How to Create a Bar in a Tight Space & Mix Like a Pro

Having an elegant and well-stocked bar in your home is a level up. It says to the world, “Yes, I do have it together.” (Whether or not you actually have it together is your secret, but your bar won’t be the one to spill it!) Do it right, and you’ll add a touch of class to your space, in addition to introducing a new decor element.

Global Views Galapagos Bar – Carved dark wood set off the contrasting brass hardware inspired by the turtlebacks of the oversized species in the Galapagos island.

Read the full guide by Cassandra Rosas. It will walk you through how to get started, what you’ll need, and some helpful tips for having a dedicated bar in a smaller space such as utilizing:

Bar Carts

The best part of the bar cart if you have limited space is that it’s portable. Second, it’s classy and can be a fun design piece. Wheel it out when you need it, and tuck it safely away when you don’t. Bonus points in the summer because it is easy to move outside with you. This is a perfect option if you’re renting and don’t want to put anything on the walls.


If you can designate some of your countertop space for a bar area, there are a few things you can do to maximize that space. Get a tray that fits the size you can allot to your bar. This helps show that it’s an intentional space and not just a cluttered area of your counter and makes cleaning easier. Then, buy glass racks and hang them under the cabinets to store stemmed glassware. Consider a tiered corner rack for storing smaller bottles, bar tools, etc.

Console Tables

If you have the space for it, a console table is an excellent option for smaller areas. Often also called a sofa table or hallway table, they are thinner and come with and without cabinet space underneath. A glass top console table will make clean up easier and less prone to damage from liquids than wood or veneer.


The cousin of the bar cart, a bar tray is great if you need to dismantle your bar at the end of each use. Whereas a bar cart is great because it can be moved to another area of your home, that’s still not overly helpful if you don’t have an area to put it. A bar tray might be your best bet in this case, as even an oversized tray can be tucked away in the back of a closet or under a bed, and the bottle and bar tools put away in drawers and cabinets.

Built-In Bars

If you’re really committed, the built-in bar is the way to go. It doesn’t have to be gigantic – think about if your home has any oddly-placed nooks or alcoves that don’t see much use. These might be perfect places for a built-in bar! Bonus points if you put a sink in. (Pro tip – it doesn’t even have to be connected to plumbing, it’s just nice to have a place to put your ice, and it can drain into a bucket underneath).

What’s the Holdup?

“Why are so many items out of stock?” “Why do lead times keep getting pushed back?” These are the questions customers are asking more than ever these days. Around the planet, the pandemic has disrupted trade to an extraordinary degree, disrupting the shipping of goods and adding a fresh challenge to the global economic recovery. The virus has thrown off the choreography of moving cargo from one continent to another. At the center of the storm is the shipping container, the workhorse of globalization.

Americans stuck in their homes have set off a surge of orders from factories in China, much of it carried across the Pacific in containers, the metal boxes that move goods in towering stacks atop enormous vessels. As households in the United States have filled bedrooms with office furniture and basements with treadmills, the demand for shipping has outstripped the availability of containers in Asia, yielding shortages there just as the boxes pile up at American ports.

Shipping vessels bearing goods to unload are frequently stuck for days in floating traffic jams. The pandemic and its restrictions have limited the availability of dockworkers and truck drivers, causing delays in handling cargo from Southern California to Singapore. Every container that cannot be unloaded in one place is a container that cannot be loaded somewhere else.

Just when we thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse, the 1,300-foot Ever Given container ship got wedged in the Suez Canal blocking traffic in both directions for almost a week. Now the backup in the canal is expected to reverberate through supply chains for months. The traffic jam making headlines across the globe blocked hundreds of ships from the waterway, a critical lane in Asia-Europe shipping that accounts for some 13% of global maritime trade, and sent some vessels on a longer path around Africa to avoid the backup. Logistics operators are bracing for a cascade of sea containers that bring new congestion to supply chains as shipping networks work through backlogs from the Suez Canal blockage.

The Suez blockage raises important questions for manufacturers and other exporters who will have to pay closer attention to the availability of equipment and transportation when they seek overseas sales. Companies need to weigh such factors in the same way they consider production or raw materials constraints. When containers and ships aren’t in the right place, finished goods can stack up at factories designed to hold inventory for short periods while retailers risk missing out on key selling seasons.

Guide to Making a Home Office with Limited Space

COVID-19 has left employers and employees alike struggling to find ways to make work…work. And one of these is by moving the office into the homes of those who have a position that doesn’t require hands-on attention. While going remote has many benefits, including slowing the spread of the disease, it also has its drawbacks, particularly if you are living in an already-cramped home or apartment with roommates or family.

Luckily, creating a home office in a small space is possible, but it might call for a touch of creative thinking. Here are some tips you can use to make the most of your space and create the home office you need to thrive.

Create a Conducive Environment

Office designers often talk about ergonomics. Many people think this term refers to comfort, but it’s actually a lot more specific than that. Ergonomics is the study of one’s relationship to work. Anything that makes it easier (or harder) to get your job done falls under this umbrella. Whether that’s a chair that supports your posture, or lighting that keeps you from getting a headache, all the details matter. Office spaces are designed with these details in mind, but homes aren’t. You’ll need to craft your own ergonomics to recreate the experience.

Focus on how it feels to be in your workspace. Is it too dim? Get a desk lamp. Too bright? Invest in curtains. How’s the temperature? If you’re too warm, a simple fan can do the trick. Too cold, and you can invest in a space heater; although be sure to check reviews to find something safe and effective at your price point. Ultimately, you want your space to help you feel energized, comfortable, and able to focus on the task at hand. Anything distracting will pull you out of your work and make it hard to stay on track.

