Whether you're working with a proper cart or just a makeshift surface, styling a bar area can be tricky. There's a fine line between being totally casual, just throwing together your liquors, tools and glasses, and being overly fussy/overthinking the styling. Here, we give you the keys to putting together a cocktail corner that feels tightly edited, functional yet still incredibly beautiful.
One tray for liquors
I recommend a slightly deeper tray like the round silver one shown here for gathering liquors, bitters and decanters. Alcohol bottles always run the gamut in size and shape, so to keep everything looking organized and sharp, let them all live together in one tray.
Another for everything else
Now, you can completely skip the tray here, and just set out tools, glasses, sodas...you name it, on their own, but designating them to a separate tray visually brings all those elements together in a way that doesn't feel or look haphazard.
Stick to one or two types of glasses
The rest, you can stash in the cabinet, on the second tier of a bar cart, or in your kitchen. This doesn't need to look like a restaurant bar. Just have enough functionality that you can whip up an old fashioned without having to go digging for too much else.
Bring in some fun
Colored paper straws? Check. Bright, happy lemons for a shot of color? Check, check. Pretty flowers to bring in some life and softness? Well, this one is up to you, but we think it's a great look (especially if you have company due over!).
And for the final layer: some art
I firmly believe every bar cart should have an element of "home decor" to it. Be it a great piece of art, a quirky tchotke, or the like. Here, a large-scale abstract canvas draws attention to the corner of this room that otherwise might feel forgotten (that is, until happy hour).
Bar Tool Set: West Elm
Brass & Mirrored Tray: West Elm
Wine Carafe: West Elm
Glasses: Crate & Barrel
Straws: (Similar) Amazon
Art: (Similar) World Market
Trunk: (Similar) Pottery Barn
Round Silver Tray: (Similar) CB2
*Styling by Stephanie L. Yeh in collaboration with Arlyn Hernandez; special thanks to Nicole Sauma for sharing your beautiful home with us for this shoot.