I don’t have a bar in my basement but I’ve always wanted one.
I’m not sure it’s because I’m lazy, and would like to avoid going upstairs to refill my drink, or because I’m obsessed with collecting and I would likely buy a lot of nice scotch bottles to display, even though I wouldn’t drink them.
In any event, I think bars are cool.
Or rather, the right bar is cool and an ugly, non-functional, out-dated, or over-sized bar could completely miss the point.
I’ve seen people turn half their basement rec-rooms into bars, and I wonder what the point is?
Then again, I’ve gone into homes where the basement rec-room has not one, but two different beers on tap, and that’s about as cool as anything you’ll find in a house.
Basement bars truly exemplify the adage, “to each, their own,” so today, let’s look at a handful and critique them.
We’ll start with the simplest.
This bar defines “unspectacular,” and yet it’s something I think we all wish we had.
Plus, this basement seems to have a pool table as well, and apparently a 9-foot ceiling, so…
The lighting is dated and reminds me of the kitchen ceiling in our house in the 1980’s, and the wood colour is dated. But there’s a sink, lots of cabinet space, and room under the bar for a couple of kegs.
This gets a pass, but it’s far from the nicest one we’ll see…
This is a newer bar but there’s something about it that I don’t love. Perhaps the black floor time, maybe the white and green backsplash:
I only wish that in this next photo, they showed the actual bar. You can see the stools on the right-hand side, and you just know what’s on the other side. I love the 1950’s theme, and even the pool table mimics that era. The arcade games, the floor – this is awesome!
Perhaps I should start saving photos of games rooms?
This one is a bit rustic and might remind you of your grandfather’s place:
I don’t love the dropped ceiling, but otherwise, it’s got a cottage-vibe going for it.
The wagon wheel in the background, the antique wooden trunk in the foreground, the vintage Western posters at the bar – they’ve done a great job here, save for the carpet and ceiling…
This is nicer, newer, and it’ll age a lot better:
Tell me if I’m wrong, but a darker wood will appeal to more people, will it not?
I suppose it depends on the style of house, but this is a lot nicer than the bar in the photo above:
Really high ceilings in this one, but it looks somewhat uninviting:
It looks like you’d find this in a hotel basement or something…
This is what you get in a new-build, and I have to say, I find it almost boring:
This is a much better photo and makes the bar look larger and more functional, but some might think it lacks character:
I like this one a lot!
Not every bar has to feature an actual bar where you can pull up stools.
Sometimes, a basement can benefit from one wall with a fridge, sink, cupboards for glasses, and shelves for bottles:
Obviously, this only works in a new, sleek, modern home.
But the layout is something to keep in mind.
Here’s another example of the “bar wall,” and since this room lacks depth (it’s almost a wide hallway) the bar layout seems to work:
Here’s another bar in a sleek, modern house, but this has the full “bar shape” to it as well as a rather nice collection of boxes and bottles:
There’s a bar in the basement of this house, but only a bar in the basement of this house?
What do you do down there?
Lay on the carpet and drink gin?
This is a green-light special because it has a built-in fish tank!
You probably don’t love the green wood, the carpet, or the bar stools, but this bar has four televisions as well as an adjacent bowling alley!
I just came from a condo where I told the sellers, “Painting a room in black or any really dark colour is a mistake. It shrinks the room.”
It takes guts to paint the walls and ceiling black, but this bar is really sharp!
The wallpaper in the background is a bit hard to see, but I believe those are monkeys, are they not?
The stools are wicker so maybe there’s a jungle theme happening here?
I don’t know.
But I think that odd bluish-green colour really works!
Last, but certainly not least, this literally looks like a nightclub!
Something I would have frequented around 2001:
I have an exceptional memory, but I can’t quite recall what Shark City looked like from the inside, back in 1999.
If I had to guess, I’d think something like this:
I was in a 370 square foot condo on Wednesday.
Then I sat down and looked at photos of bars in people’s basements that are larger than that!
So here’s a good question: would you rather have a bar in your basement or a real, wood-paneled, temperature-controlled wine cellar?
Have a great weekend, folks! See you here on Monday to go over the July TRREB numbers.
at 7:32 am
My parents had a bar in the basement of their house they just sold and in the 23 years they lived there they didn’t use it much. It literally became a storage area for them for various items. I think bars were a hot item in the 70s and 80s, not so much now unless you have a really big house with enough room for one and you entertain a lot. I remember as a kid in the 80s going to my friends house for her birthday party and she had a bar in her basement and we loved to act grown up and pretend we were ordering drinks etc. It felt like the coolest thing ever. Now I would rather have a wine controlled cellar, takes up less space and more practical. My grandparents in Italy had a wine cellar, a cantina we call it, in the basement of their country house and it got used a lot. It wasn’t wood or glamorous just made of concrete but definitely worth having to store wine and other items that wouldn’t fit in the fridge.
at 11:09 am
July TRREB year over year sales numbers are out today:
Sales down -14.9%
New Listings down -30.7%
Active Listings down -35.2%
Average Price up +12.6%
Difficult to imagine how prices can possibly decline in a market that has a low baseline listing inventory and consistently sees more sales than new listings month after month.
at 11:46 am
“…consistently sees more sales than new listings month after month”
From TRREB’s Market Watch
New Listings: 9,430
New Listings: 15,137
New Listings: 22,709
New Listings: 20,825
New Listings: 18,586
New Listings: 16,189
New Listings: 12,551
SNLR is obviously high, but there has yet to be a single month this year that has seen “more sales than new listings”.
at 1:17 pm
On a net percentage basis (but you already knew that).
at 1:38 pm
Thanks for the clarification. That makes more sense, but is distinct from the claim that there are “more sales than new listings month after month”.
at 1:01 pm
I’m all for a bar in the basement if there is the proper amount of space. The biggest mistake I see time after time with basement bars is the anyone sitting at them is facing a wall 4-5 feet ahead of them. No one likes staring at a wall, it’s not like you’re sitting there to drown your sorrows you are there to socialize with friends.
The best designed bars are horseshoe shaped they are much more suitable for socializing.
That’s why kitchen islands work, they are this generations bar.
at 1:25 pm
And while the resale market is tighter than a drum, the new condo market is well…
“GTA Condo Sales Soared to Third-Highest Level on Record in Q2-2021”
at 2:08 pm
Well at least some parts of the economy are doing well:
“All in all, Canada exported $4.3 billion more goods and services to the world in June than it did the previous month. That’s the biggest monthly increase on record, if 2020’s volatile numbers are stripped out.”
at 9:28 am
Maybe I’m an outlier but I never understood basement bars (and I’m a man who loves his beer). Just the idea of being in a basement drinking, ugh. I’d rather be upstairs or outside. I agree with the poster who said maybe this was big in the 70s or 80s (perhaps the idea that the menfolk are downstairs and the women are upstairs in the kitchen) but it just seems so dated to me. I also like the idea of a proper wine cellar instead.
at 11:55 am
More Good News:
“BMO Announces $12 Billion Financing Commitment towards Affordable Housing in Canada”
“We’re proud to support CMHC’s vision while aligning strongly with BMO’s Purpose to Grow the Good by committing $12 billion to economic and social inclusion through affordable housing,” said Sharon Haward-Laird, General Counsel and Co-Chair of BMO’s Sustainability Council, BMO Financial Group. “Investing in housing for all Canadians means removing barriers that exclude so many from a better life.”
at 9:54 am
Drop ceilings are useful in basements. Too bad they chose the same tile as my childhood dentist though – there are much nicer options available!