Blue Cabinets With Gold Pulls Bar

Bar Cart Ideas To Elevate Your Space

Katie Ziraldo4 Minute Read
July 26, 2021

Both functional in practice and beautiful in design, a bar cart can be a simple and efficient way for homeowners to make good use of extra space. This may be particularly appealing to those with smaller homes who don’t have the space for a full bar, and considering these bars are on wheels, they’re easy to move around as your home changes.

But what exactly are bar carts and where did they come from? This concept first emerged in the Victorian era when it was often utilized as a tea trolley. Following the end of the Prohibition, the trolley formerly used for nonalcoholic beverages was converted into the cocktail cart, which reached peak popularity in the mid-1950s.

But in the 1970s, homeowners wanted bigger, better bars in their homes and built-in wet bars all but replaced bar carts in most homes. The exact origin of the recent resurgence of bar carts is a mystery, although many attribute it to popular period movies and TV shows such as Mad Men, which exposed a new generation to mid-century modern design – including the timeless concept of a bar cart.

10 Bar Cart Decor Ideas

Over the years, this home decor trend has manifested in many ways, from traditional liquor carts to coffee carts – but whatever you choose to use it for functionally, a great bar cart can also serve as a focal point in your home.

If you’re looking for creative ways to style your own bar cart, the following list may provide the inspiration you need to get started.

1. Style With Coffee Table And Cocktail Books

Books on barcart

Adding a few bright, colorful coffee table or other types of books to a bar cart can add personality and a necessary pop of color – and if you have a few cocktail books lying around, these can prove to be as functional as they are stylish.

  1. Add A Drink Dispenser

Glass Drink Dispensers With Cut Fruit Infusions

If you plan to serve large-batch drinks while entertaining, adding a drink dispenser can be a simple and impactful choice! And in between parties, this can also be used as a convenient everyday water dispenser.

  1. Spruce Up With Florals And Greenery

Bar Surrounded By Houseplants

Including flower arrangements or greenery on and around your bar cart can take the space to the next level, especially as a spring decor idea. There are several types of indoor plants that work well with this idea, from the fiddle-leaf fig to the jade plant, so which plant you choose will ultimately depend on your personal preference.

  1. Display Your Glassware

Cut crystal glassware on bar cart

Glassware is a huge focus in any bar cart design, but unique and colorful pieces can add even more flair to the project. Adding vintage glassware can match the popular granmillennial decor trend – a style of interior design that blends the classic styles you may have found in your grandmother’s house, such as prints, ruffles and embroidery, and presenting them in a fresh way.

  1. DIY Bar Cart Ideas

Room with pallets furniture bar

If you’re searching for more affordable bar cart options, building a do-it-yourself (DIY) bar cart is a fun and effective way to save money and create a one-of-a-kind piece for your home. There are a number of ways you could go about this – from adding wheels to stationary tables to strapping wood crates or palettes together – which means you can design the cart to match other decor in your home.

  1. Create An Outdoor Bar Cart

Vintage Bar cart With Fresh Cut Flowers

Want to hop on this trend but don’t have the space inside your home? Consider an outdoor bar cart instead! These carts typically incorporate ice buckets and weatherproof materials to bring the comfort of your home into your backyard, and often function differently than their indoor counterparts.

  1. Incorporate Modern Touches

modern pale green with a mini bar trolley with glasses a minimal lines art frame and a vase with pampas grass

The right bar cart can also elevate a home with a midcentury modern aesthetic. This style, which focuses on minimalist elements and the use of sleek materials, blends perfectly with many of the angular carts on the market. Bar carts made of glass and metal fit best with this design style.  

  1. Transform Into A Wine Cart

Wine Bar Cart

If you’re a wine enthusiast, bar carts can easily be used for wine display and storage as well. There are a number of wine cart ideas to consider, but whatever style you prefer, wine carts can benefit from miniature wine fridges.

  1. Use Ingredients As Decor

Citrus And Herb Ingredients On Slate Bar Arrangement

If you have lemons, limes, garnish, or other ingredients you will be using for your concoctions, these ingredients may be able to double as some creative decor.

  1. Embrace Minimalism

modern blue room with a mini bar trolley with glasses, bottles, a minimal lines art frame and a hanging plant

When all else fails, remember that minimalism is popular for a reason. Sometimes the best way to create a functional space is to keep it simple – so don’t feel like you have to clutter the bar cart for it to shine in your home.

The Bottom Line: Find The Bar Cart Idea That Fits Your Style

A well-designed bar cart should serve as a functional piece of home decor. Whether you choose to buy or construct your own cart, the opportunities for personalization are endless – from what you put on the cart to what you use it for. But whatever you decide, one of the biggest perks of a bar cart is that it can be easily changed over time to reflect your sense of style. If your home’s aesthetic changes or if you’re a fan of seasonal decor, your bar cart can adapt.

If you’re looking for your next house project, review our list of DIY home decor ideas and check out more homeowner tips on the Rocket Homes® blog.

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Katie Ziraldo

Katie Ziraldo found her love of writing through her experience working with various newspapers, such as the Detroit Free Press. Her financial literacy stems from her four years as a Recruiter, when she learned the details of every role in the mortgage process. As a writer, she uses that knowledge to create relevant content for homeowners to help them reach their goals.