06 February 2014

The sad truth of the Target bar cart

Despite being completely uninterested in blogger branding blah-di-blah, I do read a lot of blogs, enough to know what’s hot and what’s not. And what’s hot right now is the Threshold bar cart from Target.

Indeed, the blogger collective has had its eye on that little number for awhile. It’s the perfect touch of mod for any house, particularly one with a penchant for midcentury furniture (ooh me, me!). Those straight brass lines and laminate surfaces are straight out of the 1960s. Plus just the concept of a bar cart feels very Mad Men, like we need a dedicated piece of furniture that keeps liquor close at hand for all those 3PM cocktails. At least, we could have cocktails at 3PM if only we had this bar cart, right?

It’s so popular that Stefanie at Brooklyn Limestone christened it the Hottest Décor Item of 2013. She even pointed out the bloggers who succumbed to temptation and bought it for themselves.

source: A Cozy Boat

source: Glitter Guide

Over the last several months, everyone wanted this cart. I wanted this cart. That screenshot I just showed you of the Target website? I took that screenshot back in September and stored it in a folder titled “want to buy”. Real talk. I only refrained because $130 was a lot for something I wasn’t quite sure where to put, and also because I knew purchasing it meant I’d have to buy more liquor than the single bottle of Seagram’s I keep in the fridge for perfectly chilled G&Ts. Also: glasses fancier than Solo cups. Hidden costs!

But I didn’t forget it. I mean, come on, it would look so perfect with my gold-and-faux-wood thrifted coffee tables!

So when I suddenly noticed it in my local Target, I worried that I’d have leave of my senses and take it home with me!

I needn’t have worried long, though. Because up close? This bar cart is EW.

It might not look too bad in this photo, but I was astounded by how ugly it was up close. The paint was completely uneven, so uneven that painting over it wouldn’t hide the gunky brushstrokes. The soldering was globby and distracting. The faux wood wasn’t kitschy-faux, but fugly-faux (see how the “stain” is blotchy around the edges in the wide shot?). And all that for $130! Apparently that’s a good price for a bar cart – they go for many hundreds on Craigslist because people are CRAY – but I’d be hard-pressed to drop more than $50 on that. It’s brand-new and needs more work than the junk I find at thrift stores.

This one negative review won’t stem the tide of Target bar cart love, I know. Neither will this post that talks about the poor craftsmanship of the wheels. But if you’ve been lusting over this cart from photos online, you should know that it’s like a bad online dating switcheroo. You think you’re getting a Ryan Gosling, but meeting in person shows you that you’re actually getting a dude in unwashed clothes who is fond of the humblebrag and expects you to buy dinner. “But the photos looked so nice!” Yup. Bummer.

I hate raining on parades – especially my own – but at least I can stop wishing and wanting that cart now. If you’re not convinced, it’s on sale now at Target for $117, but unfortunately you’ll get what you pay for. Admittedly, I’m not totally over the bar cart trend, but I’ll just have to cross my fingers that I’ll come across a true vintage cart in a shop around here! And if I don’t... well, we don’t really need cocktails at 3PM, anyway.


Rachel C said...

I hate when you long for something and then hate it in the store. It's always so depressing.

With that said, I love the bar cart idea; however, I don't see a need to limit it's contents to bar items. I think one would look great (especially in your living room) as a side table, filled with books, flowers and a lamp.

Tina said...

Ahem. I know where there is a truly vintage one. With real wood shelves. And for you, it is free.

Mrs. Limestone said...

I agree on the faux wood - I think glass or mirror would have been a much better choice. The paint finish on the one if saw in the store was good enough that I didn't notice any bald spots or major brush issues but maybe the quality isn't consistent? Off to read about the wheels. Maybe that will finally cure me of my desire for this thing!!

Michelle G. said...

I was reading another blog today and I saw this link to a DIY gold bar cart http://lover.ly/read/decor/diy-gold-bar-cart It was such a coincidence I had to share! I don't know if it would make up for the sad Target bar cart, but if anyone can DIY her own fabulous cart, it's you! Maybe it's at least worth attempting with some conciliatory cocktails on hand just in case :)