Raise the Bar with These Bar Cart Styling Ideas

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Erica Buehler

Fill 1Created with Sketch.

Published on April 6, 2021

Unlike a built-out home bar, the bar cart is versatile, customizable, and oftentimes mobile (go ahead, wheel it to the bedroom — we won’t tell). Adding a bar cart (or cabinet) to your home adds a layer of sophistication and elegance, plus, it’s super practical and mindful of space-saving needs. But when it comes to styling your bar cart, are you giving it your all or simply stacking bottles? Find out with these bar cart styling tips. 

Lay the Foundation

The first step, of course, is finding the right bar cart or cabinet for you. Do you want wheels for added mobility? Multiple shelves for extra glassware storage? Something open and accessible or closed and stationary as a piece of furniture? It all depends on your personal style and what you want most out of your ideal bartending moments. 

We personally love the contrast between this mid century modern rattan bar and this chic, modern standing bar, but the options are seemingly limitless. Not sure where to start? Try taking our style quiz first!

Start with the Essentials

Obviously, you’re going to want some cool glassware, neatly arranged bottles, and all the necessary bar accessories to make your bar cart perfectly functional. But how you put these bar essentials together matters!

Start by choosing a set of glassware that speaks to you visually. We love this subtle but sophisticated set from CB2, but if you’re looking for something with a little more color and trend, try this colorful, multi-sized wine glass set, or go stemless with a pop of shimmer and shine. Other favorites include these highball and rocks glass sets from Riedel as well as Schott Zwiesel’s Modo red wine glasses (with white wine and Champagne sets available, too).

When it comes to other bar necessities, consider what small design additions can create a well-rounded aesthetic. Smaller items like these unique cocktail picks can make a guest pause and appreciate the little, conscious design efforts you made when thinking about entertaining and stocking your bar cart. An elegant, gilded rim coupe glass will make your handcrafted cocktails that much more beautiful. Larger staples, like martini pitchers and witty decanter sets, add just enough flair to make your style truly unique.

Add the Right Elements

According to Havenly designer Melissa Wagner, “a bar cart is another surface in your home that you can style out, like a bookshelf or coffee table.” Don’t be afraid to look beyond liquor and add what you love to the mix! Once you’ve decided on your bar cart, glassware, and accessories, pepper in special pieces that reflect your individual style (or that just look awesome).

“Feel free to add a plant or vase with florals or greenery, or add a layer to the cart with your favorite cocktail recipe books,” Wagner says. “You can even include a candle or decor item for added interest.” Not only will you look like a styling master, but these types of decor add texture and sophistication in an unexpected place.

As for the various bottles of your preferred wines and spirits, go with your gut. Layer bottles by height with tallest in the back so your cocktail party guests can take in all the options. Or, arrange by color for easy drink navigation. Bottle design and labeling only seem to be getting better, so keep an eye out for a knockout combo of delicious beverage and beautiful packaging during your next trip to the liquor store. Can we get a “cheers” to that? 

Set the bar high with a customized space from our expert designers. 

Words by Erica Buehler