Are Bar Cabinets the New Bar Carts?

published Aug 14, 2020
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For as long as I can remember, a bar cabinet from Wayfair that met both of our needs, which is pictured below. Our cabinet has plenty of room for unopened wine bottles, dainty coupe glasses, and larger jugs of liquor. Since I’m a design writer, you can be sure its mid-century aesthetic doesn’t skimp on style either.

While I thought a bar cabinet was a fairly unique alternative to a traditional cart, I started to see them everywhere once I purchased one. Textile designer Tamasyn Gambell has a retro option in her London home. Artist and author Oliver Jeffers settled on a floating style for his Brooklyn place. Even this IKEA-filled home in Los Angeles hacked the BESTA cabinet into a super stylish wet bar, which is pictured above.

Turns out bar cabinets aren’t just a coincidence—they’re poised to become the next big home decorating trend. According to Heather Goerzen, who spearheads creative and design at Havenly, the fad is heavily inspired by the recent push for cozier spaces.

“People are looking to infuse more discovery and character into their spaces by turning traditional design elements on their heads,” she says. “Why have one rug when you can layer two or even three? Stack artwork on the floor rather than hanging it. Bring in a shearling chair for a more cozy and rustic vibe. My hunch is that this same spirit is encouraging folks to forgo the conventional bar cart for a bar cabinet.”

Goerzen also said she’s seeing more people converting an ordinary sideboard or buffet into their home bar curio. Of course, aesthetics aren’t the only reason behind the recent surge. Practicality plays a role, too. “The bar cabinet is definitely the upgrade from the bar cart—it’s an investment piece,” explains designer Angela Belt. “Similar to the bar cart, it can fit into most small spaces, but if you have a family with little ones running around, you have no fears of your wine stash getting destroyed during hide-and-seek. “

Want to bring this emerging trend into your home? Here are six, stylish bar cabinets worth toasting to, including the one I purchased that made me a bar cabinet convert. What’s great is that each of these picks also has at least one shelf-like surface that you can style out with decorative objects.

Credit: Amazon

Walker Edison Furniture Company Mid-Century Modern Bar Cabinet

If you’re looking for a stylish option at an affordable price, give this cabinet from Walker Edison Furniture Company a try. The mid-century modern lines are easy on the eyes, but it’s more than just a looker. The design also features two spacious shelves for your bottles, glasses, and other wares and can hold up to 250 pounds. With those specs, it’s safe to say this piece can definitely handle a fully-stocked bar.

Buy: Walker Edison Furniture Company Mid-Century Modern Bar Cabinet, $163.25 $146.96 from Amazon

Credit: World Market

World Market Wood Farmhouse Barn Door Bar

This option from World Market will give your home bar an old-fashioned feel. In addition to its charming, rustic details, the design features three shelves and a 15-bottle wine rack inside to help you stay organized. Chip and Joanna Gaines would definitely approve of this farmhouse-friendly pick.

Buy: World Market Wood Farmhouse Barn Door Bar, $499.99 from World Market

Credit: Article

Article V Bar

A sideboard that can hold your television and display a few bottles of wine artfully? Sounds like a win-win to me, especially in a small space where you need pieces to pull double duty.

Buy: Article V Bar, $899 from Article

Credit: Wayfair

Union Rustic Caylee Aster High Bar with Wine Storage

Want to really make the most out of your small space? The only way to go is up. Not only does this cabinet from Union Rustic have plenty of room for all your bar essentials, but this cabinet’s tall silhouette will draw the eye upward. Translation: It’ll create the illusion of a big, open space.

Buy: Union Rustic Caylee Aster High Bar with Wine Storage, $335.99 from Wayfair

Credit: Anthropologie

Tracey Boyd Boro Star Bar Cabinet

Anyone who wants to turn their home bar into a wow moment will love this statement-making piece by Tracey Boyd. Between the hand-painted doors, which were inspired by Japanese textiles, mirrored interior, and ample shelving, this option bridges the gap between form and function. This style is by no means cheap, but if you love to entertain at home (which hopefully comes back into the picture at some point), it would be a worthwhile investment.

Buy: Tracey Boyd Boro Star Bar Cabinet, $1,798 from Anthropologie

Credit: Wayfair

Union Rustic Orion Bar Cabinet

My boyfriend and I ultimately settled on Union Rustic’s Orion Bar Cabinet, and it’s one of my favorite pieces in our apartment. The eight-bottle wine rack comes in handy whenever we receive a shipment from our vineyard membership, and the single open shelf is a great place to show off our kitschy tiki glasses. The inside features stemware racks, where we place our coupe glasses, and there’s plenty of room to store larger bottles. Not to mention its pared-down aesthetic will go with almost every design style, and it comes in four different wood finishes.

Buy: Union Rustic Orion Bar Cabinet, $369.00 $259.99from Wayfair