Popularized by the Hollywood elite and Wall Street power brokers, the designer bar cart remains a symbol of dominance in the homes and offices of the world's most influential.
Antique Bar Carts & Dry Bars: Bring the Party Home
With prohibition in the rearview, stocking up on a collection of spirits is a staple of being a good host or hostess. And where better to store the goods than a designer bar cart? A portable alternative to an actual built-in bar, antique bar carts are not only chic and convenient, but can be used for a variety of purposes beyond the bar.
Believe it or not, bar carts actually originated in the Victorian Age, where they were used as trolleys for tea service. It was only after the Prohibition ended that they assumed the role of a party staple. Bar carts are fun, conversational pieces that infuse living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens and outdoor spaces with playfulness and hospitality.
Designer bar carts can be tucked away when not needed, which is ideal for small spaces. They can also be a permanent display fixture in your home, making them a great way to showcase plants, photos, and decorative items. Bar carts are also perfect for parties, as they can follow the action from room to room and keep the soiree rolling at full steam.
Different Styles of Antique Bar Carts
Antique bar carts come in a variety of designs, sizes and materials. Their essential features include handles for maneuvering, wheels for movement, and shelves for storage. That being said, there are plenty of rebellious designer bar carts that opt out of wheels and handles all together. Vintage-looking bar carts are incredibly popular and stylish, and readily available.
Designer bar carts are constructed from a variety of materials. Some popular combinations include:
*Lucite and mirrors
*Brass and glass
*Wood and glass
We love antique bar carts that showcase unique details. A pair of wagon-like wheels will lend a bar cart a vintage, French look. Removable tray tops are convenient for hosting and serving. Circular-shaped bar carts stray from the traditional rectangular form and create a feminine, curvy look. Another whimsical vintage option is the “globe bar.” This is basically a circular-shaped bar cart with a standard shelf at the bottom and a globe that replaces the top shelf. The globe opens up to store bottles, making it the perfect place to hide liquor.
The art of stocking a designer bar cart
A well-stocked bar cart is one of the keys to a memorable party. The essentials for an entertaining bar cart can include any combination of the following barware: vintage glasses, glassware, a bottle opener, corkscrew, ice bucket, decanter, cocktail shaker, matches, coasters, and a combination of wines, beers, liquors and base spirits and mixers.
Other ways to put your designer bar cart to work
Bar carts can be perfect for storing and displaying plants, lamps, photos and other vintage room accents and accessories.
If you’re limited on table space, bar carts can provide a fantastic surface for serving hors d'oeuvres and other snacks during soirees.
Stock your bar cart with makeup, perfumes and beauty products to turn it into a portable vanity. Add candles, vintage perfume bottles, and a vase filled with fresh flowers for an especially elegant, feminine touch.
Towel and Toiletry Bar
A bar cart in the bathroom can provide convenient storage for all your necessities. Style it with towels, toiletries, soaps, and perhaps even some candles.
A bar cart can be an ideal place to store and display your book collection. Play on the library theme with a globe or hourglass for an especially refined look.
Traditional Tea Service
Revive the bar cart’s Victorian origins and use it as a portable tea room! Style it with your favorite vintage teapots, mugs, sugar, and collection of teas. Add a glass jar filled with biscotti, cookies or scones, and of course throw in some decor accents like fresh flowers or candles.
If needed, a bar cart can serve as an extension of your kitchen. This works especially well in smaller places. You can use it as a place to store and display dishes, glassware, flatware, linens, spices, jars, and cookbooks.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. A bar cart is an amazing piece for the home, as it is incredibly versatile and allows you to be as creative as you want. It’s easy to style and can look glamorous, retro, ultra-feminine or ruggedly masculine, all depending on how you style it.