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Styling a Bar Cart

Try It: Style a Bar Cart & Throw a Soiree!

It’s no secret that I’m fond of diving into a cocktail now and then. But with winter on our doorstep, who can be bothered going out to get one? This season I say it’s all about soirees at home. And what better way to get in the mood then putting together your own bar cart or drinks tray? Here’s some inspiration and guidance on getting it right.

Bar Cart Decorating

The Cart or Tray is Everything. 

Whether you go all out with a bar cart or a dedicated tray, it’s wise to make sure it looks a bit dapper. I love a vintage feel here. You can get bar carts and vintage trays from second hand stores for next to nothing, and when it comes to the bar cart – spray away! Get yourself some Rust-Oleum spray paint (it’s honestly the best – paint and primer in one!) and go to town on giving the cart a new lease on life. Gold or copper paint would look grand!

(Find out more about Rust-oleum by clicking here)

Bar Cart Styling

The Booze is Kinda Vital

I tend to go for looks over value or function when it comes to alcohol (that explains the hangover), so for me it’s all about pretty bottles. You really can’t beat the skull-shaped bottle of vodka from Crystal Head, and I’m also rather fond of Skyy Vodka for its beautiful blue glass. Bulldog Gin (sleek and black) is also a winner, while a glorious bottle of champers and some top shelf scotch is a no brainer.

Arrange the bottles according to height on the bar cart or tray, with the tallest bottles at the back.

Decorating a Bar Cart

Glassware will Make or Break It

I must again highlight the magic of going vintage here. Nothing will evoke a Mad Men vibe or make the soiree feel special like retro cocktail glasses or a deep, wide whiskey glass. I’ve found some magic in second hand stores when it comes to glassware, but Karen Walker Home does a modern take on the old-school aesthetic if you can’t bare the thought of sipping on a used cup.

Cheers Coasters for Bar Cart

Decorating is the Best Part!

A bar cart will look tired and boring without a bit of modern bling. I like to throw in some cheeky coasters, some appropriate art or books, and flowers – like in most scenarios – help soften the cart or tray and bring it to life.

If you’re on a budget, add some fruit into the mix. You’ll use it in cocktails anyway and it’s an incredibly affordable way to add some colour to the vignette.

Happy (responsible) drinking. I hope your next party has a little TLC in it! 

Bar Cart and Drinks Tray

Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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