RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

An Entertainer's Dream: The Blueprint for a Built-In Bar

March 16, 2016 1:27 am

(BPT)—Planning to entertain guests in your home? Become the host or hostess with the most (or most-ess) with a feature that’s a mainstay at most parties: the built-in bar.

“Today, the term ‘built-in bar’ covers a variety of possible set-ups,” says Linda Jovanovich of the American Hardwood Information Center (www.hardwoodinfo.com).

At its simplest, a bar may occupy the end of a kitchen island—nothing more than a short length of dedicated countertop above a neat grid of cubbyholes to store wine and a small fridge. Slightly more ambitious bars comprise a niche or door-less closet fitted with wood shelves and cabinets, a countertop and perhaps a faucet and sink. A step above are more imposing versions, like the modern equivalent of a traditional butler's pantry—fully-plumbed stations where not only drinks, but also hors d'oeuvres can be prepared and served.

"Many houses and apartments have a closet or unused space that can easily be converted into an attractive and useful built-in bar," says Laura Bohn, a New York-based interior designer. "If you live in a house with stairs, the space beneath them is often an ideal place to install a small, modestly-equipped drinks center. It should be able to accommodate enough countertop to prepare cocktails, enough storage for a liquor cabinet, and maybe enough room for a fridge or wine cooler."

One advantage of using such confined spaces for built-in bars is that they can be closed off when not in use, so that a commandeered closet looks just like a closet, or an appropriated staircase looks just like a staircase.

However, "a well-designed, well-crafted hardwood mini-bar needn't be hidden. Made of walnut, cherry or some other distinctive wood—my favorite is maple—it can be an integral and pleasing a part of the décor," Bohn adds.

Ideally, larger butler's pantry-style built-in bars are located discreetly in transitional spaces between kitchens and adjacent dining or living rooms. In today's open-concept homes, such built-in bars, often dubbed buffets, are likely in either the kitchen or living area itself—wall-spanning installations in full view of guests.

"Walnut is very popular right now for this type of bar," says Christine Donner, a Connecticut-based kitchen designer. "It is an elegant wood and its cool tones complement the white-and-silver palette that my clients currently favor. It can be bleached to a lighter tone, left natural or stained much darker, almost all the way to black. Limed oak, bleached to a lovely honey-blonde color, has a marvelous midcentury-modern feel that is slowly catching on, too."

And functionality is as important as aesthetics. "Wine connoisseurs often have an extensive collection of varietal-specific glasses that they want displayed, so I get asked a lot for glass-fronted cabinets with interior lighting," Donner says. "Much of this stemware is oversize or extra tall, so I make sure the shelves can accommodate their height. And I always include solid-door cabinets to stow motley collections of assorted liquor bottles."

Cabinetry can also be used to conceal icemakers, refrigerators, bottle-cooling drawers, dishwashers and other unsightly appliances and equipment.

A sink, while not a necessity, can be practical, as well.

“Less for the water coming out of the spout than as a place to dump out old drinks or melted ice,” says Donner.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Make a Note: 8 Home Maintenance Chores to Stay on Top Of

March 16, 2016 1:27 am

Regularly scheduled maintenance checks can help prevent equipment breakdowns while keeping all of your mechanical, plumbing, HVAC and other critical home systems running smoothly and efficiently.

Homeowners should schedule the following checks once every six months, according to Homestructions.com:

Check Washer and Dryer – Check hoses for leaks, replace the hoses if needed and clean the lint from the ducts of your dryer.

Clean A/C Coils – Dirt and dust will settle on the condenser coils of your A/C, and this prevents your unit from cooling down the air. Be sure to clean the dust that is sitting on the coils and grills of your unit to extend the life of your A/C.

Seal Tile Grout – The only way to prevent the moisture from accumulating under tile is to seal the grout. Prevent mold and mildew growth by sealing once every six months and you can prevent moisture from sitting in areas that will not dry out.

Homestructions.com also recommends adding the following chores to your maintenance calendar each month:

Change A/C and Heater Air Filters – If you have a forced air system, by changing the filter, you can improve the air quality in your home and also reduce the stress you put on your A/C and heating system.

Check Water Softener Salt Levels – If the amount in the salt drum is low, add salt to prevent hard water.

Clear Dishwasher Clogs – If you use your dishwasher on a regular basis, make time to clean out the drain bin on a monthly basis. All of those food particles that are caked onto your dishes will wash down into the drain bin and clog the drain if it is not cleaned.

Maintain the Garbage Disposal – If you do not flush the disposal with hot water and baking soda, the grime will accumulate and lead to a serious problem.

And lastly, be sure your fire extinguisher is charged—this is more of a safety reminder than a maintenance issue.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags: