4 Expert Tips To Choose Bars And Bar Sets

Bars and bar sets can be the difference between a house and a home. Bar sets let you create romantic atmospheres for significant others, entertain friends and family on special occasions, or even have an indoor retreat to an authentic home "pub". Let's take a look at  a few of our expert tips to choose the best bar set for you.

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What are the types of home bars?

To make the best choice of home bar, you'll first have to have a basic understanding of the types and styles of bars available. Let's take a look at the most common styles available.

Bar Cabinet

A bar cabinet is a convenient way to transform any room into a functional bar or serving area. Bar cabinets remove the necessity of remodeling an entire room to facilitate entertainment or drinking. They normally include storage for drinkware, hard liquors, and even adequate storage for quality wines.

Espresso Wood Straight Bar Cabinet
Dark Tobacco Wood Corner Bar Cabinet
Manufactured Wood Mid Century Wine And Bar Cabinet
Vintage Walnut Manufactured Wood Bar Cabinet
Distressed Walnut Wood Wine Bar With Wine Storage
Brown Gray Wood Metal Bar Cabinet

Home Bar

Home bars come in a variety of shapes and sizes and mostly emphasize style and aesthetic experience, over practicality and use. Many home bars do come with advanced features not offered in other bar sets, such as options for built-in refrigeration.

Brown Solid Manufactured Wood Home Bar
Elm Solid Manufactured Wood Home Bar
Stained And Lacquered Wood Home Bar
Black Stone Solid Manufactured Wood Home Bar
Brown White Solid Manufactured Wood Home Bar
White Manufactured Wood Home Bar

Bar Sets

A bar set is everything you'll need to have a full bar experience in any room of your home. These sets include storage for alcohol - usually including wine bottles - as well as seating for around three people. Bar sets often include wall bar, at the higher end of the price range, and thus are great for creating a full bar experience from home.

Dark Brown Solid Wood Bar Set
Natural Solid Wood Metal Bar Set
Brown Solid Manufactured Wood Marble Bar Set
Brown Solid Manufactured Wood Bar Set
Black Solid Manufactured Wood Bar Set
Black High Gloss Metal Bar Set

Wall Bars

Wall bars are handy add-ons for dens or can simply be a nifty add-on to your home bar. They add an authentic "pub house" feel to any home and provide a large amount of storage space for alcohol and glasses.

Wall bars are very well suited to homeowners who desire the authentic bar experience but may not have enough space for an entire home bar. If it can be managed, wall bars paired with a bar set including seating can be a perfect set up for a den or patio.

Solid Wood Wall Mounted Wine Glass Rack Set
Cappuccino Manufactured Wood Wall Mounted Wine Bar
Black Metal Wood Wall Mini Bar
Green Metal Manufactured Wood Back And Wall Bar
Walnut Manufactured Wood Wall Bar
Metal Wall Mounted Wine Bottle Glass Rack

What makes a good liquor bar cabinet?

If you have an expensive collection of alcohol or want to preserve the taste of your liquor- then how you store it will make a tremendous difference in how long your alcohol lasts.

Liquor generally needs to be protected from 4 things, which is why storage has a section of its own in this article. Let's take a look at each of these things and what you should be looking for in a bar to keep your collection safe. 

1. UV light

It is common knowledge that fermentation is the process that makes liquor what it is. Put simply, fermentation is a reaction that breaks down the sugars found in grapes (or other plants) to create alcohol and a few other by-products.

When liquor is bottled, this reaction does not stop. It simply slows down dramatically because the bottle acts as a vacuum chamber, preventing exposure to things that can alter the speed of the reaction. UV light is one thing that can momentarily speed up the fermentation process in wine, altering the flavor profile of a bottle.

Your ideal bar will have storage areas that isolate bottles from UV light. Storage that does not cover the entire bottle - for example, wine bars that store bottles by housing their necks, do not allow for optimal protection from UV light.

2. Heat

Heat affects bottled wine in the same way that UV light does, so ideally, your wine bar will come with storage that keeps temperature regulated at a stable temperature. Hardwood storage that covers the entire bottle (blocking out both heat and light) is a solid investment if you're interested in storing wine long-term.

The best wine storage would involve a refrigeration chamber or mini-fridge that can keep your wine chilled to around 12 degrees Celsius (55 Fahrenheit).

3. Humidity Fluctuation

Humidity does not necessarily affect your liquor directly, especially if it is stored adequately. Fluctuations in humidity can significantly affect the cork of your bottles. If your wine cork gets too dry, it may shrink, allowing oxygen to interact with your wine. This will alter the flavor profile in a similar way to UV light exposure, but the effects can be even more profound.

