How to Style a Bar Cart

LAST UPDATED: Dec 08, 2019 | PUBLISHED: Oct 14, 2014 | By: Julie Blanner

How to style a bar cart - the simple tips & tricks to great styling, while keeping it functional for entertaining!
My bar cart is a transitional piece. I use it as a traditional bar cart when entertaining, but it also makes a great end table, entryway table & currently, a place to store pieces that have yet to find a home since our move. My style tends to be simple. The saying “fashion over function” has never been my philosophy because I feel that style & function should always blend. I enjoy entertaining & like to look at it beyond aesthetics to create an effortless flow for my guests & doing so, often gives me more opportunity to enjoy our guests. I find highly styled bar carts beautiful, but difficult. Have you been to a cocktail party where you’re terrified if you pull the bottle of wine out that you’ll knock over a glass? Or worse, you’ve knocked something over? It defeats the entire purpose of a bar cart & makes me unbelievably nervous! You can style a bar cart with ease for any occasion with these simple tips:

How to style a bar cart - the simple tips & tricks to great styling, while keeping it functional for entertaining!

Bar Cart Basics:

Beverages

Appropriate glassware

Cocktail napkins

Plates & utensils if it’s doubling as an hors d’oeuvres or dessert bar

Bar Cart Styling:

Something organic – flowers, branches, fruits, etc give it life

Detail – it truly is all in the detail. In this cart I used a stag head wine cork {which I gilded, of course}. Little accessories can make a big impact.

Decor – I tend to choose something pretty & seasonal, but limit it to just a piece or two so that it doesn’t hinder accessibility.

Tray/bowl – layering is key in all aspects of design. It gives the bar cart a little added depth & in this cart, groups the signature cocktails.

Height – whether a vase filled with flowers or a lamp, give it height to add interest.

After I’ve set up the bar cart, I take one last look to ensure everything is functional & accessible. Ready to drink cocktails & decor are best on the lower level, while wine is easier to pour from the top level. See more of this Thanksgiving gathering & decor here!

How to style a bar cart - the simple tips & tricks to great styling, while keeping it functional for entertaining!
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How to Style a Bar Cart

Bar carts are a great addition when entertaining, and these tips for styling help make entertaining effortless.
Course DIY
Total Time 15 minutes

Equipment

  • Bar Cart

Ingredients

  • Beverages
  • Appropriate glassware
  • Cocktail napkins
  • Plates and utensils if it's doubling as an hors d'oeurves or dessert bar
  • Something organic
  • Little accessory
  • Tray or bowl
  • Item to add height
  • Seasonal decor

Instructions

  • Have your bar cart and all your necessary items ready
  • Choose something organic to give your cart life such as flowers, fruits or branches.
  • Choose a little accessory to add to the cart. Those little things can add big impact.
  • Layering is key as it gives the bar cart a little added depth
  • Give a height element like a vase of flowers or lamp.
  • Adding a seasonal element or two is a great way to change up your cart all year round.

Notes

Ready to drink cocktails and decor are best on the lower less, while wine is easier to pour from the top level. 

I hope you have enjoyed these tips & can incorporate them into your own gatherings! You can find details about my bar cart here.

 

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