Home Bar Buying Guide

Unleash your inner mixologist with a versatile home bar. This home bar buying guide will help you choose the right bar furniture and appliances for your entertaining needs.

Home Bars 101

Most entertainment occasions can benefit from a home bar. For starters, the extra counter space and seating means you can accommodate larger gatherings. It’s also a practical solution for storing your wine, liquor, glasses and related accessories. But more importantly, a home bar also acts as a focal point, inviting cocktail party or pre-dinner guests to mingle and serve themselves. For outdoor parties you can even add a serving cart to the mix, stocked with drink supplies and placed on the patio. When not entertaining, you can also use your home bar as a spot for casual snacks and family meals.

Types of Home Bars


Standard Home Bar

A basic home bar features a cabinet or table that includes lots of storage for glassware and bar accessories, and more limited storage for liquor and wine bottles. The bar may be table-height or bar-height, and come with two stools. More elaborate home bars look and function like a restaurant or hotel bar, with a wood counter, stools, and plenty of storage for glassware and bottles. Some bars are “wet,” meaning they contain plumbing for a sink. Other bars are “dry,” so water to mix drinks or make ice needs to be carried to the bar. Home bars may or may not include other appliances, such as icemakers, mini refrigerators, juicers, and wine chillers.

Bar Cabinets

A bar cabinet can store all the essentials of your fully stocked bar in one place. When buying a bar cabinet, think about fashion and function. Dark woods, metal and glass provide a modern feel, while light woods are more rustic and casual. You can also find bar cabinets with a counter top for mixing drinks, prepping snacks, displaying select bottles and glassware. If you’re more concerned with storage than counter space, choose a taller cabinet and stock up to heart’s content.

Bar Tables

A space-saving solution during parties, a bar table offers a convenient place for guests to gather. A bar table stands taller than your average table, around 42 inches, and is generally narrower as well. If you already have bar stools, be sure to measure them before choosing a bar table to ensure ample clearance. Circular bar tables can be an excellent solution for an open space in your home. Lighter plastic models can be store easily and pulled out in a jiffy when more guests appear than you anticipated.

Bar Stools

There are three main types of bar stools, with height being the differentiator. Counter stools are about 24 inches high (61 cm) at the seat. This allows for comfortable seating at most counters. A bar stool is approximately 30 inches tall (76 cm) at the seat, so you can rest your elbows on the higher bar surface. Pub tables are even higher, so you’ll need pub stools (35 inches, 89 cm) to sit comfortably. Because of the extra height, these stools also require footrests. Stools with a back take up a little more room, but they’re also more comfortable. The swivel feature allows guest to face different speakers or angle toward a TV, but you’ll need more space between stools. For outdoor bar stools, look for waterproof materials and removable cushions to protect against the elements.

Pub Sets

A pub set, also known as a bar set, conveniently bundles together a pub table and matching pub stools, eliminating the need to match styles and sizes. Whether you use it daily at morning coffee or reserve it for cocktail parties with friends, your new pub set will be a versatile addition to your home. Pub sets can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, wood composites and metal. When buying a pub set, think about where it’s going in your home. A wood set will be more durable and rustic, great for outdoors and inside. A metal and glass set can be a modern and sleek centrepiece for any room.

Serving Carts

Serving carts provide a safe, practical way to serve guests all over your home and patio. Serving carts come open or closed. Open carts are lighter and more maneuverable, so you can easily wheel them away to free up space when they're not in use. Closed carts look great at parties, with doors and cabinets to keep things out of sight. Some serving carts feature locking wheels to help turn a mobile party appliance into an everyday usable furniture piece.

Wine Coolers

Wine coolers are specially designed to keep your wine at the perfect temperature. Single compartment wine coolers provide different temperature zones for your white and red wines. Dual zone coolers are also available, which allow for more exact temperature settings for your whites and red. Free-standing models hold up to 50 bottles, while countertop coolers hold around six. You can also find models that will integrate underneath your counter like a dishwasher. If you plan on keeping some of your wine for a long time, look for a wine cooler with textured lining and a humidity gauge. These moisture-control features will help keep your wine at the perfect humidity level. Sliding shelves are convenient when grabbing a bottle, while fixed shelves allow you to stack more in your cooler. Some models offer multiple temperature zones to keep your red and white wines at the best temperature possible.

Wine Racks

Wine racks are a stylish, elegant way to store your wine. Also, if you buy corked wine, storing the bottle on its side in a wine rack keeps the cork moist. The moisture plumps the cork, preventing air from entering the bottle and spoiling the wine. When buying a wine rack, consider where it will be located in your home. For the connoisseur with extra space, a sturdy wooden wine rack can keep your wine safe and secure. For the entertainer, consider a wine bar with a built-in wine rack and additional storage space for wine glasses. A small countertop wine rack will keep a few favourite bottles close at hand.

Outdoor Coolers

Outdoor coolers provide a handy place to keep drinks cold and close while adding to your backyard decor. For patio entertaining, look for stand-up models with convenient counter space and extra storage for glassware and other backyard entertainment items. To provide guests with quick access to a cold drink, an open beverage tub is a great idea. For extra portability, choose an outdoor cooler equipped with wheels.

Home Bar Buying Tips:

• The seat of a bar stool should sit 9 to 12 inches below the bottom of your bar countertop
• Consider adding cushions to non-upholstered stools for extra comfort
• Always measure your stools or bar before buying other pieces to ensure they will all work together

Shop Accessories & Related Products:

Home Bar Maintenance Tips:

• Coasters, mats, and soft-bottomed containers can save countertops from scratches and blemishes
• Store glasses upside down to help keep them dust-free
• Check your bar stools every few months for loose bolts and other connectors
• Monitor metal outdoor bars and bar stools for rust and apply a rust-inhibiting spray paint as needed
• Materials such as leather-look vinyl, plastic, or painted wood are all stain-resistant and able to be wiped
• Polish metal components, such as stainless steel or chrome, with metal polish and a polishing rag to keep them looking their best
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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