A Charming, Fully-Stocked Bar
1. Reorganize the shelves. Ross removed a shelf, readjusted the others (one is now 36 inches from the floor, which is standard counter height), and added a wine rack and a wineglass holder. He painted it all a neutral color. (Aura paint in Jute, $57 a gallon, benjaminmoore.com for stores.)
2. Create the illusion of a larger space. Ross measured the back and side walls and had pieces of mirror cut to fit. “I used foam tape to adhere the panels to the wall,” he says. The mirrors help make the narrow nook look deeper and wider.
3. Keep objects under cover. Behind a piece of silk hung from a tension rod, Ross conceals things like a wastebasket, a recycling bin, and cans of soda. Underneath the counter, Ikea Fira desktop drawers ($15 each, ikea.com) contain bar tools.
4. Add subdued lighting. “It would cost a fortune to hard-wire the bar for electricity, so I use battery-operated push lights instead,” says Ross. “They cast a nice, soft glow, and the batteries last a long time.” (Lights, $9.50 for two, homedepot.com for stores.)
5. Make it user-friendly. The Ikea cubbies are labeled, as are the squeeze bottles on the counter. “I mean, I know that I keep vermouth in the mist bottle, but a guest might think it’s Windex or something,” says Ross.