Ideas for Bars + Butlers' Pantries

Posted by Anastasia Casey on

A bar or butler’s pantry is to the kitchen what the powder room is to the primary bath: A smaller space to take a design risk or create a special moment. Here are our tips for making it feel elevated, whether you choose to tie it in with the rest of your space or make it stand out.

bar with mirror tile

Design by Kate Marker Interiors | Photo by Stoffer Photography

Get Reflective

Mirrored tiles signal something special, and where is that more appropriate than in a home bar? We love the way designer Kate Marker mixed the shiny tiles with rough sawn oak cabinetry for that wonderful mix of rough and luxe. Mirrored tiles are a common choice in bars because of their reflective quality, which bounces light around even with the lighting is low.

Shop our similar style: Antique Mirror 

coffee bar with blue tile

Design by Lindsey Brooke Design | Photo by Amy Bartlam

Go All In

In an open floor plan, repeating design element throughout the space can help bring continuity to the design. California designer Lindsey Borchard used a  handcrafted tile on the backsplash of a mid-century kitchen renovation, and then took it from floor to ceiling in the nearby eating nook. Laying the tile in a horizontal stack feels appropriate for the architectural style of the home, and the handcrafted nature and subtle color bring an element of texture.

Shop our similar style: Handcraft Baby Blue

black butlers' pantry with marble tile

Design by reDesign Home | Photo by Ryan McDonald

Keep it Simple

A closet-turned bar is an excellent use of space for those who like to entertain. In the renovation of this cottage-style home, the designer and homeowner found a space to add the bar near the living and dining room after the kitchen was relocated to the back of the house. It's simple and classic with rich black paint, and she chose a marble hexagon tile that matched the stone on the countertops. This simple, chic choice is a smart one for a home with classic bones, and is always in style.

Shop our similar style: Hexagon

bar with textured tile

Design by Landed Interiors | Photo by Thomas J. Story

Add Subtle Texture

One way to easily differentiate the bar space from the kitchen is to use tile with a pattern or texture, and include an artful set of shelving, such as these, which are cleverly hanging from the ceiling. A small entertaining space is a great place to introduce a design element like open shelving, as you can display your favorite barware and accessories, and your guests can easily and comfortably help themselves to a refill.

Shop our similar style: Valencia White Chevron

green painted butlers' pantry

Design by Jean Stoffer Design | Photo by Stoffer Photography

Go Monochromatic

In the butlers' pantry to end all butlers' pantries, one backsplash material may not be enough. A gorgeous slab that matches the counters is behind the sink, while under the run of glass-front cabinetry, the backsplash is pretty green subway tile. The green tile creates a subtle tone-on-tone effect with the gray-green paint color throughout the space, which gives the room an elegant, masculine feel. 

Shop our similar style: Artisan Malachite

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