You don’t have to be a Michelin-starred chef or a professional bartender to reap the rewards of an outdoor bar and entertainment area. Whether you want a backyard bar to show off your mixology skills or just host a handful of your closest friends in high style, there’s a palate-pleasing outdoor bar design out there for you!
Quick and Easy Outdoor Bar Ideas You’ll Love
We have some design tips and tricks up our sleeve to help you squeeze every last drop out of summer’s backyard season, and we are ready to share. Read on to discover outdoor bar design ideas to inspire the eye and wet your whistle.
Are you working with limited square footage in your backyard? Maybe your lounge or barbecue area needs that little extra something-something to set it off to perfection.
A backyard bar doesn’t have to be fancy to get the job done. Adding a bar to your backyard space is as easy as putting up a couple of shelf brackets and a surface topper. It might be as simple as a single shelf or as complex as this hidden fold-down bar that crafty blogger Turtles & Tails built all by herself.
This stand-alone solution is minimal, ultra-affordable, and perfect for homeowners who don’t need much to complete their backyard setup.
Anything from the trolley? A quick and easy way to make the rounds at any party is with a bar cart. Stock it with your drinking essentials—cups, bottles, napkins, mixers, ice, and so on—and set it in a central (ideally shaded) location. People can serve themselves, or you can go mobile, and bring the drinks to your guests. Either way, it’s a fun addition to any party and makes refilling super convenient.
The beauty of the island-style bar is its versatility. It can be any shape, any size, any configuration, and any style. It can comfortably accommodate extra storage and shelving, a manual cooler, a large bar top, prep area, and even a water basin. Best of all, it can truly go anywhere. Place it against the house wall, floating in the garden, or side-by-side with the barbecue.
An unused shed, a detached garage, or any other stand-alone structure can be turned into a self-enclosed bar. This approach is ideal for serving large backyard parties and entertaining behind the bar. Remove a half-wall, install a bar top, shelves, and running utilities like water and electricity, and you can turn your surplus space into a full-service bar!
The great thing about this renovation is that you can store everything away once you’re finished. A roll-up bar window can be closed and locked at the end of the night to keep everything secure. All you have to do is bring in the stools and bar snacks, close the window, and lock the door. You can rest soundly knowing your equipment and spirits are safe and sound.
Of course, these can also be built from scratch, but working with an existing structure can cut costs. As long as the building has good bones, it’s an excellent candidate.
The Custom Layout
The most luxurious and sprawling of the backyard bar additions is the custom layout. If you already have an outdoor custom kitchen unit, you can imagine the kind of care and consideration that goes into building a custom bar.
This often includes features like bar seating area with stools, prep and storage areas, visible shelving units to display your bottles, custom lighting solutions, a sink, ice well, and a minifridge or two.
You can even splurge on special features: a stemware rack will give your bar a professional touch. Shade covers like a pergola, awning, or a shade sail are great for staying out of the sun, and an integrated sound system is perfect for when you’re ready to turn up the party vibes.
Don’t forget to deck out your custom bar with accents like string lighting, bar top decor, garnish trays, and snack bowls.
And there you have it – five outdoor bar solutions, from simple and chic to elegant and ultra-luxe. We hope these ideas have inspired you to create the backyard bar of your dreams.
When you’re ready to get started, the design-build team at McDermott is here to help. We’ve got inspiration to spare, and we’ll be happy to put your outdoor bar through its paces to make sure it’s suitable for your needs. Connect with us today, and let us help you get the most out of your summer.
Megan’s passion for design extends beyond her workplace. In her free time, Megan enjoys all types of crafts, including knitting, crocheting, and rehabbing/reupholstering furniture.