How to style a bar cart

Turn a corner of your living room into the life of the party.

Story by Mary Patterson

Home for the holidays doesn’t have the same ring as it did in other years, does it? Well, even though we have been cooped up at home for the better part of the year, now is the time to jazz it up. If you’re like the LOCAL Life team, many of you will be hosting or attending small get-togethers this holiday season, so we are sharing our idea to get your party started in style. If you follow Pinterest, you know that bar carts are trending. They are a fun way to liven up a party any time of the year, just by changing up the styling. Yes, styling a bar cart is a thing.


Styling tips

1. Create a self-serve drink station
Keep things stress-free by having your guests prepare their own cocktails. By creating a self-serve drink station, your guests will have fun crafting their own custom drinks, and you can join the party! Pro tip: For a New Year’s Eve party, be sure to keep champagne bottles cold by submerging them in a decorative ice bucket.

2. Keep the bar fully stocked
Remember that your bar cart will be a popular destination throughout the party, so you’ll need to make sure that your bar is fully stocked. Keep plenty of straws and napkins on hand. Pro tip: For self-serve cocktails, arrange the ingredients and accessories by laying them out on the top shelf. Leave breathing room to make each item accessible.

3. Decorate with fresh florals
No party bar cart is complete without fresh florals. Keep things simple by sticking to one or two types of flowers arranged into simple bouquets. Stargazer lilies were paired with white hydrangeas to match the palette perfectly. Pro tip: When putting together your floral arrangements, keep in mind that you’ll want the top shelf to have plenty of room, so choose a taller vase to free up valuable tabletop space. For the bottom shelf, a shorter arrangement placed on the opposite end balances out the entire look.

4. Stick with a defined color palette
Your bar cart will stand out with a defined color palette. Use just one to three colors that will really make your bar cart the star of the party. As with all good design, don’t be afraid to mix and match similar textures. Pro tip: Mixing similar yet distinct metallic hues together keeps things interesting.

5. Stock extra bottles
Your bar cart will be responsible for getting the party started, so make sure that you have plenty of drinks on hand to keep the party rolling. Use the bottom shelf to stock extra bottles. Feel free to provide alternative options as well such as wine, different liquor options like whiskey and vodka, along with bitters and vermouth. Pro tip: Offer a selection of non-alcoholic beverages like sparkling sodas and infused waters. Adding fruit gives them a festive twist.

Style Points

Even your cocktail can be styled with your bar cart. Try this raspberry elderflower sparkling cocktail from FTD by Design.

Raspberry elderflower sparkling cocktail



Champagne, Prosecco or sparkling wine

Elderflower liqueur



Gold food coloring


Directions [1] Pour granulated sugar into your food processor and begin adding drops of food coloring until desired color is achieved. [2] Take a lemon slice and rub around the rim of the glass. Sprinkle gold sugar onto a shallow dish, and dip rim into the sugar. [3] Muddle 3-4 raspberries at the bottom of the glass. Add a splash of elderflower liqueur. [4] Top with champagne or sparkling wine. [5] Garnish with raspberry and lemon on a toothpick.

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