Raise a drink at the popular and sustainable home bar


She provocatively leans one leg on an elegant white Saarinen bar stool and laughs flirtatiously at the pissed off young man.

“Mrs. Robinson, you are trying to seduce me,” he said. “Are you not?”

And that’s how the flirtatious scene unfolds in “The Graduate,” set at the bar at Ms. Robinson’s (Anne Bancroft) luxurious 1960s Beverly Hills home. The curved black and white counter exudes glamor as the sultry seductress plays with the naive Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman).

Benjamin Brings Mrs. Robinson Home – From: The Graduate (1967)

Mrs. Robinson’s bar would be home to today’s upscale mansions. People want to “elevate the space,” according to Lynda and Dhiraj D’Souza, whose Bramalea-based company Wilde North Interiors designs and builds residential bars.

A fully-equipped facility, with all the bells and whistles, can cost as much as $ 100,000, the duo said. Their clients are usually older couples who like to entertain and want “something special that they’ve never seen before,” says Dhiraj.

As Lynda points out, home bars are an important design feature these days and “no longer a male dominated space.”

In the 1950s, these were often paneled utility structures built in suburban playrooms as hangouts for husbands.

Lynda says Wilde North clients generally want more than a pinch of “drama.” One project, for example, was designed around a mural depicting a Japanese samurai battle scene with recessed LED lighting.

This home bar in Milton, built by Wilde North Interiors, replaced an existing kitchenette and features a Japanese samurai battle scene, solid maple countertops, and plenty of home appliances including a drinks fridge, gas cooler. wine, microwave and hob.

The idea of ​​allocating space for adult drinks dates back to the days of Queen Victoria, when tea carts served as a social hub in living rooms. When teapots were replaced by cognac decanters, the bar cart was born.

During Prohibition in the early 20th century, drinkers found themselves pressured into drinking illicit spirits under their own roof. However, after the ban was repealed in the 1930s, bar carts regained importance and private water points continued to evolve.

In the 1960s, fully functional wet bars were popular features in the home with clean versions even claiming space in some offices – think TV’s “Mad Men” and Pete Campbell’s Globe Bar. Styles ranged from Art Deco to rustic, British pub, using materials such as varnished wood, formica, chrome, and upholstered leather or vinyl. No self-respecting bar was complete without stools to sip this salt-rimmed Caesar.

In the 1970s and 1980s, discos and nightclubs drew drinkers to public places, but cocktail culture rebounded to revive home centers. They became so familiar that British alcoholic beverage expert Henry Jeffreys wrote a book called “The Home Bar”. With advice on their design and equipment, the guide is described as a thirst-quencher for everyone from “Mad Men” fans to “millennials for whom a homemade cocktail from a drinks cart is the ultimate. freshness “.

3. Built by Wilde North Interiors, the contemporary home bar has a 25 foot back section and 19 foot front counter with gazelle print panels in a nod to the home owner's heritage.  It also has six refrigeration units and LED lighting that changes color.

This became more important last year when COVID-19 closed bars and restaurants and interest in homemade cocktails increased. An entrepreneur from Toronto has started a high-end cocktail company called Shaken & Stirred which sells mixology kits online.

For the D’Souzas, whose studio-boutique does a variety of renovation and decorating projects in the GTA, there is no shortage of demand for bespoke entertainment spaces where homeowners can get wet.

While most are in basements, no bar is lowered in design, construction or materials, according to Dhiraj. One featured a 16-foot horizontal chandelier that alone cost $ 25,000.

Wilde North Interiors’ custom creations are built on site with options that include custom cabinetry, fridge alcoves, bar bars, and integrated multi-color LED lighting. Wine coolers, dishwashers, and microwaves for making popcorn are popular, he says.

“It’s like building a second kitchen for the convenience of not having to go upstairs.”

Jason Derulo can relate to that. The American singer-songwriter has a bar in the master bathroom of his California mansion because, as he told “People” magazine, “It sucks to go downstairs if I wanted a Mojito”.


Carola Vyhnak is a Cobourg-based writer who covers stories on personal finance, home, and real estate. She is a contributor for the Star. Contact her by email: [email protected]


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