The Anywhere-It-Fits Bar
Follow your waterline and you just might discover a ­closet or convertible space that has wet-bar potential. Of course, not every bar needs a sink, but smart architects and homeowners have discovered that closets and unused areas ­adjacent to powder rooms, kitchens, even laundry rooms, can be converted into drinks centers by tying into the ­existing plumbing. Quick and casual, these bars typically have just enough work surface to slice a lemon, just enough of a fridge or wine cooler to keep the after-work chaser chilled, and just enough storage to handle the liquor cabinet and some basic barware.

Find the Existing Drain
This goes hand-in-hand with tapping into a water source when it comes to an easily installed wet bar. You'll want to run a waste line into the wall, tying into the one already in the powder or laundry room. Of course, if access is a problem, you can install a new drain, but hooking it up to the existing sewer or septic line might be more complicated. And since wet bars often involve water and electricity, make certain that your electrical circuits have ground faults for protection in the event of a short.

The Old-Fashioned
For purists who want the look and feel of an old pub in their home, a reclaimed bar is the way to go. Finding one might not be as difficult as you think. Some dealers specialize in bars, receiving stock from dismantled saloons and apothecaries in the U.S., Britain, and Ireland. They'll even work with you to figure out how to retrofit them with a bar sink, fridge, or flat-screen TV. Some owners buy just a back bar to add atmosphere, says Mark Charry, owner of Philadelphia's Architectural Antiques Exchange. Others go all out with a canopied bar (like the one shown above) for a saloon room. Carved of oak, cherry, walnut, or mahogany, these bars may even bear the original brass plaque with the maker's name.

...and the Sidecar
For those with space (and budgetary) constraints, manufacturers are busily turning out stylish, storage-intensive bar cabinets. Neatly containing glassware and bar accessories, these furniture pieces start at about $300 and range from a tabletop model, such as Bernhardt's Georgian Bar Cabinet ($1,000, shown below), to a 7-foot painted-wood hutch by Pottery Barn ($1,549) that could sit in the dining room. Among their extras: pull-out serving trays, grooves for hanging stemware, and concealed casters.
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