how to build a bar cart

It was recently brought to my attention that while I have a few seasonal bar cart posts, I haven’t actually done a post on a year-round bar cart decor! I totally get that most people don’t want to bother with swapping out decor quarterly so here are my tips on building a bar cart that will look great year round.

how to build a bar cart
  1. choose a bar cart

    You’ve got to have somewhere to start, right? I’ve pulled a few cute bar cart options, but these same tips apply if you’re styling shelves or an open cabinet with barware.

2. Pick a color scheme

I’d recommend something neutral or pulling a color from the decor in the room that the bar cart is in. I went with black, white, + gold. For a more traditional look, various wood tones + black or white would look great.


3. bottles + glassware

These are the foundation of the bar cart so this is where I’d put most of the effort in. Grab a few cute bottles, a decanter, and some cute glasses. I typically include a set of wine glasses and a set of high balls at minimum. If you’re storing all of your liquor bottles on the cart (and have more than a few), put them in a collection across the back of one of the shelves and consider relocating anything that doesn’t match your color scheme into a decorative bottle. You can also add cute bottles in the form of bitters or mixers like sparkling water.


4. trinkets

I like to add a few pieces other than bottles + cups to mix things up. Here are a few of my favorite adds:

  • Bowls to collect things like limes, candy, stir sticks, etc

  • Barware pieces like a cute bottle opener, corks, napkins, straws, muddler, spoons, jigger, or ice bucket

  • Art leaned or hung on the wall

  • Books stacked add height

  • Plants or flowers

  • Candles or mini-string lights

5. placement

You’re going to want to make sure your bar cart is balanced and has enough height + variety. I wouldn’t have placed both pictures on one side of the bar cart because that would have made one side too heavy. If finding balance is something you struggle with, try making sure things are centered (like the book + bowl on the bottom shelf) and that there are equal amounts of things on each side. Also, remember that arrangements of three tend to look best (top shelf) or you if you’ve got a few sets of two, line them up to keep things very symmetrical (bottom shelf). Be sure you have items of varying heights throughout! When in doubt, put your tallest pieces in the back corners and arrange shorter times around them.