Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stevo's Surprise Project

Having finished some pretty major repairs and renovations to the house this year, Steve and I were chatting about our house plans for next year and I started to feel some wifely guilt. See, when we were originally house hunting, Steve's only house requirement was space for a bar. And when he agreed to pass over the up-to-date, already-fenced-in, very-little-work-needed house next door in order to buy our ramshackle, out-dated but very beautiful house because his crazy wife loved it so much, his only requirement was that we build a bar to house his homebrew beer. And here we were, four years later and no bar. So I proposed that Steve maybe take a look at what he would need to build himself a bar, and to come up with a budget for it.

Well, Steve didn't need too much prodding. He had been looking for a new project ever since finishing Anna's big girl room, and this was definitely one that he could get excited about!!

Before, in the bedroom
He was brilliant and figured that he could use the big entertainment center that was in our master bedroom, and convert that into a bar. I admit that I had my doubts. I thought he was going to ruin a perfectly good piece of furniture, waste a ton of time and money, and be unhappy with the bar and want to redo it all in a couple of years.

Boy did he prove me wrong!! The bar looks AMAZING, and now houses two beer towers (so four beers on tap), a wine fridge for our homemade white wine, and enough liquors to make pretty much any drink we or our guests could want.

Converting the entertainment center took quite a bit of work. He had to raise the two side cabinets at least 6 inches in order to create a level, even surface for the bar counter and to make it high enough to be above the kegerators and wine fridge, so he sawed off the bottoms, built a frame out of 2x8s, and then nailed crown molding along the bottoms to make it blend with the rest of the cabinetry. The bases were painted with black paint matched by Home Depot and it all looked like it had been part of the original cabinet!




For the middle section, Steve sawed the top part of the counter off, and then discarded the bottom shelves. He raised the counter top several inches, enough to be waist height, and enough to fit two small refrigerators (which he converted to kegerators) and the wine fridge underneath.





Steve also drilled two holes in the counter top to accommodate the beer towers. He also decided to install a small fan behind the bar to help ventilate the area and protect the fridges from overheating. And last but not least, he installed lights on all the shelves in order to spotlight the glassware and liquors.





Steve also built small shelves in the middle of the bar counter to house his most frequently used liquors. We were happy to find a new home for that mirror - it had previously been in our farm guest room, which is now Anna's room.

The finished bar, complete with all his Christmas present accessories:

Current beers on tap: Obama's honey ale, a hard cider, a pumpkin ale,  and a dark IPA beer.

The wine fridge is stocked with the pinot grigio that Steve and I made. I am happy to report that it is quite good!

Those familiar with our house will have noticed that we ended up switching the dining room to the front room, which was formerly an unused sitting room. We don't have much furniture in the new bar room yet, but we look forward to decorating it as we get extra time and money. This arrangement served several purposes - I was firm on the point that I did not want people staring at a bar as soon as they walked in my front door...arranged this way, you can't see it as you come in. It also helps eliminate the clutter that tended to accumulate in our dining room. And it is also very nice having the bar next to the kitchen so we can get ice and water easily, while at the same time we can keep the door closed and the kids away. I love having all three of these rooms next to each other, because if we have people over for dinner, they can relax in the bar and then move straight into the dining room, while being separated from the kitchen mess and meal preparations.

This was a fun project and obviously Steve is thrilled to finally get this one crossed off the to-do list! Now I think we just need to have a cocktail party to dedicate the bar in style!


Sarah Morgan said...

Wow!!!!! Way to go Steve, that looks awesome!

Kathryn said...

Wow, I am really impressed!

Nicole said...

That's amazing!!! I'm impressed with Steve's usage of crown molding =) I need to come over for a drink!!

Kelly said...

Holy cow! That is impressive! I have a few projects S can help with if he gets bored hahaha