ask Mr. Kate: how to create an organized home bar?


Tova asked me this question:

Hello doll face! I love your videos and your site.  You have definitely inspired some DIY on my end.  We’re moving soon, which I hope to use as an opportunity to fix some problem areas.  My challenge to you is The Bar – except that I don’t have a bar; I have too many bottles of liquor that take up too much room to put in the kitchen and currently live on the inconvenient lower shelf of my baker’s rack.  I would love to integrate them into the living room to encourage socializing, or at the least, to look like an intentional collection rather than just lush clutter.  Bonus points for space saving ideas.  Thanks!

My Answer:

thanks Tova! woohoo to moving! home bars can be a really fun way to spruce up a room and create a functional decor element. the trick is giving yourself the right vehicle to house/display your liquor bottles and bar accessories so it doesn’t look too cluttered. here are 4 suggestions i like for home bar areas…

a bar cart is an excellent way to organize and also display your liquor bottles and bar accessories. they are easy to find vintage or inexpensive to buy new. check out Walmart and Overstock for some inexpensive options ($50 to $200) as well as Ebay or your local flea market for some great vintage ones! i also like this one from West Elm.

trays are a great way to corral your liquor bottles, glasses and bar accessories. you could use them on your bar cart to separate and organize or use them on a hutch or counter top! think one tray for dark liquor bottles, one for clear bottles and mixers and one for glasses. i love to look in my local thrift stores for inexpensive trays or crates or also check out bargain stores like Ross and Home Goods.

think about converting an old armoire or china cabinet into a bar cabinet! visit your local thrift store and find a cabinet that you can convert into a bar unit. with the doors are open, it’s party central, and when you close them, no one is the wiser.

there are also actual bar units that you can purchase that close into cabinets when not in use…

this one is from Overstock for $238

a bar shelf if what joey and i have in our place. we just hung a shelf that i found at the flea market for $5 and screwed on wine glass racks from Ikea (also available from Target here) to store our wine and champagne glasses – you can see it in this video and the photo below…

i love the use of an old rake screwed to the wall for wine glass storage!

or try some creative shelving around a pillar.

and the wild card… a broken liquor shelf art piece by James Hopkins

hope that helps you! thanks for your question and good luck with the move! send photos of your bar set-up to us at


– mr. kate

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