Where Everybody Knows Your Name: Cultivating a Stylish Dive Bar Style at Home

Where Everybody Knows Your Name: Cultivating a Stylish Dive Bar Style at Home

Taryn Williford
Dec 4, 2015

I'll take a dingy dive bar over a swanky nightclub any day of the week. It's cozy, charming and totally unassuming. There's no pressure to be perfect with a dive bar, you just need to be yourself and be ready to have a good time. The dive bar atmosphere is all about fun, fun, fun. If you want to capture that laid-back style at home, borrow something from these homes that channel the dive bar vibe.

Above: The drawers in this Seattle houseboat's kitchen, from Graham Baba Architects, are covered with pieces from rusty, vintage neon bar signs.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

There's nothing more fun than bar games. Try a pool table, arcade machine or a skeeball game, like in Joey's Skeeball Bachelor Pad.

Get a beachy bar look with a resin-coated bar top filled with bottlecaps or anything else. This one is from a backyard in Tampa featured on Houzz.

The walls in bars are always covered with random stuff. You can channel that look by covering a small part of a room with found objects or stickers, like in this boys room in Boston from Williams Design Studio.

One of my favorite joints has a chalkboard bathroom that's always covered in scribbles from bar patrons, and I love the idea of recreating the magic with chalkboard paint at home, like in this bathroom from Casa de Valentina.

Neon signs are de rigueur in bars. This girly sign was spotted in Charlotte and Tom's Charming 1904 Family Home in London.

Romantic, scripty neon signs have been popular in homes for a while now, but I still love beer signs the best. This apartment designed by the team at Kährs doesn't quite have the dive bar vibe, but it does show you can pair cheeky bar elements with any style.

Even a wall covered in road signs can look sophisticated with the right application. In this home from photographer Calista Chandler, all the signs are black and white, lending uniformity to the sometimes wild style.

There's a similar look in this kitchen from Five Dot Design Build, with a backsplash made from pieces of green street signs.

And yes, the classic license plate wall–seen here in a bathroom from Peace Design–can still look great when you commit to the look.

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