Shop Around the House: How to Style a Bar Cart in 10 Minutes or Less

If you have known me for any amount of time, you probably know the love affair I have with bar carts. Yes, they are functional for storage and entertaining but even when they aren’t in true use, they can be styled to jazz up any corner in your home. But, if you aren’t just filling them with bottles how do you style them? First, consider the space. Is it a living room? Kitchen? Family room? Think about what makes sense. What would you use in that room naturally? Then, determine a theme/color palette. In celebration of summer, and the peonies I picked up at the store, I took inventory and then set to work to create a tropical bar cart with items I already had – either on display or in storage. Where do you start? Shop around the house: how to style a bar cart in 10 minutes or less.

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple- World Market Gold Asher Bar Cart

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Before we start- a little PSA. My favorite gold bar cart (pictured) is on sale for $135. 😉 You can find it HERE.

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple- set up in foyer

My inspiration started with the peonies I picked up. They are only available for a very short time each year so I thought they deserved to be the star of the show. I grabbed the vases from my sitting room and living room…

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple- sitting nook with peonies

Greek key ottoman with tray and pink peonies

… and continued to search. The kitchen is one of the best places to shop. Do you have any fruit? serving pieces? Pretty beverage bottles? Pedestals? Cutting boards? I made some edits and hauled out several pieces from countertops, cabinets, and drawers.

Shades of Summer Home Tour with Neutrals and Naturals-cream kitchen and giallo ornamental granite with perfect greige sherwin williams paint

[Image from my Summer Home Tour]

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple- shopping around your home bar cart

I resorted to the dining room and butler’s pantry too. Think about party supplies like straws and picks you may normally keep hidden. Even if you aren’t expecting immediate company, your bar cart should look like you are.

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple-bar cart essentials

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple-how to style a bar cart with flowers

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple- flower stylying on World Market marble pedestal

If it isn’t “pretty”, don’t use it. If your cart holds all of your bar stock, you can probably get away with burying a few cheaper bottles but if you are trying to create a statement piece, don’t use a single plastic jug to be a standalone focal point.

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple- flowers on a bar cart

Same thing goes for sodas and juices- if you stick to “glass-only”, you won’t have to second guess. Plastic coke bottles aren’t going to have the same effect as adorable vintage glass coke bottles.

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple- grapefruit bar cart

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple-how to style a bar cart

Try to edit it down. Once you shop around your house, you may find that you have too much. Don’t feel like you have to fit every bar accessory you own, or everything that could possibly fit with your theme onto the cart.

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple- inexpensive decor

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple-peonies and shell picks

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple-peonies in black and white west elm vase

Look for ways to layer, both in depth and height. Pay special attention to trays, pedestals as possibilities.

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple- bar cart setup in foyer

Display the appropriate glassware with the beverage. For example, I’m not going to use wine glasses with soda and I’m not going to use martini glasses with wine. With the fruit and grapefruit sodas, I had already envisioned a refreshing, fruity virgin martini. So those are the glasses I opted for.

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple- mixing in bud vase with regular vase

It takes a lot of trial and error. Once you get the hang of shopping your house for different bar cart looks, I dare you to not want to get one for every room in your house.

Easy Tropical Bar Cart with Peonies and Pineapple- bar cart accessories

Speaking of, I finally took my new black cane bar cart for her maiden voyage. I will be sharing more later this week, but here is a peek of her looking all handsome and simple 😉 She is also on sale for $139 today; you can find her HERE.

Black Rattan Outdoor Bar Cart

Do you have a bar cart in a non-typical space? Let me know about it in the comment section below!

Gold Bar Cart | Black Rattan Bar Cart | Wooden & Marble Cutting Board | Marble Cheese Board | Marble & Wooden Pedestal | Driftwood Chargers | Gray & White Accordion Vase | Black and White Vase- West Elm (no longer available) SIMILAR | Salmon and Black Napkin- Crate & Barrel (no longer available) | Napkins | Straws | White Beverage Tubs

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11 Comments

  1. 6.21.17
    Anneli Kriek said:

    Love love LOVE this post! So beautiful, the styling and the pictures!
    Kelley, your photo’s are always so pretty and well planned.
    The peonies where definitely the stars of the show.

  2. 6.21.17
    Sharon said:

    Love your bar cart styling! I too have a long love affair with the bar cart and have had one or another in my decor since the ’70’s! I use mine more for displaying unique personal items, but it does get pressed into actual bar service for parties and get togethers. Thanks for the beautiful styling tips shared here. I always look forward to your updates!

  3. 6.21.17
    Joni King said:

    I’m ready to pop over for a drink! So inviting Kelley Nan and I always love, love, love your pictures and great ideas!

    • 6.23.17

      Joni, you know how much I would love that!

  4. 6.25.17

    This so beautifully styled!! Love the peonies 😉 I have been trying SO hard to not buy a 2nd bar cart, but when I saw both of yours… I became a little weak!

    • 6.27.17

      Haha, Rachael! I know- I have to admit, I am still determining the permanent home for the new girl 😉

  5. 2.26.21
    Amberlee Benton said:

    I’m a hair stylist and I use a bar cart as my color tray. My guests love it!

    • 2.26.21

      Hi Amberlee, Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I love that you use a bar cart as your color tray. What fun!

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