Traditional English pubs have been around for hundreds of years, and although the style varies a little from century to century or location, the basic elements of the English-pub bar style have remained the same the world over. So if you’re thinking about installing a wet bar in your home with a sense of history or tradition, design your bar area after one of the most well-known bar styles — here is a guide to show you how.
Measure the area where you want to place your bar. Sketch out the basic space, using your measurements, on a piece of graph paper. Add necessary elements to your sketch, including the bar itself, stools and storage space, such as cabinets against the wall. If you don't have exact measurements, use standard measurements or estimate.
Choose your colours. Select earthy colours, like oak, a stone shade or deep greens for the walls. For a traditional pub look, go with a deeper brown, like mahogany brown, for the bar itself and the cabinets. Stick with the deep brown theme throughout all your furnishings, including the stools, or lighten up the space, by using a light to medium brown shade for other pieces.
Cover the counter with natural elements. Choose stone or wood countertop material for the bar itself and any additional countertop space. Natural surfaces or scarred wood bar counter tops are traditional in English pubs no matter the era.
Take a page from the design of many historic Irish pubs and open up your cabinets. Many Irish pubs feature thick wood, open shelves instead of traditional cabinets. When cabinets are used, the doors are often glass to reveal the fine Irish whiskey displayed behind them.
Give your wet bar the final English pub touch by adding detail. Add a stone veneer or real stone to a section of the wall in your bar area. Turn an old, oak barrel or two into shelving or wine storage. Replace a standard window in your bar area with stained glass, or hang an antique stained glass window behind the bar for a bit of classic colour.
Dim the lighting. Irish pubs are known for their low lighting and the relaxing ambience that lighting creates. Use the same concept when choosing lighting fixtures for your bar. Go with wrought-iron or brass fixtures for a traditional English pub look.