10 Basement Bar Ideas for Every Budget

Enjoy impromptu happy hours, drinks with friends, and nightcaps from the comfort of your home.

If you enjoy a delicious cocktail handcrafted at home or love to entertain friends and family, consider installing a bar in your basement. It can be as elaborate as a built-in wine fridge, new cabinetry, and a wet bar, or as simple as a stylish bar cart that holds your favorite spirits and barware.

A well-designed basement bar provides plenty of storage and a functional prep surface to mix drinks. But it's also an opportunity to make a style statement, have fun with color, and display unique glassware and decorative items you've collected over the years. Our collection of basement bar ideas is filled with unique designs, smart storage solutions, and bold color choices to take happy hour up a notch.

close up of bar shelves
Brie Williams

1. Double Up on Storage

If you're working with a small space, get creative with vertical storage. Floating wood shelves hold copper mugs and dishware; slots on the bottom hold wine glasses to double storage space. Built-in slanted shelves painted in a deep navy color contrast the warmth of the wood countertop and offer room for wine bottles, an ice bucket, and mixing utensils.

dresser bar with artwork
Brie Williams

2. Vintage Meets Modern

Use a vintage dresser to give your basement bar character and timeless elegance. Stock the drawers with napkins, seasonal barware, and accessories. Utilize trays of different shapes and sizes to corral bottles, glasses, or an antique ice bucket. Whimsical art adds some fun to this traditional furniture piece for the perfect combination of old and new.

kitchen island with purple stools
David Land

3. Add a Pop of Color

Sleek modern pendant lights and bold purple bar stools make a statement in this generously sized U-shaped bar. A basement bar offers the opportunity for a more casual setup—colorful furniture, open shelving, and a patterned rug give this space a relaxed feel. Base cabinets provide ample storage, while shelves are a great spot for frequently used items, such as glasses, bowls, or plates. Basements tend to have low ceilings and can sometimes feel cramped, but bright white subway tile keeps this space light and airy.

bar cart with plant
Jason Donnelly

4. Roll into Happy Hour

Just because you're short on space or live in a rental doesn't mean you can't have a bar. That's what carts are for! Bar carts come in various sizes, styles, and finishes and are an easy way to display and store glassware. Plus, carts with casters make it simple to serve drinks at cocktail hour. Use one shelf for glasses and a bowl with fruit or snacks, another for bottles and barware, and the surface for mixing drinks and showcasing decor.

black cabinets in kitchen
Annie Schlechter

5. Sleek and Stylish Basement Bar

This wet bar has it all—a prep sink, a fridge to chill drinks, lots of cabinet storage, and open shelves to make grabbing your favorite rocks glass quick and easy. It packs a ton of function into a small space and the charcoal gray color and matte black hardware give it a sleek, contemporary feel. Incorporate natural elements, such as wood cutting boards, into a neutral color scheme to add warmth. They're also handy if you need to chop some fruit for a pitcher of Sangria!

bar with yellow cabinets
Anthony Masterson

6. Bright and Cheery Bar

If your basement could use a little sunshine, take inspiration from the sunny yellow cabinet color paired with a geometric tile backsplash in this basement bar nook. The drawers and closed cabinets provide plenty of space for bar accessories and bulkier serveware, while open bottom shelves break up all the cabinetry and make it easy to grab a bottle or glass. An oil painting ties the happy color scheme together.

corner bar with artwork
Anthony Masterson

7. Eclectic Bar Corner

This small bar proves that a statement furniture piece, a collection of art, and unique barware can make a spare basement corner happy hour-ready. A small tray holds bottles and napkins, and an antique pitcher contains drinking straws. Bring in color and pattern through an ice bucket or drinking glasses and add height with a stack of recipe books. Framed photos and art personalize the corner bar.

bar with black walls and cabinets
Werner Straube

8. Go Dark and Moody

Embrace a little drama and go dark with your basement bar paint colors. A marble countertop and backsplash brighten the space and create a stark contrast with the black walls and cabinetry. Glass-front cabinets hold spirits and glassware while the base cabinets feature a built-in fridge to keep drinks and mixers chilled.

bar table with white shutter doors
Kim Cornelison

9. Serve It Up

A two-tone buffet is the focal point of this bright and cheery basement bar. Shutter-style cabinet doors hide glasses, pitchers, and serving utensils, while a brass tray holds bottles and a bowl of limes on the surface. A rattan divider adds height and texture to the display. If your basement is a large open space, use it to turn the drinks station into its own private area.

A visual of a bar with a chiller.

10. Small but Mighty Basement Wet Bar

Utilize an overlooked nook or corner under the stairs by installing a built-in bar. Despite its small size, this bar includes all the essentials—a prep surface, a wine fridge, a sink, and even some clever built-in shelves for extra storage. A green pendant light adds a vibrant pop of color and provides task lighting. To break up a blank wall, simply lean a piece of art against it and pair with a tray of bar essentials.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does it cost to install a basement bar?

    Installing a pre-made dry bar (without plumbing) can cost $800 to $6,000. However, if you want to build a custom bar with plumbing, refrigeration, and other amenities, the cost can go up to $20,000 or more, depending on the size, materials, and labor involved.

  • Does a basement bar increase the value of a home?

    If you install a basement bar in your home, you can expect to recoup 70 percent of your spending. Avoid using high-end materials since they won't increase the overall value of a basement bar. A finished basement is often more appealing to buyers than an unfinished one.

  • How do I know how much room I need when installing a basement bar?

    If you want a bar where you can mix drinks and store glassware and bottles, it can be as small as a rolling bar cart. To build a bar with cabinetry, you'll need a depth that accommodates cabinets along a wall or two lanes of facing cabinets, plus a 36-42 inch walkway in between. For bars with seating, you'll need much more space. Each bar seat will need at least 24 inches of space, with 12 inches from the top of the seat to the bottom of the bar top for comfort, plus clearance behind the seats.

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