Imagine waking up to the smell of fresh-brewed coffee, just feet away from your bed, or grabbing an ice-cold beverage and a late-night snack without ever leaving the comfort of your bedroom.
Forget the walk-in closet and the master bath; the morning bar is one of the hottest new home amenities. The typical morning bar includes a sink and faucet, small refrigerator, drawer dishwasher and small counter to hold appliances such as a coffee maker, espresso machine or even a microwave oven.
“Enriching the master bedroom with a morning bar reinforces the idea of a sumptuous retreat, rather than just a place to sleep and relax,” said Margie Rowe, senior target market manager for ShowHouse by Moen.
The morning bar is part of a growing consumer phenomenon referred to as “trading up,” which indicates that people are willing to pay extra for luxury items.
Last year American consumers spent $400 billion on luxury items that included everything from upscale cars to lavish home accessories, according to the book “Trading Up: The New American Luxury” by Boston Consulting Group Senior Vice President Michael Silverstein and Bath & Body Works CEO Neil Fiske.
The challenge for designers is tastefully blending a minibar into a room without calling too much attention to the fact that it’s actually a “mini-kitchen.” Here are a few of their strategies:
* Cabinetry: Dark woods with recessed or raised arch accents create a feeling of warmth and security, while lighter-colored wood cabinets can brighten up and invigorate the space.
* Faucet and sink: “The more popular faucet designs for morning bars are those with an elegant, traditional feel that enhance a refined decorating style, such as ShowHouse by Moen’s Waterhill Collection,” Rowe said. “The high-arc, single-handle faucet in an oil rubbed bronze finish has a warm feel that complements and blends into the color schemes of many on-trend master suites.”
* Appliances: Appliances sized appropriately to the space are key to maximizing the benefits of the morning bar. A gourmet coffee press, espresso maker or juicer provide the right touch for a luxurious morning. A wine-chilling drawer will ensure that bottles will always be ready for drinking at the perfect temperature. And a small refrigerator will keep fruits, juices and creamers handy. Wood panels ensure that drawer-sized dishwashers and mini-refrigerators blend into the existing cabinetry.
* Lighting: In many cases, track lighting typically found in the kitchen is being strategically placed in the morning bar area, along with skylights that open up and add height to the space.