Decor  /  

Jun 08, 2017

7 Tips for Styling a Vintage Bar Cart

Back around the holidays, we partnered with Katie Kime to give away her gorgeous lucite bar cart! So today, we couldn’t be more excited to share where that pretty cart ended up! The lucky recipient, Leslie Biggley, rolled this cart right on into her living room and adorned it with beautiful vintage barware. We must say, the modern beauty looks right at home! Here, Leslie not only reveals the decor, but also shares her best tips for styling a vintage bar cart.

Leslie says, I bet we can all style a bar cart when we’ve got a party right? You would think through what you’ll need: drinks, ice, deserts, plates, snacks, etc. But what about styling a bar cart as a conversation piece in the room that you can leave set up all the time? I love this idea because a bar cart is the perfect addition to a living room or family room to add tons of personality and loads of style!  

I love the effect that vintage finds have on a space and the people in the space. Honestly, it’s all my outside-the-box thrifted finds that catch our guests’ attention and make a space feel like it’s full of character, and that’s exactly what gave me the idea to style a bar cart using only vintage barware! The best part is thrift stores are bursting with vintage barware. Plus, it’s fun to start a collection!

Collect with a color scheme in mind. You’ll be blown away by how much vintage barware is out there, so if you want a pink color palette stay true to your theme and collect pink. The cart will feel really put together with consistent color. In my case, I was after the bright blues and mints and I had no trouble finding what I was looking for.

Collect pieces that are different shapes and sizes. You need a variety of sizes to layer on your cart. For example, it’s nice to have taller pieces at the back. Find glasses that are different styles for interest. It’s wild how many different shaped vintage glasses you can find, so challenge yourself to find a curated mix. I love the green and gold striped decanter that I found because it’s got a cool shape and great height.

Add a backdrop. I like to add a backdrop to the cart with art work. Right now, I have a painting of a pool with a flamingo floatie. I have a plan though, to frame some photos of my grandparents when they were young having formal cocktails at a party for the Navy, where grandfather was an officer. The photos are super iconic and vintage and would be perfect on the cart to amp up the nostalgic feel.

Work on a collection. One way to add a collected feel to the cart would be to collect the same type of barware everywhere you go. For example, I’m going collect ice buckets. I have two on the cart now, but I’d like to add a couple more if I find the perfect ones. That’s the thing: you can’t rush a vintage collection, but the pursuit is so fun! Imagine you’re on vacation and hit a thrift shop and find the perfect pink retro ice bucket?!?! Another idea along the same vein would be to collect vintage shot glasses and have an awesome mismatched set from your travels.

Create a Vintage Library. I’m on the lookout for a super vintage cocktail book or bartender’s guide. Every vintage bar cart needs a Vintage Cocktail book, or two, or three! Think about it…they are filled with nostalgic drinks from the past that would make any party super charged with fun, trying to make the drinks. And the cover artwork is amazing!

Take your time!  A curated vintage barware collection is not made overnight…where’s the fun in that for all of us craigslist and thrift store hunters? Give yourself time to fall in love with each piece and then you know your guests will too! The bar cart makes me smile every time I see it; all the colors, vintage patterns, and stories that the pieces must have! Plus, once people know what you’re collecting, friends might be texting you photos of vintage barware you might like…score!

So many possibilities to include! Here is a little list of ideas of things to search for but the possibilities are endless: embroidered cocktail napkins, swizzle sticks, cocktail shakers, ice buckets, tongues, bar spoons, ice mallet, bottle opener, shot glasses!  

What are your favorite bar cart accessories? P.S. You can also find home decor inspiration here!

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