need help to change a wet bar to something else

jenha1June 14, 2012

My wet bar was built in 1986. So, it look so old-fashion. I'm now remodeling the whole house and want to get rid of it, or convert it into a decorative space, but don't have a clue what to do. Hope you can help me. Thanks.

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Bookshelves! Take down the glass, get rid of the counter and sink and plumbing. Build shelves above the base cabs, paint or refinish all to match and you have a step back bookcase, appropriate for any room.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 10:09AM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

I used my wetbar to set a very large flat panel TV on. Perfect for TV viewing and puts the TV out of the way, as far as floor space.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 12:30PM
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Can you provide some context? What room is this? How do you use the room?

You can get rid of the plumbing and replace the area with something purely decorative like book shelves or entertainment center. Or you could consider re-routing the plumbing to an adjacent space if it would be useful there. I re-routed plumbing in a non-functional wet bar into a new wet bar area and out into the garage for a utility sink. Alternatively I could have eliminated the plumbing entirely, but it seemed a waste.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 1:25PM
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Even if you don't reroute it, it might be best to cut and cap it below the countertop rather than remove it, so that you can change your mind, or the next owner can use it. If you do that, keep a file documenting it, so that the next person will know it's there.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 2:09PM
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Excellent questions above ....

1)Would you still use it as a bar for entertaining? The cabinets could be repainted and new long modern handles installed on the doors. Then replace the countertop to suit your new decor -- and switch the sink/faucet to chrome or silver. Consider adding a bar fridge inside the cabinets .... OR if there is enough floor space -- add a counter bar and stools in front of the unit.

2)How about as a bookshelf/closed storage unit? Cap off the plumbing, remove the sink/faucet/replace the countertop. Remove the glass shelves and mirror. Add new wood shelves and backboard. Paint the whole unit to match the new decor. Add modern handles to doors.

3)Perhaps you need more closet space? Pull out the entire unit. Cap off the plumbing. Add custom closet inserts for extra hanging space for coats ... and other out-of-season clothes/shoes/boots. Add closet doors. Paint out to match decor.

4)Need more display space for a large artwork? Pull out the entire unit and cap off the plumbing. Remove the shelves and the mirror. Add a large artwork and a console table/cabinet below it.

Just some thoughts ....

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 3:18PM
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Thank you to all of you for wonderful ideas/suggestions. Since I don't drink anymore, I don't need a wet bar. I might take TEACATS's advice: cap off plumbing, replace counter top w/ granite. Replace glass shelves and mirror w/ drywall covered w/ nice wall paper and wood shelves, and add some decor or small plants. Oh, how's about just cover the mirror w/ wall paper instead of fixing dry-wall? What do you think? Any comment would be greatly appreciated. By the way, this wet bar is located in the hall way next to family room. Please see pic.,it is at far right corner.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 3:27AM
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I would think there is dry wall behind the mirror. It would need patching. It looks like a good place for a small "office" type mail/bills etc. With the popularity of "bars" being on the rise I would not go to the expense of removing the plumbing. Remove the sink, cap the rest and leave it for future owners. Since you are wanting "decorative" space why wouldn't removing the sink and getting a solid counter top be enough? The shelving is there..the glass would show off sculptures etc. very nicely.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 6:50AM
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We had a 70s house too. They sure liked mirrors back then, big ones. And they were adhered to the wall with "iron" glue. Instead of removing them and the pain of drywall, my husband decided painting would be an easy test. It worked and we never thought about the mirrors again. He used a heavy nap roller to match wall texture.

Not sure about wall paper, but cling film would work. They offer many patterns now. I prefer paint and adding a large art object.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 7:16AM
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I'd fill the wall with shelved books.
Very warming, and a great spot if you have a lot of cookbooks.

If you don't want to pull off the mirrors (which is a pretty big undertaking, and should be done by someone experienced at it), you could glue up fabric. I've done it by pressing under the sides to fit the width, and wrapping the top and bottom edges around a thin lath strip, and then gluing those to the wall before the shelves go in.

Shelves could be supported with adjustable shelf standards mortised into the side walls and painted to match the walls.
Strips of sturdy molding would also do it, if you don't want to see the standards.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 2:36PM
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When we moved into our current house I was set to tear out the wetbar - we don't drink and it just doesn't look right. Then we had a couple parties and I knew for sure I don't want to get rid of it - although I still have to figure out how to modernize it. Having the counterspace is really nice so I wouldn't recommend that you get rid of it totally. We set beverages in our space but appetizers would also be nice. I think keeping the base but maybe doing bookshelves up top as someone else suggested would be nice - makes it more functional but you still have the option of an entertainment area. On a separate note, my orchids would love that space though :)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 12:48PM
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Another option to cover the glass would be using upholstered luan (SP?) plywood and fit into the space

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 1:37PM
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