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Home design ideas: Clean lines combine with a classic New England color palette in this home bar

A tambour-wrapped bar is the centerpiece of this crisp design.

A home bar in Lexington.Photograph by Keller and Keller/Joseph Keller

Christine Tuttle and her clients were discussing finishing the basement in their Lexington home when the pandemic hit. “They mentioned getting a foosball table, and suddenly the husband said, ‘Let’s put a wet bar in the corner,’” Tuttle recalls. To accommodate the couple’s desire for four stools on the front and two on the end without impeding the flow from the stairs to the seating area beyond the bar, the designer suggested an on-trend curved silhouette. The couple hangs out at the bar after dinner with a different, fun cocktail each week. “It’s like a night out on the town,” she says.

1. The clients’ own white-bronze Ironware International stools—with stain-resistant upholstered seats—worked well with Tuttle’s design.


2. Tuttle wrapped the bar in wood tambour paneling painted Farrow & Ball Hague Blue. “Tambour has Nordic and Japanese influences,” she says, “but the classic navy color makes the design feel very New England.”

3. Local artist Seth B. Minkin gave the couple the triptych as a wedding gift. “When we unpacked the box from the move and held them up, it was a perfect match,” Tuttle says.

4. The burnished silver leaf metal pendants by Aerin for Visual Comfort provide gentle downlight, tie to the stools, and don’t stand out. “I didn’t want the lights to take attention away from the backsplash,” Tuttle says.

5. The Phillip Jeffries variegated-wood mosaic wallcovering is made from die-cut pieces of wood veneer that are arranged in a geometric cubist pattern and stained blue.

6. Flexible tambour sheets wrap snuggly around the posts at the end of the bar that would have been too costly to relocate. “Boxing them in with traditional trim would have been bulky and didn’t fit stylistically with the curved design,” Tuttle says. “It’s what prompted me to first think of using tambour.”


Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.