The Art of Styling your Bar Cart

One of the biggest trends of the moment is the bar cart.

Bar carts are big interior news (otherwise known as a drinks trolley). Have a look at Instagram and most homes seem to have them- styled to perfection and sitting expectantly in a corner awaiting the party. The bar cart says your sociable, your fun and above all your stylish. So what’s the deal with the bar cart- how do you join this particular party?

Where you place your bar cart is purely a personal choice (or it may be a physical choice based on the space you have). It may be a nice addition to your lounge- maybe tucked into a corner or pride of place along a wall where once you may have placed a console table or a sideboard.

Another good spot is the dining room (this is where we placed ours) this allows you to mix pre dinner drinks- keep guests topped up during dinner and provide the vital post dinner drink. Your kitchen is another great spot for a bar cart, this may also be your dining space and lounge so is the ideal spot to display your fun stylish side.

All of this aside really there are no rules, you can place your bar cart where you wish- if you have wheels you can move it as you please to follow the party.


Why did I choose the dining room? Good question, our dining room is just off the lounge (and across the hall from the kitchen) so is ideally placed to support a tipple either as I cook or when I’m lounging (excuse the pun). We had also just decorated the dining room and I was looking for a piece to occupy the window recess (sometimes furniture placement really is that simple Lol). I originally planned the cart to sit in the lounge but on reflection I’m glad we didn’t- the lounge would have been too crowded and given we already have some hero pieces in the lounge I think it would have
gotten lost- the dining room is open to the hall (in as much as I removed the door Lol) so you get to admire the cart from many places, just as it should be

How to choose your cart
I was looking for something that had a vintage feel (inc being actual vintage) preferably with mirrored bases to give off a wee hint of glamour and I was keen to have wheels- I’m never moving it but I wanted to give the impression it would follow the party. My thinking was 1920s Gatsby
glamour, and really sometimes just having a theme like that in your head really can help you to narrow down your choices.

How to style your bar cart
For me it was about what did I have to put onto it- I had a nice champagne (Laurent Perrier Rose) so that went on, a bottle of Haig Whisky (ok I bought it because I like the bottle), a tall bottle of Grey Goose Vodka (the man of the house’s tipple), a bottle of Jack Daniels (who doesn’t have a bottle of this tucked away somewhere) and finished off with a bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin (mothers ruin).

The rest of the top shelf I’ve populated with cute miniature bottles and some vintage miniature crystal glasses that I’ve collected over the years (no idea why I just like them).

Don’t forget the long forgotten crystal decanter Lol, a much loved 70s accessory holding hard liquor and poured in times of crisis. The decanter is making a comeback and quite rightly so- not only does it make your bar cart look seriously grown up (come on you can handle hard liquor!!) but it adds a bit of glamour and style to your set up.Whilst we are on the subject of the decanter, remember that these beautiful jars can be used for a myriad of other uses, housing bath salts, bubble bath (check out India Hicks book – A slice of England
for how she used her decanters- lovely)

Another lovely addition to your bar cart is a sign or a light- or a lit sign Lol. There a wide variety of signs that would work here- even just a piece of slate with Bar chalked on it or a lovely neon light hanging above- you could go all out decadent glamour and hang a swanky chandelier above your bar cart – how fabulous.

My bottom shelf is for glasses and I have simple crystal wine glasses alongside Laurent Perrier champagne glasses and a Laurent Perrier wine cooler. However the choice is entirely yours and will be dependent on the size of cart that you have- mine has 2 shelves but yours may be bigger. You may also want space for a cocktail kit or basket of fruit etc.

Of course you don’t need to go buy a bar cart to get the bar cart look, alternatives to the cart that I’m a fool for are:
Sideboard, you may already have this piece of furniture so could easily add your bottles and glasses along the top or maybe add a gorgeous mirrored tray to house your spirits etc., the storage cupboards below are ideal for storing your glasses out of sight

Side table, there are loads of lovely little side tables that could double up as a cute bar cart- think mirrored bases or glass, maybe some chrome or brass to add a touch of luxe

Bath, didn’t think of that eh! I got this tip from my hero Athena Calderone ( if you’ve not seen her go check out her website and insta page- she is super stylish and if she says it’s cool then take her word for it- it’s cool. Of course the bath filled with ice cubes and dotted with champagne bottles isn’t going to be a permanent feature- but for a party it’s a bit of fun- one word of caution though, make sure you have alternative powder room facilities for guests (do ya hear what I’m saying) and you do really need a stand out bath- freestanding works best and if it’s in the middle of your room all the better- also be sure to style the room if it’s becoming a make shift bar- no bottles of Matey bubble bath, rubber ducks or packs of toothpaste on show- are we clear Lol

Entertainment sink, now this really is the last word in sophistication- the little known entertainment sink, in the UK this tends to be a long slender sink generally housed in a swanky kitchen island- filled with ice and with the obligatory champagne bottles inserted – in the USA they tend to go all out on a wet bar look which is generally a small cupboard unit with a sink some shelving for the drinks and a fridge.

Shelving, if you have shelving either wall or freestanding you can add some bar cart inspo to that. Similar to styling your sideboard you can house your favourite tipples and glasses ready for use anytime. The shelves can be styled with pretty cocktail making books to add a wee eclectic touch to
your shelving.

When is a bar cart …… not a bar cart? when you style your way and use it as an excuse for a party.


  1. Pamela
    April 1, 2019 / 5:30 pm

    I love my bar cart 🍾🍸

    • admin
      April 15, 2019 / 12:55 pm

      Hi Pamela,Thank you so much for stopping by- i love mine too, why did we ever lose that trend Lol although mine is due a cull it too good a dumping ground for glasses and half drank bottles of wine ha ha

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