The DC Design House is perfect for entertaining. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we spotted at least five beverage bars.

“A lot of what this house was designed for is having parties,” says Josh Hildreth of Josh Hildreth Interiors, who tucked a cozy whiskey bar in his library. “It is a very big house. You could be having several parties at the same time.” Several designers created bars in closets or built their own floating units.

A bar lets you arrange and display pieces you might be keeping deep in your kitchen cabinets, such as an heirloom crystal pitcher, ice bucket or sets of glasses. We were inspired by these vignettes.


(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Dining Room Bar

Jonathan Senner , Atelier Jonathan Senner, the District

The striking La Cite wallpaper by Schumacher (a reproduction of a 1739 map of Paris) is one of the focal points of the dining room. The marble and brass cart is the Marquis from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, and the wall lamp is Circa Lighting’s Star Flush Mount light by Eric Cohler. Senner used vintage accessories he found in Stockholm and Maine and brought in some color with interesting liquor bottles.


(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Lady Lair Bar

Rachel Dougan, ViVi Interiors, the District

An awkward closet inspired Dougan to build in a bar for tea, coffee and drinks in her exotic Lady Lair, which she calls her answer to a man cave. The bar itself is wall-mounted, constructed of Ikea components Besta and Laxviken. A cool detail is a Fornasetti tray depicting a woman in a deep-sea-diving suit illuminated by a ring of LED lights, the Le Deun Luminaires Classic.


(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Secret Library Whiskey Bar

Josh Hildreth and Victor Sanz, Josh Hildreth Interiors, Reston

The designers took a narrow storage closet (30 inches wide by 17 inches deep) and treated it like an elegant little room, installing electricity, wallpapering it and adding a small vintage French bronze chandelier. Behind the 1880s English bamboo table hangs a French mirror that makes all the glassware and bottles sparkle.


(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Roof Deck Entry Beverage Bar

Quintece Hill-Mattauszek, Studio Q Designs, Alexandria

The designer custom-built the cabinet with color-changing LED interior lights and lined it with rice paper from the Paper Source. She assembled a variety of accessories, including a vintage lemonade pitcher, a pineapple-topped decanter from Pier 1 Imports and a bamboo-style caddy from Ballard Designs. It’s all set off by the tropical Lemon Botanical wallpaper by Spoonflower.


(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Terrace Bar
Kimberly Asner, Country Casual Teak, Gaithersburg

The terrace off the family room overlooks the pool and has a rolling teak bar cart. (This teak can be left outdoors year-round and will weather to a pale gray.) Country Casual Teak’s Cucina bar cart has stainless-steel hardware and two removable trays.

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