Before and After: This Mini Bar Makeover Proves the Power of Small Changes

published Sep 25, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: Built-in bar with dark cabinets and speckled countertop

It’s been said before, but bears repeating: Not every makeover has to be big and dramatic. Often, tiny transformations can take a space a long way in feeling bigger, brighter, and more modern. Need more proof? Take this small built-in bar at Brittin Prior’s home. When she and her family moved in, the little built-in niche followed the same pattern as the rest of the home: “The house was architecturally great, but very dark and needed some updating,” Brittin says. “We bought the house envisioning what it could be after we lightened it up.”

While she loved the sweet little arch in this nook, the rest felt a dragged down by dark colors and dated finishes. Rather than a showpiece, it read more like a dark little cave in the wall. To the rescue: paint, of course, plus a few tiny swaps that took this space to the next level.

White paint on the cabinets, shelves, walls, ceiling, and the surrounding room immediately brightened up this little niche. Brittin also replaced the old speckled counter with a new white one for a sleek finish. “We chose a fairly inexpensive quartz slab for the bar, knowing it is a small space that isn’t highly visible from the rest of the house,” Brittin says. “I always like to find ways to get the look I want without going over budget or spending too much money, because it’s so easy to do in a remodel. Look for less expensive slabs of material for those smaller spaces. There are tons of smaller beautiful remnants that you can get for not a lot.”

The new counter allowed her to move the small sink, previously positioned at an awkward angle, so it sits more in the center of the counter. She kept the existing faucet, which looks way more modern amidst its sleek surroundings.

Of course, the final touch was actually filling the bar. Against the white walls, all of the drink bottles almost look like art. Brittin also added a few small decorative touches, like mini plants, a hanging basket, and a sculptural table lamp.

Now, the space looks bright and inviting—and zero percent cave-like.

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