One of my favorite aspects of a stylish home is the bar cart! Maybe it's my Irish roots or the fact that I graduated from WVU, but I love a good drink. Who doesn't? A bar cart can be the perfect way to incorporate more of your own personal style into a space. Here are some of my styling essentials to make your portable party on wheels both glamorous and functional:
- The Bar Cart, Finding the right piece that suits your own taste is crucial. If the classic, vintage brass look isn't to your liking, there are endless possibilities. Using stationary furniture like steamer trunks, end tables or a hutch are wonderful options. Keep in mind that if you find a cart at a thrift store that needs a bit of TLC, a coat of metallic paint can easily bring it back to life.
- Art, A large piece hanging above the bar cart can make a big statement. A gallery wall with smaller prints with fun sayings (Press for Champagne!) and designs is also very stylish. I plan to frame my vintage Hermes Zodiac Scarf and place it above my cart.
- Alcohol, What would a bar cart be without the booze? Stocking your station with standard liquors and mixers is the proper thing to do but focus on what you and your regular guests truly enjoy. I prefer to always have my favorites on hand: Disaronno Amaretto, Bottles of both Red & White Wine, Champs, Crystal Head Vodka, Rum (Light & Dark), Gin, Whisky, Absinthe, Limoncello, etc... It's worthwhile to keep stronger spirits on hand for shots at the ready. For mixers and garnishes, with the exception of a few prettier items, I prefer to use basics that I tend to keep in the kitchen or stocked out of sight in nearby cabinets.
- Coasters, I have a thing for coasters. I love "collecting" them from bars and pubs while I travel and also enjoy having them custom made. Ask my sister. I have given her literally thousands of coasters since she moved into her house over 6 years ago. Geode coasters (my fav!) are a fantastic way to add an interesting pop of color and texture to your home.
- Straws, Paper straws add such a fun decorative touch. I am currently loving my new MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check straws. When my Rewined Champagne Candle was finished burning, I repurposed it as a holder for my straws. I love that it is a recycled wine bottle-turned candle-turned container.
- Accessories, One of my favorite DIY projects that I ever discovered on Pinterest was transforming old trophies into bottle stoppers. Finally a use for those nostalgic pieces we have collecting dust in the attic. A tray is also terrific for sectioning off the cart and keeping objects from looking cluttered. I also love displaying decorative matches for nearby candles. I prefer not to light candles near my alcohol (obviously not a wise move) but I do have them all over the house. I find matchbooks to be synonymous with old world drinking establishments. Very Casablanca.
- Tools, Must-haves include a stainless steel shaker, ice bucket, tongs, stirrers, flask, cocktail napkins and bottle openers.
- Glassware, I love collecting vintage pieces and having the proper glass for every drink imaginable. I like to only display a few tumbler glasses or champagne flutes on the bar cart at a time with the bulk of my collection being kept elsewhere. This is a nice way to seasonally rotate. If you're a fan of this sort of thing, it's a lot of fun to gradually collect a full set of drinking glasses. Just a few glasses to consider having: Red Wine, White Wine, Champagne, Margarita, Martini, Shot, Highball, Hurricane, Tumbler, Goblet, Snifter, Moscow Mule, Pint (there's so many beer glass varieties), and Absinthe. It's also nice to have a beautiful crystal decanter, if only for the style factor.
- Books, Of course I have to include a few books. Coffee Table books with the topic of drinks or fashion are optimal for adding height and a bit of variety to the bar cart. Recipe books also come in handy when looking to concoct something new.
- Lighting, I'm a big fan of the ambiance that lighting creates. Don't underestimate the impact of a small Edison bulb lamp or marquee letter sign (neither option generates enough heat to tamper with alcohol provided that it is not in direct contact).
- Finishing Touches, I have a thing for blue & white porcelain. A rounded vase filled with your favorite flowers (hydrangea!) creates a feminine vibe. Other found objects or ornamental accents are also wonderful for filling out the bar cart!
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