One of Dan’s summer-long projects was updating our bar in the garage. Little by little, he added some new features and upgraded other original features. This is one of those ever-evolving projects that I’m sure we’ll add to year after year, and is definitely one of the more fun ones we work on. And of course, one of the things we get the most use out of in the summer months.
The original lighting that we had for the bar was our awesome wood beam with the rope edison bulbs wrapped around it. While that was one of my favorite projects, and favorite features of the bar itself, Dan’s ever-changing mind had a new vision for the bar light.
The new light fixture would be less bulky and more industrial looking. Keeping the concept of the rope lights and edison bulbs, they would now hang on black pipe rather than the wooden beam. Dan hung the black pipe as what I’ll describe as an upside-down T-bar, and then added the individual rope lights, hanging them in an asymmetrical pattern.
Another upgrade was adding box trim to the front of the bar. We went with three “boxes” on the front, staining them red mahogany to match the color of the rest of the bar. And because we had enough left over, we decided to finish off the side as well. While a relatively straightforward project, it definitely help to give the bar more of a design element than the previously blank slab of wood did.
Updated Bottle Rack
Our original bottle rack that sat behind the bar and in front of the mirror was an easy build and simplistic design. A shelf that ran the length of the mirror, and a front rail that held each of the bottles in place.
Dan’s updated design still included the shelf itself, but added rope lights underneath frosted glass. And of course, the lights change color, giving the bar even more personality than it already had. I’d consider the new design an open shelf, as it doesn’t have the front rail to hold all the bottles in place. So far, so good, as no bottles have been knocked off the shelf (knock on wood).
The most impressive addition to the bar were the storage drawers that Dan built behind it. Before this, we had two large shelves behind the bar that would kind of act as catch-alls. Collecting glassware, shakers, stirrers, oh, and dust. A lot of dust. To solve this issue, Dan reconfigured the shelves, cut them in half, and built in 5 drawers to organize and store all of his barware that he was beginning to accumulate very quickly. Now that statement clearly oversimplifies the work that went into each of these drawers. After building each to exact measurements, he stained the outsides and gave the inside of the drawers a nice contrast by painting them black. He also added a top lid that was inset into the drawer itself, and added a drawer pull that would allow him to add and remove it as needed. Taking the lids off when serving, and easily adding them back on when the bar wasn’t in use.
Along the way, Dan would work on little side projects to add to the bar itself. Some of these projects included carving a Polish falcon that he turned into a paper towel rack, building a serving tray and butcher block cutting board, making a napkin/straw caddy, and crafting a cocktail recipe box.
While we treated each of these projects individually, they all came together to enhance both the look and functionality of the overall bar itself. And of course, I can’t forget to mention our staple chalkboard wall that features fun bar quotes this year.