The Art of the Bar Cart

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The Art of the Bar Cart

It’s time to set aside the Solo cups and showcase your spirits with a stylish, well-stocked bar cart. Adding one of these in-demand decor pieces is the perfect way to remove clutter from your countertops, spruce up an empty wall or corner, impress your guests and beautify your booze collection. Here’s how to select, stock and style a spirited station of your very own!

1. Start with the cart

barcartbarcart.jpg Photo via Target

When shopping for a bar cart, you should keep two things in mind: your personal taste, and your entertaining style. You want to have something that speaks to both the fashion and function of your space.

No matter what your decor looks like, there’s a bar cart to match. Love everything mod? Consider a colorful, lucite option. All about thrifting You can find a vintage option in glass or brass pretty easily by checking into your local shops. Mesmerized by midcentury? Try a sleek wooden design that brings in all the Mad Men vibes.

Consider where you’ll place this piece, as well—some are stationary, but our favorite options tend to be on wheels. That way, when you’re not using it, you can easily tuck it away in a corner, next to a couch, or use it as a prominent display piece. And, if you are entertaining, you can roll it into any room you desire (or even use it as a table for mimosas and brunch in bed).

If you aren’t ready to spring for a cart quite yet (or simply don’t have the space), there are also plenty of ways to create the feel of one without the commitment. A windowsill, the top of a dresser, or the inside of a cabinet are all great areas to classily display your drink collection.

Need a place to get started? Here are 11 bar carts to suit a bunch of different styles:

1. Classic and gold: Threshold gold bar cart, 2. Small, square and simple: Pier One Weldon bar cart, 3. Whimsical and vintage-inspired: Dot & Bo Uptown bar cart, 4. Sleek and acrylic: CB2 Peekaboo acrylic rolling two shelf, 5. Modern and mahogany: Assembly Home Tova Bar Cart, 6. Inexpensive (and from IKEA!): RASKOG utility cart, 7. Gold and ultra glamorous: Howard Elliot Collection Two-Tier Metal Bar Cart, 8. Masculine and metal: “West Elm Workshop Bar Cart”: http://bit.ly/1QuvF3z, 9. Rustic and country: Wayfair Homelegance Amara Serving Cart, 10. Basic and black: PLAUS+Shopping+Brand_-Furniture&adpos=1o2&creative=77869648524&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CP3Hq8vr7soCFVc1aQodKV4ILQ#/">Anthropologie Mercury Bar Cart, 11. Industrial yet inviting: Crate and Barrel Prost Bar Cart

If you’re looking for a low-cost option, your local thrift stores or Craigslist ads are sure to have selections that you can repurpose and repaint as needed. Trust me—no one will care that your cart is secondhand if your booze is top shelf!

2. Stock your spirits

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If you’re looking for the place to start, the easiest way is to pick up a copy of The 12 Bottle Bar: A Dozen Bottles, Hundreds of Cocktails, a New Way to Drink by David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson. This book is based on the idea that you can build the perfect at-home cocktail bar with just 12 key bottles, and use said spirits to create over 200 classic and unique mixed drinks. The recommendations cover everything from rum and gin to genever (we know, this one was a surprise) and orange liqueur.

Of course, there’s a little more to a mixed drink than just the liquor. A properly-stocked bar cart is also going to have a fantastic array of tools. They’re typically inexpensive and make crafting a cocktail all the more legitimate. For the basics, go for a muddler (great for drinks that call for fruit or mint), a fine mesh strainer, a jigger (an absolute must-have for measuring) and a cocktail shaker.

If you want to have a fully stocked collection that is ready for any guest’s drink request, you’ll need to shell out a little extra. I’ve created a little checklist that you can easily print off to ensure you don’t forget anything before your first cocktail party:

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3. Style it up

barcatabby.png Image via Instagram/@abbymunro

Last but not least, use your bar cart as a place to showcase your personal style. Fresh flowers, vintage vases, striped straws or even those tiny little umbrellas can add a little extra bit of brilliance to any at-home bar. If you need a little inspiration, here are five Pinterest boards that are packed with ways you can decorate any kind of cart:

1. Bars at Home and Bar Carts, via Apartment Therapy, 2. Bar Cart Ideas, via Joybird, 3. home | bar cart, via scarlett | fork and flower, 4. interiors / bars and bar carts, via Simply Southern Weddings, 5. Bar Carts, via Magen Younger

What does your beloved bar cart look like? Paste a picture of it in the comments below!