We’ve come up with quite a few small home bar designs over the last 30 years but this client asked us to come up with a rich, classic look for their ancient (230 year old), two story stone house. It’s location was in an older, upscale section of town.
Their contractor had used us for some high-end work before and knew of our skills. We were to create cabinetry for a large master bath and likewise for a built-in wet bar in a niche on the opposite wall from the main fireplace in their living room . I told them I’d like to see a piece that looked like it had been there for a hundred years or more. What you might see in a very old, private, country club, for instance.
Although we do*modern design work*when asked to, I particularly enjoy creating a classical look, of woodwork from a bygone era. I love dark greens, copper counter tops and the look of well made, antique furniture. …so I finally found a small magazine photo of the kitchen in Cameron Diaz’s Manhattan apartment, that would help them visualize the direction*I was aiming for….
Next I had to plan the configuration of cabs for both function and ‘old world’ appeal…
original wet bar rendering with amendment notes /*A small refrigerator exists behind the lower right door
Cabinets installed (pre-finish) and a door’s lower rail to handle the fridge’s heat exchange
I found another pic of a well worn antique piece. I wanted this bar to look like it had existed*in their home for over a century*(even upon close inspection)…so I showed them the kind of aging I thought best.
After much experimenting, I came up with a finish sample that really looked authentic. On some scraps of poplar wood, I stained and then painted over with a beige color, all those exposed edges that I intended to appear*‘worn through’. Then I painted over everything with a dark Hunter green. Next I sanded those ‘worn’ edges, through the top coat, to expose the stained*wood beneath, showing a thin line of the beige existing between the stained area and the green top coat. Then I covered the the whole surface with urethane (to protect and make it a bit more glossy, like a old, oil based’ paint might. We had our painters*do this work but I had established exactly what the finisher would do to get the look I achieved in the sample. We also used hand rolled glass to give it more ‘aging’ and help obscure those objects stored behind.
Here are two, tight, close-up shots to explain what we really did and then wider shots to show the over-all (more subtle) effect it gave.
a copper grate was created in the lower right door / sink was created as an integral part of the*counter top.
this hand rolled glass has random air pockets and is closer to how old ‘seeded’ glass looked
LED lights were hidden beneath left and right sections
a home’s wet bar… made to appear ‘vintage’. Over-all effect looked very authentic.
I’m adding this last shot because it but shows the copper counter best.
The copper is unfinished so it will age further. It’s known as a ‘live’ finish.
Now I have another nice photo to show for the small home bar designs we’ve made.
Russell Hudson / www.hudsoncabinetmaking.com