From Formal Living Room to Home Bar: An Inspired Design Journey

 Goodbye Formal Living Room- Hello Home Bar

The room in our home which was officially dubbed the “formal Living room”, was a completely wasted space pre-renovation. The way our house is laid out, the “formal living room” is located in the front of the house down a long hallway, away from the family room and kitchen (the heart of our home). It ended up being the forgotten room that no one ever stepped foot into. Meanwhile, when we entertained, everyone would naturally gravitate towards the kitchen island and family room. We floated the idea of a butler’s pantry in the space to allow us to have a place to store and serve wine when we entertained. Quickly the idea morphed and someone suggested, “How about a home bar?” Home bar??! Yes please!






Finding Decor Inspiration All Around

Once we settled on the idea of the Home Bar, suddenly the space formerly known as the “formal living room” became the most interesting place in the house to decorate. I became obsessed with checking out all the different bars that we encountered at local restaurants and drinking holes! One of my favorite restaurants in town is Summit House. Not only is it delicious, but the décor is impeccable. Modern flair with touches of traditional architecture flood the space. Summit House restaurant feels incredibly dressed up and glamorous, while still feeling warm, cozy and comfortable. The beautiful taupe grey color of the bar cabinetry, coupled with a grey/blue fabric for the seats and touches of brass instantly reminded of Blue Jodhpur.

Photo Credit:

Emmie Van Biervliet’s “Blue Jodhpur”.

“Blue Jodhpur” is a mixed media piece of art by artist Emmie Van Biervliet, that I purchased at the Affordable Art Show in NYC from Quantum Mart Gallery from the UK. The layered textures of the piece gives dimension and depth and immediately caught my attention when I first encountered it. I can almost imagine myself shrinking into the art and walking through the streets of this ancient city. Although I have never been to Jodhpur, my travels have taken me to many Asian, Middle Eastern and European cities. This image of Jodhpur, with is old buildings, and the brilliant colors of blue and the gold, gave me the old world feel that I have experienced in old cities like Cairo or Istanbul. According to Emmie’s webpage, she finds inspiration from her travels, in particular, Cuba, India and Turkey. Her work focuses mostly on mixed media pieces that were inspired by the beautiful details of the amazing cities which she visited and the natural landscapes that surrounded those cities.

Sticker Shock at The Affordable Art Show

The first Affordable Art Fair in NYC my husband and I attended was in the spring of 2016.  Being new to purchasing art, our first reaction was shock, when the first piece of art we viewed had a very “affordable” price tag of $10,000 ! Yikes! But we didn’t let the initial sticker price shock scare us away. As we delved deeper into the show, we were pleased to find pieces of art that ranged for $100 to a maximum price point of $10,000. The Affordable Art Fair truly has something for everyone!

We didn’t walk in planning to purchase a piece of art for any specific room, but we walked out that day with Blue Jodhpur in hand. In the past, I’ve always decorated a room first, then tried to find art to fit the space. Blue Jodhpur was the first piece of work that I purchased and I had no idea where it would go! Of course, Blue Jodhpur has found its eternal resting place on the walls of our home bar.

Décor Tips From a Beginner

What I have found is that practice makes perfect- just like everything else in life. The more I trained my eye to isolate the details in a room, the easier it became to identify the elements that appealed to me and those that did not. I also found that sometimes the only way to know if something will work in a space or not is to just try it! I picked out hundreds (literally hundreds) of throw pillows until I found the perfect ones. Just be sure to check return policies!

The very intimidating task of decorating becomes easier and more manageable when you break it down into small pieces and take one step at a time. Everyone’s décor journey is different and everyone finds inspiration in different ways. When I first began this home renovation project, I had no idea what my décor method was. I didn’t have a label on the type of style I wanted to emulate in my house.Without having a formal education in design or décor, I wasn’t bound to the “design rules”. I made up my own as I went along, base on what I found visually appealing. Beginning with trainning my eyes to slow down and take in all the details of a space. I spent lots of time processing what I was seeing and what elements appealed to me.

Every Hour is Happy Hour! 

This Bar room finally came together after lots of trial and error. With the inspiration from Summit House’s beautiful finishes and the color palette in Blue Jodhpur, I pulled this room together and I think it works! What do you think? Check back soon for a new blog post detailing all the items I used to decorate the space.Cheers!








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