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What bars can teach us about home renovation

There was a time when all bars looked like something out of Cheers or How I Met Your Mother. But modern bars are breaking that mould and coming out with brilliant design statements. You may find these ones inspirational when it comes to renovating your home.

What bars can teach us about renovations

1.    Let in the light and air

Bars tend to be dimly-lit and closed-in as if they’re hiding some kind of dark secret. This one, in contrast, is open and light. Located in Melbourne, the Howler Bar was designed by Splinter Society Architecture to make the most of the local area’s industrial chic as well as natural materials and plants. We’re not sure if the bike stand on the wall is for patrons’ use or some form of artwork.

 

 

What bars can teach us about renovations

2.    Make a grand entrance

This is my local, the Montage Lounge Bar in Pt Chevalier, Auckland. I’ve been coming here since I was a child. But don’t get me wrong – back then it was a ‘picture theatre’, the Ambassador. The owners of the Montage have wisely left the exquisite wrought-iron doors and most of the interior décor in place, giving the place a classic look.

 

 

What bars can teach us about renovations

What bars can teach us about renovations

3.    Use colour to create a vibrant atmosphere

This is the iconic DeBretts Hotel in Shortland Street, Auckland. It was transformed a few years ago from a dingy old pub by opening up the bar with big glass bifold doors, colour glass panels and modern paint colours. As you can see, the result is that DeBretts is now a downtown hotspot for people of all ages (provided they’re over 18, of course!).

 

 

What bars can teach us about renovations

4.    You don’t have to spend a fortune to be cool

This bar proves it. Complete with ancient Persian rugs and slightly beaten-up, mismatched chairs and tables, the Volstead in Christchurch exudes tons of shabby chic. 

 

 

 What bars can teach us about renovations

5.    Use lighting to create mood

With violet tones and clever back- and down-lighting, the Ozone Bar in Hong Kong creates a sleek, sophisticated, yet elegant vibe.

 

 

What bars can teach us about renovations

6.    Make the most of your home’s natural advantages

I took this shot earlier this year from the bar on the rooftop of The Zone in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Even 51 floors up, the building is dwarfed by the Petronus Towers, which until not so long ago were the world’s tallest buildings, and the KL Sky Tower (just out of shot to the right – I never said I was the world’s best photographer). The owners of The Zone put in an infinity swimming pool and fitness centre on the roof, but for some reason didn’t think of a bar and restaurant until this year. What a waste of one of the world’s most spectacular night skylines!

Don’t make the same mistake with your renovation – make sure you plan to make the most of your home’s natural advantages, including the sun and any view or outlook you may have.   


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