5 Tricks To Style A Bar Cart-bar cart

5 Tricks To Style A Bar Cart


Feeling like your bar cart is stuck in a style rut? Yeah, we’ve all been there. I’m here to spill the best tricks to style a bar cart that’ll transform your sad setup into a showstopping centerpiece. When it comes to entertaining guests, a well-styled bar cart can elevate any party or gathering. Not only does it add a touch of sophistication and elegance to your space, but it also serves as a functional and convenient place to store your favorite spirits, mixers, and glassware.  Not only does a bar cart let you store your favorite booze and glassware but also lets you display your own personality and style.  If you’re looking to create a stunning and practical bar cart setup, here are 5 tricks to style a bar cart that your guests can envy, let’s get you started:

What’s a Bar Cart?

A bar cart is a versatile piece of furniture designed specifically for storing and displaying a collection of alcoholic beverages, glassware, and bar accessories. It typically consists of a wheeled cart or trolley with multiple shelves or compartments, providing ample space to organize and showcase your favorite spirits and mixers.

The purpose of a bar cart goes beyond its functional storage capabilities. It serves as a stylish and convenient addition to your home, allowing you to create a designated area for entertaining guests and preparing cocktails. A well-styled bar cart not only adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room but also acts as a focal point for social gatherings. It provides a centralized space where you can effortlessly mix and serve drinks, making it a practical and visually appealing solution for hosting parties or enjoying a quiet evening at home.

Whether you’re an avid cocktail enthusiast or simply enjoy having a well-stocked bar for occasional entertaining, a bar cart offers the perfect combination of functionality and aesthetics. It allows you to showcase your personal style and taste in a way that is both practical and visually pleasing. With the right selection of spirits, glassware, and decorative elements, a bar cart becomes a statement piece that adds character and charm to your living space. Let’s discover more tricks to style a bar cart.

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Assess Your Space and Purpose

Before you get all excited and start styling your bar cart, take a moment to assess your space and determine the purpose of your bar cart. Consider the size of the area where you plan to place the cart and the available room for maneuvering.

Will your bar cart be a central focal point during parties, or will it be a permanent fixture in your living room? Understanding your space constraints and intended use will guide your styling decisions and ensure a seamless integration of the bar cart into your home decor.

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Choose the Right Bar Cart

Selecting the right bar cart is the foundation of a successful styling project. When choosing a bar cart, consider its size, material, and style, ensuring it complements your existing furniture and decor. If you have limited space, opt for a compact bar cart that maximizes vertical storage.

“Your bar cart style should complement your overall home aesthetic. If you have a modern minimalist vibe, opt for a sleek metal cart with clean lines. For a bohemian-inspired space, a vintage wooden cart with woven accents might be perfect. Choose a style that reflects your taste and seamlessly blends into your existing décor.”

Gwyneth Paltrow, Goop Founder & Actress: 

On the other hand, if space is not an issue, a larger bar cart with multiple shelves or compartments can accommodate a wider variety of glassware, bottles, and accessories. Additionally, a bar cart with wheels provides the convenience of easy mobility, allowing you to effortlessly transport drinks from one room to another. Now that you have the perfect bar cart for your home, let’s learn more about these tricks to style a bar cart.

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Define Your Theme or Style

To create a cohesive and visually appealing bar cart setup, it’s essential to define a theme or style that reflects your personal taste and complements your overall home decor. Are you drawn to a classic vintage vibe with art deco accents, a sleek and modern minimalist approach, or a tropical tiki aesthetic reminiscent of a beachside retreat?

“Bar carts are all about personality. Ditch the matchy-match and embrace what makes you unique. Think vintage finds, travel souvenirs, or even a framed photo of your favorite cocktail. It’s your story, tell it through your bar cart!”

Nate Berkus, Decorator:

Selecting a theme will guide your selection of glassware, accessories, and decorative elements, ensuring a harmonious and visually pleasing arrangement.

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How to Decorate Your Bar Cart

Let your creativity flow! Unleash your personality with themed displays (fall foliage, tropical vibes!), mix textures (metal tools, woven coasters, rustic crates), and showcase personal touches (travel souvenirs, quirky conversation starters). Embrace nature with greenery (plants, herbs), set the mood with lighting (fairy lights, mini pendant, candles), and encourage interaction (recipe book, fun fact coasters, chalkboard specials). Know that your unique style is the key ingredient! Below you will find more tips and ideas to you help you get started!

How Should I Stock a Bar Cart? Essentials & Beyond:

Your bar cart needs to be both stylish and functional, so stocking it wisely is key! Here’s a guide to ensure your cart is always ready to whip up delicious drinks:

The Essentials:

  • Base Spirits: Vodka, gin, tequila, rum, bourbon, and whiskey are essential building blocks for countless cocktails. Choose brands you enjoy, but don’t break the bank on everything – quality matters most for the base you use frequently.
  • Mixers: Stock the core ingredients like soda water, tonic water, club soda, citrus juices (lemon, lime, grapefruit), and simple syrup. Add bitters (Angostura and orange are good starters) for complexity.
  • Garnishes: Keep fresh fruits (citrus wedges, berries), olives, and herbs like mint and rosemary on hand for that finishing touch. Consider dried fruits or cocktail cherries for longer shelf life.

Beyond the Basics:

  • Liqueurs: Amaretto, Cointreau, Campari, and Aperol are versatile options for classic and trendy cocktails. Start with a few you enjoy and expand your collection gradually.
  • Specialty Spirits: If you have a favorite spirit, like tequila or gin, add a higher-end bottle for special occasions or specific cocktails.
  • Non-Alcoholic Options: Cater to everyone with sparkling water, flavored seltzer, fresh fruit juices, and mixers for mocktails. You can even offer flavored syrups or shrubs for DIY mocktail creations.

Seasonal Twists:

  • Adapt your bar cart to the seasons! In summer, stock up on lighter spirits, fruity liqueurs, and refreshing mixers. Winter calls for richer spirits, warm spices, and festive garnishes like cranberries and cinnamon sticks.


  • Quality over quantity: Focus on having a few good bottles you enjoy rather than a larger collection of mediocre ones.
  • Consider your tastes and preferences: Stock what you like to drink and what you’ll use to create cocktails you enjoy.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment! Try new spirits, mixers, and garnishes to discover your signature drinks.

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Simplicity Is The Key

5 Tricks To Style A Bar Cart-bar cart
the Every girl

When styling your bar cart keep it simple, there’s no need to fill every inch of the cart with booze or glassware.  Only add the essentials such as pretty glassware, a combination of quality liquor & wine, and an eye-catching cocktail tool.  This is all you need for a stylish, classic bar cart and to keep your guests entertained.

Add Some Interest

5 Tricks To Style A Bar Cart-bar cart
Laurel and Wolf

Now that you have all the essentials, it’s time to add some interest to your bar cart.   Let’s add some color, texture, and pattern with coasters, colorful straws, a bowl of limes, cocktail napkins and some cocktail stirs to add function and a signature style.

If you’re looking for a way to make any room in your home look more expensive without breaking your piggy bank, then I recommend reading “Make Your Room Look More Expensive.

Let’s Add Some Greenery

5 Tricks To Style A Bar Cart-bar cart
Carrie Bradshawlied

Adding greenery and fresh flowers to your bar cart is an easy way to bring life and vibrancy to the space. Not only does it add a pop of color and texture, but it also creates a welcoming and inviting atmosphere for your guests.

“Bring the outdoors in! A touch of greenery, whether it’s a small potted plant, fresh herbs, or even a single flower, adds life and vibrancy to your bar cart. Think unexpected pops of color and natural textures.”

Justina Blakeney, Jungalow Founder: 

Consider adding a small potted plant, a vase of fresh flowers, or a bowl of seasonal fruit to your bar cart for an effortless yet impactful touch, or mint or rosemary to add to your cocktails can make your bar cart beautiful and add a fresh smell/sent to your space.  I believe every home needs a few fresh flowers or greenery, so why not add it to your bar cart for additional color and style? 

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Add Books

5 Tricks To Style A Bar Cart-bar cart

A bar cart is also a great place to display some of your favorite books or cocktail recipe books.  Books will add interest and extra color to your bar cart.  To add some height, stack some books and use them as a base to lift up anything that you would like to draw attention to such as pretty bottles, cocktail tools or a bouquet of flowers.

Finalized With Art

5 Tricks To Style A Bar Cart-bar cart
Style Me Pretty

You have all the essentials in your bar cart, now it’s time to finalize it with some art.  Here’s a good opportunity to add your own personality and style.  If your bar cart is against the wall, fill the wall with interesting art that not only complements the bar cart décor but your entire space as well.

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Antonis Achilleos

Now that you’re armed with the above tricks to style a bar cart, let’s break down the actual shelf-by-shelf styling like a true pro. Imagine your bar cart as a blank canvas, ready to be transformed into a work of art!

Top Shelf:

  • Center Stage: This is prime real estate, so showcase your tallest and most visually striking elements. Think decanters filled with colorful liquors, statement vases with greenery, or even a quirky vintage bar tool collection.
  • Balance Act: On one side of the center display, position your everyday glassware, like martini glasses or highballs. Balance this with your most frequently used liquor bottles on the other side. You can decant them for a cleaner look or leave them as is, whichever reflects your style.
  • Play with Levels: Add another layer with a small tray in the middle holding a decorative item like a candle or coasters. This creates visual interest and breaks up the height.

Lower Shelf:

  • Function First: This shelf is perfect for housing the workhorses of your bar cart. Stack your wine glasses neatly, and store other barware like shakers, jiggers, and muddlers within easy reach.
  • Liquor Love: Dedicate space for your less frequently used spirits here. You can group them by type (gins, tequilas) or simply arrange them for visual appeal.
  • Don’t Forget the Extras: This is where you can incorporate personalized touches like a small bowl of citrus fruits, a recipe book, or even a vintage ice bucket. Remember, it’s all about showcasing your unique style!

Bonus Tip: For an extra touch of sophistication, consider using risers or trays on both shelves to further elevate your bottles and glassware, creating a layered and visually dynamic display.

By following this formula and incorporating your own creative flair, you can transform your bar cart into a stunning focal point that reflects your personality and is sure to impress your guests!

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7 Additional Tricks: For a More Personalized Bar Cart

Mix and Match Glassware

Arteriors Home

When it comes to glassware, don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles, shapes, and sizes. This adds visual interest and depth to your bar cart and allows you to showcase your personality and unique taste. Some popular glassware options to include on your bar cart are wine glasses, champagne flutes, old-fashioned glasses, and martini glasses.

Incorporate Unique Decor Pieces

Antonis Achilleos

To truly make your bar cart stand out, incorporate unique decor pieces that showcase your personality and style. This could be anything from vintage bar tools and shakers to quirky coasters and cocktail napkins. Look for pieces that complement your existing decor and add a touch of whimsy and charm to the space. By incorporating these tricks to style a bar cart, you’ll create a visually captivating and conversation-starting piece in your home.

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Organize with Trays and Containers


To keep your bar cart looking neat and organized, use trays and containers to corral your bottles, mixers, and glassware. This not only makes it easy for your guests to find what they need but also ensures that everything has a designated place. Consider using a tiered tray for bottles, a small container for straws and stirrers, and a glass holder for your favorite stemware.

Play with Height and Layering

Thomas Kuoh

When styling your bar cart, don’t be afraid to play with height and layering to create visual interest and depth. Use books or small boxes to create different levels for your glassware and decor pieces. This allows you to showcase each item and ensures that everything is visible and easily accessible to your guests.

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Keep it Neat and Tidy


A well-styled bar cart is not only visually appealing but also organized and clutter-free. Regularly assess your setup and remove any unnecessary items or empty bottles. Wipe down glassware, polish metal accents, and ensure everything is in its rightful place.

“Function is key! Don’t just focus on aesthetics. Ensure your essential tools and glassware are easily accessible. Bonus points for incorporating hidden storage solutions within your cart for a clutter-free look.”

Emily Henderson, Stylist Blogger: 

A clean and tidy bar cart will always impress your guests and maintain an inviting atmosphere. Consider using small containers or dividers within the cart to keep similar items together and prevent them from shifting during movement. Take a few moments after each gathering to restock and rearrange items, ensuring your bar cart is always ready to impress.


