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How to Style a Bar Cart

Whether you host parties regularly or prefer get-togethers on a more casual basis, nothing says "Welcome to my home" like a perfectly styled bar cart.

What Will You Need?

To style your bar cart, set down a selection of glassware, liquor bottles and cocktail tools, and fill in the gaps with complementary decor.
Here are a few traditional bar essentials:
  • For spirits, add vodka, whiskey, gin and rum.
  • For glassware, add martini glasses, highballs and tumblers.
  • For tools, add a shaker, ice bucket, tongs, mixing spoon, juicer and decanter.
  • You could also add a few sodas and bottles of beer.
  • In hot weather, consider adding pitcher cocktails like limoncello, sangrias and margaritas.
More of a wine lover? Fill your bar cart with a few bottles of wine, and don't forget the cork screw, wine glasses and decanter with a wide base.
Then select accent pieces that harmonize well with the colors and designs already on the cart.
Decorative pieces might include:
  • Intricate or geometric figurines
  • Plants, branches and foliage
  • Fresh flowers
  • Bookends or stacked books
  • A bowl of fruit
  • Delicate woven baskets
  • Framed photos

Try to balance out the drinks and decor, with taller items near the back and shorter items at the front. It's also best not to overcrowd the bar cart, since overcrowding leads to a messy appearance. Use the rule of three, and make sure you incorporate varying heights.

Fitting the Cart to the Room Decor

Before you go all out and purchase the tools and decor you need, make sure the bar cart fits in with your room decor. A room with mid-century stylings would suit a cart with tapered legs or one made from either Lucite or wood and brass. Zen-like or Asian-inspired decor would suit a wooden bar cart with soft curves, while a glam living room might call for a sleek gold bar cart or one shaped more like a work of art.

Types and Styles of Bar Carts

All bar carts share a few key traits: caster wheels, a handle and at least two shelves.

Apart from these essentials, bar carts range in both style and material. You'll see carts made from wood, glass, and stainless steel and other metals. Some will feature a combination of materials, and some will be painted or have additional decorations.

Style is where the differences truly shine. Bar carts can be mostly rectangular with straight lines and edges, or they can be ornate with circular, geometric or multi-directional designs. Some bar carts even have built-in drawers or dividers for keeping your display organized.

The next time you want to catch up with friends, add a bar cart containing their favorite drinks. Style it up with pleasing decor, and watch the compliments roll in.

Three Bar Cart Styles to Put the ‘Happy’ Back in Happy Hour

Drink and be merry with these sophisticated bar cart style tips.

1. Bar Cart Style Tip: For 'The Occasional Host'

Serve party guests your most delectable concoctions in charming style. A versatile silhouette with two levels of durable surface space – and a rustic-chic finish – is all you need to keep the conversation, good vibes and cocktails flowing.

Gold drinkware adds a pop of glamour and a nice contrast to a rustic metal-and-wood bar cart design.

2. Bar Cart Style Tip: For 'The Wine Lover'

If savoring a glass of fine wine after a long day is more your forte, and you're looking for a way to both organize your bottles and incorporate a touch of elegance to your dining room style, then you need a wine cart that works just as hard as you do.

Opt for 'cupboard' style carts or cabinets with plenty of storage, and show off your penchant for vintage wines with 'Old World' décor.

3. Bar Cart Style Tip: For 'The Aspiring Bartender'

If you consider 'mixology' a sport, we recommend skipping the bar cart altogether and going straight for the bar cabinet. Look for designs that feature storage capabilities for an assortment of bottle types and sizes and easy-to-access shelving for glassware and other drink accessories.

This boho-inspired home bar keeps things relaxed with chic 'desert' accent pieces without detracting from a masculine feel.
Whether you're a connoisseur of wines or simply an 'occasional' host or hostess, adding a rustic-chic home bar cart or cabinet to your dining room décor is one of the easiest ways to serve drinks and refreshments in show-stealing style. Cheers to happy entertaining!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.