Shaken, stirred, stylish: how to create
a chic cocktail corner

artemano cocktail seating area

Above: A watery-blue rug (Weaver and Loom) and soft furnishings from Artemano in blues and smokey grey makes this a calm, comfortable spot for drinks and chat.

Whatever your style — mid-century Mad Men or English country à la Downton Abbey, it’s easy to design a designated space for cocktails and conversation in just about any corner of a family, living, or rec room.

In a larger room, you can define a spot for cocktails (and earl morning coffee) with a room divider. Use shelving and it’s easy to switch up accessories by season — or whenever the fancy strikes you.

artemano industrial shelf
Circa 1960 ashtrays can be used for everything from serving dishes to holding delicate strings lights gathered in a swarm.

Soft, indirect lighting that’s conducive to conversation but which can be bumped up for reading is made possible through the simple addition of a dimmer switch on overhead lighting or tri-lights for standing lamps. For accents lighting, thread LED strings through indoor plants — ether faux or real, we’re not judge-y — or nestled in a pretty bowl.

artemano industrial shelf
A faux green orb is threaded with tiny LED lights (HomeSense). A pot of fresh herbs from Lowe’s is added to a mix of conversation-starting objects.

Seating matters too. Something comfortable enough to encourage conversation is advisable, but for drinks, I don’t like anything overly deep, wide or cushiony. Mostly because those three elements, coupled with the effects of a martini or three, can turn my before-dinner drinks into a snore-fest.

Each seat should be within reach of a surface on which a glass can rest. Consider nesting tables, small-footprint cocktail tables, or let a firm ottoman with a tray placed on top do the job.

artemano wood glass side table
Small tables (Artemano) make perfect perches for drinks and nibbles.

A console with concealed storage that can hold small plates, napkins and glasses reduces running back and forth from the kitchen when snacks are involved (which should be almost always – let’s face it.)

This sleek teak piece is beautifully-scaled, nodding to mid-century modern design, without looking kitsch. The low sheen finish is a nice compliment to the green-ey blues in the soft furnishings.

Hope these ideas inspired you. Cheers!

All photos: Dann Tardif

Vicky Sanderson

A self-confessed Opinion-ista, Vicky Sanderson has been writing and talking about décor, design and lifestyle issues for almost two decades, and has tested just about every home product known to humankind.

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