Of course every party ends up in the kitchen. Even if you have a perfectly planned out place at the other end of the house and your kitchen is tiny. In my opinion, here are the main reasons for this: that’s where the food and drinks are, and usually the hosts, too, because they are tending both of the above.
Maybe it’s time to plan a different place for at least some of the food and the drinks.
A wet bar area, even a tiny one, can be a party enhancer because it will provide another place for guests (and the hosts!) to spread out. Even if you don’t throw big parties or even drink alcohol, a wet bar can be a handy snack or coffee center, which will also relieve some pressure from the kitchen at meal time or at parties. Or a strategically planned bar area in a big kitchen can double as a prep station for a second cook.
If you are considering remodeling and if it involves adding or moving plumbing, think strongly about finding a place for a wet bar area. It can be a reasonable addition if you’ve already got work going on if you can find a space behind the water wall of a new bathroom, for example, or possibly above or below a newly plumbed bath, laundry or kitchen.
Basic considerations for a minimal wet bar should include a small sink, enough electrical outlets above the counter for a coffee maker or blender and any other appliances, and space for an under-counter refrigerator with, ideally, an integrated icemaker
. Plan for enough storage for some cups or glasses, napkins and silverware. Typical upper and lower kitchen cabinets can work well, or get creative with open shelving, beautiful wood, mirrors and tile.
If you have a little more space, or if you have kids with a lot of friends or entertain a lot, adding a freestanding icemaker
with a drain can be a huge help. No more running out of ice at your main refrigerator. These are usually 15-18 inches wide.
Also consider a microwave built into the cabinets.
Try to keep the counter space as clear as possible. Sharp makes a microwave drawer
that can be a real space saver. There are many convection/microwave units on the market that can be useful, though not quite as good as a dedicated oven for crisping and browning. But for day-old pizza or keeping the bruschetta toasty, a convection function would still be better than just a microwave.
If you have a lot more space and serve wine often, add a second undercounter refrigerator for wine chilling and storage. Show off your collection with attractive units with glass doors and wood shelves like this offering from Subzero.
Quality units offer different temperature zones, so you can chill the Champagne and provide the right environment for red wines to age.
If you like beer and want to impress your friends, you can always get a below-counter keg cooler with a tap
that comes through the counter. Just be sure you have the proper clearances, sometimes these are deeper than typical kitchen cabinets. But, still a lot classier than a garbage can full of ice!
There are lots of ways to think about a wet bar, all of them useful. Even if you can’t get water to it a dry bar with storage and a refrigerator can still make a difference if you plan it properly.
Until next time!
Bar images courtesy of the website of Better Homes and Gardens
Labels: dry bar, entertainment areas, wet bar appliances, wet bar ideas, wet bars