Raising the Bar

Pour yourself a glass of something strong (in my case, lemon water…extra ice!) and let’s talk bar.

In our old house, we had a little corner that fit a mix-n-match bar area.  It was anchored with a small inherited cabinet (that I redid in a soothing green paint color) and overheade we installed some Pottery Barn outlet wine bottles retrofitted with ikea glass holders.

It was the perfect use of the tiny space.  It worked for our wine glass storage…and the cabinet below held all sorts of random dining room ‘tidbits’…you know, the things you don’t really need but are cute enough to spend a dollar at Goodwill for.

So now enter the new house.  I had already been eyeing this area for wine glass and bottle storage.  What can I say…I got hooked on the ease of just being able to hang or slide!

I even photoshopped the room to see what it would look like with new curtains and my shelves in place.

Well, it only took us seven months to finally check this off the to-do list.  We hung up our curtain rods that we had in storage as well as some white-let’s-see-how-they-look-obviously-too-short curtains.  And then got to work installing the mounting brackets for the shelves.

Ten minutes later, we have a very spacious bar area flanked by the windows. It’s kinda amazing that the shelves fit so perfectly seeing as how they weren’t even bought for this house (which has very different proportions than the last one!).

You might notice we also hung them substationally higher than we did with the shorter cabinet.  It’s kinda necessary to still keep things in proportion even when your ceilings are higher and your furniture is bigger….and sometimes that means spreading it all out.  Same applies to getting dressed in the morning…I mean, a tall gal doesn’t wear her belt at her knees just because that’s the same height from the floor as Miss 4’9″, right?

Please don’t judge me for having that pile of white fabric draped over the curtain rod and then sitting on the floor….for three weeks…four.  it’s.  been. four.  I’ll get to it, I promise.

One thing is for sure – hanging wine glasses makes my life easier.  They are out of reach from little grubby fingers (and Will can’t reach them either)…they stay off valuable serving space…and they help make every look more organized.

So moving right along.  I think the room wears these shelves well.  Sortof like when Steven Tyler wears sequin pants.  I only wish they were harem style so that I could screen shot that sucker for a pick-me-up on sad days.  Anyone else miss Simon Cowell?  I know he would give me the truth about these shelves.  the brutal truth.  What about you?  Love it?  Hate it?  Pitchy problems?



  1. Kim says

    I think they look great Katie. And it makes me feel better to hear that other people leave things on the floor for weeks at a time with every intention of getting to it!

      • says

        We’ll find out in six months- but I’m sure after the second glass anything will taste good. Best case scenario, though, is that we’ll have to wait until spring to try it as I’ll be in the same boat as you.

        And if that happens, please don’t email me with your birthing ideologies. Those people are really exasperating. ;)

  2. Emily Simpson says

    It’s so funny that you mention harem sequin pants. I was riding my scooter to work today and saw a man wearing a red velour track jacket and harem sequin pants. He even had a sequin hat to match! Of course, I probably looked just as weird to him since I’m a white chick riding a scooter down the streets of South Korea. As for things that don’t look weird, your shelves look great. I love ‘em.

  3. lyssa says

    You know, I liked the way it looked before with the shorter cabinet- cute. But I like this even better. It looks good taller and stretched out. And personally, I prefer the chocolate cabinet to the green.

  4. Jennifer says

    I think I need to hang our wine glasses too. Right now all my crystal is in my china cabinet. It looks too crowded though with all the crystal and china. I also have crystal ice tea glasses – do you think that would look as pretty hanging? Thanks for the idea!

  5. Ellen says

    I love it! But I’m a little scared to try it in my house…I live in the city in an old house and everything gets very dusty. Do you find that you have to dust the glasses hanging there…or does the shelf above block the majority of it?

    • says

      The shelves definitely block a bunch but when we use a glass, we rinse it or just wipe it down first – not a big deal since it is really few and far between :)
      xo – kb

  6. riley says

    I enjoy your blog a lot. It’s one of the first that I read each day. I like the idea of the wall shelves but they look sort of naked to me. I think it’s the lack of corbels. If there could be something to support them (even if it’s only VISUAL support) they would look permanent. Does that make any sense?

  7. says

    I absolutely love this idea! It looks so sleek and organized, and it would literally fit in any small space! We use our china cabinet as a sort of “alcohol hutch” and fill it with our glasses and drinks, but this is nice to keep in mind in case we move into a house with less room for a bulky cabinet.

  8. Amanda B. says

    Love the tall doors and curtains! They actually have me thinking of adding a wide (maybe 8″) band of something fancy to the bottoms of them. Like a neutral (maybe gray?) raw silk, something with some texture. Just one yard of fabric would make a big impact. Wish I had the “problem” of too-high ceilings, but I still find inspiration from your creativity!

