By Iyna Bort Caruso
As if we need another reason to love life at home, the home bar is enjoying a renaissance. Haute happy hours are the new splurge.
For decades, home bars have routinely taken over basements, displaced spare bedrooms, and usurped garages. But they’ve evolved, says Deirdre O’Connell, chief executive for Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. Bars are enjoying greater prominence in our homes. “They’ve moved from the basement to the main level,” she says. They’re now front and center in living rooms, family rooms, and busy hallways.
Imbibing in style starts with imbuing the space with warmth and hospitality. Some home bars channel the vibe of a favorite lounge, taproom, or saloon. Others take design inspiration from their surroundings. On the Gold Coast of Long Island, N.Y., the sophisticated yet welcoming bar of a Cold Spring Harbor estate is an open-concept entertainment destination. It includes a glass-enclosed wine room, home theater, card table, pool table, and even a massage room. “Anything you need to be entertained is there. It’s extraordinary,” O’Connell says.
Regardless of whether the aesthetic is playful, whimsical, retro, or dramatic, the goal is the same: to create a functional, flexible, and inviting spot to wind down with a glass of wine after a long day, or entertain a roomful of guests with their drinks of choice.
Good design enlivens the space, elevates the experience and is “reflective of lifestyle,” O’Connell says. “And that’s even more important now, when home has become a destination as opposed to just the place to lay your head.”
Beechwood is a 30,000-square-foot residence set on 15 acres of private land in the secure hamlet of New Vernon, with features including a carriage apartment and pool house. Designed by WESketch Architecture, its classic “butterfly plan” provides elements of constant discovery for the observer and ensures the remarkable size remains a surprise for visitors as they make their way through it. Spaces include an oval-shaped great room, three-room wine grotto, and an English pub on the main level, the inspiration for which was derived from two copper pendants picked up on a trip in London. Bold selections of Jerusalem limestone floors, Roman-brick ceilings, cashmere wall coverings, and 13 imported fireplaces from Italy and Portugal, selected by designer Frank Delle Donne, are carefully woven throughout to portray quiet elegance. Located just 35 miles from midtown Manhattan, Beechwood is a work of art created with brick and mortar.