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How to Decorate a Kitchen Bar Top
by Alyssa Davis

A kitchen bar, whether it's built against the wall or is designed in a free-standing fashion, can be one of the most versatile and beautiful areas of your kitchen. Designed with functionality in mind, a kitchen bar is a great asset for entertaining and can provide a quick and convenient area for eating breakfast, lunch and sometimes even dinner. When deciding how to decorate a kitchen bar top, there are several factors you should take into consideration. Although design and style are both important considerations, you'll also want to make sure the end result will enhance the functionality of your kitchen space.

Function Before Fashion

Decorating projects are usually most successful when function is the primary consideration, especially when you're decorating a busy area such as the kitchen bar. If you use your bar primarily for entertaining, you'll probably want to add features that will make it easy to store and serve wine, beer and even mixed drinks. On the other hand, if you use your bar primarily as a spot to eat breakfast and lunch, your decorating needs will be entirely different. Before you start your bar decorating project, give some thought as to how you generally use the space, and what you could do to make it even more functional.

Dealing with Space Constraints

Kitchen bars come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. Although you might desire a spacious kitchen bar, you might only have enough space for one which is modestly sized. This can be especially true if you are decorating an old kitchen, since the rooms in older homes were generally designed to be smaller than what is customary in new home construction. If you have a small kitchen bar, you'll have to be a bit more creative with your decorating techniques. For example, if you have a small kitchen bar that you use primarily for entertaining, you might want to focus on keeping the countertop as clear as possible to make it more convenient for your guests. You can still add plenty of design to a small bar area by utilizing the back wall. Wine bottle racks, wine glass racks, and even a fun lighted sign can add a lot of style to a small kitchen bar. If you use your bar primarily for quick meals, you'll want to add decorative features that will add to your dining experience. Beautiful canisters can be used to hold breakfast cereals and granola bars in an attractive and yet convenient fashion for quick and easy breakfasts. Silverware caddies can also be quite decorative and handy. Sleek stainless steel accessories would look great in a modern-styled kitchen, while country crocks, enamelware, pewter and copper accessories would complement a more rustic kitchen design. Of course, if you have a larger kitchen bar top, your "canvas" for decorating will be more expansive.

Great Finishing Touches

Regardless of how you use your kitchen bar space, you'll want to add a few decorating touches that are purely for design. A beautiful vase of freshly cut wildflowers would look beautiful in a country kitchen, while an interesting piece of sculpture might add the perfect touch for the contemporary kitchen. Displaying a collection of decorative shot glasses, even if you don't plan to use them, can add a nice touch to a bar used primarily for entertaining.

Alyssa Davis is a staff writer and decorating specialist with and she offers stylish suggestions for decorating with outdoor metal wall decor and decorative wall art.

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