Monday, April 26, 2010

THE CHARMING HOME: A Proper Bar Cart



Take a peek into any great host or hostess' home and you will always find one somewhere. In a living room corner, up against a wall in the dining room or a strategically placed tray tucked into a bookshelf or placed on a countertop.


I speak of the bar cart, a key piece for the host or hostess who wants to be prepared for anything.


As we all know, every once in awhile, the inevitable will happen. The phone will ring, the doorbell will ding-dong and you will find yourself with a surprise guest that you were not anticipating.




The consumate hostess would never fret over last minute entertaining! Her home will be neat and tidy (or at least easily disguised in a wink!), a stash of tasty edibles will be waiting to be popped in the oven and with one of these little babies, a fresh drink will be within reach to greet her guests.




Even in the smallest of homes, a well-stocked bar tray can find a place anywhere, like this bookcase for example.




You needn't go over the top when starting to gather your bar essentials. Start with a few basic spirits (gin, rum, scotch, rye, vodka, tequila) and continue to add different bottles every time you come across a new drink to add to your repetoire. A chic ice bucket, a snazzy seltzer bottle, some bartending instruments (corkscrew, bottle opener, a jigger, a cocktail shaker)  and a few mixers (bitters, tonic water, club soda, orange, grapefruit and cranberry juice) and you are well on your way to being a well-prepared hostess!


Click on these links below for some great posts about bar basics and not-so-basics!


And of course, a few wise words about the well stocked bar cart from the consummate hostess herself, Martha Stewart





28 comments:

sarah, flourish design + style said...

So much inspiration in that post, love it! I could easily take any one of those gorgeous carts in my home.. maybe when my girls are older! xx

Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

Ooooh I love that wooden one from Pottery barn!! Such a great post! I need to get me one of those for sure! We have parties all the time but I've never even thought to get a cart! Thanks girl!

Emily said...

I've jsut forwarded this on to my boyfriend a sI'm sure he'll absolutely love this. He is obsessed with bar carts and has been looking for one for months! Thx for sharing these great bits! x LZ

Paris Pastry said...

I'm craving a margarita now! Too bad it's not cocktail hour yet.

James said...

They are all nice, but I think the simple tray on the old chest was my favorite.

Bumpkin on a Swing said...

I was going to write you an email and send you my favorite one, but you have already found it. I am lucky enough to have the magazine print, and my John is to custom build it for me, once we redo the back porch. Let's see can you guess which one I would pick???
I love all the links here that you have provided us I can't wait to read them all. Don't forget the limes, lemons, and cherries.
They also give your bar area a little color while on display. What do you drink Lilly, my signature drink is a White Russian. Okay, it's the Pottery Barn bar with the sunflowers. He has already done the draw out, we added 3 feet, and rollers on the base. Two more towel holders, and an extra shelf on the back. Have a great day. Do tell me your theme song today, even if I don't know it, I will look it up. I can't wait to read yours.

The Red Velvet Shoe said...

They are all lovely, but I agree with James, the simpler the set~up, the better. There's such a wonderful old~world feel to some of these photos, you'd almost expect to see Hemingway saunter in . . .

ps~I'm hosting a Vintage Springtime Give~Away!
over at my blog, so come on over and play!
~Michelle

Sweet Southern Prep said...

I love all of these! Definitely need one in my home, away from the children of course. :) We keep our liquor in the freezer though. Always seems to go down smoother that way. :)

Miss Janice said...

Goodness gracious, I love the one from Pottery Barn!

Housewife Bliss said...

Loved this, I saw a while back, the Butler's well stocked bar -- I printed that out and put it in my bar. I have my heart set on a bar when we get to AZ, in fact it is an outdoor kitchen with bar...cannot wait! Bumpkin made me smile with her White Russian, I used to drink those, they are so yummy in the winter. I guess I am an AZ girl at heart because nothing beats a jack and coke (the horror and shame of saying that out loud) but a lovely glass of Red is my downfall, I am a sucker for good red wine.

