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Vintage Or Modern? Solve Your Home Bar Design Dilemma

By: Karina Pandya

Choosing a vintage or modern style for your home bar

While the style of your home bar reflects the rest of your interior décor, the choices you make in terms of aesthetics also speak to your personality. Are you all about revelling in the romanticism of the past, drawing inspiration from historical trends, collecting objects that ooze old world charm? Or are you all about sleek lines and minimalism, shiny metallic finishes and sheen, sharp contours and sharper accessories? Which of these design directions do you find most compelling? 

ALSO READ | A Guide To Must-Have Spirits For Your Home Bar

Your answers to these questions would certainly help determine if it’s a modern or a vintage vibe you finalise for your home bar. Designing your home bar is all about finding the right finishes, choosing durable and attractive materials, using unexpected statement pieces and accents, merging style with function, drawing inspiration from commercial design while making use of the intimate nature of your living spaces. 

Choosing a vintage or modern style for your home bar

Present Continuous

Contemporary or modern, as concepts, refer to the style of the ‘present day’. However, modern design comes from a designated period, including the early to the mid-20th century.  Some of the defining elements of modern design are the use of neutral colours such as beige, white and even black; clean lines, signifying in some ways a break from the more elaborate flourishes prevalent in the Gothic, Renaissance or Victorian styles; use of materials such as steel, plastic, wood or moulted plywood; a preference for the open concept of floor plans; and abundant natural lighting that helps keep the space as airy and open as possible.  

Past Perfect

The vintage look, on the other hand, will not be quite as cohesive as modern design, and might even rejoice in its eclecticism. The focus is on recreating a bygone era, through the use of antique or traditional furniture, objets d’art, utensils and implements, and so on. Think: brass bar cabinet, wooden bookshelf, a vintage “jali” bedside table, retro bar stools and countertops, etc. Using one or a combination of these ideas you can easily impart the vintage vibe to your home bar area. Painting the walls with soft colours, using wall panelling, or decorating with heritage-themed wallpapers are all helpful ideas. So is the use of furniture that is naturally aged and characterised by superior craftsmanship and individualistic design.

Choosing a vintage or modern style for your home bar

Make It Work

Something New 

Choosing modern furniture for your home bar puts a vast variety of colours and styles at your disposal. Tan, grey, brown, rose or even red --- there’s room to have fun with colours combinations. The colour itself will give your piece of home bar furniture a distinctive look. Modern bars also have interesting designs to choose from: you can opt for an arrangement that calls for spirits to be placed on one side and glassware on the other. You could go for an art deco look or Bauhaus.  

Something Old

L-shaped bars are one option when one goes in for a vintage home bar. It has the benefit of suiting both large and small spaces. Unused or rarely used spirits can be positioned at the back with the more frequently dispensed liquor up front. It is important to pay attention to the size of the bottles versus the self-size. Crystal glassware can be arranged separately, along with ornamental bowls of garnishes and bar tools with a vintage finish. That’s all you need!

Whether you choose to go the modern route or the vintage one, pay attention to the details and you’re sure to end up with a beautiful and inviting home bar.