Let’s talk bar carts, shall we? These guys started popping up on Pinterest boards a couple of years ago and my obsession has not ceased. There’s something about a perfect, imperfectly-styled bar cart that adds some sophistication to a room. To me, when you enter a home and see a bar cart, it screams, “Hello! You’re welcome here,” kind of like the adult version of a keg at college parties. But what makes for a one-of-a kind bar cart? What goes into staging one? After much research…okay, Pinteresting like crazy, I’ve come up with a few tips for styling a bar cart that’s perfect for year-round entertaining.
- Get organized
Just like designing a room, style your bar cart in sections: glassware, liquor bottles, condiments, utensils, and bar tools like bottle openers, corkscrews and drink shakers.
2. Well-rounded collection of liquors, bitters, and mixers
When stocking your bar cart, Beth Dotolo of Pulp Design Studios advises, “Much like your home design, your bar should be built for your needs and the beverages you like to drink and serve.” For my roommate and me, this includes the following:
- Gin, vodka, vermouth, whiskey, bourbon, wine
- Pelegrino, soda in old-fashioned bottles, fresh squeezed juice
- Something fresh and organic.
You’ll find a lot of hard objects starting to fill up your bar cart, so it’s nice to mix in some fresh ingredients like lemon slices, cherries, or olives before a gathering. Specially made ice, i.e. ice cubes made with colorful fruit inside or globe-ice balls for my fellow bourbon drinkers out there, are also a great and easy way to spruce up the wow factor.
3. Play dress up – Fancy, vintage crystal decanters and glassware
This is their time to shine! I can’t put my finger on it as to why, but cocktails always taste better in old-school glasses. Stick to a theme, for example, my roommate and I decided to put out our gold-rimmed wine glasses to match the bar cart. Along with your staples, pick out liquors with different shapes and fun packaging for extra appeal.
4. Kitchy, festive napkins, straws, and drink stirrers – they’re fun to use!
This is the area to have fun with the cart. Stick to a color scheme (we chose red and white to match the American flag above) or overall theme, for example all vintage or 60s inspired. These little touches will go a long way in blending adornment with function.
5. Funky artwork, table accessories and bartending books, etc. to add some wit and whimsy.
Another way to make your bar cart stylish? Bring in some of your own personality into the mix, whether that be some funny quote or picture posted above the cart. Infuse your bar cart with the same charm that characterizes your home as a whole.