I've wanted a bar cart for a couple years now, but unfortunately we just didn't have the room in our old apartment! When we moved into our new place however, I told myself I would 100% be incorporating a bar cart into the space. So I got to designing, and the above shot is the finished nook :) I wanted to take you through my process of designing this lil space, as well as give you some tips for creating a fun drink zone of your own!
First thing to do is figure out where your cart is going to go. I knew my cart was most likely going to stay put in one place, as opposed to being wheeled around to different areas of the house. That being the case, I wanted to design decor pieces surrounding the cart that made it really felt like it's own zone, and not just a lone cart hanging out in the room. Which meant I needed adequate space and wall room to fit the type of pieces I had in mind (wall decor, hanging plant, euphorbia, snake plant, etc). This empty wall in our dining room looked like the perfect size spot. The cart wouldn't be in the way of foot traffic, and could be a fun focal point while eating meals at our dining room table.
Once you know where you want your cart to go, start visualizing the type of vibe you're looking for in a home bar nook. Be sure to keep in mind your already existing furniture and decor, especially those pieces that will surround the cart. Let them play a part in your decision making. Are you looking for a more modern feel? A metal cart, perhaps? Or are you in the mood for a more boho vibe, a cart made from natural materials? For our dining room I wanted lots of natural materials such as wood and woven pieces, with pops of black sprinkled throughout. I already had a black woven pendant light for above the dining table, and I thought it would look really cool to match it with a black woven bar cart. So that's what I started searching for!
I made sure to measure out the dimensions of all the carts I found online up against the wall so that I would know exact sizing - I didn't want to order something just to find out later it was too big or too small for the space. Carts come in all different sizes so it's important to measure!
take it slow
Once I made my decision and ordered my dream cart, I waited for it to arrive before buying any other pieces for the space. I wanted to see it IRL and let the nook come together organically. Once it was delivered and set up, I started looking for mirrors. I had originally been deciding between a framed art print, a wall hanging, or a mirror for above the cart - but once I saw the cart in the space, Eddie and I agreed a mirror would be the perf addition. It also would face a wall of windows, and placing mirrors opposite windows are a great way to make a space seem larger and brighter.
check for pre-owned before buying new
I'm stone cold obsessed with rattan, so I knew I wanted to get a rattan mirror. I wanted it to be round, and I looked for actual vintage-y previously owned ones for a couple weeks on Craigslist and OfferUp. I wasn't finding any in my price range or size, so I begrudgingly started looking for new ones online, scared of what the price tag would be. Imagine my surprise when I found the exact type of mirror I had been looking for- perfect size, shape, look, and material, for less than $50 bucks! YAS plzzzz.
At the same time I was looking for mirrors, I also started scouring Craigslist and OfferUp for tall cacti and euphorbia. Prickly bbs can be expensive out here in LA, especially for large ones - prices usually start at $200 and go up from there depending on height! I lucked out and found this tall lovie (which I've named Skinnamarinky Dinky Doo since he's so skinny LOL) for only $50 bucks. I love him so! I measured his pot and then went to Homegoods to get a basket for him to sit in. I found this blue pom basket for super cheap, and made sure it was big enough for him to fit in.
have fun with styling
In regards to styling the cart itself, I did what I usually do when styling a space - try out a bunch of different things, take a step back, switch pieces out here and there, move stuff around a few times, and basically just eyeball it till I like how it looks! I lucked out in that I already owned all the things I ended up styling the cart with, so I didn't have to purchase additional pieces. The lamp wasn't being used anywhere else in the house, and I thought it looked cool tucked in the corner on the top shelf. The ponytail palm brought a wonderful sense of height, volume, and movement to the nook. I just love these wicker glass holders and I decided to show off the set prominently. Since the cart is made of woven material, it doesn't have a flat surface - so I placed one of my wooden serving trays on top as a sort of stage for my bitters, mixology dice game, candle, air plant, and bar tools.
play with height
For the bottom shelf of the cart, I placed my mini wicker peacock chair in the corner, and layered different size plants around it to play around with height. Again, since the cart is woven I knew I needed to place my alcohol bottles and shaker on something sturdy and flat so they wouldn't fall over and gimme a heart attack. I didn't want to style it exactly the same as the top shelf and just place items on a tray, so I took a mini lil wooden crate that wasn't being used for anything and placed the alky in there. I think it looks cute, what do you think?
add finishing touches
After Eddie and I hung the mirror, I knew the space needed a hanging plant element. So we (aka Eddie lol) drilled a hole in the ceiling for a hook, and hung one of my fave heart leaf philodendrons from it. I moved one of my snake plants to the right of the cart, and the last addition was the sheepskin rug underneath, as a sort of anchor. And viola!
Let me know what you think of the finished zone! What do you think of bar carts in general? Love em or leave em? I wanna hear, tell me all about it in the comments.
Be sure to check out the rest of the dining room HERE if you haven't taken a look already! xoxo