While the arrangement of liquor on a shelf may seem like a rudimentary topic at first, the combination of function and display lead to some possibly unpredicted factors that a party host should consider for a practical and attractive display of alcohol. Consider the types and styles of alcohol represented, as well as the overall impression you wish to create with your design. The basic principles of liquor display work for both a small shelf in a studio apartment or the wide display behind a bar.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Bottle toppers
- Shelf lighting
- Wooden or glass blocks
Install adequate and attractive lighting for the shelf, including recessed shelf lighting, if possible. This will heighten the appeal of the bottles. Use glass shelves to magnify the reflective effects of light bouncing off the bottles. Install all shelf lighting with its own switch so the effect can be muted when the situation requires.
Group the bottles by the type of liquor. Arrange the same basic types, then create smaller subdivisions of each type for the flavours or varieties. Place taller, larger bottles in the back of each section.
Accent the importance of specific bottles of extra value or significance by placing them in the back row on top of a glass or wooden block to give them prominence. Attach these blocks to the shelf with glue (or tape at the very least) to ensure that the bottles do not topple over when you reach for others. For particularly important bottles, arrange individual lights as mini spotlights.
Tips and warnings
- Glass shelving allows lighting to shine through the bottom of the shelves, creating an underlight effect on the bottles. Most recessed shelf lighting can be installed upside down to accomplish this.
- Install bottle pour spouts in all frequently used bottles, preferably ones with reusable and attached lids.
- Never place liquor shelves within reach of children when installing in a residential setting. If shelves are placed behind a home bar, install a lock if possible to prevent accidents.
- Carefully adhere to weight limits of factory shelving, and err on the side of caution when using homemade shelving, as liquor weight can add up quickly and increase dramatically if bottles are slammed down after use.
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