How to Choose the Right Wood for Home Bar Furniture

January 16th, 2024 Blog

beautiful dark, moody wooden bar

So you’ve decided to make a bar in your home! There’s something special about drinking in the atmosphere of a bar that makes it feel different than drinking, say, at a kitchen table.

You’re in a purpose-built environment. The way hockey players like being at the rink or readers in the library, when you want to relax with friends over a beverage, it’s nice to be at a bar. Designing the bar yourself means you can make it suit your preferences and style, so you’re not at the whims of the neighbourhood local.

Just because we recently finished the holiday season, with all its parties and festivities, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy more get-togethers soon in our home bar. Before you undertake the build and design, here are a few considerations about picking the right wood to bear in mind.

Consider the Room

You’re never picking wooden furniture in a vacuum. There’s always a specific context which will guide your choices. What is the room where your bar is like? Is it bright and modern? Is it a dark, moody basement?

Getting pinewood furniture can make a room feel lighter with its charming pale colour. It’s also a less dense wood, meaning it’s physically lighter weight. It’s a high-quality wood available for less money because it’s abundant.

Being less dense and softer, pine is more susceptible to bumps and knicks. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Some people believe a little wear and tear adds character. Whether you get bar stools or dining chairs depends on your setup, but you’re free to choose.

Oak and Maple

Oak and maple are two strong, durable woods. They’re dense and hardy, so they’re perfect for standing up to years of heavy traffic. The debate between oak versus maple is a question of preference more than ranking these woods according to some objective criteria.

The wide, wavy grains of oak are a classic look, and you don’t need to do much for it to shine. Oak trees can survive for hundreds of years, and your oak furniture should last for years, too. Maple is also a strong wood well suited to withstand heavy use. Plus, it also resists moisture and dampness effectively.

leather chairs at a wooden bar

You don’t want to be dealing with water damage near your home bar or its furniture, but between spills and basement moisture, it helps to have hardy wood that can withstand such threats.

Ultimately, these considerations are just a few factors you’ll consider. How you weigh them depends on your circumstances, like the nature of the space, budget, lifestyle, and more.

What Is the Bar For?

Yes, on one basic level, bars are for drinking! But there’s a difference between hosting dozens of people at big soirees and having a private retreat for a few friends to watch sports or catch up. The scale and level of grandeur will be different.

Do you want an intimate space with just a few stools, or is the bar one feature in the larger scheme of the room? Will the bar foster, or is it for watching sports or movies? Your lifestyle will determine how you want your bar to look and feel.

What Furniture Do You Need?

There is some type of furniture all bars need, such as seating and the bar itself. That’s only the beginning, though.

What kind of alcohol do you enjoy drinking? How do you plan on storing the bottles of alcohol comprising your bar? Some people like the look of a mirror with shelving behind the bar. Others may choose a sideboard or cabinet or a blend of these and floating shelves.

Our Piper Sideboard can elevate any space with its fluted sides and clean flat panels in front. It’s available in pine, oak, maple, and more. Our Chevon sideboard offers another great storage solution with a very different look.

Some pubs have enormous bars that can seat ten or more people. Your home bar isn’t likely to be this large, so you may want to consider options for other seating, like tables and chairs. Thankfully, Woodcraft has plenty of options for handsome tables and seating.

Maybe a stately yet casual Rhodes Round Table would suit your home bar. A dining room table will likely clash with the vibe and won’t fit the space, but a round table could fit perfectly and add needed seating.

The Edward Chair or Andrew Side Chair would complement any bar scene because they’re so classic and understated. The Andrew Side Chair’s tapered legs and dark hue look like they belong in the world’s classiest pub. Choose how you want to upholster these chairs or go with just the plain wood.

Our Sydney Barstool is perfect for nestling right up against the bar itself and comes from the same aesthetic world as the two chairs mentioned above. Our backless Mid-Century Barstool is another classic in the genre, and you can choose between counter or bar height.

Our chunky Saddle Stool is also backless and somehow manages to be both cute and hardy, light and solid. It’s got a small footprint and a minimal look but its own quiet gravitas, too.

There are different types of bars and home bars. The classic, heavily wooded British pub is one kind of look. Some people prefer a sleeker, modern-looking bar made with wood and other materials like marble, granite, glass, and more.

Ultimately, Woodcraft has a range of furniture to suit your home bar, especially because we can customize it to your needs. Once you’ve got all your other bar accoutrement, you don’t want a piece of furniture that sort of fits the room or sort of blends with the décor, and buying off-the-rack wooden furniture doesn’t give you any wiggle room.

Designing a home bar can be just as much fun as hanging out at one! You don’t need to get too technical with the types of wood or pick a type based on its physical properties alone. Just choose beautiful wooden furniture that feels right to you and complements the space, and you, your friends and family will have a wonderful time. Cheers to that!