Think Multi-Functional

When working with a small space, multi-functional pieces of furniture are invaluable. When picking out a work-from-home desk, consider something that can either be folded away or can serve a different function when it’s not a desk. For example, something with a lot of drawer space can double as storage. A fold-up desk installed in a wall can reveal wall art when tucked away. Maximizing your space means finding ways to make the most of every item you use.

Consider Your Budget

You don’t want your home office to break the bank. Make sure you’re considering your budget while planning your office. Start by taking a look at your finances and figuring out how much money you have to spend. Set a firm price ceiling and commit to spending less than that to make sure your bottom line doesn’t get out of hand.

There are plenty of ways to save money and stick to your budget while furnishing your small space. Look into secondhand shops or listings on local boards to find good pieces that don’t cost a ton. You can find great deals this way, especially on older items that have a lot of character. You can also look into furniture intended for dorms. These are made for small spaces, and since they’re targeted toward college students, they’re usually pretty affordable. And remember, you may be able to claim furnishing expenses on your taxes if you meet certain requirements.

You’ll be amazed to see how much more productive you can be once you have a dedicated workspace. Home may be the place where you pull off your very best work.

Photo Credit: Reshot

2 Hotspots For Vintage Design Lovers In Amsterdam

On a recent visit to Amsterdam, My wife and I sought out what the beautiful city has to offer vintage and industrial design lovers. We found two gems across the street from each other in the Amsterdam-Noord area that I can recommend strongly – Neef Louis Design & Van Dijik en Ko. They are a bit outside of the city centre, but the area is worth the travel. Taking the ferry from central station to either NDSM or Buiksloterweg, it is a nice bike ride through a more industrial and gritty side of Amsterdam most tourists will never see.

Van Dijk en Ko is one of those stores which you might not want to enter due to its cluttered appearance, but hidden behind that facade is a bombastic collection of treasures. This place is perfect if you love vintage, but don’t have the patience to search for hours on end in thrift stores. It is full of Hungarian cupboards, benches, tables, barrels, stools and chests of drawers, buckets, Romanian buffets, earthenware, crates and shutters, troughs, jars, crates, chairs, crockery, work benches and dressing furniture, carts and counter tops, Danish Design, Belgian office furniture, Dutch books and a large amount of unexpected objects such as a horse on wheels, a life-size Pieta and a large assortment of linen, glassware and lampshades! They also have garden furniture and old doors.

Across the street is Neef Louis Design. A huge warehouse full of vintage, designer and industrial furniture, this is a treasure trove of antique luggage, mid-century bookcases, retro radios, neon signs and much, much more. They have all sorts of objects from the last century, recovered from various industries, laboratories, shops; from grocery scales to industrial-style lockers and operation room lamps, not to mention vintage telephones and lamps. 

Neef Louis Design (NLD) has been in business since 1999 and is the life’s work of Louis Vlaarkamp. He started in a garage at the Haarlemmerplein, afterwards in a loft in the Houthavens (Amsterdam West), before moving the warehouse in Amsterdam North. The shop is a collection of unique, used goods: vintage, design or industrials, a journey through time, a return to your youth, or a touch of the future. An assortment of industrial lamps or tables combined with design classics or mid-century design. Imported from Poland, Czech, Ukraine or Denmark etc. An adventure, an inspiration for stylists, set decorators, art directors or private persons. You name it, and there is a pretty good chance you’ll find it here.

Creating a Relaxing Home Retreat

As much as you’d love to hit the beach or mountains for an escape from daily stress, sometimes it just isn’t possible. But you can recreate that retreat in the comfort of your own home. It takes some thought, rearranging, and a little creativity, but luxury and relaxation aren’t far away. 

Your first task is to find a space that can act as your escape. The bedroom is the logical choice. It’s your most private space and stays hidden from the rest of the world. If you have an ensuite, you could even turn your retreat into a spa. However, if the bedroom doesn’t work, any space that offers privacy will do. 

Clear the Clutter

A cluttered space can trip up your mind as much as it does your body, causing anxiety and affecting your ability to sleep. Move everything out that creates visual or mental noise. Get this room down to the bare bones. If books and magazines litter your nightstand or an end table, sort and take them out. If it’s overcrowded with furniture, pick the vital pieces and repurpose the rest throughout your home. As you get rid of visual stimulation, you’ll create space for your mind and body to decompress. 


Bathe the space in natural light. Of course, if you’ve chosen the bedroom as your retreat, you’ll also have to block that light at night for the best sleep. Natural light helps set the body’s circadian rhythms, which regulate your sleep and eating cycles. 

Light also affects your mood. Light and airy often feel inviting and open, which is perfect for a daytime retreat. However, window treatments like blackout curtains, drapes, and blinds that give you the option of privacy night or day are a good idea. Add table lamps and floor lamps and other artificial light sources to keep the right mood no matter the time of day. 

Accessorize with Purpose

You decluttered, but now it’s time to add personality. Accessories add depth, and in this case,  the welcoming touches that make your retreat uniquely yours. Appeal to your senses. Soft inviting textures in pieces like rugs, throws, and pillows, especially natural fabrics like linen or cotton, are perfect for sitting down and staying awhile.  

Add a sound system or keep a portable speaker hidden in the room so you can add nature sounds or your favorite soothing playlist. Don’t forget about your sense of smell. A diffuser loaded with calming jasmine or lavender can leak stress from your body and fully prepare you for pampering. They can be hidden or become part of the decor with faux wood exteriors or those that allow you to change the color to suit your mood. 


Whether it’s leather or linen that makes you feel safe and far from stress or an animal skin rug and a chaise lounge, your retreat should fit your lifestyle and home. With the right design, a retreat can be a barrier from the stress and demands of the outside world.