Basement Bar

I don’t know about you, but I can’t picture a Dream Home without thinking about some kind of mancave/bar. I’m not even a huge drinker myself but it just feels like something that should be there! Maybe it’s more about being social, or the thought of entertaining. It was an idea that Dave didn’t have to twist my arm to discuss. We were both very clearly on the same page when it came to that idea.

The layout of our home is pretty straight forward. Basically the top floor, is copy and pasted to make up the downstairs. The walls are in the same place, the room sizes are almost exact. There is a perfect match/pair for each room downstairs to a room upstairs.

For example, My daughters room, is the match to my office. My son’s room is our utility room. Even our laundry room has a match downstairs, being our walk in pantry. When deciding where to put a bar it was pretty easy to imagine. We were putting a family room/entertainment room as the match to our upstairs living room. Therefore, it only made sense to make the pair to our kitchen, a bar.

Of course we wanted to make this happen cost effectively and quickly. But of course, we made several wrong turns, tried lots of things that just didn’t work, until we finally found what we wanted.

I searched through photos for one that went far enough back to see the bare bones. These photos were taken when Dave was still installing the floor. It has a window that needed to be factored into the plan, and a walk out patio door.

But first things first, the floor was finished to match the rest of the space. Once the floor was in the whole room felt a lot bigger and left us with a good visual for planning out the room.

We grabbed some cabinets off of kijiji and set up a cabinet wall to see what it would look like. These cabinets were way too big. Oversized boxes, doors that went every which way. It needed a lot of elbow grease and we still weren’t sure it was what he wanted. And as you can see, the design didn’t exactly fit. Originally we thought it would be a great idea to have a sink. Once we had it all in there we realized a sink in the basement wasn’t really necessary. We had a bathroom sink if need be and I felt like the counter space would be more beneficial. With the same speed, we had the cabinets gone again and decided to design from scratch. We would choose smaller boxes for a cleaner look get exactly what we want for the same price as some second hand sets on kijiji.

Of course, yet again, we jumped online to IKEA and used their kitchen design tool. It made my life so much easier, once I designed the kitchen bar with exactly what I want, it provides me with an itemized list of what I’ve chosen. A few days later, it was here.

It took a lot of late nights to get this all together. I will say that after the first few boxes it got a lot easier. And I was extremely impressed with the quality and how well it was thought out. Once all the boxes were together it was easy to get them into place, mounted, etc.

This was the design I created. All the upper cabinets were glass doors (to match the glass doors I selected for the entertainment wall). The lower cabinets contained shelves and a recycling drawer, also a drawer for hard liquor. We opted for an island which has a wine rack in the middle. We are using the island for snacks (candy drawer and cabinets for chips), perfect for girls’ nights in, or family movie night with popcorn.

Next came the counter top. We ordered it to fit for both the bar wall and island. We picked the exact countertop that we have in our master bath. Mainly because its a perfect combination between greys, whites and browns. And that’s pretty much our color theme when it comes to cabinets, flooring and fixtures. We also got our hardware picked out and installed. I picked a minimal brushed nickel pull and simple knob. We didn’t want something too big or fancy, then it would take away from the cabinet design itself. They were fairly inexpensive at our local Home Depot.

The glass shelves were then added to the inside of the upper cabinets. We started unpacking and placing our many glasses and collections. There is still tons of space for new things to be added and moved down there.

Here is an updated photo of the cabinet wall. This will give you an idea of what the final product will look like. As you can see, the walls are not yet finished, ceiling and lighting will also need to be done. But we are in no rush to complete those tasks as we will be able to use the space in the mean time as is. Now, let’s take a look at the island.

We had the counter top cut large so it would overhang and we could place some bar stools. These two stools were picked up at Homesense and we love them. The seat turns to change the height of the stools. The island still needs its toe kick put in place and its back panel (which is white). As you can see, we already have a snack drawer started for movie nights.


Here is the bar all together. We tried to keep it simple and minimal to not crowd the space. The idea is, that if you’re sitting having beer and nachos at the island with a friend, you can very easily still watch the game from the entertainment wall. The large lower cabinet is serving as our game cabinet at the moment. The large drawer holds card games, notepads for keeping score, small boxed games like “cards against humanity”, and the large doors (which open up to shelves) have all of our large boxed games (such as monopoly and clue)

As the drawers and cabinets get more organized, I will provide a follow up post with the best ways I’ve been able to do so. So,¬†what do you guys think?!