I’m a big fan of repurposing items you already have for new things, especially as of late. So, when Wayfair asked me to style up a bar cart for summer celebrating, I knew I wanted to use something a little unexpected. And that’s exactly what I found!
I fell in love with this shelving system and it was screaming ‘I totally want to be a bar cart’. So, it came home with me (well, actually it arrived at my doorstep – even better), along with some of it’s cool little friends. And I put together stylish bar cart that can easily go indoors or out (just add wheels if you want to take this show on the road).
Click through for my summer bar cart essentials and tips for styling your own bar cart at home…
First things, first. The bar cart itself! There are plenty of cool ones out there, but when it comes to this particular piece of furniture, things are a bit more lenient. Almost anything can be turned into a bar cart with the right accessories!
So, I figured it would be more fun to think outside the box on this one – which is how I ended up with this Wayfair Stik System Shelving Unit by Menu. And then its just a matter of adding the right accessories.
And speaking of the right accessories, here’s how I like to keep my bar cart stocked…
- Glassware and mini bowls. I always keep at least 4 glasses on hand for company, but don’t over do it with different glasses for every type of drink. Maybe its just me being low-key or the fact that visually I don’t like the way having tons of glassware on display looks, but either way, its good to have some kind of option, so you don’t have to pop into the kitchen every five seconds. I went with a basic glass in a pretty summer color that can be used for a variety of drinks.
- Trays and tea towels. You never know when you’ll need a tray, a tea towel to clean up a mess, or a cutting board to slice up fresh fruit. So, I like to keep those on my bar cart too. Wayfair mountain tea towel.
- Alcohol and mixers. You can’t have a bar cart without these two things, right?! So, don’t forget the alcohol and at least a couple of mixers, like club soda, seltzer, sour mix, and even juice.
- Straws and picks. Keep straws and cocktail picks handy in a small container. I used a Wayfair hexagon vase to keep everything looking cute and tidy.
- Fresh fruit. Depending on the time of year, I like to keep fresh seasonal fruit around for cocktails. They also double as something pretty to look at. Bonus! Pineapple and lemons are great summer staples to have on hand for drinks.
- Plants and flowers. This is probably the most optional bar cart accessory, but I don’t think I do any kind of styling these days without one of the two (or both). This Wayfair round pot planter is my fave!
- Other things of note… I don’t keep an ice bucket on my bar cart, but I do have one nearby for keeping white wine and champagne chilled, if needed. Same goes for my shaker, jigger, ice tongs, etc. None of that stuff is especially attractive, so for the sake of keeping things from looking cluttered, I skipped ’em. BUT they are still important to have around.
Bar Cart Styling
As for how to style all of these items on one cart, I try to keep things simple. I like things to look layered but not crowded, so I tend to scale back on the number of things I’ll put on a cart. And I make sure that there are varying heights, colors, and textures throughout to keep things visually interesting.
Other than that, keeping the less attractive items on the bottom shelf (along with something pretty – like fresh flowers) is a must for me too. All the fun stuff and small but mighty items (like straws, mini bowls, a tea towel, etc) are on the top. And that’s pretty much it.
Making Your Cart Indoor / Outdoor
What I love most about bar carts, other than the alcohol, is that they’re typically pretty easy to move because of their size. So, while mine stays indoors until we get our rooftop deck refinished, it would be just as great outside for backyard parties and poolside events.
If you’re using an alternative cart, like mine, all it needs is a set of wheels. To do this, drill holes in the bottom of the legs, install caster wheels (I like these Wayfair brass swivel wheel casters) and you’re good to go! After the party is over, you can roll it back indoors to keep it safe from the elements.
Photography by Amelia Tatnall
Styling by Brittni Mehlhoff
If you have any questions about how to style your own bar cart at home, let me know in the comments below. And if I’ve forgotten one of your ‘must-have’ bar cart essentials, give me shout.
Source List: Wayfair Stik System Shelving Unit // Wayfair hexagon vase // Sandwich shop bowl // Wayfair graphic paper straws // Wayfair round pot planter // Wayfair mountain tea towel // Rose colored glasses // Arch cutting board
This post is in partnership with Wayfair. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running.