Summer is the time for lazy backyard parties. All across America, the picnic tables will be loaded up with potato chips, hot dogs and backed beans, the tiki torches will be lit, and the fireflies will start to come out just as the sun goes down. If you and your family and friends love to live in your backyard during this magical time of year, then an outdoor bar might just be the thing to make your summer entertaining this year the best it’s ever been. However, you might not be sure of just where to start to make this dream come true, so read on for some great home bar ideas. These project ideas range from the simple to the more complex but one of them is likely to give you the inspiration you need when you begin to transform your backyard into a true playground!
1. The Bookshelf Bar
Not all outdoor bars have to be complicated undertakings. One of the easiest ways to make your deck or patio more attractive for summer parties is to convert a vintage bookcase into your new outdoor bar. This can involve either metal or wooden bookcases (although if you have a wooden bookcase and your patio is uncovered, you should be sure to use an exterior paint to preserve the wood). Secure it in place on your patio or deck and use it to store glasses, drinks, lemon wedges or wine corks — whatever you prefer to get the party started.
2. The Swim-Up Poolside Bar
If you have a backyard pool and your plans for the summer include moonlight swims or just splashing around on a long, hot afternoon, then you can consider putting in a split-level swim-up bar to make your pool parties that much more fun. The bottom of this bar would be at pool level and would make it possible for family and guests to swim up to enjoy their drinks — there are even “barstools” you can buy that will go into the pool itself! The top level holds the bottles and gear for you to work your best bartending magic and pass drinks down to your guests. Of course, if you have little ones in your life, you can have a variety of kid-friendly drinks on tap as well! This will make the pool even more fun for your kids and also keep them hydrated after a long day of play.
3. The Dresser Bar
Most people have an old dresser knocking around somewhere in the basement or garage that no one seems to want anymore. If this is the case, you can bring it back out into the sunlight, repaint it and use it to turn one corner of your patio or deck into a fun and funky bar. The top of the dresser can hold bottles of your favorite libation (you can even include a large dispenser on top so your guests can help themselves), and the old drawers can give you room for extra glasses, coasters, napkins, all the necessaries to make summer parties fun and convenient. You are only limited by your imagination to decorate it and make it a highlight of your backyard party place. For instance, you could consider painting each drawer a different, bright color or find some mismatched vintage knobs from a local antique store to dress it up and make it uniquely your own.
4. The Gazebo Bar
Whether you already have a gazebo or are considering building one for relaxed and cozy outdoor living, a great way to insure that your family and friends will love it even more is to covert it into an outdoor bar. Most gazebos have sufficient room for you to install a refrigerated space and shelves can be fit onto the walls for glasses, bottles, etc. Many gazebos already have built-in benches, but if not you can add some sleek and colorful bar stools of your own choosing to make this party gazebo a hot destination in the hot summer weather! This is an especially good choice if you live in the climate which can be unpredictable, because a gazebo bar would allow you to stay outside and play even when it’s raining!
5. The Tiki Bar
If you long for beaches and a taste of the ocean to make your summer complete, bring the magic of the South Pacific right to your back yard with a tiki bar. There are DIY kits available to make these bars out of the classic tiki material which would be the perfect backdrop to your Pina Coladas or Bahama Mamas! These bars can be stand-alone or fit easily onto your deck or patio and they are sure to be a hit with your family and friends—as well as bringing a little touch of the exotic to your backyard bashes.
6. Stone Outdoor Bar/Fire Pit
If you still long for the days when you camped out as a kid and had bonfires, then building your own backyard fire pit might be the choice for you. And the same paving stones that you use to surround your new pit can also be used to build a bar (capped off with a hardwood or butcher block counter top) to make your campfires even better.
You could consider even building a small covered area for the bar, especially if you are planning on using the fire pit in the cooler weather of the fall or spring and want a little extra shelter.
The best thing about an outdoor bar is that it can be just one component of your little slice of paradise. Outdoor bars can be built on or near patios, decks, fire pits, pools or gazebos and can help you bring a bit of your indoors into the outdoors for lazy, luxurious, warm weather living. If you have children, this can bring your family together in wonderful ways and make the time you spend with each other both fun and active for all of you. If you just like to get together with friends and party under the stars, this will allow you to do it more easily and in style! So whatever your plans for the summer are, an outdoor bar is sure to add an extra special something to your entertainment!