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Garden bar ideas: Small, DIY and outdoor bars to wow guests

Don’t feel like going out? No problem, build your dream bar in your own home with these garden bar ideas from other homeowners. With options from stunning to small, and DIY bars.
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Relaxing with a cold drink following a long day is a fantastic way to let off some steam and recuperate. Unfortunately, visiting a bar or pub is not always possible, so what is the solution? Our garden bar ideas will help you to design a stunning, functional bar in your own outside space.

A home bar is the perfect way to unwind in your own back garden. Whether you are looking for themed garden bar ideas or ways to maximise space for a small bar, keep reading to learn more. And if you want to know the cost of building a home bar, find out here.

Outdoor garden bar ideas

An outdoor bar is a perfect choice for lazy summer evenings with friends. With your favourite drinks and snacks at hand, you can create a stylish, social space for guests without needing to go out to a bar or pub.

By implementing the following outdoor garden bar ideas, you can be sure your bar will be packed full of friends and family every weekend:

1. Garden bar lighting

garden solar lighting

Use different types of lighting to create a magical space no matter the time of day. Choose from fairy lights, recessed lighting and even solar-powered lights.

2. Waterproof seating

outdoor bar seating

Use waterproof seating options to prevent water damage on rainy days. This will prevent the need to store all your furniture away during every little rain shower.

The bar stools pictured above are a lovely colourful option that require little maintenance.

3. Think of heating options

garden fire pit

Consider adding heating in the form of a fire pit or hot lamps for cooler evenings.

There’s nothing better than gathering around a fire pit with friends and family to toast marshmallows.

 4. Compact garden bar

eating and drinking outdoors in the summer

For homes with smaller outdoor areas, this garden bar would fit perfectly. Two recycled barrels have been used to support a wooden plank, making a unique seating area. Not only is this a compact solution, it looks fantastic and can be easily stored during winter months.

There is even room for snacks, drinks and decorations, making this an excellent choice for those with limited space.

5. DIY garden bar

DIY garden bar ideas

This home bar looks professional and has a vintage finish. Despite the great aesthetics, this is something that could be done as a DIY job. Using a small structure like a garden shed with one wall removed, you would just need to construct a bar from wooden planks and put-up shelves to finish.

Once you have constructed your bar, adding personalised decoration like the writing in this image can be the perfect finishing touch. So why not start planning today?

Or, find a specialist by reading our shed conversion cost guide.

6.  Themed outdoor garden bar

Tiki themed garden bar

Not all homes will suit a stereotypical bar and this is a great opportunity to play around with fun themes. Here a nautical, tiki theme has been used to create an authentic garden bar in a small space. Bamboo and reeds have been brought in to replicate the tiki theme with brightly coloured decorations.

This compact bar would fit into most gardens and you can add any existing garden furniture to provide seating and save on costs.

7. Outdoor bar seating

Outdoor bar seating

There are many different seating options for garden bars, including plastic, wooden or metal chairs, stools, and benches. In this picture a sophisticated bar has been installed into the garden of a lucky homeowner.

If you can, it helps to match the seating design with the style of the bar. In this example, the brickwork and a shiny black contemporary counter mean the bar wouldn’t look out of place in any garden, no matter the style. The black stools perfectly complement the counter tops and add authenticity.

8. Impressive garden bar

Impressive garden bar

This bar looks like it is straight out the pages of a professional design magazine! A place for relaxation and socialising, a modern bar has been constructed using slats of wood with an elegant, deep counter.

With the addition of a coffee maker and a fridge, plus a range of different drink options, this bar could work in a large garden or even a professional setting.

If you’re interested in building your own garden bar, hire a local professional…

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Themed garden bar ideas

If you have spent time and money investing in a beautiful garden, why not take the time to design a bar that complements your outside space.

Choosing a theme opens up a whole world of possibilities as well as creating a visually stunning effect.

1. Tiki bar

tiki garden bar

A tiki bar is a very popular design when it comes to garden bars. Take inspiration from the bar pictured above and incorporate lots of exotic plants and rattan elements to transport you somewhere warm.

You can buy ready-made tiki bars from the high street for as little as £100 which are a great option!

2. Nautical bar

macrame swing in garden

Make your garden bar nautical themed by using a neutral colour palette and adding pops of blue. A macrame swing is a lovely addition as it will provide extra seating and it looks super stylish, too.

3. Gin bar

two gin glasses

If you’re a gin lover then creating a gin bar in your own garden is the dream! Use open shelving made out of reclaimed wood to display all of your lovely gin bottles and make your own gin-related sign to welcome friends and family.

4. Traditional pub

traditional style pub

Classic English pubs are a friendly and cosy environment. If you want to replicate this in your own home then take inspiration from your local pub when designing your home bar.

Go for a dark wood and hunt down some traditional bar stools and bar taps. Why not get creative and come up with a name for your garden pub? A traditional blackboard used as a bar menu is also a great idea.

5. Cocktail bar

cocktails in bar

Go for a sophisticated look by making your garden bar into a cocktail-themed space. Art Deco is a wonderful era that is well known for its glamorous design.

Incorporate lots of gold elements into your design and perhaps some velvet seating if your bar is undercover. Create your own bespoke cocktail menu and gather all of the accessories to match.

Optional extras to create a functional garden bar

Adding finishing touches and extras to your outside bar is essential to create a functional, aesthetically pleasing bar. If you are unsure what to include in your finished project, the following garden bar ideas are all great additions:

  • Draught beers and lagers
  • Lighting
  • Storage for snacks and glasses
  • Seating
  • Themed decorations
  • Personalised signs

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Small garden bar ideas

While your outside space may be limited, there are many small garden bar ideas that can allow you to still design a great chillout spot. Ways to save space and make the most of your garden no matter the size include:

1. Use bar stools

wooden bar stools

Instead of tables and chairs, use bar stools instead to allow guests to sit at the bar itself. This won’t only save on space but creates a sociable seating area that your friends will love.

2. Convert a shed

garden shed

Consider converting an existing current shed or summer house into a bar. This would mean no extra space would be needed, while converting a disused structure into something practical and fun.

3. Consistent colours

garden bar with bar stools

Use consistent colours to create a cohesive finished look. This can make your bar appear more streamlined and less bulky. An all-white scheme is a clean look that will suit a minimalist or modern home.

DIY garden bar ideas

If you are planning to build the bar yourself, this can be an exciting process. Having said that, you will need to learn new skills and ensure that you are always taking the proper precautions. When it comes to DIY garden bar ideas, the sky is the limit.

You can truly customise your outside bar to your requirements and when finished will have a unique structure that works for you. Below are a few excellent garden bar design ideas:

1. Garden bar mini fridge

mini fridge

Use a mini fridge in your garden bar to keep drinks cool during hot weather. We would say that this is almost a necessity! If you don’t have the room or facilities for one though, a luxury cool box will work to keep ice frozen.

2. Create a unique look

garden fairy lights

Use your creative skills to create a unique bar. Incorporate signs, a design theme and fun extras like lighting.

Fairy lights are always a lovely idea to create ambient lighting. They won’t create enough light for you to see what cocktail you’re making but they are a nice added extra.

3. Garden bar decorations

garden neon sign

After building the bar as a DIY job, consider buying decorations to save time and create a fantastic aesthetic.

This neon sign is a wonderful idea to make your garden bar totally unique to you and your family.

Alternatively, if you want something custom made, then view our carpentry prices guide.

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