by Marica Fick
Last month, inspired by a post we spotted on Emily Henderson’s blog, we wrote an article about the current trend of using armoires, traditionally meant for the bedroom, as feature pieces in the rest of the home.
We accompanied the post with a lovely roundup of locally-found contemporary storage cabinets that could serve as statement display units in every room of your home.
Now, while I was prepping the article and curating our “8 Contemporary Storage Cabinets for Your Home” shopping list, I was quite astonished by the number of striking bar cabinets I came across during my search. Not only were these drinks cabinets absolutely gorgeous, they were also all local available – the majority being exclusive pieces designed and manufactured by South African designers. Elite to say the least!
I immediately bookmarked a few designs and made a mental note to follow-up our contemporary storage unit article with one about bar cabinets.
Where previously the open display of alcohol in the home might have been deemed a tad vulgar and Mid-century kitsch, the ever-growing popularity of boutique and craft spirits and liquors has resulted in a home bar revival. I mean, what is the point of owning beautifully designed bottles filled delicious, locally-stilled, limited-edition drinks and then not being able to show it off?! I bit hipster, I know, but I can’t help it!
Either way, the drinks cabinet is back and trending in a big way. Furthermore, we will happily jump unto the bar cabinet bandwagon. In fact, a couple of years ago we wrote an article about the increasing popularity of bar CARTS or trolleys.
In the article, 10 Beautiful Bar Carts, we mentioned that the current perception of a perfect home bar setup has shifted from merely booze storage to a far more mindful, decorative feature. In the same post, we also shared 10 handy tips for creating the perfect cocktail station.
Some of the bar cart tips included:
- Finding the ideal spot for your drinks station,
- Dividing your cart into various sections to keep it organised,
- To keep your bar cabinet clutter-free,
- To diversify by adding decorative elements and books,
- To be mindful of what you display and what you stow away, etc.
If you are considering creating your own drinks station, check out all the tips (and some gorgeous bar cart inspirational images) on our original post: here.
But for now, let’s get back to bar CABINETS.
I think one of the benefits of a bar cabinet, as opposed to a bar cart, is the closed storage feature. Your most attractive items – be that liquor bottles, glass decanters, and chic bar accessories – are mindfully curated and styled on top of the cabinet, while the inside hides the more practical items and unappealing bar clutter.
Now, as promised, let’s get down to our bar cabinet roundup. Our local furniture designers and homeware stores delivered a gorgeous selection of beautiful, chic and contemporary drinks cabinets. Any of these bar cabinets can serve as a lovely decorative focal point in your interior space.
SO, for all you lovers of contemporary South African design – here is our roundup of trendy, chic, and unique drinks cabinets for your home…
10 Sleek & Chic Bar Cabinets:
Carter Drinks Cabinet
The breathtakingly beautiful Carter Drinks Cabinet is crafted in steel, Panga Panga timber, brass hardware & copper. The patina on the copper doors varies from unit to unit, no two will be the same, just like an artwork. The internal colour of the bar cabinet can be customed to a colour of your choice. Cocktail hour can’t come soon enough! Available from Douglas & Douglas
Rain Drinks Cabinet
With a combination of eye-catching design and jaw-dropping bone-inlay details, this drinks cabinet is a real showstopper. The tradition of bone inlay furniture is one that’s been passed from generation to generation in India. With a solid oak framework, powder-coated steel legs and handles, and design details from ethically sourced bone, this drinks cabinet will make a lasting impression. Make it the centrepiece of your living room or dining room, then run your hand over it in appreciation. Available through Weylandts
The gorgeous Parquet Cabinet by Egg Designs features a beautiful body of oak veneer in a striking diamond-shaped parquet design. The eye-catching base and legs are made of textured brass while the interior of the cabinet is finished in hot pink lacquered MDF with a mirrored back. Available from Egg Designs
With its unique and refreshing take on a standard bar cabinet, the Heildronk Kroeg won Best Furniture Design at the 100% Design SA expo in 2018. This drinks cabinet was designed to showcase originality, personality and craftsmanship through timber. It is an exploration of traditional and modern woodworking processes. These include carving, turning, fine joinery and the utilization of advanced woodworking technologies. Designed and manufactured by Kino
The Works Drinks Cabinet
As the name implies, The Works drinks cabinet has it all! With bronzed mirror backing and internal lighting, this cabinet is an elegant and luxurious drinks service set-up while still offering maximum functionality. The antique brass covered doors and pouring shelf develops a worn-in patina over time, much the same as solid wood. With use, scratches, scuff marks and ring marks will appear. This forms part of the warmth and charm of the antiquated brass finish, reminiscent of country hotel bar-counters. Designed and manufactured by James Mudge
Balford Bar Cabinet
Industrial meets elegance with the magnificent Balford Bar Cabinet. The sleek metal frame is offset by a refined body, perfect for the minimalist entertainer. With a multi-functional design, the Balford is equipped to hold your wine glasses upside down and your finest bottles in plain sight as well as hidden behind two doors with ribbed tempered glass. The cabinet also features a nested table below that can be pulled out for added worktop space when mixing drinks and cocktails for your guests. Available from @Home
HG Drinks Unit
The sleek and minimal HG Drinks Unit by Tonic Design will add a contemporary and luxury element to your space. The high-gloss Duco finish and solid oxidised brass base, handles, and trim adds a sense of exclusivity to this high-end design. Designed and manufactured by Tonic Design
Stone Drinks Cabinet
The unusual Stone Drinks Cabinet is the perfect conversation piece. The body of this robust cabinet is crafted in oak and veneered with a thin layer of beautiful natural stone. The elegantly sculpted oak legs combined with the imperfect pattern variation of the rough textured stone serves as a lovely contrast and offers tons of eye-grabbing interest. The cabinet, which was first shown at the Maison et Objet trade fair in 2018, has since developed into a furniture range that includes a server unit and bedside pedestal design. Designed and crafted by Meyer Von Wielligh
Bruno Drinks Cabinet
A beautiful and elegant Scandi silhouette finished in parquet-style wood panelling, the Bruno Drinks Cabinet is that one piece to make your dining or living room the most beautiful room in your house. The cabinet mixes up the traditional with the modern – acacia veneer covers each door in a parquetry design for a dramatic statement while brass colour handles and legs add instant luxe. Start sending those guest invites out. Available from @Home
Noah Drinks Cabinet
The Noah Drinks Cabinet, with its signature almost-sculptural doors which features a central circular detail reminiscent of ancient Eastern furniture, conceals and offers a luxurious dry bar interior. The two pocket sliding doors trigger interior motion-sensor LED lighting when opened. Inside you will find a hanging stemware rack, mirror backing with glass shelves and a pull-out shelf for mixing drinks. Designed and crafted by Andrew Dominic
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF OUR CONTEMPORARY BAR CABINET ROUNDUP? DID ANY OF THE FURNITURE ITEMS CATCH YOUR EYE? LET US KNOW ABOUT YOUR CABINET WISHLIST (AND OF COURSE WHERE / HOW YOU WOULD USE IT) IN THE COMMENTS BELOW…