How to Style a Bar Cart


Bar carts are beautiful, useful and can be a real focal point for any party but they can also be an everyday staple in your home. Discover how to style a bar cart to accentuate your room.

How to Style a Bar Cart

Hi Kenarry readers, it’s Lori from Greco Design Company and today I’m showing you how to style a bar cart so that you can create a fun and purposeful focal point for your next party – or just an everyday extra serving space in your home.

How to Style a Bar Cart

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The Bar Cart – Vintage party decor

The bar cart has been around since the early 1800s but were actually tea trolleys. They didn’t become well-known cocktail entertaining items until the 1950s. But I feel that currently, they have taken on a more versatile and decorative role.

How to style a bar cart

My bar cart focuses on Rosé and has a very feminine feel to it. But even if this isn’t your intended style, I’ll show you how to incorporate all the elements to create a bar cart to fit any style.

An empty bar cart

Where to buy a bar cart

First, you’ll need a bar cart. Mine is actually an old record table that I found at a local thrift store. I refinished it a few years ago – spray painting the metal gold and painting the wood white. I also added a tray because it didn’t have a flat serving surface. And since the bottom portion was constructed to hold old records, it wasn’t the best space for bar cart storage items. So I decided to lean a smaller tray here to be both decorative and useful if needed to carry drinks.

If you don’t have a bar cart, or something that can serve as a bar cart, I found this one, this one and this one online. But be sure to search your local thrift stores too. I find the only criteria needed for a bar cart are:

  • A good serving height and surface
  • Wheels so it can be transferred to different rooms or areas as needed
  • A manageable size so it’s big enough to hold serving items, but won’t take up too much space.
How to Style a Bar Cart

What you Need to style a bar cart

Take the chance to browse local home decor shops or even some thrift stores. Here’s what I used and what I think are the main essentials most bar carts should have.

Style a Bar Cart – Instructions

Now that you know what you need and how to find a bar cart, are you ready to decorate it? This is the fun part! Just follow these easy steps and you will style a bar cart with your own personal flair.

1. decide on your color scheme or theme

Rose themed items to put on a bar cart

I was doing a Rosé themed cart so I used a lot of pinks along with gold and black. First, I shopped my house to see if I had any decor items to fit this color palette. I also found some adorable small sized rose bottles at my local liquor store. The smaller size makes them perfect for a bar cart space.

2. add levels

An empty bar cart with a few shelves to give it different levels

Cake stands, trays, footed platters – these are all great pieces that will literally elevate your bar cart. They add both extra storage and serving space but will also make the bar cart more interesting too.

3. start with the beverages

A bar cart with rose drinks

We all want our bar cart to look pretty but the main function is to be a bar! So add your beverage selections. You don’t have to add too many – they can be replenished as the party goes on.

4. add glassware

Adding pink and rose gold plastic cups to the bar cart with the rose

Glassware is a must but consider coordinating it with your color palette or theme. It doesn’t have to be fancy – I found these durable pink and gold plastic cups on sale at Target and they’ll be perfect for a large get-together. You don’t need to put too many glasses on your bar cart either.

If your bar cart allows, store more underneath and replenish as needed. Along with glassware, it’s good to include an ice bucket. Or even a small bowl for ice. And again, replenish as needed. I found my mid-century style ice bucket also at a thrift store. I like to think it originally lived on a bar cart in the 1960s and has a few stories to tell.

5. ADD THE paper goods

Paper straws and cocktail napkins are perfect to add to a bar cart

Napkins, straws, stirrers, bottle openers – all the things we need and like to serve with our cocktails. Try and keep these in line with your theme and color palette. And using fun vases or ceramic bowls is a good way to keep these small items organized. Since my bar cart is wine-related, I didn’t really need straws or stirrers but there are so many fun options out there.

6. ADD the decor

How to Style a Bar Cart - Add some candles and other fun pieces of decor
A close up of painted wood beads and a few pieces of decor for a rose gold bar cart

See what space you have left and add pieces that create interest and mood. Candles, dishes, vases or any decorative pieces. They can be useful for holding snacks, nuts, wine charms or they can be purely decorative.

Think about adding texture with these pieces too. Wood, ribbon, burlap, seashells, stone – these are all great ways to make your bar cart shine. Matches are always needed when you have candles and I found the Rae Dunn matches in a jar at HomeGoods. I also love to include pieces that flow through space such as a garland or a string of beads. These visually connect all your pieces and they also can make your bar cart more festive.

7. add some artwork

How to Style a Bar Cart - a piece of art that says
How to Style a Bar Cart

A bar cart is a perfect place to add cute messages or meaningful artwork. You can find a lot of free or low-cost digital art prints online. You can also write a message on a chalkboard or hang a pretty photo or art. Wood signs are so trendy and can be found in almost any home decor stores or on Etsy. If you’re feeling creative, check out my post on how to create your own wood sign.

8. ADD greenery, flowers & the finishing touches

A few pink flowers on a bar cart
A white vase with orange and pink flowers on a rose-themed bar cart

Greenery and flowers really add life to any space. And you can even include faux options here. Look at the space you have left and tuck in a few sprigs or add a vase if you have the room.

How to Style a Bar Cart

I also added a pom pom garland for a little extra fun, feminine touch, and this tassel garland would also look great.

How to style a bar cart

Now pour yourself a drink, like these delicious raspberry mimosas, and admire your new bar cart!

I hope you enjoyed this post and consider adding a bar cart to your home. They’re so versatile that even if it’s not being used for cocktail beverages, it can also be the perfect spot for a coffee station, a movie night goodies cart, a hot cocoa station, or a birthday party cake bar.

And be sure to check out these related posts from my blog:

My Favorite Cocktail Recipes & A Free Booklet

The Best Sangria Ever

Make You Own Pom Pom Garland

You may also enjoy these party ideas on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® – 

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