Home Bar Ideas on a Budget: 5 Must-Haves & 5 Just for Fun

Home Bar Ideas on a Budget: 5 Must-Haves & 5 Just for Fun

It’s something you’ve wanted for a long time, but it just never makes it to the top of your budget priority list: a home bar. Indeed, it’s a bucket-list item for a lot of homeowners. The good news is that you can create a fun, themed home bar without breaking the bank. You’ll be hanging out with friends and family in the atmosphere you love without someone bringing you a tab at the end of the night!Elegant home bar area

5 Home Bar Essentials

Before you consider what kind of bar you want, it’s important to consider the essential home bar elements you’ll want to include. Carefully consider your space when you think about these things. Every home bar should have:

  • A countertop/bar surface
  • Room for glassware storage
  • Room for liquor storage
  • A refrigerator or cooler
  • Seating

These are just a few of the basics that make your home bar a home bar. Of course, some would consider a television (or two or three) to also be essential, but you may prefer a space where you can tune out electronics and talk. However, the five items listed above are pretty standard for almost any kind of home bar. So, now that you know what you need, the real question is, what type of home bar do you want?

5 Budget-Friendly Home Bar Themes

There’s no rule saying your home bar has to have a theme of any sort, but it can help to match the space to your personality. What are you passionate about, or what helps you relax? If nothing pops into mind right away, you could consider these five budget-friendly options with ideas on where you can save and where you might want to splurge a little:

Sports Bar

Sports bars are popular for a reason. Like-minded fans get together to share the ups and downs of their favorite teams. The beauty of a sports bar theme is that if you’re a sports fan, you probably already have a collection of memorabilia and décor featuring your favorite teams and players.

Where to save: No need to go all out to redecorate when you can frame those mementos that are collecting dust in a closet somewhere.

Where to splurge: No sports bar is complete without a big-screen TV, right? Set aside some money in the budget for that!

European-Style Pub

If you love the feel of a classic Irish or English pub, consider going that route for your home bar.

Where to save: Peruse eBay, local garage sales, or flea markets for vintage (or at least vintage-looking) European beer or liquor signs. Add bookshelves filled with Dickens, Swift, James, Flaubert, and the like. If you don’t have a book collection, old books are easy to find at library book sales for next to nothing.

Where to spend: For a European pub, be sure to consider adding some dark wood cabinetry or a nice bar top.

Moviestheater style seating in a home bar

Maybe you love to settle in with a cocktail and a few friends to watch the best that the silver screen has to offer. Go all out with a movie-themed home bar!

Where to save: You can get movie posters on the cheap, and if you talk to your local movie theater, you may even be able to get some cardboard cutouts or posters for free.

Where to splurge: You’ll want a decent TV, and you could go all out with a popcorn machine. But when you’re watching movies, the seating is where it’s at. Spend a chunk of your budget to get theater-style seats for a theater-like experience.

Casino Bar

Is poker night your big thing? A casino-themed bar is a sure bet if you’re looking to score a hit with your buddies.

Where to save: Your bar itself can be pretty basic, and the décor can be as simple as searching “casino décor” on eBay. You could also put up some casino-related movie posters like those from “Casino Royale” or “Ocean’s Eleven.”

Where to splurge: A


dd a quality poker table to give your casino bar an authentic feel.


Not everyone is looking for an all-out themed bar in their home. If that’s you, consider going with a simple, modern look. It can be a place to sip and chat with your family and friends without being tied to any specific theme.

Where to save: Your bar setup, including seating, can be simple. For a modern look, keep clutter and decoration minimal, though a little modern art can add ambiance.

Where to splurge: When everything else is simple, really unique glassware makes the experience just a bit more fun and can be a great conversation starter.

Need More Ideas?

If you’re thinking about adding a home bar but you’re not sure where to start, contact AlliKristé today. We’ve helped dozens of homeowners add fun bars to their homes and would be happy to come to your home for a free consultation. We have plenty more ideas to share!