Cheers! 6 Smart and Fun Ways to Use Bar Carts Throughout Your HomePosted on: February 13, 2018, by : Amy Pecoraro
Some homeowners are lucky enough to have the extra space for a wet bar that would fill “Cocktail”-era Tom Cruise with envy. But for the rest of us, there’s the bar cart—a compact yet chic solution for displaying glassware and bottles.
“Bar carts are very on-trend because they save space, move easily from room to room, and they’re highly decorative,” says Kristen Pawlak, owner of Decorating Dens Interiors KP Designs.
But you don’t have to imbibe to reap the rewards of a bar cart. This nifty piece can do double or triple duty, going beyond a mere mixing spot for Manhattans. Clear off the top, and it becomes a serving station for appetizers, a miniature greenhouse for plants, or a bonus storage for, well, anything you want.
So whether you enjoy a nightly happy hour or host occasional soirees, here are six alternative bar cart looks you might want to roll out in your home.
1. Stock a book nook
Position a bar cart near your window seat or other cozy reading nook, and use it to hold books, a reading lamp, extra eyeglasses, tissues, and more.
When shopping for a cart, seek out one that’s heavy for its size, as it’s usually a good indication that the piece is made with quality metals.
“And look for a sturdy frame, even if you don’t plan to wheel it around, because you need it to support the heavy items on top,” notes Liz Toombs, owner of PDR Interiors.
2. Corral a collection
Lacquer boxes, crystal decanters, and novelty books are just a few of the many collections you can house on a bar cart.
“Clear or mirrored shelves reflect light and make your things sparkle,” Toombs says.
Find a piece with surfaces that wipe clean and a bar or handle on one side for easy maneuvering.
3. Make an end table
Photo by Kasey Buick
Use a cart to stand in as a side or end table. You’ve got mobility to move it anywhere. And you can take advantage of the shelves below to hold TV remotes and magazines.
Bar carts can also offer decorative flair you might not find in a typical living room set.
“A cart in a fun, bright color like red or aqua adds interest to a room, much like a piece of art,” Pawlak says.
Seek out metallics, like golds paired with glass or stone. And look for unique silhouettes, like round or oval carts.
4. Go green with plants
There’s a reason bar carts have wheels. But a few can become permanent fixtures, particularly those that reside on decks and poolside. If you get great light on your covered porch or stoop, consider filling a bar cart with ivy, succulents, and other lush greenery.
And consider matching your cart’s materials to your location, especially if you’re near the water. Rattan, wicker, and bamboo are great choices for an outdoor bar cart in a home by a lake or the coast.
“There are also beach-themed carts that have metal frames made to mimic the appearance of bamboo,” Toombs adds.
5. Set up a brew station
Plain, yet functional, this simple white frame can roll easily into most kitchens to become a home coffee cart. Arrange yours with the pot, cups, filters, and extra beans.
And don’t forget to change up your cart’s look according to the season and for different kinds of entertaining. Make this spot festive for parties by loading it with colorful napkins, towels, and plates, Pawlak says. “Fresh flowers and candy dishes are also nice touches.”
6. Add a bonus to your bathroom
No bathroom storage? No problem. A slender bar cart works well alongside a tub or, if it’s small enough, right underneath the sink.
“Tiered shelves and wheels mean this piece can move into a bath to hold towels and pretty guest soaps—so it’s basically standing in for an etagere,” Toombs says.
Add a basket or two below to store extra toilet paper and bath salts.
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