Ina Garten’s “Bookcase Bar” Is a Game-Changer for Small Spaces

published Mar 28, 2024
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Built-in floor-to-ceiling bookcases with tons of storage space are a booklover’s dream. There’s just so much room to display all your favorite reads and to-be-reads (TBRs). But that’s not all that bookcases and book shelving are good for. 

In fact, Ina Garten actually uses the built-in bookcase in her living room as a minibar, transforming it from one source of entertainment to another, all in the same room.

“It’s FREEZING here!” Garten captioned a recent Instagram post showing off her sun-drenched living room. “Good day to curl up in the sun with a good book! (Or cookbook?)” 

On the bottom shelf of Ina’s wall-to-wall bookcase, you can see Garten has an array of carafes, glasses, and liquor bottles out on display. (And on top, Garten shows off her clever kitchen storage tip in an equally ingenious new way.) 

The glasses on her shelves are already on a tray, ready for serving and out in the open — a departure from what you’d typically see with a barrister bookcase, where trinkets stay behind glass so they aren’t ruined or at risk for breaking, shattering, or spilling. Here, everything is ready and just waiting to be served.

Garten’s hack is certainly inventive, but it’s not revolutionary. In fact, you can really transform any kind of bookcase — built-in or not — into a minibar. As long as you have an empty shelf and space to fill it, you can re-create this look in your own living room, dining room, or kitchen. Fans of Garten’s love how she’s laid out her space, with several commenting that they loved her couches and “incredible bookshelves,” and dozens more shared that they’d love to curl up in the cozy space —with a cookbook or a drink.