You may think that your bar is built solely on the creation of exquisite drinks and unrivalled nibbles… but the reality is your bar is so much more than that.
Bar design is something which many of us don’t necessarily consider when we walk into our local – merely taking in the standout features on our way to browsing a menu and ordering our favourite cocktail at the bar. However, the design of a bar can literally make or break the entire atmosphere, impacting the layout of the space, the lighting, the presence of sound, and of course the comfort and luxury of the experience.
In this blog post, we’re focussing specifically on texture and how different materials and finishes can be used in the design of a bar to create a visually striking, comfortable, welcoming, and memorable experience.
Why material matters in bar design?
Texture is an effective way of injecting luxury into any kind of interior setting. Not only does texture instantly add an extra layer to the aesthetics of a space, but it also taps into the sensory experience that many of us covet when out and about – making even the most modern and minimalist space feel more welcoming and put-together.
From a commercial bar angle, texture is what softens the edges of what is largely a functional and open plan space. For the most part, bars involve the presence of a large bar and a series of tables – texture is what blends the different sections of the floor-plan together, infusing warmth, ambience, and a little hint of branding.
What’s more, the textures and materials that you use in the design of your bar can also have an impact on the ambience and transfer of sound, the cleanliness of your bar, and how the theme is portrayed.
Here are some of the main things to consider when selecting the right materials for your bar…
The role of texture in bringing your bar’s theme to life
Is your bar more a “polished wood” space or a “rustic wood” space?
Will your bar stools benefit from a soft neutral fabric covering, or a leather covering?
Is your bar set atop a tiled floor, a varnished wood floor, or a rug-covered floor?
All of these questions centre around one major consideration when selecting materials for your bar, and that’s the role of material and texture in matching and buoying your overall theme. From rustic wood to polished surfaces, the infusion of soft textures, and the integration of plants and other accessories, how you use materials should link directly back to your theme.
This sets the tone for your bar’s aesthetic and is one of the easiest ways of instantly inviting guests to immerse themselves in the setting and experience that you want to create. Enhance this further through the use of lighting, the layout of your bar, and the added details such as the music which fills your bar, and the integration of artwork and other décor.
Bridging function and style
This is the part of commercial bar design where we consider the aesthetic and styling benefits of materials and textures, alongside the practical considerations – that is, how easy the different surfaces and materials are to clean and maintain.
In order to create a luxurious and welcoming bar environment which will withstand the test of time, any fabric that you choose needs to be easy to clean – otherwise even the most minor signs of wear and tear will damage the finish. Ideally, all fabrics and materials used in a commercial bar need to be durable and stain-resistant and need to be either removable from their furnishing or placement, or else easy to wipe clean in-situ.
And while we’re on the topic of functional considerations, making sure that your bar’s flooring is both easy to clean and slip-resistant is important for health and safety. Don’t let an ambitious design stand in the way of a safe bar environment for guests.
Finally, from a functional perspective, remember material plays a major role in the transfer of sound in your bar – and is a great way of balancing echoes and soaking up unwanted sound. Adding a few rugs and soft furnishings to your bar will effortlessly improve the acoustics for guests, while also creating that welcoming atmosphere that will make them want to return again and again.
Finding the right materials for your bar
Safe to say, material matters when creating your commercial bar – but with so much to think about and consider, we know that sourcing the best fabrics and textures is not always easy. That’s why, here at Carroll Design, our team are on hand to help source the best materials and integrate them into your bar in a way which bridges style and function and creates a memorable experience for guests.