How to set up a super stylish bar cart by Little Yellow Couch
By Carla Snuggs
Setting up a bar is a great opportunity to add a little sophistication to your abode. But it's not necessary to take it too seriously...a bar is also a spot where you can show your personality, be it quirky and colorful or mod and sparkly!
Posh Beauty Blog turned to Zandra of Little Yellow Couch who shares with us how to set up stylish bar cart. If you haven’t checked out Little Yellow Couch yet, be sure to do so. It is an amazing lifestyle and design blog focused on connecting to the things, people and places that feel personal and meaningful.
How to Set up a Bar Cart by Zandra of Little Yellow Couch
Here are two bars Little Yellow Couch has redone recently. The first one has been painted a bold coral color (we used Cari Cuksey's Grand Hotel Flowers Red), which means it'll be a focal point in the room. We decoupaged nautical charts to the insides of the shelves, giving the bar a casual vibe (for our how-to tips, check out our before & after post here).
The second bar has a totally different feel to it. It's meant to elevate the mood of a party with it's sparkle and touch of glamour. We added inexpensive lighting strips from Ikea underneath the shelves. The back of the cabinet is decoupaged with a glittered, mod-like pattern (from Paper Source). We used silver leaf on the shelves and tray sitting on top. (You can read about our how-to tips on this before & after post).
You'll notice that both of our bars started out as something else. The first one was a small bookcase and the second was an old record cabinet. You can look for smallish furniture items to repurpose at thrift stores or antique shops or you can buy something ready-made. Here are two of our faves, with two totally different looks:
Stock Your Bar Cart
A basic bar set up can end up costly quite a bit if you try to stock the bar all at once. It would include vodka, gin, rum, tequila and possibly cognac and bourbon. Then there are the alcoholic mixers: cointreau, bitters, vermouth etc. and the non-alcoholic juices, club sodas and tonics. Oh, and let's not forget the bazillion garnishes might have: olives, lemon and lime peels, onions, horseradish, tabasco, salt... Whew! My wallet is feeling sad and lonely.
A different option that we highly recommend is to use a "signature" cocktail for a party. This is a drink that you'd either make ahead of time in a pitcher or have all of the ingredients on hand with easy directions written out so that guests can assemble their own. If you go this route, it allows you to spend a little less on having a fully stocked bar. You'll only buy the alcohol needed for the signature drink, plus wine and possibly beer. As a bonus, whatever leftover bottles you have become the start of your liquor collection so that you slowly build up a fully stocked bar. Here are some signature drinks we've created in the past:
Pear Mojito// Waterfront Margarita // Black & White Martini // Sochi Mule // Jack Rose
Bar Cart Accessories
Now that you've got your alcohol straightened out, there are a few other essentials for a well appointed bar. It's always good to have a bar towel on hand in case someone spills. Our favorites include a Mod starburst pattern and a colorful, happy herringbone. Plus, you can't ever go wrong with a fox:
You'll want some aesthetically pleasing containers to hold whatever garnishes you need for your signature cocktail. Small glass bowls will certainly do the trick or we like the classic look of marble, or these cheery porcelain beauties. For something a bit more rustic, you could use an olive wood appetizer dish instead.
Of course, you'll need glassware. You probably already have wine glasses on hand and possibly some Old Fashioned glasses (the low, wide ones). As for all of the other varieties of drinking vessels, use the same "signature" approach as above. Buy the type of glass you need for the particular cocktail you'll be making and that's it. If you're making a martini, buy martini glasses. If you're making a mojito, buy the tall, thin glasses. And if you're making a Sochi mule, buy the beautiful copper mugs. Just don't buy everything at once!
To finish off your bar, here are some more essential tools and frivolous-but-awesome accessories we love. Click through!
Salt & Sugar
Share your finished bar with us! We'd love to see what you come up with!
xoxo Karen June & Zandra, Little Yellow Couch