  9. says

    Ooh pretty! I might look at Pottery barn for these for MY place! Are they still available? Is it classy to put vodka on them? Haha

  10. says

    Well, I totally love the shelves. I think they look better here than in the previous house – the green cabinet was a bit undersized.

    And why is it that curtains are often the victim of procrastination? I have hems to sew on curtains for 2 rooms and yet, there they hang, flopping all over the floor.

    Happy Easter!

  11. says

    Your shelves look great in the space, but don’t store any wines on that top rack, unless they won’t be there for too long. Storing wines up high, like on top of the fridge, will subject them to more heat, and they won’t last as long, especially the whites.

    Then again, if your family goes through wine like we do, then a week on that shelf shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

  12. says

    I think the bar area looks fabulous. I always love the look of hanging glasses. Also, I agree about missing Simon a little. I’ve kind of given up on Idol. The judges annoy me and I’m not thrilled with some of the talent they let through. I’m more addicted to The Voice.

  13. says

    I do like them ( can you feel a big BUT coming) … But I would spray them ORB or black. I think they would look even better in the space.

  14. says

    I like them!! Definitely functional and beautiful. And the curtains are perfect!! You should totally add a subtle large print to the bottom of those babies. Maybe some lovely stripes to add a little homage to the carpet in the sitting room??? :)

  15. Allison says

    It looks great! I love simple storage solutions.

    Don’t feel bad- I have bolts of blackout liner and drapery fabric sitting in the corner of my living room going on 2 months now.

    There’s never enough time in the day to do it all!

    • says

      I think there is no stead fast rule…some curtains look good brushing the floor, some puddled, etc.
      In this particular space, I have no idea what I’m gonna do yet :)
      xo – kb

      • Eryn says

        We have the same problem with our white curtains…about a foot too short. I’m thinking of adding a panel of colour or pattern about a foot up from the bottom…so they’ll be mostly white, with a band of something, then white again touching the floor…make sense?

  16. says

    I really like the shelves, actually. I was browsing through Better Homes & Gardens the other day and saw some bracketed kitchen shelves and thought it would be nice to pin it onto my DIY board. Lo and behold almost 200 people repinned it within the hour. This is not a symbol of my popularity (haha) rather, I think people are really interested in how easy shelving is and the way it can change up a room instantly! Good work :)

  17. Trish says

    If I’m being quite honest (simon speak!)…..I would love a litte area like that in my house! It looks great and so handy and useful…. and I miss Simon too. He was so brutally honest!

  18. Abby says

    I love this! Our new house has a dining room with a little section of wall that something like this would work great on. Plus, I could get our wine glasses out of the cabinet to free up some more space.

  19. Jen from Ohio says

    Katie, I absolutely LOVE those shelves!! In my opinion, there is nothing better than cute storage!

  20. says

    Looking good Katie! Now, where did that little green cabinet ever end up? It was so cute!

    And happy early birthday to Will. Hope your birthday party for him is a blast :)

  21. says

    We don’t drink a whole lot of wine in our household but I’d love to do something like this as a coffee/tea bar. Put our keurig on there with a dessert plate to hold goodies and hang coffee mugs from a shelf or two. We definitely don’t have room for it right now but I’ll let you know if I ever find a way.

  22. Alexis says

    Where is that gorgeous little green cabinet hiding now? It’s way to cute to be neglected!

    Have a wonderful Easter weekend :)

  23. says

    Love the bar area! Maybe I missed a few posts somewhere, but are you posting your weekly prego pics to your blog? I’m dying to see the baby bump cuteness!

  24. says

    I love them! They look great and seeing light through the windows on either side does it for me :)

    Also happy b-day to Will, it´s today right? Easter Sunday!

    Bunny themed party prehaps? ;) I just posted some pictures from my daughters 6th birthday and would love it if you would take a look!

  25. says

    For a new reader of yours….this post ended so fabulously randomly. And I loved it! I’m sure we’ll be incorporating a bar area into our house at some point in our lives…this is great inspiration!

  26. TD says

    can you post some more pregnancy-related posts please? I was wondering how you’re feeling in the first trimester etc

  27. says

    I think they look amazing!! I love the higher ceilings and spreading things out.

    I was thinking (& didn’t pay attention if someone else already mentioned it) but your too-short curtains would look fabulous with a pop of color sewn at the bottom. Maybe you were already thinking that?

    Hope you’re feeling well and taking care!

  28. Mandy says

    Love what you’ve done here, can’t wait to try this myself. I also love the wall color, what color is it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *