Mia Shulman, Managing Editor
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 11:20 AM EDT
Entertaining is all about impeccable presentation in a relaxed atmosphere, where guests can feel at home and help themselves. It's a fine balance, but completely achievable with the help of one key piece: the bar cart. Not only are bar carts perfect for storing specialty glassware and an assortment of bevvies, they make for hip focal points in a living or dining room, and keep guests out of the kitchen! Check out our favourites, from mid-century mod, to the intricate and ornate.
It's impossible to talk about bar carts without thinking of Don Draper's well-stocked office. (We like the look so much, we even created a Mad Men-inspired holiday table!) The mid-century modern style of teak or brass carts is a lasting trend that blends a laid back look with sophisticated spirits. Try your hand at classic cocktails like an old fashioned or gimlet. Keep basic tumblers on hand and a retro ice bucket fully stocked to keep the libations flowing.
Libations Bar Cart, $755. Available at www.crateandbarrel.com.
Bar carts are all about living the high life and making a statement. Look for an ornate, gold option and top it off with a glowing candle and a burst of colourful blooms, sitting on a stack of bar tending books (we recommend The Savoy Cocktail Book, a classic, and Shake, Stir, Pour-Fresh Homegrown Cocktails, for creative bevvies).
Worlds Away Carr Bar Cart, $1,173. Available at www.laylagrace.com.
Sleek & Sophisticated
Create a bachelor pad that Bond would approve of, complete with a sleek, simplistic bar. Chrome and lacquer look modern and sophisticated, and work in living rooms, or even a kitchen in smaller spaces. The only thing left to question is, shaken or stirred?
1950s Milo Bar Cart, $895. Available at www.restorationhardware.com.
All the Fixings
The look of a well stocked bar is the sign of a hostess who's ready for anything. Carts that come designed with racks for bottles and wine glasses make impromptu hosting a breeze. (Just remember to restock post-party!).
Lexington Mirrored Butler Tray, $260. Available at www.zgallerie.com.
The Madison Mixer, $515. Available at www.shopsocietysocial.com.
The Stand In
The appearance of a bar cart can create an air of sophistication, even without a huge investment or a large amount of space. Look for folding butler trays that can be brought out for entertaining and dress them up with glassware and stylish bottles of your favourite liqueurs (there's nothing hipper than the look of Hendrick's Gin). A beautiful tray on a dresser is also a go-to stand in for cramped spaces.
Tall Butler Tray Stand, $156. Available at www.westelm.com.
Mercer Golden White Tray, $290. Available at www.vivre.com.