How to Make a Mini Home Bar

I was chatting to some new blogging pals recently about creating a mini home bar area and saying how much I was loving the new ‘bar cart’ craze, or drinks trolley if you want a throw back to the 70’s. There are some great versions out on the high street, with my favourite of the moment being at Oliver Bonas. Little Big Bell did a great piece on their bar trolley recently, and I love it! Do check it out if you have no idea what I’m talking about or want to see how this can look great in your home.

So, inspired by the trend to revisit the home bar, I’ve played with a few ideas on how to create my own at home, just a mini version for those of us that don’t have too much space or want to make it a more subtle feature.

Ideas, tips and advice on how to put together a mini home bar anywhere in your home, using an existing space, shelves, bookcase or even a small bar cart. Here's how you make it stylish as well as practical.

How to Make a Mini Home Bar

#1 Location

Home barOk so this is key. You need to find how and where you want to locate the bar. You could, like me, use some shelving, either a bookcase or mounted shelves are fine, or use a two tier coffee or side table, or invest in an on-trend purpose made bar cart.

Personally I think if you do have the space the bar cart is the way to go as it gives you so many more options for styling and making the area fit in with your decor. But, if it’s not for you a smaller area will do just fine.

#2 Ingredients

bar close up

Well naturally you need a selection of glasses, probably from the tumbler through to cocktail and then wine glasses too. Try and select designs that work well together, from the same range perhaps, in different heights, so not only are they practical but they look good too.

Next you want some alcohol and mixers. I’ve only just styled mine up to give you some examples and have used my very delicious Tanqueray No. Ten Gin from Alexander & James (many more gin options HERE). This really is the business, and I love how it arrives in a beautiful case, with stunning glasses too as part of the gift set. But you could add the spirits of your choice of course, with the appropriate mixers for your favourite drinks. Next up for me, I’m adding some rum!


# 3 Styling

So now you have the main ingredients you want it to look pretty. There’s no point creating something that doesn’t tie in with the rest of the room and your taste in decor. I’ve done for a contemporary, playful look, pretty much like the rest of my house, but you can change up the accessories to suit the room and colour scheme. Some herbs like mint will bring it to life and why not decorate it like you would any shelf with some appropriate accessories and a little art.

Home bar accessories

#4 Mixing

Of course the next thing you need to do is try a little cocktail mixing and just be sure you have everything to hand.

Cocktails wtih A&JDon’t forget to add a cocktail shaker, some fruit and a chopping board with utensils. You want to make it easy for yourself when you fancy a drink, or when friends come to visit and don’t want to dash to the kitchen because you’ve forgotten something. It’s easy to use these items as styling pieces too, adding colour and texture to the set. I’ve added a pretty tray too as something fun, but also practical.

As I’m not a gin and tonic fan I wanted something a little sweeter, yet still refreshing with my gin, so I’ve mixed one part gin with one part elderflower cordial, added some lemonade, mint and lime and bingo, a delicious gin cocktail that’s perfect poured over crushed ice. I think this might be my go-to summer cocktail.

Cocktail making

So do you feel inspired to set up your mini home bar? I think the days of the 70’s style home bar that we have in our minds is long gone, and the stylish mini bar is the way to go, whether you create it on some existing furniture or shelves, or whether you decide to purchase a contemporary bar trolley. I’d love to know if you think this is something you might put together in your own home, and what kind of cocktail will you be mixing this summer? Let me know in the comments below.

All images my own

Commissioned post

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


  1. Karen Clough
    July 21, 2016 / 11:04 am

    We’ve done something really similar on our kitchen shelves. No way were we going for a bar cart with a climbing toddler who wants to do “cheers” all the time haha Love the fresh look of yours, Jen. Really quirky, especially with the rhino! x

  2. Geraldine
    July 21, 2016 / 11:43 am

    Love your bar shelf Jen. That gin bottle is so cool too. By the way, OB is on sale now 😉 Xx

    • Jen Stanbrook
      July 21, 2016 / 2:43 pm

      Thanks Geraldine 🙂 They’ve just opened an OB shop in my suburb – TODAY!

  3. Rachel
    July 21, 2016 / 12:37 pm

    Oh gosh, I do feel inspired now! Love all your styling and the return of the yellow rhino!

  4. Karen - Making Spaces
    July 21, 2016 / 1:05 pm

    Ooh I love Elderflower cordial, it’s been my go to drink this summer with soda water. We will have to try the G&T cocktail with elderflower, sounds yum.
    And where did you get that bottle of elderflower cordial from with “Jen” on?? 🙂

  5. Fiona Duffy
    July 21, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    Fantastic tips! Going to bookmark this for when I’m styling our new house.

    Thanks Jen!

  6. Carole King
    July 21, 2016 / 3:28 pm

    I’d love a bar cart but like you have no space for one. A bar shelfie is a great idea. You may be starting a trend. xx

  7. Kate
    July 21, 2016 / 3:49 pm

    A home bar is a *must* at mine! I’ve been coveting a trolley for ages but for now a dedicated shelf (or two!) will do the trick. x

  8. Stacey Sheppard
    July 23, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    I love this idea Jen. I’d really like to have a little bar at home but there is no chance that would work. My husband would just drink everything lol. Plus I haven’t drunk in almost 3 years now. Maybe something to plan for the future.

  9. Maxine Brady
    July 24, 2016 / 1:59 pm

    I love this idea as I am a huge fan of a GnT. I have a cupboard stashed with booze – maybe I should make more effort to put it on display (as the bottles are so pretty!)

  10. Jacob
    August 4, 2016 / 7:28 am

    I’ve been looking for some ideas for a mini bar for a while now but the location has me stumped. I’ve thought about putting it in my bedroom but I’m wondering if that’s a little.. weird.

    May I ask where you have yours?

  11. Ann Royston
    August 4, 2016 / 6:47 pm

    Our space is pretty tight but the way this bar comes out in the photos makes me think we could add something like this. I really want to do this at home! Thanks for the inspiration

    Ann R.

  12. Boni Satani
    August 5, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    Awesome Jen! Loved your post and min bar!

  13. Betty B. Sykes
    August 15, 2016 / 5:45 pm

    Great… Love this idea thumbs up (y)

  14. Thelma Roybee
    August 15, 2016 / 5:52 pm

    Superb idea…Sounds so cool and creative….

  15. Candy Pop
    September 7, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    I love your mini bar… You just need a Babycham deer! 😉

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