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Wet bar can make a decorative splash


Q: I'm trying to draw up a plan for my living room so that it can incorporate a wet bar with storage space. The problem is that an exposed bar would not look appropriate in this traditionally styled space. Can you suggest a solution?

A: I see a number of alternatives, provided that plumbing can reach the area where you want to put the sink.

I would start by looking for a decorative piece of furniture in which a sink could be fitted. Depending on the size, shape and layout of your living room, the best option might be either a tall piece such as an armoire, or a shorter cabinet or server.

A bigger, bulkier piece would probably look best if placed at the far end of the room or against a large wall. In any event, you'll need plenty of wall space if you choose an armoire with doors that have to be opened.

Although it will occupy a sizable area, a piece of this sort can look smashing in addition to being perfectly serviceable. Its inside shelf can be made to house the sink, with the plumbing entering the back of the armoire through an adjoining wall.

Look at the fine refitting job done on the dresser shown in the photo. This turn-of-the-century piece comes from Bobwhite Designs of Des Plaines, Ill. -- a company that specializes in converting stately old furniture into sink cabinets for use either as bars or in bathrooms. Here, a new marble top was installed along with the sink.

In this case, the dresser drawers are no longer workable. Yet on this type of piece you could install a pair of doors to conceal both storage shelves and plumbing. A mirror won't be necessary for your purposes. But if you do choose this type of piece, you might add some wall shelving above the sink.

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