Built in Beverage Bars

Crystal Clear inspiration room bar by Mick DeGiulio at KohlerSpecial spaces dedicated to drinks – from the first cup of coffee to the last sip of a nightcap — have a lot in common.

Recently I sat down to help a friend rethink her kitchen and open it up to the entire living space of her house.  One item on her must-have list was a breakfast bar and another was a drinks bar which her husband, sons and family guests could enjoy outside the main action zone of her kitchen-to-be.  A few days earlier, I had received photos of a dazzling built-in bar [top] Mick De Giulio created for a new concept kitchen at Kohler’s Wisconsin headquarters. Mick is the top kitchen designer in the country right now with sink lines for Kohler and Kallista. I had the pleasure of meeting him last summer at the Kitchen of the Year event.

All the talk about bars got me thinking that there wasn’t all that much difference between one used for breakfast and another for cocktails or wine since the basic elements — a sink, water source, some type of refrigeration and storage — were essentially the same while the appliances and accessories change it up. Of course, the looks can be very different, or not.

De Giulio built ins (heck a De Giulio anything) always have custom features and handcrafted details such as the teak “anvil” sink base, fashioned after a blacksmith’s work table. The Bacifiore entertainment sink is equally hammered and polished (top photo). A Sub-Zero under counter wine refrigerator and the designer’s signature metal boy cabinets are topped with Ann Sacks Nero Marquina marble counter while the backsplash takes advantage of the brand’s Versailles glass-tile.

beverage bar by Mick DeGiulio with Kohler trough sink and Kallista faucetPushed to the back of the drinks staging area is Kohler’s trough sink fitted with a hot-water faucet. Close up, it’s easier to see the stunning effects of multiple reflective surfaces.

built in beverage bar by HammerSmithA mid-century modern service bar renders a decorative wall in reflective 1-inch mosaics. Simple glass-front upper cabinets (look closely) and slab-front Java cabinets preserve clean lines. It’s interesting to note that by shrinking the size of the bar sink the functionality is limited to serving vs clean up. But it’s handy to have a party-size ice maker at the ready alongside the wine cooler.

butler's pantry with wine coolor and bar sinkOne side of a butler’s pantry in the Cappuccino Kitchen (a Wolf-SubZero award winner) is devoted to beverage service though I’m not convinced that stashing it so far away from the dining and living space is the most functional location. This same kitchen (which can be seen on the link) also has a Miele cappuccino machine built into the wall but with no counter below.

built in beverage bar with emphasis on wine service and storageThis wine-centric bar also has a mini sink with bins overhead and a wine chiller below. From the shape of the top cabinet to the right of the sink, I suspect a dish drawer.

Martha Stewart's built in cappuccino beverage barMartha Stewart’s Bedford, NY kitchen has a plumbed-in pro-quality espresso machine and a pair of coffee grinders in a space dedicated to morning and afternoon beverages.

kit-wod-greenceiling8-435One of the most charming breakfast bars I’ve encountered, in the Glass Ceiling Kitchen, is set up for continental-style breakfast. There are refrigerator and freezer drawers concealed behind panels and a special feeding area below for the family pet. Now that’s service!

(Source: kohlerhammersmith, watchesser, marthastewart)


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4 Responses to Built in Beverage Bars

  1. Maggie January 7, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    These are gorgeous and I too love the Glass Ceiling Kitchen! Thanks for starting my day off with smiles (and a cup of coffee).

  2. cat_mom January 8, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    In my next life (!) I want a butlers pantry, and a big walk-in pantry off the kitchen as well, maybe!!!

  3. Jane F @ Atticmag January 14, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    I most definitely would love one of those trough sinks with a disposer and that English faucet that has cold, filtered and hot water all in one. But I also think I want a Berlin-style loft with concrete walls and minimalist furniture. But then I’d probably have to pay for storage for all the junk I couldn’t bear to pitch out. What I don’t want is a bigger house that requires more of my time to maintain!


  1. Mosaic Mirror Tiles - August 15, 2014

    […] for a bar installation in Kohler’s Wisconsin headquarters showroom (which I first showed in my Built-In Beverage Bars post). Inspired by antique mirrors, it comes in 4×8” and supersized 6×20” field tile. […]

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