When your brand is called “Apartment Bartender,” you really need a home that lives up to the name.
Elliott Clark, the home mixologist and photographer behind @apartment_bartender, knew that the cocktail content he creates in his apartment could be even better with a brand new home-base. “When I started Apartment Bartender four years ago, I got really into home bartending and equally as into creating content,” he says. “The problem was I’ve always lived in spaces that didn’t allow me to create the way that I wanted to.”
Elliott Clark, Apartment Bartender
That’s why he turned to the West Elm Design Crew and worked closely with Katy Bryant, lead home stylist at West Elm Denver, to outfit his new home in Denver, Colorado. The goal was to have a great apartment that would allow him to create content full-circle — from dreaming up cocktail recipes in the kitchen, to perfecting them in the bar area, to shooting the drinks at home with dark wood tones and natural light, to finally settling into his workspace to edit photos, post them, engage with followers and plan his next moves. “I wanted to make sure that when it was time to take photos or whip up a cocktail, there were space to do that, which meant storage and a backdrop ready room,” Katy says.
But of course he doesn’t just work there – he lives there, too! – so it had to be a great spot to hang out with friends for good food, good drinks and good conversation. It also had to be functional, with plenty of stylish storage solutions for his massive booze collection.
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“We needed to create a space that was both workable and livable, which meant lots of places to create content, storage for tons of liquor bottles and places for people to gather when they’re having a good drink,” Katy says. “Apartment Bartender’s feed is dark and moody but full of life, and I wanted his apartment to be a reflection of that.”
Katy Bryant, West Elm Denver Design Crew
The result is everything he’d hoped it would be. “It’s been a dream come true,” he says. “I’ve been able to create and do things in here to add more value to my brand in a way that I’ve really never been able to before.”
Tour the full space below!
Photography by Landon Vonderschmidt
Friends tend to congregate at Elliott’s place after the downtown bars close, so having a living room with plenty of seating was key. Elliott wanted the room to be centered around conversation, not the TV, so two Brooklyn Leather Sofas facing each other and two Crescent Swivel Chairs make a perfect setup for group hangs.
Lots of velvet adds warmth and texture to the space. “We wanted it to be a reflection of his online brand, so think lots of jewel tones, textures, moodiness – but all still full of life,” Katy says. Tall floor-to-ceiling windows are great for shooting, and Sheer Belgian Flax Linen Curtains soften the rays without blocking out all the natural light.
At any given time, Elliott keeps 300+ liquor bottles at his place, and the visual clutter was becoming an issue. “Prior to this, I didn’t have any place to store all of the alcohol that I had. I used to think of the liquor bottles as my statement pieces, but having closed storage and shelving helped me get more organized and feel less cluttered.” That’s where the Pictograph Buffet comes in, which is one of his favorite pieces in the apartment.
“It’s an awesome surface for me to take pictures of cocktails on, it divides up the dining room from the living room, and most importantly for me is the storage,” he says. “This really allows me to store everything and put it away so that when I come home, I can actually be home and get away. I can turn off Apartment Bartender and just be myself.”
This is the first time Elliott has had a dining table in a space of his own — he’s graduated from coffee-table-eating and loves hosting his family and friends for meals. Of course, work was also part of the equation. “From the standpoint of when guests come over, I wanted to have something very welcoming, but from a content production standpoint, the majority of my photos are taken right here, so having something that matched my visual aesthetic was very important,” Elliott says. The Anderson Solid Wood Dining Table in Carob fit the bill, and he often stands on the matching Dining Bench to get that overhead shot. Just off the dining room is the built-in desk paired with the Slope Leather Chair and his all-important camera equipment is displayed overhead.
The kitchen is obviously an important spot on this tour, and it’s the part that you probably don’t see if you follow him on Instagram. “This is where I brain-dump all of my cocktail recipes and do all of my recipe development,” Elliott says. “All of the pictures I take and the content that I create starts here, but it’s the messy part that I don’t always show.” Whether he’s developing new recipes or just chilling with friends, Elliott can be mixing drinks behind the counter while others hang out and relax on the Alden Counter Stools. Petrol-blue legs give them an extra pop of fun.
What would this place be without a bar cart? The Mid-Century Bar Cart in Dark Mineral ties in with the Anderson Dining Table, the dark-wood Streamline Console next to the office and the Pictograph Buffet, creating another functional storage space for his liquor collection. “I asked Elliott for input on what barware and functional pieces would work best for him and made sure to incorporate those items,” Katy says. “As important as it was to have a beautiful space, it is also a working one so we had to ensure that we had long term functionality.” To bring in a personal element, Katy displayed the the tiki collection above the bar, which spark memories from Elliott’s favorite trips and professional projects.
“As much as I love being on the road and traveling with Apartment Bartender, there’s really nothing like coming back to a space where you feel inspired and where you feel like you can truly be yourself, and I have that with this new apartment,” Elliott says.
Photography by Landon Vonderschmidt