Draft your floor plan first. Before you begin physically constructing the bar itself, know how much space you have to work with and where everything in your bar will be situated. Having a floor plan helps ensure that you don't forget anything when you go shopping for supplies and that the layout of your bar will be just the way you want it.
Plan for plenty of seating space. Nothing is worse that planning a party or gathering only to discover that there is not enough room for everyone you have invited to sit comfortably. Estimate the number of bar stools the length of your bar will accommodate, and if that number is too small, plan to incorporate some other tables and chairs or stools elsewhere in the room.
Use unique materials. Rather than build a simple bar out of plywood, get creative with the materials you use to build your bar. Convert antique cabinets into dry bars to hold mixers, barware and glassware, and a low, long bookshelf can be the perfect bar once anchored to the wall. Visit flea markets and antique stores to find items and furniture that will make your bar truly unique.
Make room for storage. In addition to storing liquor and drink mixers, you need room for glassware, bar towels and utensils, and cleanup supplies. Have plenty of shelving and storage space for these items so that your bar will remain uncluttered and any guests that may have enjoyed themselves a bit too much do not break anything.
Stock it with plenty of glassware. Any bartender will tell you that there are basic pieces of glassware that are essential to a good bar. Make sure that you have stemware for red and white wines, highball glasses, shot glasses and martini glasses in your bar. Many home goods stores sell this kind of glassware in inexpensive sets or scour thrift and vintage shops to find funky barware from decades past to give your bar some style.