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Budget Decorating - Creating A Rustic Bar Scene

Updated on September 20, 2010
rustic bar
rustic bar

Not The Traditional Bar

Whether serving coffee or something a bit more lively, this bar storage unit holds all the necessary drinkware and tools.  The seating isn't at the bar but rather in the opposing family room or at the round table in this basement kitchen.

It's funny how the actual "bar" came into being. On a rainy day, when I must have been bored, I began to use my imagination. I had a bookcase I didn't know what to do with - the edges were a little destroyed, I had a tabletop from I believe a sofa table that my husband hadn't finished, and I had a big old empty space in the basement kitchen. So, one thing led to another and I put the tabletop on the bookcase. Hmm...I was getting somewhere. But, still the edges of the shelves were an eyesore. Our basement is very rustic so my next thought was naturally tree branches. Putting those on the face of the shelves fixed my problem.

To get more of the rustic feel, I made use of the many antlers my husband has collected over the years. I used one set to hold an ice bucket - it's like it was manufactured to do that! I have a single antler wrapped around a moose candy dish. For the rest of the oddball antlers, I simply piled them into a trappers basket - wa la. My husband had picked up one elk antler at some point - not something you display as a trophy - so what to do with it? I wanted to add weight to the other side of the bar so I thought why not lean it up over there? Now it was balanced. And little black bears, my favorites! I have collected a few and found this to be the perfect place to display them. The twig basket once held three potted plants - it actually has three sections to it. I placed a wine bottle in the middle section with a container holding a corkscrew and drink stirrers in another section.

It's fun to see what you can come up with just by looking at what you have around you. Then when you start accessorizing it's not so overwhelming. You don't always have to spend a lot of money on decorating.

rustic home decor
rustic home decor
rustic decor ideas
rustic decor ideas

Rustic Interior Decorating

If you already have a bar but want to give it more of a rustic feel, you may simply need to add some natural touches and do a little accessory shopping.

You can purchase a lot of fun rustic pieces at Cabellas or Bass Pro Shop like wine bottle holders and glassware. Some artificial small potted pines at the edge of the bar would add a nice look. Or maybe a small fur under a wine bottle holder or put bar tools in a birch bark basket...

For a more extreme transformation, you may need to relaminate your bar with a hickory or pine wood look. For something darker, you might want a rustic pattern granite. Depending on what your base is, you may want to paint to coordinate with your top versus starting over from scratch.

If you have a bartending book, you may want to display it on a stand with an antler in front of it like the cookbook shown in the picture.  A couple of rustic pieces can change the look of ordinary items - it doesn't take much.

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