Although lockdown might be coming to an end and we can (finally!) start going out to see the people we love again, the past year has taught us many things, including how to amuse ourselves and others at home. Out of this came a rise in the popularity of garden bars, which gave people the opportunity to entertain others and have fun together while sticking to the laws and keeping each other safe. Though we might be moving on from those uncertain times, the garden bars that people have knocked together in lockdown are looking to remain a staple in their lives, and for good reason. Your own garden bar is a blessing in many ways, because:
- It can be completely personalised to your tastes and desires
- It’s the perfect place to entertain friends and family
- It keeps alcohol out of the house
- You can try lots of new drinks
- It saves money
- It’s less fuss than a night out
- The weather can’t dampen your celebrations
- It can be stocked and used however you please
- Having your friends and family in your own garden gives the time together a more intimate feel than going out to a public bar
In fact, garden bars have become so popular through lockdown that there has even been a competition set up in the UK to find the best home bar, which is now in its second year!
Check Out These Garden Bar Ideas
That being said, there is an infinite market of complicated ideas and equipment out there. If you are looking for some simple, inexpensive ways to set up your garden for some fun nights to remember, try having a look at our suggestions to inspire you and get you started.
1. Change Up Your Garden Shed
If you’ve got a shed and extra space to put anything that you’re keeping in there, you may be halfway to your own garden shed bar already! Clear it out and clean it up, paint it if you wish, cut a serving hatch out of one of the sides, and use the cut out to create a bar top. Pair this with a couple of bar stools, and you’ll have the perfect place to welcome friends and guests and show off your cocktail making skills for all to see. Break out the bunting and the balloons if your bar is going to be a non-stop party or, if your fingers are green enough, add some plants and flowers to serve as a reminder that a once humble shed can become a good time for all.
2. Create A Pallet Bar
Among the more popular garden bar designs are those created from wooden pallets, because they are simple to put together and extremely sturdy. Although pallet bars are available to buy, you can cut the costs by putting one together yourself – pallet wood is fairly cheap and very versatile, all you need is a few basic D.I.Y skills and a couple of YouTube videos. There is also the opportunity to re-use any old wood you may have at home, so you can be helping to save the planet while you enjoy supping on your pint. Once you have your bar all set up, the fun continues with styling it out. Wood is easy to paint, and you can use colour to set the atmosphere for your garden bar – use bright, bold colours to make a statement or choose some more subdued colours for sophistication and elegance. There’s a handy step by step guide on building your own pallet bar here.
3. Use Your Garage
If you don’t have a lot of garden space or are looking for a bit more of a post-lockdown surprise, you could turn your garage into the perfect night spot. Clean it out, pick a theme, bring in a few tables and chairs, go wild on the walls and floors, and you’ll be ready for hosting in no time. This requires little D.I.Y, so it’s also a perfect suggestion for anyone who doesn’t know their way around a saw or a drill. If odd bits of paraphernalia have gathered in your garage over the years, you don’t have to stuff it all away again either – incorporate all your trophies and tools and bric-a-brac into the décor to really bring home that intimate atmosphere.
4. Install A Swing Bar
A full-scale bar might not be an option in your garden, but don’t worry! You could opt instead for a wall mounted bar top that can swing down and fold away with ease, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice any space to have a good time in your garden. All you need is a wall to mount your swinging bar to, so you have free reign on where to put it, which is perfect for small gardens, balconies and courtyards. Again, these are available to buy, but they are also easy to put together yourself from pallets or old bits of wood, so a wall mounted bar could be installed in your garden fairly cheaply and easily.
5. Incorporate Your Hot Tub
Hot tub sales absolutely rocketed in 2020, with a 1,000% rise in purchases of the outdoor tubs over lockdown, so if you’re looking for a relaxing night in the bubbles but are forced to clamber in and out whenever you get thirsty, why not solve your problems by combining your hot tub with a perfectly place garden bar?! You have a few options with this one as there are many set up choices – you could:
- Put up your bar to the side of the hot tub and turn it into a proper little bar area
- Attach a bar top to the side of your hot tub with a few seats on the other side to enjoy even more company
- Cut out the middleman and take a floating bar into the water with you.
Whichever way you choose to combine a bar with your hot tub, the days of abandoning the warm bubbles to grab a drink are over!
6. Transport Yourself With A Tiki Bar
Having your holidays cancelled might have put you down in the dumps, but you can try to ease the pain with a Tiki style garden bar. Begin with a regular wooden pallet bar (bought or D.I.Y.), throw in a bit of bamboo furniture and décor, some bright colours and a couple of tiki statues to really set the atmosphere, bringing the beach vibe to any kind of English day. You could carry the theme into your drinks too – a Blue Hawaiian’s perfect to let yourself and your friends believe your all lounging on a Pacific beach – and bring the holidays to you for a little while.
7. Go Simple
If pomp isn’t really your style and all you really want is a place to put drinks when you’re sat outside in the sun, the simplest solution is to use a drinks trolley. A garden bar on wheels, a drinks trolley is easily moveable and fairly cheap to get new or second hand, not to mention they are storable, therefore perfect if you don’t have a lot of space. These trolleys can hold plenty of glassware and bottles, so your needs will be catered for all night without multiple trips back into the kitchen.
The Future of Garden Bars
Although, fingers crossed, pubs and beer gardens will be pushing open their doors fully in the coming weeks, it’s looking as though many people won’t be in too much of a hurry to abandon the garden bars that have created many good memories for them through these difficult times. Now, with a bit of luck, you can experience the ease and joy of having your very own garden bar, in whatever style you fancy, without taking a chunk out of your bank account. Have you put together your own garden bar over lockdown? Let us know what you did to add some fun to your garden!
Angela Waxler is an ex florist, a professional gardener and has been working in the industry for well over 25 years. Angela has worked with brands all over the world during her career.