I want to share with you another room in our home remodel ~ Sweet Shark’s Bar ~ and How We Created the Coolest Bar in Texas.
Now let me explain first that there is nothing saloon-y or Western or cowboy about this bar. Just because we live in Texas ~ and darn proud of it ~ doesn’t mean we don’t like sophisticated and chic.
Remember Toby Keith’s song “I Love This Bar” ? O.K. we do love our Country ‘n Western music. Well, Sweet Shark loves his bar. Other men have their pool room, library or garage hang outs. Sweet Shark has always wanted a bar.
Not a caveman, basement (which we don’t have around here for a 1000 miles), or sports bar. He wanted an elegant, boutique hotel lobby bar. Small, gentlemanly like. With dark wood, a couple of bar stools, great lighting, and well-stocked, where he can play with mixing cocktails, read the paper, and watch whatever sporting event is on.
When we were house shopping 4 years ago, every house had 2 criteria: one a kitchen that could be remodeled for me and a room that could be Sweet Shark’s bar. We both got our wishes.
So where did we put his bar?
In what was the original dining room of the house. It’s actually not very big (about 12 X 14 feet) and it’s just to the right of the entryway. It has an exterior wall, which is needed for the drain from the ice maker. It is close to the kitchen (through the double doors and to the left) and the butler’s pantry (through the double doors) where we store half our glassware. The laundry room was close to where there is a sink that he uses. The laundry room also has a dishwasher (We didn’t even realize that until we had the inspection on the house.) that Sweet Shark uses for his wine glasses and barware.
Besides the size of the room, one other factor dictated the size of the bar. In the original kitchen was a long island ~ a little over 6 feet long X 27 inches wide~ that we removed. The dark granite countertop would be perfect for the “front” of the bar. Two other sections of granite ~ 25 1/4 inches X 75 1/2 inches ~ from the old kitchen served as countertop for the back bar. Great example of recycling and saved us some $$. You’ll see photos of the granite below.
The Bar Design
First, the room was painted Benjamin Moore Grasslands. We sanded and re~stained all the hardwood floors a dark brown color, which is throughout the first floor of our home.
Sweet Shark worked with our cabinet man on the design of the woodwork and cabinets. The fluted columns match ones in our entry and living room. For display, he has the countertop, 2 glass shelves and 2 small shelves.
He also has storage for mixers, bar towels, video equipment
cocktail tools, extra bottles, his food files, and bar books.
By chance, Sweet Shark met a man whose company designs custom lighting and they worked on the lighting for the bar. With the click of a remote control, Sweet Shark can change the color of the lighting from red to pink to blue to green to white and shades in between. It’s fun to coordinate the lighting with a holiday. Our contractor came up with the idea of sandblasting the edges of the shelves which makes a beautiful effect.
In addition to the lighting on the bar, we changed out the overhead lighting to recessed LED’s and added this beautiful chandelier which Sweet Shark’s grandmother bought in London in the 1950’s. Although it was in his parents’ dining room for years, it had never been properly wired. We had it cleaned and rewired at Crow Chandeliers in Dallas and now it has a place of honor. Like all the lights, it’s on a dimmer switch.
Stock the Bar!
On the bar counter, Sweet Shark displays these gorgeous crystal decanters he has been collecting for many years.
On the upper shelves is one of Sweet Shark’s favorite bourbons just for sipping ~Pappy Van Winkle ~ a couple are gifts from friends.
And some of his single-malt scotch.
Sweet Shark picked out the bar stools at Billards and Barstools. He wanted leather seats that swiveled with open backs. They are really comfortable.
To the left of the bar is the curio cabinet which was in the dining room of our other home. It now houses our beautiful crystal, much of which we inherited from our parents.
We bought these Murano champagne glasses in Venice in 2014.
It’s accessories in any room which make it personal and gives it character and the bar is no different. We bought this print in Paris at Willi’s Wine Bar. It was in the game room of our previous house.
Sweet Shark bought the Humphrey Bogart (he’s a big fan) print in New Orleans.
The brass Asian plates belonged to Sweet Shark’s grandmother and I bought the horse prints in Hong Kong and had them framed.
These chairs aren’t doll furniture. They were made from champagne wire toppers by a bartender on a cruise ship several years ago.
It’s fun to collect wine corks. In these photos, you can see the color of the dark granite.
Jennifer gave Sweet Shark this vintage-looking bell for Christmas. Ding-ding, bar’s open!
This framed wine label is from our first trip to Paris. We stayed at the Hotel California (watch this video ~ it’s really cool).
I bought these coasters online as a surprise for Sweet Shark.
And every SharkBar needs some sharks! Here you can see the sand-blasted edge on the shelves.
Everyone who comes to our home loves Sweet Shark’s bar ~ in fact, sometimes I can’t get people out of it.
It’s a great place to greet guests, offer a welcome drink, watch a game, or just hang out. I hope you loved it.
I think I hear the bell: ding-ding! Bar’s open!