The Ultimate Comprehensive Guide to Styling the Bar Cart
November 24th, 2020
Bar Carts are timeless decor pieces, whether you enjoy a quiet drink at the end of the day, are a cocktail connoisseur, drinks novice or entertain regularly. It is both a stylish statement piece and a functional storage solution for any home, plus the versatility is endless!
Bar Carts were actually Tea Trolleys during the Victorian Era Prohibition Period and it was only after Prohibition in the 1950's that Bar Carts became an essential component of at-home entertaining and were at the centre of the daily cocktail hour. Today, the bar cart is all about personalisation — creating a station that is not only a practical home to all your essential bar tools, drinks & glassware but an opportunity to show off your design flare.
So how do you continue this timeless tradition by creating your own Bar Cart set-up at home?
In this article we share the essential components to creating a beautiful Bar Cart that boasts both functionality and style.
- Bottle Opener
- Cocktail Shaker
- Cocktail Mixing Glass
- Jigger & Measuring Cup
- Pour Spout
- Bar Spoons
- Citrus Peelers
- Mixing Sticks
- Small Paring Knife
- Ice Bucket
- Citrus Juicer
- Whisky / Gin Rocks
- Jigger & Measuring Cup
- Wine Saver
- Cocktail Picks
- Glass Droppers
When it comes to Glassware, we recommend sticking to a similar design in different shapes and sizes for a streamlined look. Aim to showcase 4-6 Glasses and tailor according to what your favourite drinks are, such as a pair of whisky glasses, tumblers or stemless wine glasses.
When it comes to selecting your Bar Cart accessories, choose a few key pieces that tie in with your overall decor theme, colour scheme, or accenting detail, such as Gold Rim Glass Detailing, Marble or Rattan materials or Vertical or Horizontal lines. If you have a two tier cart, utilise the lower tier to store your bar tools and glassware & use the top for a accessories such as Cocktail Recipe Books, napkins, coasters, vases, picture frames, decorative objects or candles. We recommend having a maximum of 3 of your favourite bottles of Alcohol on display and put away anything that looks out of place or cluttered in your storage cupboard.
If you are sticking to a particular decor style, here are some accessory recommendations below:
Hamptons: Ceramics, Mirrored objects, picture frames, elegant marble or silver trays and natural collected elements of coral, shells and driftwood.
Parisian: An array of leather books, porcelain figures and vases, silver or gold picture frames, crystal vases & decanters.
Classic Contemporary: Curated coffee table books, pretty mirrored or pewter trays, objet d'art, small decorative sculptures and mouth blown vases.
British Colonial: Natural and travel collected elements, Fresh Foliage or Palm Leaves, Magnifying glasses, Trophies, and wall-mounted botanical-framed specimens or prints.
Lighting is essential when it comes to shaping the mood of your design and there are also a few elements to keep in mind when matching your lighting with your decor style. To create ambience, relaxation and intimacy in your design, focus on including some low-level lighting options such as tea lights or pillar Candles for a warm glow. For a touch of luxury, focus on a embellished statement Candle with a beautiful design such as Cire Trudon Candles. To create an elegant, sophisticated look, include a Slender Nickel or Pewter Decorative Lamp Base with a neutral linen shade. If you have limited space, try a mounted Wall Sconce or place the bar cart under a Crystal Chandelier and watch the bar cart come to life.
Lustre is often what makes a design truly shine... adding a subtle bit of glam through a reflective mirror, shimmer or pewter can bring a sense of glamour and charm that would otherwise be missed. Lustre and lighting often work in sync, as lustre is the state or quality of shining by reflecting light. This could be by pairing a tea light in a silver or gold candleholder, placing decorative objects or candles on top of a reflective mirrored surface, or adding in decorative items that showcase as sheen, gloss or radiance such as crystal.
Green, Living & Lush... Plants, Foliage and Flowers can simultaneously soften and elevate a space. Create a fresh, tropical look with some Palm Leaves, a more refined look with White Orchids or Roses, an Industrial look with a Fiddle Leaf Fig placed to the side of the Bar Cart and bring a pop of colour with some lemons, limes or oranges that can also serve as a garnish.
The key when bringing all the elements together is to not over do it, and one way to do this is to select 1-3 of your most loved pieces to have on display. Think of a decorative object, luxury candle, picture frame, sentimental object or most-loved book. Adding something loved, creates a lived-in feel & ensures that your home reflects what you value most.
Layering creates interest, be it layering complimentary or contrasting textures, colours, heights, materials, shapes and sizes. Layering different items draws the eye in and allows you to get creative when thinking of some of the bar cart accessories you would like to add, experiment with and style together. Two simple ways to layer is by stacking books to create height or by combining high and low elements next to each other, such as pairing a Tall Vase, Ginger Jar or Lamp next to Tumbler Whisky Glasses, Candles or Bar Tools.