Keeping in Good Spirits

Keeping in Good Spirits

By Ann Zimmerman, Photos by Scot Zimmerman

With so many interesting people to meet and enjoy, friendly gatherings have become a hallmark of the Park City lifestyle. To make entertaining all the easier, many build strategically placed home bars or well-stocked wine rooms.

173The red backbar with a mounted television ready for the game completes the scene for a room designed to chill with friends.
Architect: Solim Gasparik, 4C Design Group, Park City, UT; Builder: Douglas Knight Construction, Salt Lake City, UT

Home bars and wine rooms vary to reflect the homeowners’ many experiences and their interests and taste. The creativity of designers and building professions make these bars beautiful, but more than that— when we belly up to the home bar, it’s important that they work well.

174A classic sports bar is situated in the middle of where friends gather for games on the lowest level of the home. Through the arch is a full court for basketball and nearby are shuffleboard, foosball, and a big screen with theater seating.
Concept and builder: Upland Development, Holladay, UT

174bA family that hosts fundraisers for their foundation built this elegant space with a central bar and space for a grand piano. The practical workings of the bar are disguised by the flowing curves.
Architect: Arthur Dyson and Associates, Fresno, CA

The first question to ask when thinking about where to build a new bar is what area of the home is best for entertaining? Another factor is how homeowners like to entertain. For some it’s a raucous pub setting with darts, foosball, pool, air hockey, and pinball. For others, it might be a dignified reception area with a pianist.

As appealing as a bar can appear, its essential nature is a practical workstation that needs equipment and room to maneuver. The basics for a bar are shelves and/or cabinets for storing the beverage bottles, glassware, carafes and shakers; a sink; an icemaker (or at least an ice bucket); refrigeration (and wine keeps better in a special wine refrigerator); and snacks. Other necessities are the right tools, storage and counter space. Barware should include openers, stoppers, bar spoons, muddler, jigger, strainer, swizzle sticks, napkins, and the all-important blender for those chilled drinks, along with fruit for garnishes, sodas, and mixers. Experts point out that it’s better to locate a bar in a cool space and not in the direct sun to keep the liquors at their best.

175Now you see it, now you don’t. A wooden panel slides to close over the wall bar in this sleek, contemporary home. In a sunny location, the door shields the bar products from direct sun.
Architect: Soprano + Mooney,
Salt Lake City, UT; Designer:
J-Squared Interiors, Park City, UT

With the growing enthusiasm for fine wine, more and more people are collecting and storing wines. Wine rooms are carefully planned, built, and outfitted to maintain constant temperatures in controlled humidity. Some have tables for tasting, and others are furnished for dining among the wines. Always the biggest concern is protecting the wine.
One of the biggest choices in planning a wine room is selecting the racking system, since it is important to store wine on the side with the label up. This keeps the cork wet, and by leaving the label up, it can be read without rotating the bottle and disturbing sediments. Because upsetting sediments is such a concern for maintaining quality, wine rooms are designed to minimize vibrations.

175aThis wine room claims space by the stairway and the design gives it a sense of place and personality, important qualities for wine rooms according to experts. Beyond appearances, there is considerable science involved to protect the bottles from damage and store them so they are at their prime when opened.
Builder: Hess Construction, Salt Lake and Park City, UT

176The locking iron gates and vintage bricks enhance the wine room’s entry, and the glass doors seal to keep the internal humidity and temperatures constant. In addition to the racks, the shelves display special bottles, champagnes and sparkling wines, which wineries say may be stored upright.
Builder: Upland Development,
Holladay, UT

176aThis stunning collection can be seen and appreciated while descending the stairway. At the end of the wine room is a workspace for decanting the wine, and to the left of the wine room are stools and a bar for drinking. The treated glass protects the wine from the sun.
Architecture: Steve Crane, VCBO Architecture, Salt Lake City, UT; Construction: Douglas Knight Construction,
Salt Lake City, UT

If you’re looking to elevate your home entertaining, wine rooms or a home bar are excellent ways to do it; and surprisingly, they don’t have to take a lot of space or drain your budget. You’ll love it and so will all your friends!

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