Monday, April 28, 2014

Styling A Sexy Bar Cart

Happy Monday!

Today I wanted to switch gears and do a little post on styling bar carts.

A little fact about me is that I use bar carts in most every single space I design, and then I kind of leave them there for my client to add on to for their choosing and needs.

Sadly, when I go back to my client's houses I often see these sad little bar carts in exactly the same shape I left them in. Not sexy and styled up as a bar cart should be. This is something that I can actually relate to since I left my sad little bar cart near naked and abandoned since probably Christmas. It is time to change that, and to make all the bar carts, trays and stands out there the sexy little beasts they should be since they are the life of the party after all;)

Bar Cart Basics:

Here are some ideas for items that take your own cart and cart tending abilities up a notch, at least style wise.


I started with an adorable little cart that I just happened to find at Target for only $130!!! I'll be honest it wasn't exactly what I was looking for but it had nice bones and for that price there was no way I wasn't taking this cart home since I had a party that night. But I never did REALLY love her. She was just a bit too rustic for me.

 Bar carts range in price and can get really expensive!! Since my little gem isn't currently available here are some other contenders on the market right now in a varied price ranges.

This is usually the easiest part isn't it? Now let's add some layers to the cart and really take things up a notch...or two.
Here is my cart as she sits all pretty and dressed up just waiting for the next occasion, and now that she's all glammed up I LOVE her and I am so happy that I didn't pass this one up.


Here are the bar cart basics:

I'm all about trays EVERYWHERE, but specifically on the bar cat they are a great way to keep things organized. In my case they also added some much needed shine and polish to my other wise a bit too rustic cart (for my taste).

Bar Tools, Containers And Gadgets:

Get some bar tools and display them proudly. As you can see I placed mine in a pink Keep Calm And Carry On Tea Tin. You can find these bar tools such as jiggers, cocktail stirrers, bottle openers and strainers sold in sets at most places that sell home goods and bar ware. 
Here is a Stainless Steel Bar Tools Set from Williams Sonoma for $89.95.
Get yourself a decorative bowel. I have been putting my wine corks in the little DIY Ikat Bowl that I made a long time ago which I can later use as place settings for dinner parties. Little decorative bowels are a great way to add style to your bar, and are easily converted in to a lemon and lime containers when entertaining.
I am loving these adorable Ikat printed bowls from West Elm for only $8.
Get yourself some napkins. I put these pink napkins out for staging, but I really HATE my napkin holder. I'm on the hunt for a Lucite napkin holder, and I play with napkins. There are too many funny ones out there to not get a laugh out of them.
I am in LOVE with these paper napkins from Z Gallery for only $5.95 that say "After Monday and Tuesday the calendar says W.T.F" How fun would that be on a Friday cocktail hour?!

Get yourself an ice bucket AND a martini shaker. I am on the hunt for a gold ice bucket since I didn't buy "The One" at Christmas time and have now convinced myself that I cannot live without it. An ice bucket or champagne bucket both serve essentially the same purpose where space is limited, but are great for keeping things cold, and keeping ice readily available for guests.
I'm LOVING this gold rimmed and chrome ice bucket sold at Wayfair made by Krafteware.
Get yourself a liquor decanter. I have seen some amazing modern ones out there, but I prefer the vintage crystal that weigh a hundred pounds and mine is the real deal. They are just so classic and are a bit of an ode to the bar carts that my grandparents had.
I'm loving these Glass Bottles With Wood Stoppers from West Elm from $19-$39.
Get yourself some liquor. Truth be told I'm a pretty solid red wine gal, but I keep the basics on hand at all times for when we go out or for impromptu guests. My main friends are The Goose (Grey Goose), Good Ol Jack (Jack Daniel's), Johnnie (as in Johnnie Walker Black label) and my personal bestie Patron Silver (as in it will bite you in the ass but make for a whole lotta fun, Patron on ice). We really only drink The Patron, but we keep the bar stocked with the other friends for guests. I stock more when we have large parties and need a real bar. This is why bar carts are personal, you stock it the way you like. So you're not a drinker? No problem, stock it with bottled sparking water and books. Get creative!

Now for the top of my bar cart, let's take a closer look.

Traditionally for the top of the cart you will see many pretty glasses which I do for company just not for everyday. I don't need glasses sitting there. Instead, here's what I did.

Get yourself some pretty paper straws!

I added pink, silver and gold straws. You can find them at your local craft stores since they are commonly used for cake pops, but I found to have a huge selection of them. The problem for me is that they are so cute I don't want to really use them. Is there such thing as "show straws" like there is for "show towels"? I'm just asking.

I found these paper straws on 100 for only $7.00 in any color under the sun.

Get yourself some decorative storage boxes, and fill them with your everyday tools. I have a plastic wine opener from Italy that is nothing special in the looks department but it is my go to wine opener and has a built in foil cutter. I keep a little lighter in there for candle, and I also have my wine charms in there. Point being it looks pretty AND has a function.

I found this beauty at Home Goods, but I am drooling over this Pink Box With Himalayan Crystal decorative box from One Kings Lane for $99.00. If you want it hurry because it's only available until 5/3!
Get yourself a pretty hand towel if your cart has a handle!! I found mine at Home Goods, you can find yours just about anywhere to add that extra touch.

I'm digging the bohemian vibe of these West Elm Hammam Stripe Hand Towels for only $10.00
Bottom line here is to have fun and make your bar cart YOU. I've seen art, books, candles, boxes and anything else that you can think of styled on bar carts. For me since I often tire of the same thing day in and day out I see my $130 Target gem being something that I will absolutely enjoy for years to come.
If this inspires you to take your own bar cart up a level in style don't forget to email me and share your pictures! I'd love to see what you come up with.

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