There was a time when a home wet bar was fairly common. Mostly, it was just a simple countertop sink and cabinets in the corner of a living room, creating a convenience space where wives gathered chilled wines on weekends and husbands mixed drinks after work.
Then, despite being great gathering hubs of residential entertaining (and decompressing), the home wet bar fell out of vogue. During the inevitable remodeling projects of outdated homes, wet bars were often replaced by the components of changing tastes, such as bigger TVs, stereo systems, and the accompanying entertainment cabinets.
Recently, however, there’s been a resurgence. This wet bar comeback can give thanks in part to the popularity of craft cocktails and to the fact that during most of 2020’s pandemic peak, our favorite watering holes and restaurant bars were closed to indoor dining and drinking. Plus, something that never goes out of vogue is our timeless attraction to simply enjoying the familiar comforts of home while imbibing on the good stuff and — even better — inviting friends to join in.
Installed earlier this year, the pictured wet bar checks a lot of boxes, including a countertop sink, a built-in refrigerator and ice maker, and plenty of Moroccan-style cabinet space for bottles, glassware, utensils, and other essential ingredients. As a bonus, it also features a sit-down design, with a trio of bar chairs and a roomy wraparound serving counter.
This wet bar is part of a two-room guest house that was previously used as a yoga studio and sleeping quarters. During the transformation, Giffin & Crane brought the guest house (and main residence) up to date with the new owners’ taste for finishes — including floors, cabinets, paint, and stucco — and bigger modifications to bathrooms and the kitchen. Where the wet bar is now used to be a closet.
“In the guest house, we turned the bedroom into an office and the main living space into an entertainment room with a card-playing area, seating area, wine cellar, and that wet bar in the corner,” remembers Giffin & Crane Superintendent Jake Lewis, who oversaw the project. “It’s just a great sitting room for enjoying time with guests and listening to music.”
Out the wet bar window are roses and a vegetable garden. It’s also just across the room from a pair of French doors that open to the pool patio and short chip to a private golf course.
The wet bar idea was a dream of the client, who’s a wine connoisseur. Giffin & Crane worked closely with John De Bastiani Interiors to make the client’s vision a reality.
Giffin & Crane has been building custom homes in Santa Barbara since 1986.
CORRECTION: The photograph in this article was originally credited incorrectly. The photographer is Joe Schmelzer (joeschmelzer.com), and the image was provided courtesy of John De Bastiani (johndd.com), who was the project’s the interior designer. We apologize for the error.