RaISing the Bar

November 2022 View more

This bar and wine cellar remodel welcomes guests for the holidays 

November means cool weather and changing leaves, as well as holiday and hosting season, with parties large and small.

These wintertime get-togethers were one of the things that sparked a Naperville couple’s wish to remodel their basement bar and wine cellar. “Their home is the go-to spot for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” says Diana Burton, senior designer with Drury Design, who helped the couple with the project. “All of the cousins come over, all of the family.”

The Glen Ellyn firm had first been hired to create a distinctive bar and wine cellar for the family a decade and a half ago, but now it was time to update to a more transitional style, which combines both traditional and modern features. The 9-by-9-foot bar area and 16-by-9-foot wine cellar are located adjacent to a TV and game area where family come together to watch football or play pool, especially during the holidays.

Burton’s challenge was to create a harmonious, modern space while working within the established footprint and including existing elements the couple wished to keep, such as cherry trim on windows and door frames. The revamp also provided a chance to rethink the space in general. For example, the couple noticed over the years that guests typically did not use the barstools. “So we got rid of them,” Burton says.

Renovation complete, these homeowners now have a prime spot for holiday revelry. 

1. The bar and wine cellar opens to a TV and gaming space frequented by guests during holiday gatherings. “It’s more of a walk-up bar,” designer Diana Burton says. “Guests grab a drink or a glass of wine and then go back to the football game or the pool table.”

2. The couple wanted to keep their existing cherry-stained trim, so Burton blended the woodwork with warm shades of gray to give the space a more modern feel. Carpet was swapped for durable wood-look herringbone tile that can stand up to the heavy traffic of larger parties.

3, 4, and 5. Before, this basement bar and wine cellar once included elaborate carved moldings, closed-door storage, cherry cabinetry, and seldom-used barstools. 

6 and 7. After, the new wine bottle racks allow for better display, while revamped lighting brightens up the bar space.

8. In the previous version of this basement bar, bottles and glassware were hidden behind cabinetry.

9. New open shelving displays pretty bottles and allows guests the ability to serve themselves, reducing the workload on the host and hostess. Burton selected slate gray cabinetry by Grabill for the update. Amenities include a beverage refrigerator, ice maker, pull-out waste receptacles, and storage for snacks. Burton selected textured glass tile for the back of the bar for its simplicity and reflective quality. Ample counter space provides elbow room for mixing drinks or dishing up snacks.

Photos courtesy of Eric Hausman