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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

Creating Our Own "Barefoot Bar" for Pool Necessities and Drinks

Tucked behind the doorway of our four season room is a little area where we've hidden kids toys since we moved in. After the pool was built, we started storing pool towels here but it wasn't until our basement flooded and we finished the living room off where I started to realize just what this little corner could become: a "barefoot bar" stocked with only the most essential things for pool days to keep wet dripping traffic over our kitchen hardwoods to a minimum.

For those of you who have never visited the real Parks Marina Barefoot Bar in Okoboji, IA, it's a lakeside marina bar where shirts and shoes are definitely not required. It's one of Hank's favorite spots when hanging with grandma and grandpa up at the lake. A virgin Pina Colada in a funny plastic souvenir glass - what more does a kid need? But I digress...

barefoot bar in Okoboji iowa

Hidden Storage Area

The shelf we had tucked back behind the door was moved into the living room when we got our new furniture to store baskets of toys. After the shelf was out, I thought this nook might be the perfect place to pull the mini fridge up and out of the basement since nothing down there is being used right now while it's still in shambles after the flood.

storage shelf behind door

We loved having the mini fridge here but mini it was... so I started to think about getting a larger fridge and freezer to make this area the one-stop-shop for pool related necessities that can be a quick grab without requiring people to walk over our hardwood floors while dripping wet. You know; real necessities like cold beverages and popsicles.

mini fridge and small shelf behind door

A Sort-of Damaged Fridge

Zach was the one that picked out our basement mini fridge originally and I liked the retro vibe. So when looking for a fridge for a room that we spend a lot of time in, I thought it'd be nice for it to look cute or unique compared to just adding any old fridge. After a long hunt, I hit up some Memorial Day sales and found a smaller fridge with a cute retro vibe on Amazon. The reviews were generally really good but many people talked about damage during delivery. I decided to risk it and hope to be a lucky one that it arrived looking great but... nope. The box had clearly taken some beating in storage and transit. We could see the fridge through the packaging.

damaged packaging on fridge

And once we got the packaging all off, we confirmed that unfortnately the bottom side of the fridge was pretty banged up. Too bad since it was on the side that faced into the room. I called Amazon to discuss our options and we agreed on a partial refund if we kept it vs. trying to figure out how to ship it back. We let the fridge sit upright for 24 hours before plugging it in in hopes that would help everything settle from delivery.

banged up fridge

We were so glad the fridge worked! Just thinking about shipping that thing back and putting this mess back together gave me nightmares.

refridgerator packaging mess in the kitchen

Stocking Our Barefoot Bar

With the fridge up and running, I started looking for a narrow shelf that would fit in the space next to the fridge behind the door. Most standard shelves were just too wide to be able to get the door fully opened so I was glad to stumble on this narrow ladder shelf at our local At Home store. It folds down like a ladder for easy moving and has shelves that are wider at the bottom and thinner at the top.

black retro fridge and storage shelf

Fully stocked, our shelves hold everything from snacks and stacks of signature Barefoot Bar plastic cups, to sunscreen, pool water testers, first aid kits and towels.

stocked shelf with cups, snacks, sunscreen and towels

Our fridge is stocked with all the liquids. And the freezer has the most important items: popsicles. Plus a stash of burgers and dogs just in case. With a vinyl liner pool, one of our new rules is no glass out back to try to ensure we can control accidents that could possibly cut the liner.

inside of fridge stocked with cans

The Barefoot Bar

Tucked behind the door you almost would never know it's there. We've got our very own barefoot bar stocked with all the necessities!

And, to finish it off, we found the cutest little wooden popsicles from an artist who was showing at the Des Moines Arts Festival. Ed Pribyl makes some awesome carved wooden sculptures and if money was no object I would have bought the coolest retro looking motel sign he made called the Swan Dive Inn. Abbey really wanted the red, white and blue bomb pop so she forced me out of my comfort zone and plan to buy cute matching muted colors, so we went all in on colors and stripes.

Wooden popsicle art

With a couple tape mounting squares I hung them above our barefoot bar where they can serve as a beacon to the snacks.

Barefoot bar with wooden popsicle art

NOW we're ready for summer hosting!

Barefoot bar with wooden popsicle art

Need a barefoot bar of your own? Here's what we got:

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through one of the product links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!


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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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