Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Best Bars, Bar None

Last week I posted about drinks, bars. And believe it or not, I'm really not a big drinker (I swear!) I think that the reason I tend to write about bars, bar carts, drinks trays, and the like is because all add a welcoming, hospitable note to one's home.

The bar featured above is a parchment bar with matching ebonized and suede stools that was part of last week's Interiors auction at Christie's. If you had the space for it, this would be pretty close to perfect. The parchment is reminiscent of 1920s and 30s cocktail culture-so swanky. And of course if you had a bar like this in your home, you might have to rethink your house cocktail. I'd serve Manhattans, Gimlets, and of course Champers. I'd save the PBR, Boone's Farm, and wine coolers for the patio.

Back in 1929, House & Garden made their thoughts on Prohibition known by including a section on home bars in House and Garden Book of Color Schemes. "Since drinking has become a personal matter and assumed a secretive air, the private bar has sprung into existence." (The editors also believed Americans started to embrace color once Prohibition was passed- an interesting thought.) This Modernist bar, above, was designed by Magasin du Printemps. The bottle niches were backed in illuminated ground glass panels.

So if I had the space for a home bar, I'd probably have a mural painted around the bar area a la Bemelmans Bar. Oh sure you could get all serious and forgo the mural, but there's something about whimsy (tasteful whimsy, mind you) that just seems to go hand in hand with merriment of the liquid kind.

This mural from the 500 Club in London c. 1929 is another idea. Some of you might recognize the man in the middle as Brian Howard with Mrs. Plunket Greene next to him. These two figures were part of London's Bright Young People during the Jazz Age. These people knew how to drink...amongst other things.

And I think I'd have to go with these bar stools from Penny Long. Certainly not vulgar, but not quite proper either.

Bottoms up!