Why Did Home Bars Become So Popular in Lockdown?
The Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns brought many businesses to a halt in the UK, with some of the most hard-hit being those in the food and drink industry.
As many of our local pubs, clubs and restaurants shut their doors for large parts of the 2020 and 2021, a significant number of the British population turned to a DIY store and an empty space at the bottom of their garden to fill the void.
Enter the home bar.
Having a home bar is the interior design trend that has shown no sign of slowing down, as the Mid Sussex Times reported that Brits have spent £2.2 billion building their own pub sheds since the start of lockdown.
It’s not difficult to see why. Rather than travel into town after a hard day’s work to pay for overpriced drinks and a black cab back, you could simply enjoy all the luxuries of a pub or bar from the comfort of your own home.
With the ever-increasing hustle and bustle of daily life, our free time has become a lot more valuable. If you want to just kick back and relax with a drink at home in a cosy location that isn’t just your living room couch, then a home bar is the perfect solution.
At the height of lockdown, regular pub-goers were spending their extra free hours getting creative with their garden sheds in an attempt to both stave off cabin fever and create a replacement for their closed local.
We heard many stories of amazing DIY accomplishments by the British public throughout the pandemic. One particular family in Bristol built their dream pub shed that also doubled as a home gym, while an Essex man used his converted man cave to live-stream quizzes and DJ sets.
One of our favourite parts of creating a pub shed during lockdown was accessorising and furnishing our new home bar to give it that personal touch and really show-off our creativity.
Our first port of call was to get a quintessential element of any watering hole: a hanging bar sign.
Let’s be honest, we all get a bit excited on a night out when we spot the sign of our favourite pub ahead and know an ice cold lager is near. So what better way to christen your own home bar with a custom sign that shows off your creative pub name – even if our wife did refuse The Pork Scratch Inn…
Having the chance to name your own bar is something most people have dreamed of at one point or another. If coming up with creative and witty names isn’t your cup of tea, why not take inspiration from the many brick and mortar pubs across the UK?
While the most popular pub names in Britain are quite generic in today’s standards, such as The Red Lion, The Crown or The Royal Oak, there are weird and wacky offerings everywhere that wouldn’t look amiss on the front cover of a fictional work, let alone a drinking establishment.
Take The Bucket of Blood in Cornwall, for example, which refers to an incident back in the 1800s when the landlord drew a blood-filled bucket from the local well instead of the usual water. Then there’s Kent’s highest pub, The Cat & Custard Pot Inn, as well as London-based The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town.
We’re quite taken with something like The Gym or The Office to give you a great excuse for getting out of any family gatherings with the in-laws!
Once you’ve got your pub name and bar sign sorted, it’s time to go wild with the interior. Do you keep it subdued with soft, warm lightning and cosy cushions for a relaxed atmosphere? Or go all-in with TVs, a pool table, disco lights and spirits that you haven’t drank since you were a teenager? The only limit is your imagination!
Many pub shed owners in Britain turn to their favourite movie or television show as a muse for how best to deck out their home bar – there are enough of them to be inspired by!
Traditional pub décor-loving movie buffs may turn to the likes of Edgar Wright’s zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead. Giving your home bar a makeover reminiscent of the Winchester pub will ensure that there will always be a place for you to have a nice cold pint and wait for this all to blow over.
If you’re looking to convert your shed into a prohibition or speakeasy bar, how about taking inspiration from British crime drama Peaky Blinders and the Shellby family’s pub, The Garrison? Or opt for some good craic with an Irish bar inspired by Paddy’s Pub from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, hopefully without all the Charlie work!
There really are no right or wrong ways to decorate your home bar, as long as there’s a sign out front, stock of booze within and good friends to share it all with. We’ll raise a glass to that!