5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Outdoor Bar

Summer is officially here and with that comes backyard barbeques and entertaining company late into the night. Creating a beautiful outdoor bar space in your backyard will certainly make your home the ideal summer destination for friends and family.

Outdoor bars can be a great addition to an already existing outdoor kitchen. They can function perfectly fine as a stand-alone feature in your outdoor living space as well. There are many ways to ensure that your outdoor bar space is cool, accommodating, comfortable, and functional.

Whether the features you choose are purely for aesthetic purposes or you prefer function over form, the possibilities are endless when transforming your backyard space. From lighting to furniture, your design choices can either make or break your vision of the perfect outdoor bar space.

Construction and Functionality

When creating an outdoor bar space, the functionality of the space is incredibly important. What good is a bar if there is no storage space or refrigerator? Is your bar counter going to be big enough to seat all of the guests you plan on hosting, or do you need additional seating? These are important considerations when designing and constructing outdoor bar spaces.

It is important to understand the level of use your space will be undertaking each season. If you plan on hosting many parties throughout the summer, a larger, L-shaped bar with bar seating may be a good option. If your outdoor bar is going to be used more for personal use, consider a smaller bar space with separate additional patio seating.

Adding a mini-fridge or ice-maker feature to an outdoor bar also makes it so much easier to entertain guests. No one wants dirty, grassy, or wet feet traipsing through their house or kitchen to get some ice or a new drink. Add these features to keep drinks cool and keep the interior of your home clean.

Additionally, covered shelving can add vertical dimension to the space. Utilizing cabinets with clear door panels is a great way to show off a pop of color with cute outdoor glassware. Plus, it makes it that much easier to grab a new cup or a shaker to mix up fresh drinks.

Shelving can also be used to show off your alcohol selection. Light up bottles from behind with solar-powered string lights to entice your friends. Doing this gives the space a true “bar” feel.

Lighting and Sound

Shelving is not the only place in an outdoor bar where you can utilize proper lighting. To ensure that your gatherings can go on well into the night, invest in low voltage LED landscape lighting around the bar and seating areas.

Low voltage lighting is a great option for outdoor spaces. It is budget-friendly, easy to install, and there are plenty of style options to choose from. It can be used to light up a pathway to the bar or create a nice, calming ambiance around a table and chairs.

Using LED bulbs, low voltage outdoor lighting lasts much longer than traditional lighting options. You can also control illumination levels and put the lights on a timer, so you never have to worry about leaving them on all night.

Also, make sure to add a larger overhead light in the bar area. This makes it so much easier to mix drinks later in the evening. Grab some citronella candles and torches from the local home improvement center to keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay. Fuel-powered mosquito deterrent devices can also be installed so that every visitor stays comfortable throughout the night, even with the lights on.

To really get the party going, consider installing outdoor speakers around the bar area. Bluetooth technology has made it so simple to connect most music-playing devices. Outdoor speakers can be made to look natural and blend in, or just have the standard speaker look. It’s up to you!


Another great way to show your own personal style in an outdoor bar space is with patio furniture. When choosing outdoor furniture for your space, keep in mind that certain materials and finishes can better withstand the elements than others. For that reason, most outdoor furniture, whether store-bought or custom-made, is constructed from specific materials meant to endure harsh weather conditions.

Types of Outdoor Furniture Materials

Aluminum and Cast Aluminum: Aluminum and cast aluminum are lightweight, non-rusting outdoor furniture options that require very little maintenance. Aluminum patio furniture is easily moved, so you can always transform your space each season for a fresh look.

Wood and Teak: Wood and teak are also incredibly popular, giving outdoor spaces more of a rustic, natural look. Wood and teak can be sealed to prevent any molding, warping, splintering, or bug infestation.

Plastic: If the previously mentioned options are out of your budget, Plastic chairs and furniture are a great low-cost alternative to teak or aluminum. Many plastic patio tables and chairs are now made to mimic the look of wood or teak too.

Depending on the layout of your outdoor bar area, taller bar stools may be a good option. Alternatively, creating a comfortable seating space around a table may make more sense for your personal use.

Regardless of the style you choose for your outdoor bar space’s furniture, outdoor pillows are a fantastic way to mix up the look of the space from season to season. Pillows can be used to cover the hard seats of bar chairs, create an inviting chaise lounge experience, or even match the umbrella on your patio! With so many furniture and pillow options, you are sure to find something to match your style perfectly.

Heating and Cooling

Creating a space that is inviting for guests is of the utmost importance when installing an outdoor bar area. No one wants to spend hours on end in the hot sun or spend the night swatting mosquitos and moths away. These annoyances can be easily avoided by installing any of the following:

  • Utilize pergolas or awnings to create shade
  • Cool spaces with outdoor fans
  • Add citronella candles and torches to repel bugs
  • Purchase standalone heat lamps for cool summer and fall nights
  • Stay warm at night with a fire feature

Adding Your Own Flair

It is extremely easy to add a little of your own personal style and flair to an outdoor bar space while remaining within budget. Online retailers and home improvement stores offer a wide variety of items like dishware, decorative pillows, outdoor signage, and statues that will increase the visual appeal of the space tenfold.

If you’re going for a coastal, beachy vibe, add some large wooden anchors or nautical striped pillows. If you’re in a hot, arid climate, consider creating some succulent gardens within large planters. Going for a rustic, farmhouse style? Use wood or teak furniture and darker canvas textures to achieve that aesthetic.

Landscaping and flowers are also a fantastic way to change up the vibe of your outdoor space. Hanging baskets and vines create dimension, while strategically placed pots make a great focal point. There is so much potential to use your own personal style to create a one of a kind space and experience for your guests.

Final Suggestions

Ultimately, the design of your outdoor bar space is completely up to you. By making simple additions like shelving, fans, outdoor lighting, and unique furniture, your entire backyard can be transformed into the most inviting space on the block.

Use your imagination or peruse DIY sites to find a style that suits you and your needs best. Create multidimensional seating arrangements to entice your guests to stay awhile. Procure stylish pillows and other home goods for that added bit of flair. Whether your backyard space is large or small, with the right professional landscaping help, creating an outdoor bar space is easy and attainable.