A Guide to the Ultimate Bar Cart

The popularity of bar carts is a charming throwback to a time when having cocktails at lunch was the norm and coming home to a martini was in high style. Thanks to television shows like “Mad Men”, retro sophistication is back in style, and bar carts are once again a big hit in the interior design world.

Aside from the obvious functional benefits of bar carts, they are also a great way to add a pop of color and additional storage space to a living room. Plenty of inexpensive bar carts abound at second hand stores and retailers like CB2 and Anthropologie, and even Target has gotten on board with the trend. If you don’t want to purchase a new cart, consider using the top of a credenza to set up a bar.

Once you’ve chosen a cart that suits your style, you can use my interior styling tips and tricks to create the “Ultimate Bar Cart”:

  1. Display Festive Glasses & Bar Tools

As an interior stylist, I love it when form and function enhance one another, and bar glasses and tools are a wonderful opportunity for this to happen. While there are essential glassware items you will need to create most cocktails (highball glasses, shot glasses, rocks glasses and stemmed cocktail glasses), the options for expressing your individual style are literally endless. You can buy vintage glasses or opt for ultra-modern designs.

As for bar tools, you can choose silver, gold, black or colorful tools, unique or sophisticated shakers. Simply start with a color theme and style that appeals and choose one standout piece, like an amazing vintage decanter, to add flourish. You can even mix styles if you are feeling eccentric.

  1. Choose Your Booze 

For practical reasons, there are basic rules to the types of liquor you should have on hand to make popular cocktails, including vermouth, tequila, gin, vodka, rum, triple sec, and whiskey. I suggest buying the best quality you can afford, and seek out colorful and unique bottles when possible.

Another wonderful Interior Styling touch that serves a real purpose is to keep a drink recipe book on hand. One I suggest is Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails because it is beautiful to look at and inspiring to even the most experienced mixologists.

  1. Infuse Some Personality

Now that you’re ready to pour, shake and stir, you’ll want to add a few finishing touches to your bar cart styling. Make sure you have unique coasters, vintage decanters, and colorful Birch paper straws.

To see some of the interior styling accessories I use to add color and interest, you can soon follow this link (coming soon) to see some of the different bar carts I have styled for my clients. And feel free to contact me for help styling your Ultimate Bar Cart.


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