I don’t know about you, but I love a good bar cart. In fact, I have an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to beautifully styled bar carts and bar cabinets. I love how this simple piece of furniture serves as both a practical storage solution, and a creative display where you can really showcase your personal style in a fun way. While everybody loves a bar cart, a lot of people really struggle with how to style them, especially if they don’t have a plethora of alcoholic beverages to take up space. So, if you’re looking for easy ways to style this tricky piece of furniture, I’ve got six essential elements (and a pin board of ideas) to help you create an effortlessly styled bar cart.
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First up is glassware! A few pretty glasses are an easy, affordable, and practical element for styling your bar cart. You could use wine glasses, martini glasses, glasses from a special occasion, or even a glass decanter to turn your favorite liquor into a unique styling element.
On our bar cart, we’ve currently got two sets of glasses: wine and margarita. I found the margarita glasses at a thrift store for fifty cents, and the wine glasses from a local small business called Hughston & Co.
Next up is books! Books are the perfect styling element for pretty much anywhere, and a bar cart is no exception. Books add height and help bring dimension into the space, all while serving as a fun and practical styling element. Bar cart books make the perfect gift for any drink lover too!
You can find bar and drink books online, at gift shops, and even at used book stores. One of my favorite bar cart styling books is the black and pink Mezcal book, and I found it used at 2nd & Charles for just $3.
3. BAR TOOLS
Bar tools are another practical and affordable piece to add to your bar cart. From shakers and shot glasses to wine coasters and bottle openers, there are so many fun accessories that you can get to enhance your drink making experience while doubling as decor.
If you make a lot of fancy drinks, you can get a full set of tools that includes things like muddlers, jiggers, strainers, and more. For us, we tend to stick to simple cocktails, wine, and beer, so we just have the essentials: a wine coaster, double sided cocktail jigger, and bottle opener. We also, of course, have a corkscrew and some drink stirrers, but they’re nothing fancy so we keep them in a drawer.
4. WINE RACK
Wine racks are perfect for displaying your wine (and margarita mix if you’re like me) in a fun way. Plus, wine bottles with corks are best stored horizontally so that the cork stays moist.
Even with a small bar cart like ours, we were able to squeeze in this cute, honeycomb style wine rack on the bottom. It takes up a lot of space with practical storage, which is perfect if you’re struggling to fill up your bar cart. Pro tip for the white wine lovers like me who actually keep your wine in the fridge… save some of your empty bottles (especially the darker ones) and mix them in with full bottles that aren’t in the fridge to keep your wine rack looking full and stocked.
5. ALCOHOL & MIXERS
The ultimate purpose of any bar cart is to serve as a home base for your alcohol, so liquor, wine, and mixers are essential for styling your cart. If your favorite liquor doesn’t come in the prettiest of bottles, you can always use a decanter as a pretty way to store and display your favorite drinks.
On the bottom of our cart, we keep liquor, wine, margarita mix, and really any liquid that we actually use. On the top, however, we actually have empty bottles from special occasions: the champagne bottle from our wedding, a wine bottle from Italy where we got engaged, and a wine bottle from the our first anniversary trip to the Biltmore Estate.
6. ARTWORK, MIRROR, OR PHOTOS
My last essential for styling a bar cart is some type of artwork, photo, or mirror to hang above it or lean behind it. I’ve seen some really gorgeous bar cart styling with a full length mirror leaning on the wall behind it, and I’ve also seen some really fun bar cart deisgns with art or photos hanging above. Bar carts are such a fun, small space, so definitely don’t be afraid to get creative and let your personality shine here!
Here’s the story behind the photo above our bar cart:
While we were planning our wedding, we were also in the process of building our house, and I had this vision of having a cute little bar cart with a black and white picture from our wedding hanging over it. We were planning on having signature cocktails, so I asked our photographer, Nathaly Norman (who is the best photographer ever), in advance to take some artsy shots of us on our wedding day with our favorite drinks to hang over our bar cart. These were some of my favorite pictures from our wedding day, and it was exactly what I had in mind for this space! I’m a pretty sentimental person, so I really love finding ways to display personal photos and sentimental items in our home in a subtle way, and this is definitely one of my favorites.
If you’re looking for some super cute FREE bar cart art, By Sophia Lee recently released the cutest print. Click the link below to view her blog post and download the prints. She has another post on how she styled her bar cart that you should definitely check out as well, because it is GORGEOUS.
SHOP BAR CARTS
Unfortunately, our bar cart has been discontinued from World Market, and I haven’t been able to find anything quite like it to link for you. With that being said, I did find some really amazing bar carts on Amazon and World Market that I LOVE, and I’ve linked them for you below to shop.
If you’ve been struggling with styling your bar cart, I hope these six essentials help you pull together an effortlessly styled look, all while incorporating items that you’ll actually use when it’s five o’clock somewhere. Bar carts are such fun pieces to style, and they’re the perfect place to get creative and let your personality and style shine. Don’t be afraid to add unique touches, greenery, lamps, or other not-bar-related items to create visual interest and add finishing touches to your space as well!
Thanks for reading, and happy bar cart styling!