If there is one thing we’ve learned in the past few years it’s that the majority of Americans want to be able to entertain at home. And outside of the kitchen and expanding the home’s footprint outdoors, all leads point to the home bar. But there are so many elements to take into consideration when designing a bar specific to one’s purposes. From how you like to entertain, to how much available square footage is available to design the bar, to types of layouts, purposes, and how decked out you’d like your home bar to be—these are just some of the elements that should be considered.

Don’t have a lot of square footage? You can still include all the basics and have quite the chic yet fully functional bar. In what we call a Butler’s Bar, homeowners can include their choice of three of our following units in just five feet of space: a 15” Glass Door Refrigerators, a 15” Clear Ice Machine, a 15” Wine Cabinet, or a 15” Beverage Dispenser. Have unlimited square footage? Consider investing in additional plumbing and creating an entire wet bar replete with a sink, dishwasher, and all the necessary refrigeration and appliances. In contrast with a Butlers Bar or what we like to call a “go bar”—a stand alone setup ideal for fashioning a cocktail and then retreating to a separate space to sit and unwind—a fully outfitted wet bar can incorporate comfortable seating. On the practical side, it also allows the host to clean up messes easily while engaging in conversations rather than running back and forth from the bar to the kitchen—an issue that becomes more pronounced the larger the distance between the two.

Lastly, to ensure your guests’ comfort—and maintain the cleanliness of your home bar—invest in the right materials. Love mixology? Install a durable, low maintenance countertop that can withstand the splashes and spills from acidic liquids like lemon juice. Quartz is also a popular choice—it’s durable, manmade, and does not need to be sealed. Likewise, soapstone is nonporous and antimicrobial while granite is great once it’s sealed. In addition, take cues from commercial bars and invest in bar rails—this not only allows your guests to rest their arms comfortably but keeps spills from dousing their clothes—and foot rails. Comfort is key—and that includes researching the benefits of ambient lighting and a good bar stool. But those are topics for another day. For now, enjoy planning out your new home ba!