Designer boozing

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Supermodel Eva Herzigova and YBA Gavin Turk make home bars a stylish affair. Annie Deakin talks to Patrick Cox about throwing a cocktail party in style

Art, fashion and furniture merged last week at a charity auction of celebrity home bars. Forget discreet drinks cabinets, the renowned designers let their imagination run wild. God forbid the credit crunch ruin our revelry.

Search for the perfect furniture with The Independent house and home database, powered by mydeco.

Celebrated host David Furnish, partner of Sir Elton John, is the brains behind the cocktail bar extravaganza. Four months ago, Patrick Cox, Theo Fennell, Giles Deacon, Gavin Turk and Eva Herzigova gathered at a Buckinghamshire stately home to each design a bar. Their creations were auctioned off by Edward Rising from Sotheby’s during the Grey Goose Characters and Cocktails gala dinner. Guests, including Lily Allen, Gareth Pugh and David Walliams, sipped Grey Goose vodka mixes while Jefferson Hack took to the DJ booth. The evening raised in excess of £350,000 for the Elton John Aids Foundation at the Grey Goose Characters and Cocktails gala dinner.

I’m partial to throwing a mean drinks party myself; last summer, I invited ten friends to my flat and booked a mixologist who came armed with potent cocktails. It was wild, wonderful and felt fabulously indulgent - the barman built a super slick chrome bar in my sitting room. Since then, my soirées have been somewhat more subdued but friends still raid my drinks cupboard frequently. Instead of classic titles; tempting liquors and whiskies gleam behind the glass panels of my antique writing bureau bookcase. If I was to buy a new drinks cabinet tomorrow, I would be torn between OKA’s Manchu cabinet which features attractive painted Chinese scenes and a frightfully chic white cow-skin bar which sits on crossed stainless steel legs from Graham and Green. Both are available at mydeco.

So how does Furnish plan his raucous yet stunning cocktail parties? “Details, details, details. Beautiful flowers, simple, delicious food and great music. And never underestimate the importance of perfect lighting.”

I caught up with shoe designer Patrick Cox earlier this week: “There is nothing worse than bright lighting - it isn’t flattering and makes the glamorous women want to leave.” For the auction, Cox designed a bar which resembles a DJ booth with coloured lighting. “It’s kind of Vegas, kind of Studio 54. It is chrome with white frosted lights meaning it doesn’t dominate a room when it’s not lit.” But for us hoi polloi, the Gatsby mirrored drinks cabinet from Laura Ashley is decadent on a more realistic level.

Designing furniture is a novel venture for Cox who is more akin to creating shoes for his friends Madonna and Cate Blanchett. “I appreciate the world is going down the toilet at the moment but I really want to get involved in interiors,” says Cox. “I’ve stayed in enough hotels so I really know what works and what doesn’t design-wise.”

The auctioned home bars were all cosmopolitan in their design. Inspired by a recent trip to India, Furnish customised a tuk tuk with burr walnut cocktail bar; it’s fully MOT’d, taxed and UK legal. Fashion designer Giles Deacon restored an old Yorkshire pub bar and covered the surfaces with 253,872 topaz and peach crystals - each applied by hand, taking more than 1,500 hours. Supermodel Eva Herzigova designed a Moroccan-inspired bar installation complete with palm trees and ornamental brass lanterns.

As we all know well, many a romance is born from a cocktail-fuelled evening. Jeweller Theo Fennell played around with the traditional loveseat adding discreet compartments and drawers for the sliding of notes. He rescued antique wall lights from the Savoy Grill refurbishment and re-modelled the bar in black lacquer. Fennell swoons, “It’s a bar where two people fall in love and where the barman plays Cupid. The barman serves the lovers a cocktail and then withdraws to leave the cocktails to do their work and allow the lovers to play with the secrets of the bar.”

Artist Gavin Turk’s paradisiacal "shipwrecked" bar is fabricated out of 800 aluminium cans, sun-bleached beach debris and street rubbish. “This bar is designed to question the idea of value associated with art,” explained Turk. “From far away, it looks beautifully designed but close up, it is clear that it is a washed-up bar made from things that have been thrown away.” His is a lucid message that will resonate well with hosts (like myself) hit by the credit crunch: a home bar needn’t be glam or glitzy.

Stats show that we are drinking more as a result of the financial gloom. As nightclubs charge a premium, home cocktail parties are back in fashion. I’ll drink to that.

Annie Deakin is acting editor of mydeco.com

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

£45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

Marketing Manager

£36000 - £38000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are working wi...

Accounts Assistant, Hammersmith

£25000 per annum: Charter Selection: Exciting sports company with a strong bra...

Financial Accountant-IFRS-Gloucester-£300/day

£250 - £295 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Financial Accountant - IFRS - Glouc...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil