Your Ultimate Guide On How To Style A Bar Cart
Nobody puts bar cart in the corner. That’s how the saying goes, right?
Regardless, they are a fun, practical and aesthetically-pleasing way to not only elevate a room, but to also express your own personal style within that space. There are endless styling options for and uses of them, so we’ve put together an ultimate guide on how to style a one depending on how you plan to use it. Happy styling!
First thing’s first: pick one.
When first choosing a bar cart, you’ll want to consider how many tiers you’d like the cart to have. They generally come in two different tier options–two-tiered and three-tiered–and both have their perks. When styled properly, two-tiered carts can have a clean, uncluttered, elegant and simple look. However, three-tiered carts have an extra shelf, which ultimately means more opportunity to display your goods.
When coming up with styling ideas, you want to first decide what colour you’d like your cart to be. The colour of yours will ultimately depend upon a few different factors, including the space you’re planning to put it in (the colour of the room, the amount of natural light, etc), as well as any accessories or pieces you’re planning on using for your bar cart decor.
Metal, wood, brass, chrome, mirrored… the list goes on. Similar to the colour choice, the material you decide on for yours may dictate how it will be styled, from the decor used to the placement of the cart in its allocated space.
Choose your alcohol.
No styling is complete without a bottle (or five) of your favourite aesthetically-pleasing liquors. If you’re stuck for ideas, stocking your cart with classic liquors–including bourbon, rum, tequila, vodka and/or gin–is a fool-proof way to style yours.
Greenery is a timeless way to break up or complement bland or harsh colours on a bar cart, and to spruce up any in general. Choose deep green or purple leaf plants for your wooden cart, shiny plants for gold carts, and a simple plant for more eccentric ones including those that are circle-shaped and coloured. If you don’t have a green thumb or any spare time for upkeep and maintenance, faux succulents and other fake plants are a great alternative to the living, breathing kind.
Use fresh ingredients.
Utilising fresh ingredients that complement the alcohol and/or glassware is a classic styling idea–especially if hosting a soiree or having an open house. Using fruits including lemon (Lemon Drop Martini - vodka), lime (Margarita - tequila) and orange (Old Fashioned - whiskey), herbs like mint (Mojito - rum), vegetables such as celery (Bloody Mary - vodka) and olives (Martini - gin), and other condiments including edible flowers (Cosmopolitan - vodka) will elevate your bar cart decor stylishly and practically.
Add a touch of sophistication to your bar cart design with a wine decanter, an element of practicality with a classic cocktail shaker, or a hint of fun with a beverage dispenser or wine cooler. Beverage mixers and cocktail garnishes never go astray, either. There’s no such thing as too much accessorising.
Keep it simple.
If you’re after a simple, classic and timeless cart design, keep your ideas minimal. Regardless of whether you have a two-tiered or three-tiered cart, invest in the essentials and leave it at that: one or two bottles of alcohol, complementary glassware and any necessary accessories (a book to elevate the look or a cocktail shaker to add a playful touch). Less is more here.
Design to a theme.
If you find yourself constantly reaching for the same drink night after night (we’re not judging), why not style your cart in accordance with this beverage? Take the classic French Martini cocktail, for instance. A clear glass bottle of vodka, a bottle of Chambord liqueur, a set of martini glasses and a stack of French-style coffee table books could be a permanent part of your cart decor, and would add a touch of French flair to your space. Opt for a strategically placed bowl of raspberries and a pineapple ornament if you feel so inclined.
Make it useful.
If you’re more of a casual drinker than an every-nighter, consider mixing up the ornaments on your cart to suit you and your lifestyle. For instance, if you’re a ferocious reader who enjoys a neat whiskey every few nights, style yours with a lamp, a pile of must-read books, a whiskey glass and, of course, your go-to bottle of whiskey. Making sure your cart is useful to you is key to any trolley decor.
Style practically and accordingly.
Similar to making your cart useful to you, you also want to style yours practically and accordingly. Essentially, you want your cart to be functional, especially if you use it often. One simple way to do this is to place the liquors and glassware you reach for the most on the top shelf and let the secondary alcohol bottles sit on the bottom. Functionality and style are not mutually exclusive terms.
Display your favourite glassware.
In our humble opinion, carts are nothing without some good old fashioned glassware. Whether you’re a gin and tonic drinker, a martini connoisseur or a margarita lover, or you prefer to be alcohol-free and opt for mocktails in eye catching tumblers, displaying your favourite glassware on your cart–glassware that reflects your personality and tastes (literally)–is great for styling.
Style to the colour.
One of the keys to timeless bar cart design is to style to the colour of the one you have. For black carts, we’d recommend keeping the colour palette neutral with hints of glass and greenery. For bronze ones, opt for a cohesive colour palette–pinks, browns and blues will make the bronze colour pop. Colours work great for silver ones, especially greens, blues and yellows. For gold carts, you can’t go past a deep navy blue and some greenery.
Give it pride of place.
Carts don’t just have to be part of a room’s furniture, but can be the centrepiece of the whole space. Place in front of a feature wall, near the window with the most natural light, next to the fireplace or in front of a mirror to give the appearance of a bigger space.
Reflect your personality.
It’s all well and good to get your ideas from us, though we believe no bart cart decor is complete without you. Are you an avid reader and hide books in every nook of the house? Strategically stack some on the bottom tier. Are candles your favourite thing since sliced dehydrated fruit? Pop one on the top shelf. Your cart is just that: yours. Make it work for you!
Repurpose and style accordingly.
No longer a drinker? No worries. Don’t let your beautiful trolley catch dust in the corner. Instead of filling it with alcohol and glassware, your bar cart decor could instead consist of any items relevant to the room you are repurposing it in. Utilise yours as a set of fancy shelves in the guest room, use it as a nightstand or bedside table, or elevate your bathroom by repurposing it for bathroom storage.