Styling Your Bar Cart!

Nov 14, 2016

Originating as tea trolleys in the Victorian era, bar carts became popular in the 1950s at the end of Prohibition when cocktail hours were the rage. Now, the bar cart is here to stay and has become a staple accessory in home decor. Just like when you’re designing a space in your home, a well-styled bar cart begins with a plan…and a great bar cart! I’ve gathered some great tips to get the good times (and your fantastic bar cart) rolling in time for the holidays!



1. Find a Fabulous Bar Cart! (if you don’t already have one)

Rolling bar carts are fun accessories, so don’t be afraid to buy a piece that has quirky character. Try out a bright color or find one that uses an interesting material, like bamboo, rustic wood or metal accents. Industrial style metal carts are popular options, as are tropical island-style pieces. For the classic bar cart look, try glass, brass or gold, or go modern with acrylic. Hundreds of styles of bar carts can be found on Houzz or try local antique shops such as Joyce Horn, Back Row Home, and MAI to name a few!


I fell in love with this modern, acrylic bar cart with brass accents that I found on One Kings Lane, another great source!

2. Get Organized!

Your bar cart should be stylish, organized and functional! Divide the bar cart into zones and dedicate each zone to a specific essential, such as glassware, tools, etc.



These wire baskets work great for separating items like lemons and limes from coasters and cocktail napkins. Perfect for a vintage-modern look!


Use trays to organize bottles and other small bar accessories. This yellow tray adds a pop of color and whimsy while keeping things organized. Stylish! Organized! Functional! Check out other great life and home organizing tips from iheartorganizing.



Here’s another great example of using striped metal trays to keep napkins and liquor contained. I love using the glass champagne bucket for limes, too!

3. Basic Tools and Glassware

Check out Cocktail Kingdom and The Barcartist for all the tools, glassware and accessories you’ll need for a well-stocked cart. Talk about one-stop shopping!

  • Jiggers
  • Shaker tins
  • Mixing glasses
  • Bar spoons
  • Julep strainers
  • Muddler
  • Paring knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • Glasses


A good, versatile bar cart will have one of each liquor: vodka, gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, and vermouth for martinis; that way you can cater to multiple tastes and offer an array of cocktails to your guests.

3. Infuse Personal Style

And now…the fun part! Once you have your basic essentials, it’s time to add your own personality such as…



…stunning cocktail napkins. Check out my source for these and many other exquisite items.



Add fresh flowers! This is a nice way to bring in a pop of color or stay monochromatic and elegant.



And finally, add fun, colorful straws along with an assortment of vintage or whimsical stir sticks. You now have the perfectly-styled bar cart just in time for the holiday season!! I’m so inspired now, I’m putting this on my “to do” list, too!

All of this has me thinking about the classic cocktail, which is always nice for Fall.


Learn how to make this Midnight Manhattan here! And check out The Cocktail Project for online cocktail recipes and tips and tricks to take your bar cart menu to the next level!


Everyone thinks the DASH market is just about shopping art and antiques, but it also is so much fun! Not only at the opening party were fun cocktails and food served, but I had the honor of judging the bar cart challenge! It was so much fun! Below are the finalists!!


What a fun Christmas-time holiday twist to a bar cart.  This opens my eyes to the possibility that your cart doesn’t have to be on rollers but you can convert any shelving unit for the occasion.


What a stylish mix using black and gold accents with antlers and horns. This cart certainly mixes the masculine with the feminine and adds a bit of Hollywood glitz!!! See the horn and silver wine holder on the far right? was my sweet gift from the galsssss at DASH for judging the challenge! I LOVED it–but gals, I would have done it just for fun!!!


I loved this one as well, by designer Cindy Witmer!  The touches of green made it so Holiday-ish!!  The cart touch with its mid-century modern look and the top acting as a removable tray was to die for!!! This was the People’s Choice winner!

And the winner was……..


This was was a unanimous favorite of myself and the other two judges!! Loved how it was interesting, light and airy, and would just look great everywhere! Who doesn’t like vintage Lucite? This cart is from Troy Osborne designed by  Steph Taylor Jackson.


These were the cutest bottle openers ever. At $20 a piece, they would make such cute gifts!! I couldn’t find the vendor to buy them, though, so sad! Let me know which was your favorite pic!!!

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Stop by the shop! We have beautiful decanters, bar tools and other unique items to make your bar cart special!

Until next time, have a great week!

xo, Leslie



  • Gina
    Posted at 12:57h, 14 November Reply

    This is just so much fun and makes me want the holidays to be here even sooner. Thanks for all of these ideas and inspiration.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 15:36h, 17 November Reply

      I know!! I am getting excited!! Falala in the air for sure!! xo

  • Shirley@Housepitality Designs1
    Posted at 06:57h, 15 November Reply

    Wonderful Bar Cart inspiration and tips!…and congrats to the winner…they were all so beautifully styled!

  • Jane
    Posted at 20:13h, 17 November Reply

    So many great ideas here, Leslie! I know wines but not liquor, so your list was just perfect for me to get stock up. I am trying to carve out room for a bar cart…love One Kings Lane and will check that out when I’m ready.

    Thanks so much!

    jane x

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 16:35h, 18 November Reply

      I’m with you on the wine part. I wish I could fill the decanters with those and have them stay fresh!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  • Lidy@FrenchGardenHouse Antiques
    Posted at 22:30h, 17 November Reply

    Perfect ideas! A bar cart is such a help, I like to make guests their first drink, after that they like to help themselves, and a beautiful bar cart is so inviting.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 16:34h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you so much for your so super sweet post on Segreto Vignettes!!! You are the best! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  • Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things
    Posted at 08:45h, 18 November Reply

    I need to find a bar cart now! I am visiting from French Garden House blog.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 16:33h, 18 November Reply

      Hi Penny!! I am so glad you came over to visit!! I hope you stay! I just post a new article every Monday morning! I have two bar carts–LOVE THEM Have a great holiday!

  • noreen
    Posted at 04:06h, 21 November Reply

    some fabulous looking bar carts there!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 06:10h, 21 November Reply

      There are so many great ideas for them it was hard to narrow down! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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