Tis the season for entertaining! Regardless of the size of your soirée, a stylish bar cart is a practical and fun element for every party.

As a blogger and obsessed photo-stylist, I am always looking for easy ways to jazz up my entertaining skills (especially now that it’s the holiday season!). My pre-party prep usually involves everything but preparing the cocktails. I usually only have about fifteen minutes to get it together before people start coming over. When I have time, one of my favorite things to do is to set up a bar. When my guests arrive, I always make their first drink and let them help themselves after that.



A bar cart is a fun and natural conversation starter. Guests will automatically be drawn to it, especially when it is decked out for the party! Here are tips and items you need to pull together a bar cart in a flash:

Invest in a bar cart: I got this one at Target and it’s the perfect size. I love the wheels that let me roll it from one room to the next. If you don’t have a bar cart, a small table is totally fine! Here is a link to the bar cart: Metal, Wood, and Leather Bar Cart – Gold – Threshold™ via Target. Although, I really love this one too: Sinclair 2-Tier Bar Cart (comes in three metal tones and sold at different price points).

Add some texture: Things like table cloths, table runners, large napkins and guest towels add color. For this bar cart, I used a red plaid tablecloth and folded it lengthwise to create a runner. A guest towel with a quote adds humor.

Include fresh flowers: I made a simple bouquet with store-bought flowers from Trader Joe’s (click HERE for my tips on making Christmas floral arrangements).

Layer on the stemware: Depending on what you are serving, basic water goblets are a smart choice. They are versatile enough for every cocktail. However, if you are only serving wine (red and white) then stick to wine glasses.

Stock up on snacks: It doesn’t have to be a lot! This isn’t intended to be your main appetizer. But, a small bowl of cashews – or mini candy canes are a nice touch.

Light it up: A small lamp or string of lights adds a lovely warm glow. I purchased these snowflake lights at IKEA a couple of years ago.

Bring on the bar: Lastly, add the libations! It could be a traditional cocktail bar, or an “all wine bar,” a beer bar, a bubbly bar or a hot chocolate bar. Whatever way you go, bring on all the items you need to make the drink. Don’t forget things like bottle openers, citrus (think lemon and lime wedges), ice bucket, cocktail shakers, etc.

I’ve really been feeling the traditional red, white and green holiday-theme this year. After pulling everything from our attic, it took me no time at all to pull this bar cart together.

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sarah o’brien

connecticut in style

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