What is a Murphy Bar?

A rustic wooden Murphy Bar mounted on an exterior brick wall, displaying assorted beverages, glassware, and a wooden ice bucket.

A Murphy Bar is a wood box/cabinet attached to an interior or exterior wall with a front panel that folds open to form a shelf or small countertop, typically used to serve alcohol-based beverages.

Wall-Mounted Murphy Bar

Highly functional and stylish, the Fold-down bar or Murphy Bar can be an excellent addition to any living room, game room, deck, patio, and small space living looking to add adult beverage entertainment.

Along with keeping your favorite spirits tucked up and out of the away, you can also safeguard your favorite rocks and wine glasses there as well. Murphy Bars are available pre-made, or you can DIY. 

The typical cost of material to build your bar should be around $100* depending on the material chosen and should you decide that “I can do this.”

The Murphy Bar can be a perfect solution and a great way to add a small bar to a small space.

Unexpected House Party? Flip down the Murphy Bar, grab the ice, and you’re set!

*As with everything, there are variables such as the cost of lumber, different sizes of cabinets using more material, hardware; it’s always safe to plan for extra costs.

Indoor Murphy Bar

Rustic indoor Murphy Bar




The addition of a Murphy Bar cabinet can bring a room/area to life and make use of space not customarily utilized, changing the dynamics of a room when opened up, the host then grabs the ice bucket and impresses the houseguests with their Bartending skills at cocktail hour; it’s a perfect idea for in or outdoor small-space living arrangements.

Choice of Wood

The first step of the project. When building an indoor bar, you have greater flexibility when it comes to your choice of wood as it won’t be getting exposed to the weather allowing for greater adaption into the already present room color scheme.


A beautiful oak cabinet would look great in some settings with a white rug and creme-colored furniture, whereas a  Mahogany or Black Walnut cabinet is just the ticket for the billiard room.

There’s always the “rustic bar” look to consider as well, where the old barn boards look great, or the popular pallet wood bar seems to be a good idea.

Outdoor Murphy Bar

Real estate is expensive, and space can be at a premium in your outdoor area; an outdoor fold-down bar can solve the problem of wanting an outdoor bar but not wanting to give up space.


A Murphy Bar is a perfect solution for small spaces on the patio, or anywhere else you have a small outdoor space you can make use of; even in winter with the help of a fire pit or outdoor patio heater to keep you and your guests warm, an outdoor Murphy Bar is a great addition to your outdoor space.


Murphy Bars that will be left exposed to the elements and unpainted are best made out of All-Heart Redwood or Cedar as they are naturally rot-resistant wood.

Some choose to paint their outdoor bar matching the trim of the house or the outdoor furniture to tie it all together in their entertaining area.

When mounted on french cleats, you can remove your Murphy Bar with ease when you paint the house or decide to take your bar in for the winter out of the elements. 

How do you build a Murphy Bar?

I wouldn’t know how to construct a Murphy Bar; that is where the skilled craftsmen professionals come in. 

There are free plans for the handy person with the tools and time listed below.

So if you know your right angles, wood screws from sheet-metal screws, know how to cut accurate measurements, building a liquor cabinet could turn out to be one of your favorite projects of all time.

Conclusion: Whichever way you decide to go as far as buying or DIY and building your Murphy Bar, using the finest materials or pallet boards for a more “rustic project,” it is sure to enhance your entertainment and enjoyment.





Indoor Murphy Bar photo Courtesy of Ana White





Hi and welcome! When I'm not writing, I can be found in the kitchen as I love to cook; when I'm not writing or cooking, I might be exercising my green thumb; and when I'm not doing any of those things... I might be on a day trip to the mountains or collecting agates on the beach, and sometimes I can be found just reading a book. Have a great day!

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