Design Under the Influence: Bar Carts

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It’s Erika from small shop, and I just want to say, thank you for coming back for another "Design Under the Influence!" This week I wanted to do something light and fluffy: the bar cart. It’s no surprise that the bar cart/table became widely popular in the 1940’s when prohibition ended and everyone could enjoy a beverage out in the open…and did they ever! Particularly with summer entertaining, hostesses would wheel out the beverage cart onto the patio to serve guests en plein air. In the 1960’s, movies with the Rat Pack, to James Bond, to Audrey and Cary, made cocktail hour and cocktail displays a permanent fixture. But in the 1970’s and 1980’s, an era of built-in cabinetry made the bar cart obsolete. Now we’re seeing a resurgence of the bar cart, and I for one could not be more thrilled! What a fantastically fun way to dress up a nook of your home, while making guests feel festive all the same. Even if you don’t entertain often, think of it as an excuse to create an artful display of pretty bottles and glassware.

Society Social’s The Double


Nicole Cohen via RUE

Design Manifest

Camile Styles via The Glitter Guide

A Cup of Jo

Williams-Sonoma Home

Hamptons Showcase House via My Cup of Te


Society Social’s The Sedgewick

Convinced? Here are more picks to get your party started!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

napkins / book / glassware / tray / music

Come on over to small shop today for a special Society Social sneak peek!

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Tell Me What You Think! leave a comment...

  1. I just love the images you chose. There are so many different ways to outfit a bar car and I love that you can really show your true personality through decanters, glasses and trays!

  2. Great post! I had someone at a flea market last year tell me that bar cart values had doubled or tripled in the last few years…I think it has a lot to do with Mad Men too! This is a gorgeous roundup…great job, Erika!

  3. I love bar carts….I actually scored one similar to number one back in November and it was a avocado green color I sprayed it gold but it wasn’t the metallic I was going for so I settled on silver and will eventually spray it gold but I only paid 99 cents for it 🙂 No joke