen or in a room you often use to entertain. You can go all-out with a wine cooler, countertop, and overhead shelves. Or use the closet as-is for regular storage.
If your closet-turned-liquor cabinet will be a focal point of future parties and get-togethers, don’t skimp on design. Add contrasting paint or wallpaper to the interior walls. You can also hang thematic decor or artwork if space allows.
2. Mounted Liquor Cabinet Ideas
When free space is a concern, but you still want to enjoy the style and convenience of a liquor cabinet, a mounted version is likely the best solution. If you can store your glassware and mixed drink necessities alongside your liquor, even better.
Be sure to choose shelving or a cabinet that meets your household’s needs. Someone who prefers a glass of wine after work will need much different storage than someone who prefers whiskey on the rocks.
Remember that your shelving can be decor all on its own. If your home has a modern aesthetic, look for sleek wall-mounted storage featuring unique cutouts and geometric shapes. If your home is classic, go with a floating wooden shelf. And if you prefer a dramatic style, look for ornate, gilded storage solutions to match.
Do you like the idea of a mounted liquor cabinet but still want a small bar top? A cabinet with a fold-out tabletop is perfect for mixing, pouring, or just enjoying.
3. Rustic Liquor Cabinet Ideas
We tend to associate liquor cabinets with penthouse living, but that couldn’t be further from reality. Adding functional liquor storage to your rustic home or cabin is incredibly simple.
The rustic furniture aesthetic is almost all about finishes. Choose a liquor cabinet made with distressed or knotty wood grain. Cast iron hardware is a great way to give any furniture a rough-hewn touch. Use chicken wire in place of the glass panes in the doors on your liquor cabinet.
One of our favorite solutions for a rustic-inspired liquor cabinet is to repurpose an old hutch or buffet. While you can get plenty of use out of these furniture pieces as-is, it’s not hard to add something like a custom wine rack.
4. Wooden Liquor Cabinet Ideas
Nothing is more elegant than a solid wood bar or liquor cabinet. No matter what type of decor your home boasts, wood furniture will fit right in without issue.
Natural stained wood goes with nearly everything. Or you can paint your new liquor cabinet to match the room’s existing furniture.
For a compact liquor cabinet solution, go with a hutch or bookcase. While you can buy designated liquor cabinets from most furniture makers, a china cabinet works just as well. Add a small cooler for greater all-in-one functionality.
Traditional built-in cabinets and shelves are a straightforward way to install a full-scale bar in your home. You can go with a regular kitchen cabinet set or invest in some designed explicitly for liquor storage. Pair these cabinets with a bar top for the full experience.
5. Modern Liquor Cabinet Ideas
If your desire for a full-scale liquor cabinet comes from a love of Art Deco aesthetics and Gatsby-esque luxury, look for inspiration in modern design. While modern design does cover a wide variety of trends, they all have a few things in common.
The modern aesthetic is overwhelmingly about shapes. Most importantly, choose furniture with a sleek, clean-cut profile. If you’re building a home bar, this includes your countertop, bar stools, and upper cabinets. You can use built-in lighting to emphasize unique shapes or cutouts in your design.
As for colors, opt for a mix of dark wood, elegant marble, and metallic accents. Or you can liven up your liquor cabinet with a bright coat of paint. Whichever direction you go, ensure the space stays well-organized.
6. Bar Liquor Cabinet Ideas
Many people choose to keep their liquor and wine bottles out on shelves or another form of display. There’s nothing wrong with this, but custom cabinets are another excellent way to store your at-home bar essentials.
You can easily repurpose regular kitchen (or even bathroom) cabinets for your bar cabinet. This is a great way to cut the cost of your home bar idea. However, consider adding some specialized wine storage or stemware racks while you’re at it.
Maximize storage and working space by placing a countertop over your cabinets. If that’s not enough to hold your favorite whiskey and all of the fixings, you can install wall-mounted cabinets, too. Complete your bar area with a complementary-colored backsplash.
7. Small Liquor Cabinet Ideas
Having limited square footage doesn’t mean you need to resort to a wire wine rack and a single bottle opener. There are plenty of space-conscious ways to add a DIY liquor cabinet to any house or apartment.
Position your small home bar in a recessed wall niche or invest in a corner cabinet design to save space. If you have a butler’s pantry, devote a small section of cabinets and a drawer or two to holding your wine and spirits.
An armoire against a dining room wall or tucked into the living room makes a stylish-yet-compact liquor cabinet that’s easily within reach. Mirrored panels behind your bar shelving or inside the cabinet can help make the room feel larger and brighter.
8. Wine Liquor Cabinet Ideas
Whether you prefer white or red (or a bit of both), a home wine cabinet is an excellent investment for any vino aficionado. Thanks in part to uniform shape and size, wine bottles are particularly easy to store en masse.
You can set up wall-mounted shelves, specially designed cabinets, or simple wire racks. Think about if you’d like to show off your bottles — this can also make finding a specific wine more convenient. Either way, choose a storage solution to suit your preference.
If you want some accent furniture for your homemade wine bar, use an old wine barrel as a cocktail table or stand-in bar top. For serving purposes, consider adding a cooler drawer to your home bar design.
9. Vintage Liquor Cabinet Ideas
Freestanding liquor cabinets were quite popular in the mid-1900s. So if you want to enjoy your favorite cocktail with a vintage twist, pay a visit to your local mid-century modern furniture store.
These antique cabinets come in all shapes, sizes, and functions. Some are regular cabinets that you could just as easily use for books or china. Other designs are liquor storage-specific.
Decide if your vintage liquor cabinet needs to match the rest of your furniture or if it will be the room’s centerpiece. If the latter, you can be much bolder with your cabinet choice.
While you can always stain or paint the cabinet to match, there’s also something special about keeping the original finish intact. You can even find vintage cabinets outfitted with ice buckets, fold-out counters, built-in drainage, and racks for wine glasses.
10. Mini Liquor Cabinet Ideas
For most people, a minibar is all the liquor cabinet they’ll ever need. This style keeps your liquor bottle collection and must-have tools close at hand without taking up any more room than an end table.
Unless you want your minibar to stand out, try to keep the exterior as neutral and unassuming as possible. Leave the top bare or add everyday decor like potted plants or a table lamp. If you want to display a subtle nod to the cabinet’s contents, try a miniature whiskey barrel.
Choose a minibar with plenty of hidden storage — a small drawer will be perfect for storing bottle openers, corkscrews, and other tools.
While shopping for a mini liquor cabinet, take a moment to consider a bar cart instead. With a bar cart, you get all of a minibar’s functionality with the bonus of portability.
11. Liquor Wall Cabinet Ideas
Sure, you can keep the walls or your home bar plain and simple. But don’t miss out on the opportunity to create a stunning design the whole crew will talk about.
Line the wall behind your liquor cabinet with wallpaper, backsplash tiles, or a mirror. Brick walls work great in a basement or industrial-style bar. Go with an open shelf layout so you can really show off the materials behind.
For sports fans, a TV is practically a must. If hanging a TV in your home bar isn’t your cup of tea, opt for a large piece of artwork instead. Or, for a hometown bar aesthetic, invest in a custom neon sign.