Kelly Wearstler shares her best tips for setting up a glamorous and fun bar at home. Then check out the pieces she used to get the look in our behind-the-scenes video
While many hostesses spend their party prep time making sure every seating area is just so, the best cocktail party chatter happens right at the bar—especially when it's stylish and comfortable. We turned to designer , known for her exuberant and glamorous style, to show us how to set up a home bar that guests will flock to. "It should look festive and appetizing," she says.
Wearstler stands at her Beverly Hills bar, cleared to a clean slate save for the and from her collection. She wears her own bracelet; hair by , make-up by . behind-the-scenes video
Before you start, make sure you're pulling in tabletop and bar accessories from different sets. "A mix of materials, like horn, brass, and ceramics, helps it look curated and rich, like you're using a fun group of things you've collected over the years," Wearstler says.
from the designer's collection.
Wearstler starts by bringing in bigger pieces that are both functional well as decorative, such as a large organic bowl to hold ice and sodas. "Conversation pieces, like the brass hands and marble skull make the bar more interesting," she says. She also introduces a select amount of glassware at this point, leaving most out of site behind the bar, with only the frequently-used (and beautiful) decanters up front.
"Bring in a beautiful tray to give height to different things," says Wearstler, who used a raised tray as a platform for small plates (and more accents). "Plus, you can slide things under it for extra space." A great way to increase your tabletop space, espcially at a small bar.
The , , and are from the designer's collection.
"At this point, I take a look and see where I need to balance things," says Wearstler. "And I needed to bring a little of the outside in. There needs to be a dialogue between in- and outdoors." Here, she uses large leaves and vines to add color and height to the bar.
from Wearstler's collection.
"All the bartender's accessories should be pretty," says Wearstler, who makes sure that even the smallest details are beautiful ones. The gold hand Wearstler brought in earlier is now topped with a small dish of olives, speared with gleaming gold toothpicks. One more reason to pay attention to the small things? Scale. "If everything is big, nothing will be important," says Wearstler.
from Wearstler's collection.
"When you're setting up the snacks, think about the flow of the guests," says Wearstler. "Arrange things so they can come, get their drink, their olive, a napkin, a straw—it should be seamless." One more way to make sure guests can always get what they need: Doubling up on the important pieces. Wearstler places cocktail napkins in a few different places on the bar so guests always have one within reach.
Glassware from .
At this bar Wearstler has stocked liquor, wine, small bottles of ginger ale and seltzer—as well as all the mixers in the back. One more reason to include a healthy variety: The different drinks add interesting colors to the sparkle of the bar accessories.
A home bar that's welcoming, glamorous, and a delight for both the guest and hostess. We'll drink to that.
Looking for more from Wearstler? Check out the Manhattan apartment she designed for Cameron Diaz.