A few years ago, you could probably get away with simply inviting a few people over, plunking a cheap handle of vodka or wine on the table, and letting ’em get to it. But now that everyone’s a little older and (hopefully) a bit more refined, it feels like high time to invest in some grown-up booze and a pretty place to put it. While few of us have the space or the need for a full bar, a cute little bar cart is the perfect addition to any home or apartment. Read on for tips on cultivating yours.
Invest in a statement-making cart
When you think of the classic bar cart, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Gold and mirrored with a subtle art deco feel is the vibe, and believe it or not, this classy look doesn’t have to be expensive. We like this one from Houzz ($259) and this from Macy’s ($229) because they’re roomy enough to fit all your booze and then some. The key here isn’t to just jam all your bottles on a tiny table, but to create a chic pastiche that enhances the room and showcases your style, so space is essential. If you have a little more to spend, Anthropologie’s gold and lucite version ($698) is fit for a modern-day champagne-guzzling princess.
Layer in lots of accessories
Lifestyle blogger Vilma Iris, who knows a thing or two about creating a beautiful bar cart, says the non-alcoholic accessories are the key to a cute cart. “Bring in bar books or pretty bowls, or add in colorful straws to draw the eye,” she says. “Drape some twinkle lights around it to make it even more fun. Also, think about how you zone your cart for essentials: glassware, tools, bottles, decorative items.” Wondering what kind of books to add? Consider a cocktail recipe guide like The Little Black Book of Cocktails or What the F*** Should I Drink?
Allow form to meet function
When it comes to tools, consider the fact that they’re going to be on display 24/7, so this isn’t the time to skimp on style. RBT’s line of gold-trimmed bar tools, which includes an ice bucket ($80), a corkscrew ($50), a cocktail shaker ($50), and a coaster set ($40), provides the perfect complement to your glamorous gold bar cart. In terms of glassware, Iris suggests integrating a seasonal pop of color. “I love to layer in striking stemware that calls attention, that feels like me. I use vintage amber glasses and pumpkin-shaped wine goblets during Fall, skeleton stemware and decanters during Halloween, and during Christmas, I love festive glasses with red stems,” she shares.
Buy the right booze
Alcohol is expensive, so there’s no reason to invest in a bunch of pretty bottles that you’re never going to open. Think about what you and your friends like to drink, and stick with that. That being said, clear liquors like vodka and tequila and even gin are cocktail staples, so it’s good to have at least a bottle of each on hand at all times. There’s no reason to spring for the most expensive bottle in the store, but expect to spend at least $35 for a good bottle that you’ll be proud to display.