DIY “Custom” Bar


Have you ever seen an image that inspired you so much it gave you a new idea? That is what I felt when I saw this photo on my Instagram feed one day.

I have seen similar concepts before, however, the way this one was set up reminded me of a space we have in our living room.

This image was just so beautiful it really inspired me to see how I could do something like it.

The Space

I have this odd space in our living room that has puzzled me since we moved in. There is a built in bookshelf, then just dead space below it. On the opposite side of the fire place there is a built in desk, so this side stood out as awkward.

I had imagined putting a bar cart there, but then I started to realize it could be so much more. After doing some research for inspiration and ideas and saw the post below.

I have always wanted a wine cooler, and thought how could it would be to be able to somehow embed it into a piece of furniture.

A custom cabinet was out of the question (at least for now) since that would be expensive to buy and we didn’t have the proper tools to do ourselves.

I started to shop around for furniture that would fit a small wine cooler. I didn’t need anything big, plus the bigger the cooler the more expensive it would be.


I started my search by looking at my three favorite places for new furniture online: Target, Wayfair, and Walmart. I had measured my space and knew I wanted the cabinet to be between 40-47″ to look right in the space. Some sites, like Wayfair, make it easy to shop by dimensions which is nice.

A little bit of browsing brought me to this piece at Target. Having built my fair share of furniture, I knew that I could build it and just leave the shelves out, making it the perfect piece to add a wine cooler.

Windham 2 Door Cabinet with Shelves – Threshold™ in “Shell”

I also really like the glass doors so I could display my nice glassware.

Once I found a cabinet I liked, I had to search for coolers that would fit the right specifications. Thankfully Target listed dimensions for each part of the cabinet so I knew I had to find something 15.7″ x 22.7″ x 15.8″ or smaller.

NewAir 12 Bottle Freestanding Countertop Wine Fridge

I found this one on the New Air website that was 14.00″ x 17.50″ x 19.5″ which was slightly too deep. The good news is we had room for it to stick out so that could be fixed. We got it on sale for $135 which is not a bad price for a wine cooler.

The Finished Product

After having to return the first cabinet (it was damaged by Fedex) I got a replacement that looked great. I put it together, and my fiance Jack was able to cut out a hole in the backing that would allow the cooler to stick out in the back. You can’t even tell!

I am pretty pleased with how this turned out. It is certainly not the same as the inspiration, but for less than $400, it works for now.

I am continuing to decorate it and the shelves above it but this is a great start. I can’t wait to start entertaining friends, this will be the perfect spot to make a quick drink and chat a while.

What do you think? Do you have a bar area in your home?

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