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How To Make Your Bar Cart Beautiful

July 23rd, 2013

10 Tips for Styling a Bar Cart by Waiting on Martha | Camille Styles

How many of you have taken the plunge and purchased a bar cart? We scored a vintage one on Craigslist a couple years ago, and since then have used it countless times, painting it a new color between uses. And when it’s not being used at a party or in a photo shoot, the cart stands pretty in our office, displaying gorgeous glassware, fun party accessories and of course, booze! By now, I think it’s safe to say that bar carts are breaking out of the trendy category and becoming something of a furniture staple… so in light of this this tectonic shift in interiors, we thought we’d turn to blogger and online shop owner Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha for a crash course in styling the perfect bar cart. Mandy styled this beauty (photographed by Rustic White Photographyand is sharing her 10 tips for bring a bar cart into your space seamlessly…

10 Tips for Styling a Bar Cart by Waiting on Martha | Camille Styles

1. Let your bar cart tell the story of you. Mix in personal items that represent your personal style. On my cart I have monogrammed mint julep cups that hold straws, vintage swizzle sticks from my great grandmother, wine corks from my favorite bottles of wine and vintage bartending books that I fell in love with while antiquing. 

2. Don’t overdo it. You don’t have to cram every barware item you own on to your cart. Keep it flexible and switch out the colors, napkins, glasses and other components for easy entertaining designed for each gathering and/or season.

3. Mix it up. By mixing colors, textures, metals, vintage and modern items your cart will be full of personality (and won’t look like you ran out and bought everything for it in one fell swoop).

4. Consider investing in the actual cart. A good one will last you a lifetime! And from my experience, get one on wheels. Though it’ll likely live in one room in your home, it’s nice to be able to move it to a different space when entertaining.

5. Get the right tools! I am a firm believer that every bar cart should have all the tools necessary to make the perfect drink. Start with a shakermuddleropenerstirrer, strainer, ice bucket and tongs (or take the guesswork out by buying a complete set).

10 Tips for Styling a Bar Cart by Waiting on Martha | Camille Styles

6. Pick bottles that will look gorgeous when displayed. Even if you’re not a fan of the liquor itself, you can always refill the display-worthy bottles with your preferred scotch, whisky, vodka, gin, brandy, tequila, or rum.

7. Pick wines that you plan on drinking within 3-6 months. Anything you plan on holiding on to longer should be stored on its side, preferably at a 55 degree angle (yes, even red!).

8. Fresh flowers make everything better. Include a pretty arrangement in a really fabulous vase on your bar cart to help brighten up the design.

9. Don’t limit your bar cart to just booze! Most carts would make for a lovely coffee and tea spread, dessert or appetizer cart or even a place to hold gifts at a shower.

10. It should be both functional and beautiful. Your bar cart serves a very distinct purpose, but it should also be a piece that you love looking at.

design & styling by Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting On Martha; photography by Rustic White Photography; mint julep cups, straws, shaker, muddler, opener, stirrers and vase available at Waiting On Martha online boutique

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52 Comments under :: How To Make Your Bar Cart Beautiful
  1. Lovely tips!! I actually did a post on bar carts a while back, but the post was mostly eye candy: http://pressedwordsat.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/bar-cart/ Totally agree with the fresh flowers, on bar carts and beyond!

  2. This is wonderful! I’ve been trying to put together a bar cart for awhile now. Thanks so much for the tips!! Can’t wait to put them to some good use.

    Alex from http://www.polkadottedpixels.com

  3. sev2108 says:

    Where is the bar cart itself from?

  4. DVH says:

    Totally agree on picking the right bottles, but I would pick the right brands. Unfortunately, it’s illegal to refill liquor bottles in Texas (not that many people would know). A good spirit should be proud of it’s container!

  5. great tips! my mom got me a vintage bar car a few years ago and i just love it!

    Molly {Dreams in HD}
    http://dreamsinhd.blogspot.com/

  6. SO thrilled to be featured today. Thank you thank you darlings! Made our day. xo Big Hugs

  7. Erica Zamora says:

    Orin Swift wines – always perfection. The Locations series – those are drinkers, that’s for sure. I have a pie safe that I’m using as my cocktail cabinet, but love the traditional cart. And beautiful bottles filled with favorites is a long time secret and great tip. We should always like what we drink.

  8. These are great tips and this is probably the most beautiful bar cart I’ve ever seen!

  9. I love a bar cart. I remember them when I was a little girl, my family always had a party. I must scour some estate sales for my next find. Love the skull liquor bottle.

  10. [...] I was thrilled to be featured over on on of my favorite sites, Camille Styles, chatting about how to make your bar cart beautiful.  By now you’ve probably seen my cart [...]

  11. Cristina says:

    Scouring Craigslist constantly for an affordable one. This one is gorgeous.

  12. [...] …shared my bar cart over on Camille Styles. [...]

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  15. Smash says:

    I love this post! So many cute ideas.

  16. Kumi says:

    Do you know where that bar cart is from or the manufacturer? So lovely.

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  34. […] Tip# 2 from Camille Styles “Consider investing in the actual cart. A good one will last you a lifetime! And from my experience, get one on wheels. Though it’ll likely live in one room in your home, it’s nice to be able to move it to a different space when entertaining.” […]

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