How to Style a Bar Cart

When I was younger I dreamed of coming home from work, putting on music, pouring a drink and making dinner with my hubby (yes, I dreamed about this and not my wedding day). And that is essentially our routine. We get home from work, walk Luca, pour a glass of wine and make dinner. We usually look to the bar cart to see what alcohol we have at home. There is something about the bar cart that makes the routine even more enjoyable. 

A bar cart is one of my favorite pieces in a living room. Not only is it a great piece in terms of decor, it has a lot of practical use (i.e. storage and wine, two of my favorite things). [This is a total side note but am I the only one that finds I NEVER have enough storage? We move into bigger and bigger places and the problem seems to follow me around. I refuse to accept that I just continue accumulating more and more stuff.]

We bought this bar cart on Craigslist when we lived in Montreal. I will say the most beautiful bar carts I've seen are usually from places like flea markets and eBay. I knew this one was a gem. I sent Ray on a mission and when he brought it home I was in love. Once I stopped staring at it for a while I had to figure out how to decorate it. Decorating it wasn't as easy as I thought so I thought I would share with you some of my tips. 

Tip 1: Decide on a theme

There are so many ways to decorate a bar cart. Just like I mentioned in my Tips for Home Decor post, I think it's a good idea to spend some time scrolling through Pinterest to discover what kind of bar cart decor you are into and what you can live without. Do you want it to revolve only around drinking (glassware, different alcohol, straws, accessories etc)? Do you want it for show only or to have a practical use? I knew I wanted it to hold wine but also to be a place where I stored items I wanted visible in the dining room, but had no where to put them. 

Tip 2: Decide on the alcohol to other items ratio. 

Some bar carts are used primarily to store alcohol. While I am ALL for an endless supply of alcohol, we tend to purchase a couple of bottles at a time rather than a box at a time. We are rarely in a situation where we have 12 bottles of wine at home. So I knew I wanted to have room for around 4 bottles of wine and a few bottles of sparkling water (which is just for show). 

Tip 3: If you have any fancy glassware, display it. 

Most of our glassware is from IKEA or Home Goods. Since we didn't register for our wedding, we never ended up investing a lot of money in items for the home (like glassware, pots and pans etc). Blame it on my shoe addiction if you must, but I kind of feel like the cheap glasses do the trick and there's no point in spending money on that. Nevertheless, if you do have fancy glassware, display it. I have fine china from my grandmother and I make sure that is displayed. There is no point in hiding it in a cupboard. I did take a fancy Ralph Lauren decanter and glass set (pictured above) from my dad that he never used and made that the focus of the top shelf. 

Tip 4: Add some fake flowers (or real ones if you keep it up) and books

Flowers (real or fake) are the easiest way to add a pop of color and fill up an empty space. The ones on my bar cart are fake from Home Goods. You don't need to spend a lot of money and there are a million variations. Books are another great way to fill up the cart. I currently have a vintage looking edition of Great Expectations from Anthropology on my cart. I also have my wedding album on the bottom shelf. 

Tip 5: Make it seasonal

A trick I learned from my mom is to make it seasonal. For example, over Christmas hang little Christmas lights on the top shelf. It's an inexpensive way to change it up and give that Christmas feel in your home. 

My one caution when it comes to bar carts is be realistic. When I first started decorating it I would put fresh lemons in a bowl on the lower shelf every week. While it's a cute idea, slowly I would forget to replace the lemons and it just became annoying to remember. Same thing could happen if you choose to decorate with fresh flowers. While I wish my house would always look like a Pinterest picture, it doesn't. You want to make the decor as easy and realistic as possible. 

I hope these tips helped! I also pinned some of my favorite bar cart inspiration pics on my Pinterest page. Let me know if you have any other tips xoxox

Photography by Felicia Lasala


  1. I really love your tip on making your bar cart seasonal! Your orchid definitely displays that! I've always wanted to get a bar cart, but I haven't found the perfect one yet. Yours is so cute!! I'll have to keep these tips in mind when I do get one!


    1. Hey Elle!

      Thank you!! I credit that all to my mom! I suggest checking out flea markets. Vintage ones are really the best. xoxo