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Welcome to my blog where I document projects involving home renovation, staging and design.

Bedeck, Bedazzle and Behold the Bar Cart!

Bedeck, Bedazzle and Behold the Bar Cart!

Dirty Martini during a dinner party? Margarita on Cinco de Mayo? Scotch on the rocks while snuggling up in a snowstorm? If you have a nicely stocked bar, any of these scenarios are possible...

When the online interior design site Havenly shared their tips for styling a bar cart on their blog, I was inspired to rethink our bar area and share my own! Though our bar may not look like your typical "bar cart," I assure you, it's on wheels and can be moved to wherever the party is ; ) But there is a good reason why we chose this particular piece to house our beverages- our home is true mid century ranch, built smack dab in the 50's, complete with formica cabinets and wood paneling. And though we've renovated a fair portion of the house, we are very aware of it's roots and never stray too far from them. Therefore, when creating the bar in our wood enveloped sun room, we embraced the vibe it was already giving off, dove in feet first, and voila:

Mid century Modern Eclectic wood paneled Sunroom with styled bar by the rath project

Let me back it up a few steps in case you are looking to repeat something similar in your space... First, start with the cart, cabinet, or whatever piece of furniture you want to use to store your drinks (it could be a dresser, a bookcase, a console table- when you think outside of the box, magic happens!) I picked up this beautiful Spanish style piece from our local Habitat Restore for $40. It's a super solid vintage cabinet that felt right for the space- I particularly liked the fact that it's wood tones match the walls, which almost allows it to fade into the room, awarding the spotlight to the decorative objects and the stars of the show: the liquor bottles. 

Eclectic Mid Century empty bar with shelving-styling in progress by The Rath Project

Since the sunroom has vaulted ceilings, I wanted to take full advantage of the height, and added two high gloss white shelves from Ikea. I spray painted the wooden brackets gold for a bit of glamour. If you take this route, be sure to account for taller bottles and leave enough room between the shelves to accommodate larger items. 

I decided to open the top for more room and to add a pop of contrasting color. The black surface also coordinated with the antique aged mirror that I added to the top shelf, which will bounce light right through the bottles, offering a beautiful colorful glow on sunny days. I hung a piece of quirky art from Creel and Gow, not only for another black accent, but to also fill the blank space between the furniture piece and the shelves (like a transition between paragraphs). 

Eclectic Mid Century-STYLING IN PROGRESS- bar by The Rath Project

The next step may be the most important- add your bottles! We try our best to have a variety of liquors and mixers on hand so that when our guests request a cocktail, we have everything you'd need to make it  (maybe we should start charging "hospitality fees?" lol!) An added bonus to having a multitude of liquors is that you ultimately have varying sizes, shapes and colors that give a ton of interest to the bar. I started with the shelves making sure to diversify the bottle proportions, shades and even label fonts (don't overthink this step-it will most likely happen naturally as you are placing them).

Mid Century Eclectic collected bar styling in progress by the rath project
Eclectic Midcentury Bar Cart styling by the rath project

Next, I added a trays to gather a couple "collections" (yes bottles can suddenly seem like a collection when grouped nicely together on a tray).

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While assembling those objects (Check out the gorgeous graphic mid mod glasses and matching ice bucket-that I'm currently using for drink accoutrements- from my friend and vintage seller, Lisa, of Reposed NY), I began to group together other similar items to display in mini collections on the shelves. A row of clear shot glasses, a couple funky decanters, a small formation of jiggers- the key is to create curious little vignettes, or moments, for the eye to pause on when one is taking in the entire ensemble.

Eclectic Mid Century-STYLING IN PROGRESS- bar by The Rath Project

And finally, it was time to incorporate a few unexpected pieces- items that may not scream "bar!" The lamp provides warmth, especially at night when the soft light draws you over to this corner; the decorative brass sculpture brings in another layer of texture and coordinates with the gold brackets; and the plants add life and vibrancy. This final step will determine whether your bar feels "homey" or sterile- the ticket is bring things in that match the rest of your space so that it works with the room and not against it- think about what you'd feature on your coffee table and add them to your bar top!

Eclectic Mid Century styled bar by The Rath Project
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Eclectic Mid Century styled bar by The Rath Project

And lastly, because I'm trying my best to expand my horizons technologically (I'm lucky I even know how to add photos to the blog), I've ventured into the world of Flipagram and have come up with a short video to show the step by step progress:

Cheers my friends- happy bar styling!

Love and Creativity, 

Diane

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