Giles Brown talks to the creators of Barhaus
Trends can be difficult to spot. Interior design brands spend considerable time, effort and expertise and not insubstantial amounts of money in trying to predict the “Next Big Thing”.
One of the design mantras of the past few seasons has been ‘staying in is the new going out’ and it seems that no contemporary property is complete with its own ‘me time’ space – anything from cinema rooms to games lounges and even virtual reality golf simulators.
And then 2020 bit like a famished Great White. Overnight staying in wasn’t just the new going out – it was the only option.
If you are determined not to let the lockdown dampen your desire for a couple of glasses of something fizzy and fabulous, and still keep within the ever changing and challenging restrictions, then Barhaus has the answer.
After all, if you can’t leave home for the bar, why not bring the bar home, or take it with you on your travels?
With a stylish and seriously sexy design that combines the funky and the functional, Barhaus offers a range of products perfect for that sundown session with friends – no more than six in certain situations and observing social distancing, obviously – or an amazing installation that allows you to get your groove on as you master your mixology. Either way, they are the perfect gift for the enthusiastic imbiber in your life!
The company is the brilliant brainchild of Adam and Karen Baker. After a 25-year career designing parties and events for fashion and lifestyle brands, the couple finally hung up their disco sneakers a few years ago moved out of London to Brighton. Adam explains, “After settling down to a new life I began to get itchy about making some of the things that never got made over the years, for one reason or another. I found a new workspace and began to make some prototype pieces without any client involvement for the first time ever!”
“Our event production was called Fantastic. We worked with alcohol brands and had a stand-alone event bar hire company. We also designed and made bars for private homes, so I was very familiar with what was available to customers looking for a home bar solution, and appalled at the lack of inspiration and good design out there!”
The Barhaus Cocktail concept was born out of a desire to create feature bar pieces for modern living that appeal to people’s sense of adventure and reflect their personalities. “We want to rekindle the excitement and occasion of making drinks at home or on the fly,” says Adam “by designing bars that are as much fun to use as they are to look at. We wanted to go beyond the drinks trolly and the big wooden booze cupboard, and create talking pieces that look great all the time and come to life when you use them. After all, we only live once, so lets make the most of every moment!”
All Barhaus pieces are bespoke so that no two are ever exactly the same. One of the joys of owning one of the bars is to make it as much about you as possible. That covers unique choices in finishing, so that pieces can be easily incorporated into the colour scheme of a space, or the unique lighting programming on the Mirrorball Icon bar.
One of the most popular designs is the Mixbox – a mobile drinks service inside a retro DJ record box, decorated on the outside with stickers that reflect your favourite clubs, festivals, gigs, labels and fashion. The inside is completely equipped to make drinks and cocktails anywhere, with a drop down serving tray to do the mixing on!
This summer Barhaus also paired up with printmaker and fashion brand, Sophie Darling, as well as premium alcohol brands. This allowed them to offer more accessible models whilst also creating bespoke commission pieces for celebrities, personalities and enthusiasts.
The stand out piece of the Barhaus collection, however, is without the doubt the Mirrorball Icon. This is an utterly glamous version of the classic, world globe bar, but is basically a mini nightclub and bar inside a beautiful mirrorball!
Built around a central stainless steel well the Mirrorball holds up to eight bottles and a full set of glassware. It’s also a Champagne Fizz bar, with a deep ice well in the centre which will keep up to 5 bottles of bubbly chilled while you party the night away. With under-lit shelving for glassware and a mini dance floor at the front for pouring drinks on, the Mirrorball icon also features a custom disco light show! There are 11 lighting moods that span the decades from 1979 to 2019 (“2020 is banned!” declares Adam) The moods are sound-to-light activated if you’re in a dancing mood, and are controlled by a big, old-school, rotary knob. There is also a twin colour laser projection in the dome roof to make this a perfect mini nightclub inside a mirrorball. It comes mounted on an Eero Saarinen tulip base (available finished in custom colours to suit your home), and plugs in with a Fender Guitar lead (naturally!). With this iridescent extravagance in your house who needs to go out!
If you have spotted a distinct nightlife influence in all of the Barhaus designs that might have something to do with Adam’s time as a DJ in Marbella. In the 1980s he was regularly behind the decks at Joes bar, Disco Lasers, La Comedia and the legendary Zoo club – which produced far too many fun and hazy memories for most of the Marbella clubbing cognoscenti.
No matter how dull the current situation, Adam hopes that Barhaus’ creations can shed a little light. “In these strange times when the party is hard to find,” he explains “and staying in is the new going out, we hope that people will create their own special atmosphere at home with a signature Barhaus piece.”
So dig out your dancing clothes, pick your perfect playlist and mix up a couple of cocktails to put a little sparkle in your soul. As the saying – and a million DiCaprio memes – goes – “A little party never hurt anyone!”
Visit the Barhaus website to see their full range of bars: https://barhaus.co.uk/