Interior Trends 2017: Bar Carts

Interior Trends 2017: Bar Carts

Bar carts have become an interior trend in a big way over the last couple of years and it's a trend that is most definitely here to stay. Staying in has become the new going out and entertaining is bigger than ever. Offering both style and convenience, the bar cart is the perfect entertaining accessory. A mid-century staple, not only do they create an area of interest and fun in a room, but they also stop your guests getting thirsty and you as the host having to do too much work, other than to keep some fresh ice cubes on hand and those drinks topped up. 

They are an item of furniture which are small enough for most houses or apartments to accommodate and can be fitted into a corner or small space in a room. You can never have too many spaces for faffing and shelving on a bar cart gives another surface to indulge your interior flair with cool bottles, glassware and bar accessories. They're also portable, as most bar carts are on wheels, so if you get bored of them in one area of your home, you can move them to another or into the garden for summer gatherings. 

It's far to say I am a fan of the home bar. My husband Steve wanted his own home bar for as long as I can remember and for our first one, we went big. I found a retro 1950's boat bar on Ebay, and due to the seller forgetting to put a reserve on it, I won it for £70. I couldn't believe it and Steve was absolutely made up when it arrived at our house for his early birthday present. We're known amongst our friends for our boat bar and it's sort of part of the family now (it's called Del Buoy after our love of Only Fools & Horses but with a sailing pun. Get it?!) and I don't think we could ever part with it. It's always a talking point when guests come for dinner and Steve of course loves standing behind it and making cocktails. Who wouldn't?! 

You'd think having an actual bar in our house would be enough but a few years ago, after watching every episode of Mad Men going, I fell in love with the bar cart and decided I needed one in our living room. You know, for those moments when we couldn't possibly walk to the boat bar and wanted to fix ourselves a drink from the comfort of our lounge instead. 

The first bar cart I bought was a 1960's atomic brown cocktail trolley from Ebay, which I won for £30. As soon as it arrived, I went through all the bar accessories on our boat bar and pulled out select items to fill it with which created hours of faffing fun. 

This cocktail trolley has now been retired to the garage and I've since introduced two other bar carts to our house.

The first is my favourite, as I love the gold frame with gold detailed wheels and smoked glass shelves. When I saw it in Stockport's Vintage Emporium for £20 I couldn't believe my luck and couldn't get it to the till quick enough. West Elm do a very similar one for over £300 and I knew this was an absolute bargain. 

The second bar cart is in the corner of the dining area of our kitchen and it adds some nice detail to what would otherwise probably be an empty corner of the room. My sister got this one for free and gave it to me and after a good clean up, some added fairy lights and a bit of styling, I think it looks great. 

So, what are the best items to style your bar cart with? 

  • A cocktail shaker
  • A decanter containing your favourite spirit

  • A retro bar accessory such as a soda syphon or ice bucket

  • Glassware (a couple of different styles of glasses work well)

  • Straws or drinks stirrers

  • A few cool bottles of your favourite spirits

  • A decorative vase or plate (useful for cocktail nibbles) 

  • Fairy lights

  • A bit of greenery such as a plant, flowers or cactus

A mixture of some of the items above should give you a perfectly styled bar cart that is both useful and pleasing to look at and all are accessories that can be changed around whenever you like, to update your bar cart as and when you want to. 

The only downside of the bar car trend is that as they have become more popular, they have also become more expensive. A lot of high-street bar carts are priced at £300 and over, and whilst it is an investment piece that you're likely to have forever, it's still a lot of money to spend.

My bar carts are all retro items and cost me £30 or less. Whilst some retro bar carts can be as expensive as brand new ones, you can also find a bargain if you know where to look. Ebay, Gumtree, charity shops, car boot sales and antique and retro shops are all great places to browse. Even if you find a cheap bar cart but it's not exactly what you were looking for, think about upcycling it by spray painting it gold or copper or adding adhesive vinyl to the shelves in marble or another pattern. 

If you're desperate to introduce a bar cart into your home decor that's affordable and don't have time to search for one, then you're in luck! I have trawled the high-street to bring you my five favourite bar carts under £200. 


1.  Hurn & Hurn Normann Copenhagen Block Side Table £153

2. Wayfair Palermo Drinks Trolley £122.99 

3. Swoon Editions Carrello Bar Trolley in Iron & Gold £149 

4. Dunelm Pimlico Antique Brass Drinks Trolley £149 

5. Cora Drinks Trolley in Brass £169

And of course, we all have that 'if money were no object' buy don't we? Well, this is mine in the world of bar carts... swoon! Well done West Elm for making such a modern yet retro mid century style piece - this is most definitely the next bar cart I'd like to own. Surely I have room for one more, right?!

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