- Bar counter advantages
- The three simplest designs. Which is better
- List of materials
- Operating procedure
- Alternative options
When combining the living room and kitchen, you can use the bar counter to divide the common space. It can also serve as a small dining area and a cutting table. This “custom” piece of furniture can be ordered from the factory, but you can also make a bar counter yourself.
Bar counter advantages
Not so long ago, the bar was perceived exclusively as an attribute of specific catering establishments. She was comfortable in every way:
- First, it divided the common room into a work area and an area for receiving drinks and food.
- Secondly, the lower part of the counter itself, hidden from the eyes of customers, served as a desktop for the employees of the establishment.
- Thirdly, the upper part of the classic bar was a great place for a quick breakfast or lunch in the morning, and for a dynamic evening relaxation.
But that’s not all. The height of the top table top was initially oriented towards the standing visitor, and ordinary chairs could not be used in cases where the client wanted to have a snack while sitting and “not leaving the checkout counter.” This is how bar stools, chairs and even armchairs appeared, which had a non-standard height and a crossbar for the legs..
The high functionality of the bar counter was noticed by the interior designers of the living quarters. At first, as a piece of furniture, it was appreciated by the youth audience – for a studio apartment, this is an ideal way of zoning space. Then the bar counter became so popular that now it can be found not only in open-plan apartments, but also in ordinary kitchens (both large and small).
The wide variety of shapes and sizes that a bar counter can take, as opposed to a conservative dining or cutting table, also played a big role in this..
The three simplest designs. Which is better
The peculiarity of the design of the bar is that there are no strict criteria that would severely limit the size. The height of the worktop can range from 85–95 cm (the level of the surface of the cutting kitchen table) to 115–120 cm (the classic height of the dining area of the bar counter in two levels). It all depends on the size and design of the room.
There are three simple designs that are easy to make with your own hands..
The first option is a rack with a dining surface on short consoles attached to a cabinet or work table, with a traditional height above floor level of 120 cm. The option is very simple to design. To do this, you can order a MDF countertop to match the color of the rest of the kitchen and select racks with the ability to attach to the surface of an existing piece of furniture.
The second option is no less simple. The countertop of the bar counter is placed on the same level with the surfaces of the kitchen cabinets, and for support, one or two high counters are used with support on the floor (the other side is attached to the wall or to the side of the cabinet). In fact, it will be a tall dining table or a standard work table, but without a lower cabinet..
The third option is a rack on two levels. It is more complex, but such a design is highly functional and meets the classic definition. It is about its manufacture that we will now tell you.
List of materials
To make a bar counter with your own hands, you will need the following materials:
- wooden beam 50×100 mm;
- planed board 25 mm;
- furniture chipboard (or laminated MDF boards) 16-18 mm thick;
- MDF table top, thickness can be from 28 to 40 mm (depending on the kitchen furniture used in the set);
- sealant, primer, paint, varnish;
- fasteners, furniture fittings.
The timber and the board must be dried, treated with an antiseptic and fire retardant.
First you need to make a drawing. The dimensions of the structure should be tied to the parameters of the room and the surrounding interior items, take into account ergonomic requirements.
The main criteria when developing a project:
- the height of the lower (working) level must correspond to the height of the kitchen units;
- the height of the upper (dining) level should not be more than 120 cm and should be suitable for the selected model of bar stools;
- it is desirable that the total width of the bar counter (in the projection between the outer ends of the working and dining surfaces) be equal to the width of the kitchen countertops;
- the length of the rack and its location should not restrict free movement around the kitchen, leaving enough space for passage.
After the development of the drawing, they begin to manufacture the frame. It is made from a bar in the form of a frame structure:
- at the bottom there are two lower long support beams, connected by short crossbeams using a thorn connection (easier with a simple, more reliable “dovetail”);
- at the top there are four beams (two for each level), connected in pairs in the same way as the lower level;
- the fastening of the upper and lower beams to each other is carried out using corner and intermediate racks, fixing the racks to the beams of the upper and lower row is easiest to do with the help of a furniture perforated corner (with an additional stiffener).
If they plan to put the bar counter end-to-end against the wall, then after making the frame it is attached to it with dowels. The frame can be primed and painted to last longer.
Sheathing of side surfaces (long from the side of the room and short from the side of the passage) is carried out by chipboard.
Advice.It is impossible to cut the furniture board exactly to size at home. It is possible (and necessary) to order sawing of workpieces of side surfaces and tabletops from professionals – in every large city there is probably such a service, including from organizations that sell materials for the manufacture of furniture. There you can also order edge gluing.
The sidewalls are fastened to the frame with self-tapping screws through pre-drilled holes. The holes must be countersunk so that the tapered head of the screw fits into the recess. Such a profile can be made with a larger diameter drill. Above the screw is masked with a plug, matched to the tone of the plate.
The tabletops are attached to the frame using a wooden pin fixed to glue.
Along the rack, at the bottom along the perimeter, the gap between the sidewall and the floor is sealed with a sealant, and on the front side it is additionally covered with a decorative plinth. This will protect the chipboard from the effects of water during wet cleaning..
Inside the counter (from the kitchen side), you can make open shelves from a planed board, painted to match the furniture plate or varnished.
Alternatively, you can offer other options that are convenient to use in the kitchen..
1. If you remove the standard cover from the factory cabinet and install a tabletop instead, you can get a bar counter. The only condition is that the protruding part will have to be supported on a leg or an emphasis on the wall.
2. Two pedestals placed side by side can be used as a base. And install a bar countertop on top.
3. If you have a beautiful view from the window, then you can fix the countertop across the window opening with support on walls and furniture.