Sometimes it’s nice not to gather in the kitchen.
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arched alcove in living room, bar area with green paint and tile
Credit: Stoffer Photography Interiors

When designer Jean Stoffer's son, Dave, and his wife, Kristy, asked her to help reimagine a corner in their Grand Rapids, Michigan home, Stoffer knew she needed to bring her "A" game—as well as the party. "Dave and Kristy wanted a bar that would draw them and the people they had over to the sit-down area," she says. "We all know that everyone ends up in the kitchen, and they thought this may be a draw to use more of the house."

The spot under consideration was nothing but a blank wall inside the living room they share with their three children, and to make it even more interesting, the couple didn't want to simply pull up a rolling cart, plug in a mini-fridge, and call it a day. They were interested in making this into a layered project, complete with an aesthetic that would complement the home's century-old roots. "This was part of a full renovation that started in January 2021 and was completed in September 2021," says Stoffer. "The design we sought to achieve was something handsome and moody, with a touch of chic."

They settled on the idea of an alcove, which would carve itself into the wall with an eye-catching archway. Once it was framed, electrical was installed so that a pendant could hang overhead, while dark green tiles were placed on the back wall to coordinate with the custom cabinetry below. "I wanted something that would enhance the mood of the dark green cabinets and thought the tiles' size and texture would be very interesting," Stoffer notes. Dave and Kristy hung the wallpaper lining the archway themselves—no easy feat, considering that the back wall was original to the home and not plumb—and then the bar was outfitted on a black granite countertop. And because a mom never forgets the details, there's also a fridge hiding behind a custom drawer front, for good measure. 

"It's very fun to be bold in an area that is fairly small and has a purpose that is specific to entertaining and leisure," she says. "It's also great that something so cool can be achieved in what was previously a relatively unused corner of a room."

Get the Look:

Glossy Black Brick Tiles
Credit: Ann Sacks

Dramatic Tile

annsacks.com

Glossy black tiles appear deep green when paired with Eden Green cabinets from Stoffer's own line. The effect is a swanky bar tucked into the corner of a family-friendly living room. 

Kelly Ventura Wallpaper in Meadow floral design
Credit: Kelly Ventura

Garden Border

kellyventura.com

By lining the arched alcove with a floral wallpaper from Kelly Ventura, Stoffer introduced just a touch of timeless pattern to the bar area. 

Sphere Glass Light with Brass Detail
Credit: Stofffer Home

Night Light

$330, stofferhome.com

A spherical light fixture and a glimmer of brass guide guests over to the cocktail area. Take a cue from elegant bars and keep the lighting soft and romantic. 

CB2 Couple Glasses with Ribbed Glass
Credit: CB2

Raise a Glass

$8, CB2.com

A home bar this stylish deserves some wow-worthy glasses to match. These coupes with ribbed glass are a sophisticated way to serve champagne or cocktails.