Love to entertain and have been trying to figure out how to build a DIY dry bar on a budget? Right there with you! This was one of the first home projects that I wanted to be completed.
Below, I’m sharing each step I took to make this happen on a budget. I promise it will be way easier and faster than you think!
There were two projects that I wanted to do right away when I first moved into my townhome. The first was adding a fireplace and the second was creating a built-in bar in the dining area.
DIY’ing at this point was pretty intimidating to me, Despite this, I still wanted to be able to build a DIY dry bar so to speak while on a budget. Knowing what I know now, I definitely think I could do this myself next time I do something similar. Overall though, I’m happy with how it turned out and think that paying $400 was more than fair
To keep the cost down, I was lucky enough that my house already came with a barely used wine fridge. All I had to do was move it from the kitchen to the dining area. The hardest part was really trying to decide the perfect location for it, I had a number of ideas and ultimately went with my dining area because it flowed nicely from the dining area to the kitchen.
Other great spots for a dry bar could be in the basement or in the bedroom. I’m envisioning a little coffee bar in a large bedroom or a kitchen if you have the space!
How to Build a DIY Dry Bar
Find a Carpenter
Searching for carpenters on Facebook marketplace. I sent a picture of what I wanted and my budget to about 20 different people I had found. Some told me they could do it for a minimum of $1500 while others were in the $200ish range. Taking the time to message this many people is worth it when it’s $1500 vs $200.
If you want to do this fully yourself, you can get a cabinet like this from Lowe’s. This will serve as your base and requires minimal carpentry.
Sourcing the Countertop
I had the same approach when choosing the quartz countertop as I did finding the carpenter. I just messaged as many people I could find who had scrap pieces of quartz or marble. It ended up costing me $150 including installation.
When you search on FB marketplace for countertops, typically the pictures are of random scraps. I recommend asking the seller if he has any more options than what is pictured. Typically there are so many more to choose from. The most efficient approach I found was to provide the exact measurements needed and photos of what you would like. This makes the back and forth much less tedious and time-consuming.
Choosing the Paint Color
I originally wanted to keep the wood looking natural.
However, I found that choosing a stain and learning to stain was completely overwhelming.
It just made more sense to paint and then learn how to do the staining at a later time.
I struggled between choosing a light color or going moody with a jewel tone color. Because my kitchen cabinets at the time were white, I opted for a dark blue (Benjamin Moore Midnight).
This blue was actually one that I never sampled. I didn’t love the swatches pictured above. I totally winged it and bought a quart of Midnight on an impulse.
Plot twist – My kitchen now has green cabinets. Because of this, I think that I’m going to eventually switch the bar to a light taupe color.
Styling the Bar
It took months to feel like I got the decor piece of this right. It’s still a work in progress though.
This is definitely one of those great home decorating examples where the slower you get it done the better.
I had the Gray Malin Dallas Mambo Taxi photograph hanging for a while. Ultimately, I realized that it was crowding the space. I switched things up and moved the photograph to the kitchen.
I also wanted shelves, but when I was browsing through Anthropologie’s site, I fell in love with this cabinet. Before purchasing the cabinet from Anthropologie, I taped up exactly how much space it would take.
I sat on it for a few weeks to make sure it was the vibe I wanted. Luckily I already had the wine glass shelf.
Keep an eye out on my FAQ page for more paint colors I use throughout the rest of my house!
I used Benjamin Moore Midnight and it only required two coats!
Because it was a scrap, I have no idea what it is actually called, but I do know I went with quartz!
One of the reasons I chose this spot is because there was already an outlet! An electrician can always add in an outlet for you easily!
Wall Color: Benjamin Moore White Dove in Eggshell
Trim Color: Sherwin Williams Extra White
Cabinet Color: Benjamin Moore Midnight