From a cappuccino maker to a wine fridge, the built-in beverage station is one of 2022’s biggest kitchen remodel trends. For over a decade, luxury home buyers have pointed to built-in wine refrigerators and coffee makers as “must-haves” in their dream kitchen. In a Q&A article for The New York Times, Tim McKeough notes that “a wine refrigerator could be a relatively inexpensive selling feature." Quoting Warburg Realty’s Amanda Brainerd, McKeough elaborates. He writes that a wine fridge might cost you “‘$1,000 or $1,500…but you’ll certainly get that money out of it.’” Throughout her career, Brainerd has “‘sold many listings with wine fridges, and it’s always a little perk.’” Built-in coffee makers are also in-demand. Laila Kearney supports this in her article “The Allure of Built-In Coffee Makers” for The Wall Street Journal. According to Kearney, “appliances and presses are disappearing from countertops in luxury homes.” In high-end kitchens, “integrated brew systems are becoming both more common and increasingly automated.” High ROI is certainly attractive for homeowners planning to sell in the near future. However, the best part of a beverage station is how much easier it makes getting up in the morning or entertaining at night. Whether your favorite drink is coffee or a cocktail, learn how to create a custom built-in beverage station in your kitchen or butler’s pantry.
7 Creative Ways to Add a Custom Built-In Beverage Station to Your Kitchen or Butler's Pantry
#1 Add a Pot Filler or Tiny Sink to Save Counter Space
Most butler’s pantries are either in the walk-in pantry or in the hallway that connects the dining room and kitchen. When butler’s pantries are in a hallway, they usually have relatively skinny countertops. These countertops are more comparable to a console table than a kitchen counter. If you plan to add a custom built-in beverage station to a hallway butler’s pantry, consider mounting a faucet to the wall. In doing so, you can free up valuable counter space.
One way to do this is to simply install a pot filler. Though typically found above stoves and used to – you guessed it – fill pots, pot fillers can also be used for making cocktails. Add a sink basin below if needed. While most standard sinks measure between 19 and 24 inches wide, you can always have a custom basin made to fit smaller countertops.
#2 Put Your Coffee Bar in the Pantry for Those Quiet Morning Moments
Consider asking your remodeler to place a cappuccino maker or espresso machine in the kitchen’s walk-in pantry. In doing so, you can keep appliances and accoutrements neat and hidden from view. Shivani Vora explains the benefits of a built-in coffee station in her article “How to Create a Cute Coffee Bar Moment” for Architectural Digest. Quoting Erica Burns, Vora notes you can install your machine above the counter, behind cabinet doors or “in a walk-in pantry.”
While the former two certainly work well for some, Burns prefers setting up your coffee station in the pantry. She notes that “‘a pantry is a great space...because it’s out of the way from the everyday traffic of the kitchen.’” Even if you build your coffee maker into the kitchen cabinets, you still need to find space for coffee cups, stirrers and sugar jars. Installing your espresso machine in the pantry means all these items can be stored properly without cluttering countertops and other workspaces in your kitchen.
Here’s a tip almost as hot as your morning cup of Joe! Consider a built-in espresso machine or coffee maker from Miele or Wolf. We particularly love Wolf’s Built-In Coffee System, which includes a cup warming drawer, so you can keep your mug heated to the perfect temperature! According to the company’s website, “the newly refined Wolf Built-In Coffee System offers more opportunity to craft and customize 15 professional-quality coffee drinks.”
Miele’s CVA 6405 built-in coffee maker is another favorite. Its OneTouch for Two technology allows users to brew two cappuccinos, espressos or cups of coffee at once. Consult with a design-build firm like VanderBeken Remodel to create the perfect setup for your new coffee bar!
#3 Install a Wine Fridge Under Glass Front Cabinets
One of our favorite ways to style a wine fridge is to install it beneath glass front cabinets. This setup creates a stunning, streamlined space for mixing and pouring drinks – even in a small kitchen. Layers of glass create a beautiful effect whenever even the slightest ray of sunshine trickles in! Store whiskey, old-fashioned and other stemless glasses in the cabinet and mount a rack under the upper cabinets to store stemmed glassware.
According to Lauren Piro of Good Housekeeping, hanging glasses upside down is a great way to protect your collection. Some store stemmed wine glasses upside-down on shelves. However, this places a lot of pressure on the rim, which is the most delicate part of the glass. Quoting Carolyn Forte, Piro explains. Forte notes that “‘it’s best to store delicate crystal with the rim up’” or hanging upside-down from the base of the glass. Keep in mind when hanging stemware upside-down that there is an “increased risk (however slight) for breakage if they fall.”
#4 Build Your Custom Beverage Station Near Entertainment Areas
The best spot for a wine fridge, beer cooler or cocktail station is near the dining room, great room or outdoor living area. Quoting Montauk-based kitchen and bath designer Linda Burkhardt in an article for The New York Times, Tim McKeough explains. According to Burkhardt, homeowners should try to “‘create a transitional entertainment space between the kitchen and rest of the home.'" They can do so "'with an island or drinks nook where the wine can be stored.’” Setting up your beverage station this way means “‘everyone can congregate around the bar area, but not get in way of preparing meals.’”
#5 Add a Beverage Cooler to Your Kitchen Island if You Like Company While You Cook
In our recent post, we noted that “kitchen islands with built-in wine fridges are perfect for the host who enjoys entertaining guests while cooking.” Plus, keeping your beer or wine in a separate fridge ensures each bottle is stored at the proper temperature and humidity. It also means food smells cannot spoil the taste of an opened bottle of wine.
#6 Consider an All-In-One Machine for Ultimate Convenience
For ultimate convenience, consider installing an all-in-one machine like the Built-In Cocktail Pro by Lynx. This cocktail station includes a bottle opener, cap catcher and stainless steel sink with a pull-down faucet. It also features an insulated ice bin, bottle boots and a towel holder – all built-in. This piece is also available in a freestanding option, if you prefer a beverage station that can roll from one room to the next.
#7 Install an Under Counter Upright Freezer Below Your Liquor Cabinet
Lastly, you might choose to install an under counter upright freezer below your liquor cabinet. Just be sure to include an ice-maker as well. This way, you can both store whiskey stones and churn out ice for margaritas – whichever you prefer. Everyone’s needs are met by a single appliance!
Working with VanderBeken Remodel on Your Custom Built-In Beverage Station
At VanderBeken Remodel, we specialize in kitchen remodels that match each client’s lifestyle and aesthetic. Whether you love a morning espresso or nightly glass of wine, our team can help you create the perfect custom built-in beverage station. Give us a call to learn more about our approach!