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8 Decor Ideas You Should Steal from a Dive Bar

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Jessica
02.16.15

Coasters aren’t the only things you can steal from a dive bar!

Why are dive bars so great? (Besides $3 gin and tonics). There’s no pretension. You can come as you are, there’s never a wait for drinks and everybody knows your name. (The list goes on.)

Where else does everybody know your name? Your house! See where we’re going with this? Like a dive bar, you can let loose, be comfortable and relax at home. So why not bring a few tried-and-true decor ideas from the dive down the street into your living room. Here are eight of our favorites:

1. Big Beer Signs

In a dive bar they may say “Budweiser!” and we get that those may not mesh with your decor, but there are some more tasteful signs out there. Here are two that might work for your space.

Beers of the World Metal Sign

Primitives By Kathy Box Sign

2. Mood Lighting

There are two great reasons dive bars keep their lights dim: Everyone looks sexier, and you don’t see the grime. It doesn’t take a fancy mixology diploma to get why you’d want that magic in your house, too. Installing a dimmer switch in your house is easier than you may think! Here’s our step-by-step.

3. The Correct Glass for Every Drink

When you order a scotch at a dive bar, do they serve it in a water glass? No-sir-ee. They serve it in a bonafide scotch glass. Take a cue, and invest in the right barware for your favorite cocktails. (Once you’ve bought it, here’s how to care for it.)

4. Avant Garde Art

You say graffiti, we say conversation starter. Look, art can be expensive. Why not bypass the pricey pieces and buy something less highbrow? You’ll cover plenty of wall and add personality to your space.

If you need some inspiration, Society6 has a vast, beautiful collection of good, moderately-priced prints.

5. Neon

It’s not a bar without neon. The glow of bright lights has recently become a trend and neon marquee lights are everywhere, from Pinterest to decor magazines. Jump on board with these awesome pieces. Here are a few we like:

Awesome Neon Sign, Ready-made

Soft Neon Sign "Love"

 

6. His and Hers

When you stumble into the bathroom after a few cheap beers, you know where to go from the his and hers (or hers and hers, or his and his) door signs. Steal that swag! Designate doors, drinks and even coat hooks as “Yours” and “Mine.”

7. Board Games

At every good dive bar worth its weight in cheap shots, you’ll find a stack of classic board games to keep you entertained. Not only are board games fun, they take up time, meaning you’ll never be stuck in an awkward conversation again. Instead, may we suggest challenging your guest to a game of Guess Who? or Connect Four? Jenga?

8. Old-School Jams

Picture your favorite dive bar. Is there a jukebox in the corner? Yeah, we thought so. Recreate this music relic by playing songs from another era while you’re enjoying your board games and scotch.

To get you started, here’s a Dive Bar Essentials playlist from Spotify.

Have fun!

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