Once considered a fixture of the mid century living room, bar carts are back and have become all the rage on blogs, in magazines, and on social networking sites. A bar cart is a movable cart that is often found in the dining room or living room. They can hold anything from a coffee station to all the fixings needed to shake up your favorite cocktail. With a few key accessories and some chic styling you can create a display that your friends and family will enjoy.

Purchasing Your Cart

The first thing you will need to do is purchase the bar cart itself. There are many options out there in a variety of styles, ranging from shabby chic to contemporary and sleek. Popular colors right now are soft whites and neutrals with metallic gold and silver accents. Other popular styles include bold blues and hot pinks as a way to add a pop of color and whimsy to your decor.

Prior to purchasing you should decide where in your home it will be. It is best to place it somewhere accessible for guests, where you tend to entertain most in the home. A corner near your dining table, or an empty wall near your sitting area would be ideal locations. 

Measure your space to determine how large you want your piece to be. I recommend between 2 1/2 to 3 feet, though you may wish to purchase a higher one. 

Next determine how much you wish to spend. It is a misconception that you have to spend a lot of money to get a high end look. There are many DIY options such as adding a fancy tray to the top of an already existing TV table, or repurposing a bookshelf by adding glass holders. However, you can find reasonably priced bar carts online that are stylish and functional. Here is a great example in a bold teal:

Indoor or Outdoor Folding, Metal, Rolling Serving Cart, Teal
Amazon Price: $79.99 $62.99 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 30, 2016)

Stylizing and Accessorizing

Now that you have your piece its time to style! This is a great opportunity to display glass wear or bar tools that you may be storing in your cabinets. By mixing metals, glass, and bold colors you can create a unique look.

Its important to remember the functionality of the piece, pick one or two bottles of high end liquor that you wish to display or colorful glass bottles and place them on the top. These could be part of a signature drink that you will be serving to guests, or just the products that you use the most. Place the rest of your liquor on the lower shelf.

Next add some fun accessories such as straws, drink stirrers and bar tools. You can find these items at your local party store or department store in a variety of colors and patterns. Try using one color in various patterns, or use complimentary colors to really make your cart pop. Use mason jars or unique glasses to hold your accessories and bar tools and cluster them together in front of the liquor bottles. Your goal is to create groupings of 3 items of different heights, starting with the tallest in the back and then drawing the eye inward. 

To soften the metallics and glass and to add some color place some fresh flowers in a mason jar or empty liquor bottle. Be sure to keep them lower than the bottles if they are going to be in the front of the cart, or get some higher flowers and place them in the opposite back corner to add some depth. If you need to add some height consider purchasing a cocktail recipe book in a fun color and using it to prop up some of your accessories.

To balance the colors add metallic picture frames with cute quotes. For example this Betty Davis quote, "There comes a time in every woman's life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne." would be adorable in a chic frame and placed on the cart. Cocktail shakers can also be used to add sleek metallics to your design and napkins can offer fun patterns. Continue to mix metallics, florals, and patterns, keeping the groups of three where possible. You don't want the space to be too crowded as you will need to be able to mix drinks, but you want it to be visually pleasing as well. A metallic ice bucket makes a great final piece as a focal point of the cart, and again is functional as well. A quick image search online can give you lots of different ideas, but in the end you want to make sure that it really reflects your home and your hosting style. 

If you do not drink you can still make great use of a bar cart by creating a coffee station on it, or even using a large beverage dispenser for lemonade or flavored water. Something like this would be great, and you can find them in most major department stores and at your local party shop:

Buddeez Unbreakable 3-1/2-Gallon Beverage Dispenser with Removable Ice-Cone
Amazon Price: $29.99 $21.44 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 30, 2016)

In place of liquor bottles you can get fun glass bottles at your local home decor shop and fill them with water as well. Old fashioned soda bottles could also add some retro charm to the design.

In the end its all about making it your own and creating a space where you and your guests can enjoy some refreshments while adding some whimsy and fun to your home.