This is where your Home Bar starts to take shape, going through this stage of planning will give you insight into the size of your bar, what type of bar furniture and beer refrigeration you will need as well as how long this project will take. One good way to get ideas is to visit some local taverns and take a close (sober) look at what they have. What elements do you like? Adding a big glass mirror on the back bar? Where will the liquor bottles be placed? What types of bar stools? Look at the bar structure... how was it made, what's it made out of? Visit a bunch of places and make notes of the things you like. Bringing along a digital camera can always help. You may find yourself altering the initial idea of your home bar significantly based on the space you have available to you, below are a few things for you to consider.


Laying out your design

First comes the space, is there really enough room to do what you want? Will the bar have just one straight side, be L-shaped, horseshoe shaped or rectangular? If you're working off of a concrete floor, outline your layout in chalk. If the floor is already finished, use coins, paper or string to outline where things will go. Once you have your initial layout complete transfer it to paper, and be sure to use precise measurements. Just remember, your bar is going to be 3 dimensional, so out lines on the floor that appear roomy will take up more space once you add the height of the components. The average home bar is 42" high and 24" deep. You can adjust these measurements to fit your own needs, but given that most barstools are 30" tall you shouldn't go much lower than 42" in height.

Next you need to figure out what you are going to have behind the bar (besides liquor and beer). Are you going to have a sink and where will it go? If so you will need to have plumbing and drainage. Sinks are usually placed under the front bar but putting them in the back bar is not unheard of. They come in all shapes and sizes from a simple shallow one bowl hand sink to a standard bar sink with legs and up to three bowls and a drain board. These are usually made of stainless steel and can be built right in. You will have lots of glassware to wash so adding a sink right there is very handy. Where your existing plumbing is can sometimes help determine where you actually locate your bar.

Are you going to have refrigeration for beer and cocktail mixers? You will need to figure out where they will go and make sure you have an electrical outlet near by. While figuring out where outlets for refrigeration will go also determine if you will need outlets for a TV, additional lighting, popcorn maker, blender, etc. Glassware is another thing to consider, will you be putting in an overhead stemware rack, stacking it on back bar shelving or putting it in drawers?