Horizontal wine storage solves this problem by keeping your wine in contact with your wine cork, preventing it from drying out completely, and avoiding this issue altogether.

4. Vibration

Lastly, vibrations can unsettle the sediment in some liquors -especially wines-, which won't permanently change the flavor of your drink but can significantly affect your drinking experience. Significant vibrations won't normally be a massive issue, but if you choose a wheeled bar, be sure to explore reviews prior to confirm that your wheels don't shake bottles much when moving your bar from room to room.

Antique Bronze Metal Wine Floor Bottle Rack
Brown Wood Bar Cabinet With Wine Storage
Wood Metal Bar Wine Storage With Wheels
Teak Manufactured Wood Bar Cabinet
Manufactured Wood High Bar With Wine Storage
Walnut Wood Back And Wall Bar

What materials should I consider for my bar?

Material choice will determine how long your bar set lasts and how well it can resist the things that threaten most furniture at home: humidity, direct exposure to liquids, and normal wear and tear. Let's take a look at the best available choices.


If you're thinking about longevity, then hardwoods are the best possible bet for you. Hardwoods are naturally resistant to humidity and temperature changes, which are the most common household threats to wooden furniture.

Hardwoods also handle direct exposure to liquids well, especially once they are properly and regularly treated. So, you won't have to worry too much about spills or poorly used coasters.

Dutch Colonial Solid Wood Home Bar
Red Mahogany Wood Stone Bar With Wine Storage
Brown Solid Hardwood Mini Bar
Antique Walnut Oak Solid Wood Home Bar
Natural Mango Solid Wood Metal Wine Bar
Blonde Solid Hardwood Straight Bar

Manufactured Wood

Manufactured woods are inferior to hardwoods when it comes to longevity, but because of how much cheaper they are, you can find them available in combination with more materials and in an arguably wider array of style options.

Avoid medium density fiberboard where possible since it struggles against humidity and water. Manufactured woods with a solid wood core tend to fare better as regards longevity.

White Blue Solid Manufactured Wood Bar Cabinet
Antique White Solid Manufactured Wood Home Bar
Gray Oak Solid Manufactured Wood Bar Cabinet
Distressed Solid Manufactured Wood Bar With Wine Storage
Gray Solid Manufactured Wood Bar Set
Café Brown Solid Manufactured Wood Wine Bar

What features should I look for in a home bar?

Now that we've covered the fundamentals of a good home bar, here are some features that can add even more convenience to your home bar experience.

Locking Doors

If you live in a family with individuals who may be interested in having a drink but aren't necessarily the right age to do so, having locking doors is probably a good idea.  Locks on home bars are typically simple and don't impede your access to your own supply while keeping underaged individuals safe from early exposure to alcohol. 

Adjustable Foot Levers

When it comes to storing wine, cabinets and buffets need to be tended carefully. Uneven wine storage can lead to sediment being disturbed and ruining your bottle or your cork becoming dried out and rotting away. Exposing the wine inside to oxygen and dramatically altering the flavor profile.

The usual cause of uneven wine storage is an uneven floor, which is where having adjustable foot levers comes in handy. Regardless of how uneven your floor is, you can adjust your bar to maintain perfectly level storage.

Stemware holders

Stemware is a necessary add on to every home bar experience. This becomes especially true if you are a regular wine drinker since wine is typically best experienced in high-quality stemware. Wine glasses accentuate flavors by trapping flavor particles in the air above your wine.

As you sip, the aroma trapped in your wine glass adds a significant contribution to your experience of flavor, so having adequate storage for your wine glasses is 100% necessary in a home bar.


Mobility in a well-proportioned buffet-style bar set can be incredibly useful. For example, imagine you did not have a full home bar installed, or you did but wanted to entertain on your patio instead of your den.

Having the ability to relocate your bar all at once can save you the effort of Packing and unpacking bottles and glassware. Be careful to limit bumps and knocks as much as possible during transport. As mentioned earlier, the sediment in wine can ruin a good drink when disturbed.

Blackened Iron Metal Bar Cabinet With Wheels
Metal Manufactured Wood Bar Cabinet With Wheels
Black Wood Home Bar With Wine Storage
Champagne Metal Manufactured Wood Wine Bar
Weathered Gray Wood Glass Bar With Wine Storage
Black Clear Wood Bar With Wine Storage

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.