Sometimes its best to start your home bar project by thinking really big and then scaling back. Last year’s article on ideas for your home inspired by the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards served as such a great example we decided to make it an annual feature.
The International Restaurant & Bar Design Awards recently announced the 2012 winners and the top honor this year went to the Graffiti Cafe winning overall best bar as shown above in the far left photo thumbnail. Three of the other category champions are highlighted alongside as well. Be sure to review all the contest entries and prize holding portfolios for more ideas.
2012 Award Winning Bar Designs [above left to right .. name (location) - category]:
- Graffiti (Bulgaria) - International bar
- Dirty Martini (Hanover Square, London) - Multiple bar or club
- Holburne Garden Cafe (The Holburne Museum, Bath) - Restaurant or bar in another space
- The Drift (London) - Standalone bar or club
These big budget projects were able to utilize the talents of world class architects, building contractors and interior designers. Take note of the details you’re interested in and discuss with the professionals you’re working with to see how you can bring them home to your bar.
Design details that caught our eye in each of these bars:
Parallel Paneling Surfaces - multiple plywood sheets are mounted perpendicular to the walls, ceilings and columns and parallel to each with spacing in between to form a contoured surface on the exposed ends inside Graffiti. This is a pretty dramatic effect which could be scaled down with the right space. Would need extra ceiling height to accommodate and is probably best to hire 3d design capability so many iterations can be visualized fairly quickly before deciding on a final concept.
Molding - probably the easiest and most inexpensive way to go from plain to fancy. The Dirty Martini showcases moulding used as artwork in a sort of starburst pattern which repeats all along the front of their main bar.
Island Station - Holburne Garden uses a planter to break up the area and also for staging. Something to consider in large rooms and also would be a good way to turn a column that’s in the way into an entertaining table that surrounds it instead.
Style Combo - it almost looks like the Drift has one bar stacked on top of another. Completely different materials, textures and finishes can complement each other when combined together in a way they couldn’t do alone.
Do these international award winning designs spark any ideas for your home bar?