9 Pro Tips for Styling a Modern Bar Cart
If you’ve been paying attention as you scroll through social media, you know bar carts are no longer just a place to store your booze collection. Yes, that’s correct, styling a bar cart is a serious matter with decor, flowers, booze and more.
To begin the styling process it’s best to keep it simple. Think about how you want to use your bar cart and decide what essential items it will need to house. For instance, do you want your bar cart to function only as a place to make drinks or do you want to go further and make a statement by sprucing things up with decor, fruit, and flowers?
For those who entertain, the cart is a nice space to anchor some of the mingling, which is especially nice for intimate gatherings with a few close friends. And nothing pulls a party together like a beautiful bar cart except one that's perfectly organized. Even with no one around, it makes a date night in feel extra special too.
For all you modern design lovers, we are sharing a few pointers for how to make your bar car stand out.
1| Choose the Best Bar Cart (for YOU!)
First things first, you need a bar cart to style! Make sure you get one that fits your style as well as your space. If you plan on putting it in a room with a lot of square tables, go for a round or oval-shaped bar cart. If you want it to be a statement piece, go for a modern lucite number or a looker.
However we insist your cart has wheels because: 1) it's not really a bar cart without wheels, 2) the ultimate entertaining dream is having a cocktail party where the bar comes to you, and 3) the party room I subject to change!
2| Style In Zones
Once you’ve decided what items you want to display on your bar cart, the fun begins. However, the key is to style in zones. Dedicate certain zones to specific items, whether it’s glassware, bottles, cocktail accessories, etc. This will create a clean, organized look and a perfect base layer to add statement items.
3| Color Your Cart
The colour scheme you choose when styling a bar cart will depend on a few things:
- How will it match with the room where it will live?
- What look do you want to achieve?
For complete colour freedom when adding decorative pieces, it’s easiest to go for glassware and cocktail paraphernalia in similar tones. If you’re after a more eclectic look and a riot of color, opt for a simple bar cart to anchor your colour scheme.
4| Soften Up Hard Surfaces
There is no rule book you can only keep booze on your bar cart. So add a vase full of blooms or something ornamental, if you wish.
However, you need to consider what look you want to achieve and how it will match with the room you keep your bar cart. We recommend you swop out your beautiful element to to match the season. For example, this year we had tulips for spring, peonies during the summer, eucalyptus and pumpkins for fall, and holly during Christmas.
5| Play With Heights
To show off your styling skills, play around with the height of the items on your cart. It’s all about balance. For instance, you might like to arrange small things at the front and then ascend back with taller things in one corner or lined up along the back. You can also fake height by styling a couple of items.
6| Inject Personality
You can achieve a high-end look by keeping your cart free of clutter and showing off your favorite bottles and glassware. You can inject touches of personality with vintage cocktail sets, eclectic glassware, or handcrafted crystal decanters. You can use the rest of the cart to display other key items like art, books, and essential bar accessories.
7| Snacks . . . Please
You will also want to keep your guests well fed. That is why you want to have at least one snack on the bar cart so people can mix and munch.
Here are a few of our favorite cocktail party appetizer, courtesy of Salt & Wind, although you could purchase great store bought snack, like Truffle Pipcorn pictured here, and I'll not pass any judgement.
8| Stock the Bar
Unless you drink or serve only one cocktail, most bar carts likely won't hold everything you need. So don't try to fit every bottle you ever bought. Instead go in with a game plan that works both in terms of visuals and for making a cocktail (or three).
Here are a few of my favorite bottle suggestions to stock the bar.
- Belvedere Volka, $20
- Campari Bitters, $19
- Cointreau Bitters, $24
- Ciroc Vodka, $30
- Crown Royal Whisky, $85
- Don Julio 1942 Tequila, $125
- Don Q Rum, $30
- D'usse VSOP Cognac, $35
- Four Roses Bourbon, $40
- Hendricks Gin, $28
- Patrón Silver Tequila, $45
- Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, both $25
9| Have a Signature Cocktail
We believe the best bar cart revolves around a signature drink (or two). For inspiration, check out our picks for Cocktail Party-worthy drinks.