Raise a Glass: 7 Clever Living Room Bar Ideas for Impromptu Cocktail Hours

The thought of a separate bar area for entertaining was once a lofty one, particularly for city dwellers who often just have a few hundred square feet to call their own. Thankfully, those days are long gone, since we've found the most clever at-home bar ideas from around the web to inspire you to enjoy an impromptu happy hour, right in your living room. Whether you reside in a spacious home or occupy a pint-size studio, keep scrolling for the best living room bar ideas that will have you restyling your shelves and side tables quicker than you can say Bombay Sapphire.

1. Use glass decanters for cohesive style.

If you're living in a small space and concerned about too much visual clutter, use glass decanters to keep the decor sophisticated and streamlined, like Trevor Timson of Timson Home did here on top of this country hutch.

2. Incorporate a vintage dresser.

Recreate this living room bar idea from Danielle Moss by making the most out of an old dresser in your seating area. Add chic glassware and sculptural pieces to style a cocktail area that fits seamlessly with the surrounding decor.

3. Hide in plain sight.

If you're short on space but still want to create a designated entertaining area, toss out all of those old DVDs and make room for a mini bar inside of your built-in cabinetry. Select a favorite type of alcohol and a mixer or two, rather than a full bar with all of the fixings. Elegant glassware and a few select bottles feel oh-so-inviting in this living room vignette by Sarah Tombaugh.

4. Anchor your bar cart with statement art.

Erin of Sunny Circle Studio makes her bar cart a focal point with a cheeky art print that sets a fun, lighthearted tone for the entire living area.

5. Put a side table to work.

living room bar idea with side table next to credenza
credit: Teetharejade

Side tables can be more than just a rest stop for table lamps and your fave shelter mags. Put those small stations to work and turn one into your very own home bar. Berlin blogger Desirée Kastull of Teetharejade cleverly put this glam side table, with glass top, to work displaying her cocktail must-haves and the end result is very chic.

6. Allow bar tools to double as decor.

Kelli Lamb's copper barware doubles as an accent color in her midcentury-meets-boho digs — the perfect example of a living room bar idea that emphasizes form and function.

7. Keep it neat with a styled serving tray.

Recreate this casual yet sophisticated living room bar idea from Emily Henderson with a wooden bar tray to collect and anchor all of your favorite bar essentials without creating mess or clutter on top of your gorg credenza.


Caitlin Brown

Caitlin Brown

Caitlin is the former social media manager and staff writer of TheEverygirl.com in Chicago, now working as a freelance writer from her laptop in New Zealand. She loves soulful, collected interior design that feels like a warm hug, English Breakfast tea, and trips to the theatre.