Take your bar cart styling to the next level by transforming the wall above your cart into a captivating gallery display. Incorporate artwork, prints, vintage advertisements, or framed cocktail recipes that align with the theme of your setup.

By carefully selecting and arranging the pieces, you add a personalized touch and reinforce the overall aesthetic. Consider mixing different sizes, shapes, and frames to create a visually dynamic composition. Be sure to choose artwork that is appropriately sized and spaced to complement the dimensions of your bar cart and the surrounding area.

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Think Beyond Booze

Club Crafted

Hold on, coffee lovers! Don’t ditch that bar cart just yet. Here’s another trick to style a bar cart. Turns out, it can be way more than just a liquor haven. Think mornings made magical with a mini coffee bar featuring chic mugs, gourmet beans, and maybe even a frother for fancy latte art.

Feeling festive? Whip up a hot cocoa wonderland with colorful marshmallows, peppermint sticks, and even mini gingerbread houses! And let’s not forget the mocktail crowd – a designated alcohol-free zone with sparkling waters, fresh fruit, and fun mixers is sure to be a hit at any gathering. Plus, you’ll be eco-conscious and wallet-friendly by using up those less-frequented bottles in creative ways. Now that’s what we call thinking outside the (cocktail) glass!

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There you have it! With these tricks to style a bar cart you’re now a certified bar cart styling guru. Remember, the key is to embrace your individuality, have fun, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Who knows, your creation might just become the next viral sensation on social media! So raise a glass to your newfound bar cart expertise, and cheers to many stylishly crafted drinks (and compliments) to come!

FAQs: Tricks to Style a Bar Cart

Q: How often should I restock my bar cart?

A: The frequency of restocking your bar cart depends on your consumption and entertaining habits. If you frequently host gatherings or have a high consumption rate, it’s wise to replenish your supplies every couple of weeks. However, for personal use and occasional entertaining, assess your consumption patterns and restock accordingly to avoid waste.

Q: Can I style a bar cart on a budget?

A: Absolutely! Bar cart styling can be done on any budget. Explore thrift stores, flea markets, and online marketplaces for affordable glassware, decor, and even second-hand bar carts. Get creative and repurpose items you already own, such as trays or decorative boxes, to add a personal touch without breaking the bank. Remember, it’s the careful curation and arrangement of items that make a bar cart stylish, not the price tag.

Q: Should I include non-alcoholic beverages on my bar cart?

A: It’s a great idea to include non-alcoholic options on your bar cart to cater to all your guests’ preferences. Consider stocking a selection of flavored sparkling water, mixers, and even specialty ingredients for mocktails. This ensures everyone feels welcome and can enjoy a refreshing beverage of their choice. Display these non-alcoholic options alongside the alcoholic ones, making it easy for guests to differentiate between them.

Q: How can I incorporate a bar cart in a small space?

A: In a small space, a bar cart can be a versatile and compact addition. Look for a bar cart with a slim profile and minimalistic design that won’t overpower the room. Consider utilizing vertical space by hanging bar tools or glassware on hooks or a wall-mounted organizer. Maximize storage by selecting a cart with additional shelves or opting for stackable glassware. Make use of the top surface of the cart for displaying decorative elements or serving trays when not in use.

Q: Can I style a bar cart for a specific holiday or event?

A: Absolutely! Bar carts provide an excellent opportunity to showcase your creativity and celebrate special occasions. Embrace seasonal themes, such as Halloween, Christmas, or New Year’s, by incorporating festive decorations, themed glassware, and signature cocktails. For example, during Christmas, you can hang small ornaments or string lights around the cart and offer holiday-themed drinks like mulled wine or eggnog. It’s a fun and festive way to impress your guests and elevate the holiday spirit.

Q: How can I make my bar cart child-friendly?

A: If you have children or anticipate young guests, it’s essential to make your bar cart child-friendly. Store breakable glassware out of reach and consider using plastic or acrylic alternatives for their drinks. Opt for non-alcoholic beverages like fruit juices or flavored water and create fun mocktail recipes using colorful and kid-friendly ingredients. Ensure any decorative elements or candles are safely placed away from little hands. Remember, safety should always be a top priority when styling your bar cart in a child-friendly manner.

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