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August 13, 2013

The Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement: Guide To Building A Beverage Center

By Sara In AZ

I came across some decorating  books at the thrift the other day called The Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement. They were published in 1970/1971 as far as I can tell. There were probably as many as 20 of these decorating books for sale that day, but I knew there was no way I had to space to store all of them….so I tried to pick out a couple that looked interesting. I decided to go for the big guns like kitchen and bathroom decorating…that sort of thing! Soooooo, you can expect more posts peppered here and there in the future about the *perfect* way to decorate your early 1970s home. Today, though, we kick off this series with how to build a “Beverage Center”.


We could just call it a “Bar”, but why don’t we go all out fancy and just call it an “All Purpose Entertainment Unit” from now on?!? Ummmmmm, well maybe not….. since that will be MUCH harder to type  than just “Bar”! Or we could go with “APEU”…..I don’t know, we’ll just see how it goes I guess! hee!


As you can see in the above picture there are the plans to make the ‘APEU’ in the picture below. I rather like this bar set-up, it looks super easy to make and I can just picture this in numerous basements right now!


Wow, here they have taken the bar to the next level and installed a mini fridge in an armoire – fancy!


I super love the look of both of the bars below, very clean and modern looking. Seriously, I think they could fit into any home today.


This bar area looks like a good fit if you have a small space to work with.



Squeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!! AWESOME!!! All that wood……..those amazeballs barstools……..I think the little “Julian Loves Inez” plaque at the top is my fave.  Totally, totally want this APEU….if only I had a basement…..maybe I should start digging now???


Or, you may want to think about a bar that could be contained in a room divider…not a bad idea at all.


I think this APEU is my second favorite bar set-up (after the ‘Julian Loves Inez’ bar). This one is so cool in that you can completely close it off when not is use, much like having a bar in the room divider…except here you have way more space. I wish all of the pictures in this book were in color – you just know those cabinets are painted all sorts of awesome colors! And that Tulip table……*swoon*!


Anybody off to build an APEU now??????? If so, please invite me over for a martini when you are done!

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7 Responses to The Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement: Guide To Building A Beverage Center

  1. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    August 13, 2013 at 7:37 am


    “Bless you.” : )

    I’d love to have ANY of those in my house. That last one especially. I remember seeing this set of books at an estate sale once and the price was something way too crazy. Regretting not going back that third day to score the deal.

  2. Sara In AZ Reply

    August 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Hee! 🙂

    Let me know when you build that bar – it is awesome…and I’m coming over for some XXX!

    I really would have gotten more of the books…they were really fun to look at…..but they were like $2 each and then there is the little problem of storage around here. eeps!

  3. Joyce Wagner Reply

    August 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Great bars! When I lived in NC growing up, my dad built a bar in our den. It was pretty cool looking too – and he did it without plans. I’ll have to see if I can find a picture of it.

    My husband and I just bought a bar and are working on that area in the basement. The set up will be similar to the first one you showed, except there will be a cabinet instead of a shelf, that will have a small sink on top and a small fridge inside. And I also want to find some shelves to put behind for glasses, etc. I’m trying to go with a tiki theme but not overdo it. Hopefully the pics of the bar and light that will go on the bar will work. (the items in the background and on the bar aren’t ours-I took the picture in the store where we bought it)



    • Sara In AZ Reply

      August 13, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      Oh my gosh……the bar you just bought is SO cool Joyce…what a score! You MUST send in pics of it when you have the whole thing set up, I would LOVE to see it! And yes – if you find pics of the bar your Dad built please send in pics of that too!!!

  4. Andrea Reply

    August 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I have one of these books as well, Sara! Mine does not have these gorgeous bars in it, though. Would love to have any of these in my house!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      August 14, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Oh how cool that you have one of these books too Andrea…they are so fun to look through! I know, I’d be happy with any of the bars as well!!!

  5. Terry Zrust Reply

    July 20, 2016 at 11:33 am

    We have a full set of 18 volumes of the 1971 edition of these books for sale. $70 with free shipping to lower 48 states in the USA. Books do not have the paper covers, but are in mint condition.

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