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How to style a drinks trolley

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Haven’t you heard? Staying in is the new going out!

Ahh yes, it seems that for many of us, a good night is no longer about hitting the clubs, standing in an endless queue for a drink and stumbling home at 5am, wallet considerably lighter, realising you’ve forgotten your mobile in the cab. No, these days, we are much more civilised, right?

Instead, we enjoy gathering our friends together for the evening in our own homes and making ever more interesting cocktails as the night wears on. With the resurgence of all things mid-century, the drinks trolley (or bar cart) is the must-have home accessory for any socialite worth his or her salt.

A stunning display of your spirit or wine collection, beautiful cocktail glasses, a few mixers and an ice bucket for good measure, the drinks trolley can be a sophisticated addition to your living or dining areas.

So if you are ready to show off your good taste with a beautiful bar cart (and there are many beautiful ones on the market these days), check out my tips for making sure it’s the most stylish one around.

Beautiful bottles

There’s something to be said for a gorgeously designed product and the alcohol industry is no different in this regard. While you’ll probably have some of your favourites already stocked, why not consider some eye-catching bottles to bring things to the next level? There are plenty to choose from; ranging from crystal skulls to stately classics in amber bottles, you’re sure to find something that makes your drinks trolley look incredibly chic.

Gleaming glassware

While you don’t have to stock every single kind of vessel for every drink out there, you will want to have a nice variety for your guests to choose from. Be sure to have at least one kind of wine glass, tumblers for mixed drinks and low ball glasses for shorts at a bare minimum. Add in a few martini glasses and you’ll be ready for any gathering.

A cocktail shaker and/or bar tools

Of course, everyone loves it when the barman pulls out the cocktail shakers and pours the rich elixir into the glass with a certain flourish. Replicate that feeling of decadence by including at least one cocktail shaker on your trolley. You’ll get bonus points for having a host of other tools available as well, from bottle openers and muddlers to mixing spoons and jiggers.

An ice bucket

While you can always use your freezer to store your ice, if you don’t want your guests having to root around under the frozen peas to get to it, you can always make life a little easier with an ice bucket perfectly displayed on your trolley. Choose one with a bit of style in a beautiful metallic or wood finish to add a touch of luxury to your set-up.

Something living

In nearly any stylish home display, interior stylists use plants and flowers to bring life to a space and your drinks trolley should be no different. Consider a short stocky succulent (super easy to take care of as well) or a large leafy plant for tropical style. To add some colour, consider a small vase with tightly packed flowers of the same colour or variety for easy elegance. Add a small bowl of lemons and limes or a bit of mint to complete the look.

The accessories

With all of the above items, there may not be room for much more on your display but if you can, add a few additional elements to layer into the setting. Consider a few cocktail books for easy reference, a piece of art propped at the back and leaning against the wall behind or a few fun and funky accessories like a golden pineapple or some quirky drinking straws or stirrers just for fun. It’s these small additions that make your trolley uniquely you and show off your personality.

Kimberly Duran is an award-winning interior design blogger who chronicles her decorating journey in her blog, Swoon Worthy. Her style is unashamedly eclectic, bohemian and glamorous and when she's not helplessly drooling over design websites and adding things to the imaginary 'shopping basket' in her head, she likes to get messy tackling DIY projects, stalking eBay for bargains, taking Instagram pictures of her cats and investing time in her ongoing love affair with gold spray paint.


Image sources:


My Domaine


Justin Coit


Swoon Worthy


Adore Home Magazine


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