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A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Vintage Bar Cart: Bringing Style + Function to a Small Space

Perfect little space for a bar cart- right inside the eat in kitchen area.  We added a trio of framed vintage records to go with the cart.

Perfect little space for a bar cart- right inside the eat in kitchen area.  We added a trio of framed vintage records to go with the cart.

 

A few months back, I helped a good friend come up with a unique birthday present for her boyfriend, a vintage bar cart! Bar carts have become a big trend in recent years, thanks to the excessive boozing on period shows like Mad Men [I refer to it as the 'Don Draper Effect.'  Though they're typically seen as more of a bachelor pad fixture, I don't consider bar carts to be masculine at all.  I think it's all in how you style them, and what you decide to use your cart for.  They don't even necessarily have to hold liquor and alcohol accessories.  A drink cart filled with pretty glasses, juices, sodas, ice and other fixings can make for a perfectly lovely drink cart at any party.

After two days of SERIOUS bar cart hunting, we found this baby at one of my go to antique stores in the Decatur/Atlanta area, Kudzu.  I believe the cart was $48, give or take a few dollars.  It needed some cleaning, but I LOVED the worn in vintage charm of it!

This particular cart was going into a small space, so we chose the cart based on it's petite size and it's ability to store lots of goodies within the confines of its three shelves.  As a basic rule of thumb, I love referring to this post on 'The Art of the Bar Cart'. But basically, it boils down to having:

  • DRINK ACCESSORIES: shaker, strainer, bottle opener, corkscrew, ice bucket, etc.
  • GLASSES: a mixture of types for different drinks [Tom Collins, High Ball, Martini, Wine]. Just curate this based on your needs
  • LIQUOR: having the basics is always good, but again, fill it with things YOU like to drink!
  • MIXERS: bitters, lemon twists, olives, and the like are always good to have on hand
  • SNACKS: crackers, nuts, veggies, or at least a serving piece [we used a teal tray to counter all the red]
  • DETAILS: a couple stylist touches brought this vignette together [vintage playing cards, an 8 ball, a mini Empire State building- my fave!, an old license plate, plus a couple bar towels tied the entire cart together]
 
Somebody sling me a martini already!

Somebody sling me a martini already!

The giftee is from Massachusetts, and the gifter is from New York, so it's a nice little nod to their past. And 8 balls are just manly and cool, right?

The giftee is from Massachusetts, and the gifter is from New York, so it's a nice little nod to their past. And 8 balls are just manly and cool, right?

My friend found these great vintage Pan Am playing cards- so fitting with the Mad Men era!

My friend found these great vintage Pan Am playing cards- so fitting with the Mad Men era!

The glasses were sourced from antique stores and Goodwill, an amazing source for affordable, good quality glasses!

The glasses were sourced from antique stores and Goodwill, an amazing source for affordable, good quality glasses!

This had nothing to do with our bar cart styling, but we were enjoying some yummy Eye Patch Ale while we were working!

This had nothing to do with our bar cart styling, but we were enjoying some yummy Eye Patch Ale while we were working!

There you have it- a complete vintage bar cart, ready to wheel into any party!

There you have it- a complete vintage bar cart, ready to wheel into any party!

I just had to include a photo of Lola in here- she was being such a good model!

I just had to include a photo of Lola in here- she was being such a good model!