An odd subject maybe, but one I have been thinking around recently due mainly to a couple of exciting commissions coming up, but also on the strength of our ‘drinking related furniture’ portfolio past…
The relationship between food and furniture is often expressed in the dining furniture and kitchens we design, furniture that aids the practical making of and social consumption of food. Food is everywhere, when we are not making it and eating it we seem to be watching others making and eating it. But what about drinking and the furniture we make for it? Well let’s go on a little tour past, present and future…
Over the years we have made plenty of free-standing bespoke drinks cabinets like the one pictured above in sycamore and burr ash. This one was for a gin lover but we’ve also made darker walnut versions which tends to attract the whisky collectors. We have also designed and made lots of ‘built-in’ bars and drinks cabinets, hopefully you will get a sense of the variety of these from the images below. Every drinks cabinet, bar and wine room is a reflection of a client’s personal taste and interests, so we tend to have a lot of fun designing these pieces.
Glass, marble, mirror and lighting often feature heavily in the designs and give us further scope to develop striking palettes of materials with exciting design features. Whether it’s collecting fine wines and a fully temperature controlled wine room, a cabinet for your specially curated whisky collection, a private cocktail bar in hidden away in a country barn or you just want a fun built-in kitchen bar area to entertain from, we’ve probably done something similar already- dedicated drinking furniture is a serious genre that we excel in!
We have recently been commissioned to make a couple of wine rooms. These are always exciting projects because of the exacting detail required by clients who tend to really know their subject. These will have humidity and temperate control in the space, storage and display for hundreds of bottles in various ways as well as the social bar and sink area.
At Simon Thomas Pirie we are renowned for our award winning kitchens and drinks cabinets / bars often play a roll in these, particularly when they are in large open living dining spaces as is often the case in the houses we work in. The images below again show the breadth of projects we have undertaken and the playfulness in the drinks furniture – most of the kitchen has to be focused on function so the bar can add the fun back in.
But for serious drinking evenings and sheer exhuberance having a dedicated barn space as a bar has the be the ultimate luxury. This was the barn conversion in North Dorset. Half of the building is serious office / study space but the other half is a cocktail bar and entertainment / cinema room space. It feels more like a luxury hotel bar somewhere exotic than the Dorset countryside. It had a fully equipped professional stainless steel catering bar behind our warm toned elm timbers and blue burr madrona veneers.
Drinks cabinets can also be used more subtley as room divides. Sometimes when a room is almost too big it can help to create zones. This piece in a luxury penthouse on the south coast fulfilled that purpose really well being drinks cabinet and bar on one side and overspill office shelving and display on the other. In the middle of the bar side lower section it contained a Fisher & Paykel ‘Cool Drawer’ for chilling drinks as well as corner storage drinks cupboards. It’s a halfway between fully fitted and freestanding furniture with lots of holes punctuating through to the ‘other’ side. Lots of cleaver lighting and texture make this rather dark bit of furniture in a room described as the night lounge have a lightness of touch about it.
As we seem to be back to more freestanding pieces let’s look at another trend which has been a strong theme which we have utilised in both drinks cabinets and kitchens – the pocket door. This is ideal for drinks cabinets as you can do the grand reveal and open up a lit extravaganza of colour and warmth, particularly if you are entertaining in the evening when this can have maximum effect. The doors tuck away on a clever mechanism in a ‘pocket’. We are currently working on a couple of kitchens that will have this feature incorporated but this more stand alone feature cabinet in lacquered cyan blue, walnut and dark blue figured eucalyptus and illustrates that wow factor well (even though we are yet to photograph it full of bottles and glasses!)
The last item to show you is very definitely a ‘piece’ of furniture. This is our Searchlight drinks cabinet which was launched at a recent Decorex show in London. Available in a number of striking colours, some subtle, some like this ‘baby lettuce’ and black walnut version a bit more extroverted! The green material is actually a thick linoleum material which is very environmentally friendly being made of cork and linseed. This particular example is still for sale – click here for more detail…
The Warnings Bit! Of course I shouldn’t be flippent about drinking here, alcohol is a source of great pleasure to many but it is also a drug – remember to drink responsibly. Equal care should be taken with the furniture – choose your drinking furniture responsibly! So as you can see there are a wealth of options of design formats, ideas, materials and colour. The limitation is imagination and we have plenty to spare to help unlock yours.