JMW said...

I love some of the smaller trays that you featured, with gorgeous decanters, such as the one from Eddie Ross. But, I also like to bar in the first photo. Now, that's quite a collection and is just waiting for a heck of a party!

EntertainingMom said...

my grandmother, la jolie grandmere, converted the closet in her sitting room in to a bar. It was fabulous!

Giorgie said...

I must confess I'm a fan of the more portable bar tray. For us, over the next several years it seems entertaining will include little children so the idea of picking it up and moving it away or higher up when necessary works well for us. Nice post!

P.S. To the swinging bumpkin - I allocated a theme song to Lily Lemontree when we were in high school together. If she doesn't come up with one soon for you, I'll tell you mine!

Dustjacket Attic said...

Oh fabulous post my friend, just loved it. How about the first bar cart...my Lord..I need to do some work.

I will check those links out too, thanks honey,
xoxo DJ

Persis Shah said...

i love the first bar cart the best too! i remember trying to find one a couple of years ago and it was a huge task and i kinda gave up on finding the perfect bar cart thereafter. thanks for sharing these pics and rekindling my hopes of finding something like one of these =)

Persis
http://onestylemile.blogspot.com/

Trish said...

What a wonderful post Miss Lily! These are all so lovely, it's really hard to choose a favorite...they all suit the rooms they are in so nicely! I have a beautiful bar cart that I found at an antique shop in New Orleans that is a beautiful polished brass/glass cart, it's very "Cinderella" looking. It is such a nice addition to our formal dining area, and I use it for setting up drinks or even just birthday cakes, etc. I've got a picture if you want to see, just email me :)

Hope you have a wonderful week! xox

Connie K said...

They all look so lovely ! i have a bar cart and i love it ! great post like always they are always so inspiring so glad you got your award :) have a wonderful day xoxo,connie

Metropolitan Mum said...

I am pleased to read you are calling me a 'great hostess'. Well, judging by the sheer size of our very well equipped bar cart, I have to be a great hostess. Or maybe just someone who likes a nice drink ;-)

Blondie said...

I'm speechless honey! Wow, I want a great bar like this!

I am so sorry about the delay in getting back to you about the guest post. I am going to try to do a series next week, and thought maybe you could be the first post on Monday. The series will be My Favorite Vintage Places...you would tell me somewhere you have visited or want to visit that is vintage (1900's-1960's) and what is so special about it. I need some pics too. So excited! Can you do it? Kori

koridonahue@gmail.com

email me what you have! xoxo

Dallas Shaw said...

love the domino mag photo
dallas
http://dillydallas.blogspot.com

bevy said...

Oh, how I wish I had such a fancy bar! Oh, how I wish I entertained more!

La Dolfina said...

Just wanted to let you know I tagged you in a couple of fun games!
xx

erica@ moth design+luxe life said...

Just discovered you and your splendid blog through Therese at La Dolfina. I'm loving what you have going on here. You have a devoted new follower. xo Erica

Kristin said...

I MISS my bar cart! Unfortunately mine was on wheels and my toddler thought it was fun to wheel it around. Now it's sitting sadly in my garage. Sigh.

Mary Ann said...

love the bar inside the armoire and the great essentials...have a great weekend..verbena cottage

Sanity Fair said...

All stunning, but I have to say - I may like the good old-fashioned side board best! Also a big fan of acrylic carts. Love the blend-in look they give.
SF

High Heeled Life said...

Your post couldn't have come at a better time. We are in the process of figuring out include a bar area in our renovations ... and your pictures are a wealth of inspiration!!

xobolaji said...

these are absolutely fantastic suggestions! i love the inspired creativity and the myriad ways in which one can set up a bar. having 2 young girls around does not leave me much time for entertaining, or stocking my bar for that matter, but i will file this lovely post in my 'things to consider for the future box' until such time as i am ready to party.

sincerely yours, xobolaji

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