In how many ways can you use and style a bar cart?
Although a bar cart is an optional furniture piece in a home, this portable fixture and it's classy presence is highly desirable in home decor, and also makes a strong statements in weddings and events. Not only can a home bar cart be a chic decorative piece in itself; it's equally functional and totally versatile! It no longer serves the sole purpose of showcasing and serving your libations in style. It can serve double-duty by being a bar or dessert station at parties, and a nightstand or side table on regular days. Or, it can have any other use your creative mind can imagine. It can be utilized and styled to easily blend in with the rest of your home decor or stand out as a focal point of entertainment for guests. Deciding the purpose of this piece is the first step in styling and organizing it.
Let’s think about the purpose of your cart for a moment before diving into this topic of styling and organization. Is your fixture meant to serve its traditional purpose as a mini bar? Or have you absolutely fallen in love with the design of a specific piece, and want to incorporate it with other elements in your home for an entirely different purpose? Your call! Just to show you a few examples, here is my take on the bar cart I own. In case you're wondering, my cart is from ZGallerie. This Metropolitan Bar Cart is sleek, contemporary, and quite modest in size. It's mirrored and chrome finish gives it a clean sheen and creates a modern vibe. There are so many different types of bar carts that I am absolutely obsessed with, but I wanted something that was reasonably priced and looked clean and simple. Here you go:
A Cart that Grows
Okay, maybe not literally! It's no secret that I love indoor plants as much as I love the outdoors! It's my way of bringing the outdoors... in. I think my love for plants and gardening comes from watching my parents. My mother used to have all kinds of plants in her two-bedroom apartment when my brother and I were growing up. And when we moved to a house, my father caught the gardening bug, as well! He developed a deep "devotion" to his vegetable plants and flower garden. If you are one of those people who has a thing for plants and need to maximize space in your apartment, a "bar" cart can be used to showcase a variety of plants. You can use it interchangeably for plants that might need more light, or ones that may require less light by simply rolling the cart away from the window, or wheeling it closer to the window for constant exposure to sunlight. Use the top shelf for plants that require extra Vitamin D, and the bottom shelf can be for those who enjoy a bit of shade. It’s your greenhouse on wheels!
My Side Table Knows how to Roll
Although I do like matching nightstands, I prefer to sometimes mix and match different pieces and styles. It's so hard to choose only one piece of furniture with all the amazing options in the market! Are you looking for a unique option for your bedside table? A cart is a fun and unique choice! The top shelf can accommodate the lamp and nightstand necessities, while books or less-used items can be stored on lower-shelf for easy reach. If I may say so, this Metropolitan nightstand looked stunning next to the white leather bed and other chrome-finished furniture in the room! Whether it’s a brand new piece you found at your favorite home-decor shop, or a total steal from your local vintage shop, there are wide variety of ways in which you can utilize an item.
I've shown you a couple of options, but there are other ways to use these fixtures. Have you met, Cart? No worries, I will introduce you to my make-up assistant, Cart, another day. Cart helps you get a;; "dolled up." It not only works as a cosmetic stand for extra storage of make-up, perfume, or even fashion accessories, but it can also guard all the office supplies when paired with a study table. (If you do use it for office supplies, it’s better to have shelves that aren't made out of mirrors, which could scratch with rough use.) Once the purpose of our furniture piece has been decided, we focus on the next question - How do we organize and dress it up according to the occasion?
Do you remember reading my Halloween party blog? (Although this isn't the season, here is the link if you haven’t read it, or just want a reminder) In the blog, I talk about the importance of designating and separating areas into zones for organizing items and creating flow. Follow the same concept when designing a bar cart, or any space for that matter, which itself acts as your entire canvas or house. You can use trays or some negative space to separate each category of items into sections or “rooms.” Look at it as a house with two to three floors (this generates some crazy thoughts in my head! Warning: Lots of imaginary playtime with niece can cause that to happen).
Use dimensions and pieces harmonizing in color, style, and purpose. Add small collectibles, as well as fashionable, and functional items. For example: for a bar, use coasters, cocktail napkins, straws, and fun serving pieces. Flaunt it a little! Bring in flowers and pretty vases to dress it up a tad bit, adding your creative touch. Mount a wall decor above it, or place a frame directly on the bar cart itself.
For the "green" cart, I've used an acai wood platter as a tray to group plants of various sizes in decorative pots and candle holders. Two little clay pots were grouped inside a decorative birdcage, which I bought a few years ago from Michaels for my wedding. I am excited to feature Rebecca Tong in this blog by incorporating her lettering work on these little pots. I absolutely adore her work and love supporting it! Community over competition all the way. Keep your eyes open for more of her lettering work featured in my future blog posts!
For this blog, I went with the pots to showcase fresh flowers (these were leftovers, but still fresh, from a styled shoot last week. I feel so bad when people toss the flowers after a shoot! Recycle and repurpose!). I've also added a decorative bicycle that I bought from Target a few years ago, and a handmade glass globe from Pottery Barn as unexpected display pieces to draw attention and give it personality. I used pots of various heights and shapes to add dimension. And topped it all off by placing a frame with my original art piece - an oil painting I did a few years ago.
For the night stand, I used a "tray" to hold tiny essentials such as chapsticks and rings. I fell in love with this beautiful picture frame, which I did not want to use to hold circular photos. So, I took off the glass and used black velvet padding to fashion a ring holder or trinket tray. I use a coaster or pad at the bottom, to avoid scratches. I placed a silver-mirrored tray to hold a water bottle, lotion, and I added a cute little clay pot to bring in touch of freshness through flowers. The clean lines and bright gold of the rhino figural from Target added a modern and fun touch to the stack of books and magazines! Check out Target's new collection of the sculptures and figurines. They are amazingly cute, and help to create that finishing touch with unique accent pieces!
Do you have a statement wall? Or maybe you have an accent wall, dramatic wall paper, or a corner of a room dedicated to your bar cabinet or shelf. Reach for art pieces, prints, or even mirrors to mount over or behind the bar cart. Hang a chandelier or ceiling light to create a dramatic effect, and highlight your bar. It’s about adding that touch of curiosity - through light, collectibles, and art - drawing eyes and giving it its own personality.
With a little bit of practice and creative eye, you too can master the art of dressing up a bar cart. Think outside the box and let your imagination flow without restrictions or preconceived perceptions. Be daring and distinctive in your choices of pieces and ideas. Sometimes the most rewarding rule is to not follow all the rules. If you liked this post or found it helpful, please do let me know by leaving a comment below! I appreciate you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit and read this blog. My mother's day blog will be up soon! Thank you, and see you again!
Product Affiliation List: