Our At Home Bar Cabinet in Bookcases

LAST UPDATED: Jan 07, 2021 | PUBLISHED: Jan 04, 2016 | By:

Think you don’t have space for a home bar? Think again! Learn how to revamp any cabinet or storage space in your home – turning it into a charming, utilitarian built in bar!

Whether it’s your kitchen, living room or basement, learn how to carve out space for a bar area.

A white built in cabinet and book case in a living room, converted into a hidden bar area.

In effort to restore our basement from the “move” when we had our hardwood floors installed, I overstocked the bar cart, causing it to shatter overnight. Oops!

Since that sad November day, I’ve been rethinking what we should do with our wine and alcohol. Over the summer, we removed the obtrusive wet bar that was dated and blocked both the light and flow between our living room and kitchen.

Removing walls and storage forces you to optimize the space you do have and minimize clutter. That’s exactly what our bookcase was filled with – clutter.

Built in cabinets filled with clutter in the before image of a makeover.

Organizing a Built in Bar

Trinkets that weren’t in use, miscellaneous books that used to grace our shelves and games that were better suited for our linen cabinet in the family room.

I decided to utilize Saturday afternoon nap time by painting and repurposing the bookcase into a home bar cabinet – and I’ll never miss that mess!

Beautiful bar cabinet in a built in bookcase

A Built in Bar Anywhere

I find that anytime something is dark, it almost encourages me to consider it the abyss and hide anything and everything there.

That’s exactly what our bookcase cabinet had become, the black abyss, so I gave it a fresh coat of “white paint” and distributed the odds and ends to their proper homes.

Lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner finds beautiful ways to blend organization into home decor

The existing tray that is displayed on the bookcase is the perfect host to bar tools and a signature cocktail – whatever you’re serving that evening, but looks beautiful day in and day out.

I tend to take a utilitarian approach to decorating and this is no exception. Our bar cabinet consumes absolutely no extra space in our home and only adds to the decor.

Our living room is small, so it’s important to make it functional. It’s where we frequently congregate with friends, so it’s convenient to have the bar nearby. It would be the perfect addition to a small apartment.

Entertaining blogger Julie Blanner converted her built in bookcases into a beautiful bar cabinet
Lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner finds beautiful ways to blend organization into home decor

In addition to wine, hard liquor, and accompanying glassware I’ve added a piece of art for a pretty backdrop to break it up. I’ve also included our copper ice bucket and a wine opener.

Create a home bar cabinet in just a few minutes

Want to read a funny story about my favorite Gold Bar Cart? Don’t skip this post if you love a brass bar cart as much as I do! You can also learn How to Style a Bar Cart right here!

Beautiful bar cabinet in a built in bookcase

A little hidden gem…

Beautiful built in bookcase ideas - create a bar to add function and save space

It’s the perfect place to tuck away all those liquor bottles that you only bring out for special occasions, like New Year’s Eve!

If you love a great celebration as much as we do, check out 11 Steps to a Great New Year’s Eve Party and the best New Year’s Eve Recipes!

Beautiful bar cabinet in a built in bookcase

Aside from painting, converting the bookcase into a bar cabinet took just 15 minutes, using things we already have. I love any organization project I can complete in an hour or less!

Lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner converted her built in bookcases into a beautiful bar cabinet

This is a view of the bar when closed…

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Make the most of a small space by creating an at home bar cabinet

While I miss my bar cart {and can still replace the glass} I’m beyond excited for the cabinet that consumes no additional space. Which do you prefer, a bar cart or a bar cabinet?

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