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From Start To Furnish

Please enjoy my musings on all things interior design!

How To Style Your Bar Cart

This style is referred to as a Jill Bar Cart with the brass rattan styling and glass shelves.

In last week's blog post, we discussed some of the Summer design dilemmas you may be facing with a season of big parties ahead. Maybe it's not going to be within your realm of possibility to get a new kitchen or outdoor kitchen or a whole new living room before this Summer's soiree. If that's the case, I've got a quick fix for you instead!

This is something doable that will go over big with your party guests. I don't know if you've heard, but bar carts are THE thing this year. It's a throwback to the 1950's as mid-century styling is still all the rage. 

Bar carts bring back an era of glamorous entertaining. They are available everywhere from vintage ones on Etsy and Ebay to new ones on West Elm and Wayfair. There's a bar cart for every style. Impress your guests with this fun trend.

Step 1:  Lay out all of the essentials for your bar cart.

The first step, as in most tasks, is the most important. That is to decide what are the essentials needed for the cart at hand. Wisely planned, a compact cart can hold all of the needs of any well-stocked home bar. Here is a list of the basic items you'll want to consider for your home bar. Adapt it accordingly to your lifestyle and your guests.
Liquors - Gin, tequila, vodka and rum
Mixers - Club soda, tonic, cola, lemon-lime soda and ginger ale
Beer and Wine - One bottle of champagne, white and red wine and beer
Highball, old-fashioned, martini, Pilsner, White wine, red wine, and champagne flute
Ice bucket, corkscrew, shaker, jigger, bar spoon, Hawthorne strainer and muddler
Bar towel, towel for chilled wines and cocktail napkins

Step 2:  Top Shelf - Pun Intended

On the top shelf, you want to include the most used items - 
A tray with one bottle of each of the essential liquors. 
A container holding all of the small tools. 
An attractive ice bucket - a magnificent wine bucket with an admirable bottle of champagne sets the tone for a festive fete.

Have fun looking for unique glassware that fits your style, whether it be vintage or modern. This is the place to show it off. Choose napkins that also express your style. You may want the ease and whimsy of paper napkins. You can even go classy with paper with a simple monogram. Just be certain to get a nice napkin with good weight. Want to really impress your guests? Get fabric napkins. You can find some nice new ones at Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table or even at estate sales and vintage boutiques.

Step 3:  Bottom Shelf

This is where you're going to place the items that don't have to be as readily accessible. Those include extras of everything; glasses and napkins and wines. Be certain to highlight your collections of unique glassware. Extra towels here for quick access is handy also. Also, a drinks recipe book could be handy, just in case you forgot the ingredients to a sidecar or some other drink a guest might request.

Step 4:  Add Balance

Now that you've gotten all of the essentials placed, stand back, take a look and edit. Does it look attractive? After all, the appearance of your set-up adds to its appeal. Here are the things you should be looking for. Do you have the essentials without being cluttered? Balance the featured champagne on the top shelf with a stunning flower arrangement or just a vase of fresh mint if mojitos are your party's featured drink. 

Surround your now stunning and inviting bar cart with a worthy backdrop. Paint the wall behind it with chalkboard paint to write down the party's menu. How about highlighting this creation with a mirrored wall or with a fabulous wallcovering?

Once you've styled your bar cart, maybe you need a little help deciding on its perfect location and/or what should surround it. I love a good party and space planning is my specialty, - give me a jingle and I can help you with that.