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lifestyle


Shaken not stirred “Home bars are enjoying a huge revival and can be positioned discreetly in the corner of a living room or act as a focal point in a party area,” says interior designer Joanna Wood. “Clients can enjoy using them as an intimate space for evening drinks or cocktails or as a convenient serving and preparation area during the day for non- alcoholic drinks such as smoothies.”


The demise of the dining room is allowing people to use that space for entertaining, says John Stephens, managing director of Rencraft, specialists in bespoke kitchens and furniture. “We are certainly noticing an increase in demand for home entertainment zones from sociable bar areas through to home cinema rooms,” he says. “People now prefer larger open-plan kitchens, with an area at one end for socialising. It particularly suits those with children who don’t want the bother and expense of finding babysitters and so can easily party at home.”


A bespoke home bar crafted in oak, hand-painted and lit starts from around £5,000 from Rencraft and a curved bar in walnut with nickel detailing, and sides in metallic plum-coloured vinyl, starts from around £4,000. Both available from Joanna Trading on request. More modest budgets could look at a Mayfair Drinks Cabinet crafted from American ash wood, £599, or a Conran Cayley Drinks Trolley at £399, with wooden wheels. Both from Marks & Spencer. Alternatively, John Lewis’s range includes an Ellis Drinks Cabinet, £299, with a walnut finish only available online and a gilded Biggins Drinks Trolley, £599.


Pampering and Relaxation Spa pools and spa baths are enjoying a resurgence and are now often seen as part of an evenings entertainment with friends. The phrase ‘bring your swimming trunks/bikini’ no longer seems so strange when being invited to a dinner party. Apart from the additional ‘party with a difference’ feature that spas offer, they also offer a welcome retreat to those working increasingly long hours and can be a place of escape for an hour or so, to help massage tired muscles and refresh the senses. There are many different models on the market ranging from a relatively cheap self-build available from a local DIY superstore to more sophisticated and quality affairs offered by specialist retailers such as SBS Spas based in Poole, Dorset.


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Life Begins 33


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