Some say they never left (me), but for some, bar carts are back!
Often used as an accent piece, bar carts are great for extra storage. The bar carts humble beginnings actually come from the Victorian Era and had nothing to do with alcohol, but with tea. Following the repeal of prohibition in the 1920s/1930s, bar carts switched it up to it's most known use: for cocktails and drinks.
Today, bar carts are commonly used as accent pieces to display barware and offerings, but they also offer additional storage and an opportunity for displaying accent pieces or a unique space for seasonal decor.
If you’ve read any of my other pieces or know me well you will not be surprised as to where I found my bar cart: on the side of the road. Yes, it was being thrown away, but I saw it’s potential. It was in rough shape, but I knew it just needed some cleaning and a coat of paint and I would have the perfect piece.
Now you’re probably thinking, Nicole, I have zero intentions of cruising around and in the odd chance, coming across a discarded bar cart. But, some good news: there are lots of places that sell newer bar carts, or you can delve into some DIY options as well. Most bar carts have wheels, as they were intended to be portable for entertaining, however, you could even find a 2 or 3-tied shelf and turn it into a custom bar cart.
Feeling less inclined to DIY? Places like Wayfair and Amazon offer a wide variety of styles and price points for beautiful bar carts. Even Michael’s currently has some 3-tier craft storage carts that could easily be transformed with a few simple steps.
My cart's transformation
Formy cart, I gave it a quick scrub (cleaning before you spray is very important!) and painted it a beautiful gold - but recently, I felt it again needed a little refresh, as I’ve been seeing a resurgence and trend of matte blacks in home decor. All it took was one can of matte black spray paint and a few minutes to transform my cart again. One addition I put on mine, and you can do whatever type of cart you have, is sliders to hang wine glasses. I purchased mine at Lee Valley for under $10, and it helped to make use of unused space on the cart, plus added to the Mad Men feel I wanted of an authentic bar cart. They’re very affordable, and require minimal effort to hang them: simply use a permanent adhesive, and voila, your cart becomes a bar cart in minutes. Now, let’s talk styling.
The hostess with the mostess
Yes, bar carts can be used for alcohol and barware. For mine, I have an eclectic collection of glasses, a beautiful vintage decanter set I scored at Value Village, some bottles of alcohol, and a vintage bar sign I stumbled upon at a yard sale. If you have little ones in or visiting your home, you can easily tuck away the bottles, and just keep your cart styled and ready for parties or entertaining. They are a great way to save some cupboard space for your glass collection as well, but remember to keep them dusted off and clean since they’re out in the open.
For a family-friendly bar cart, they are incredible for additional storage and area beautiful way to display your decor. Things like cookbooks, faux or real floral arrangements, small decor items, or a picture frame with a cute printable give you just what you need. With the new movement towards reusable straws, you could add a handful of those in a cute cup or jar - and it then becomes a functional piece of decor in your home.
Welcome winter with cozy drinks
When I say ‘Hot chocolate bar’ it probably sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t well? Well, guess what? It’s super easy and looks super cute on a bar cart. With cold weather around the corner, it’s fun to have hot drinks ready to sip. A hot chocolate bar is a great way to display some of your favorite mugs and save some cupboard space. You can fill a mug or glass with candy canes, put out a small dish with sprinkles, a glass jar with marshmallows, or even grab a flavored syrup to have on display (If you’re an Elf fan, you’ll know it’s one of the elves 4 food groups!). Finish it off with a frame and download a free printable, and voila! You have an adorable, styled bar cart ready to bring in the cooler weather.
TIP: Do you get the January blahs once your Christmas decor is down? You can easily add some pieces or change up the offerings to have a coffee bar to get you through those cold winter mornings.
Bar carts are a great place to display pieces you already have in your home but hadn’t thought about using for styling. The possibilities are truly endless and may become a piece that’s ever-changing for you.
For ideas on making your own, DIY’ing a found treasure or for styling, a quick search on Pinterest will give you more ideas than you know what to do with.
Hi, I’m Nicole! My partner John and I have owned a Stone’s Prestige Home for over 3 and ½ years, and we love our space! With a passion for DIY, I’ve had so much fun personalizing and really making our space our own. I love to craft and get creative, and like all DIY’ers, I’ve had my fair share of fails. I’m excited to share ideas, inspiration, and projects, and a few tips along the way to help you along your DIY journey!