20 April 2015

Raising the bar (cart)

When we were deciding where I’d take my next job after Nashville, one big pull to St. Louis was all the family we have here. Both Mr. P and I have relatives in STL, and it has most definitely been fun and handy! And as a perfect example, let me show you what my cousin found in her newly-purchased house and promptly, just, gave to me:

Yes. A true vintage bar cart. FOR FREE.

“She does realize that bar carts are crazy hot right now, right?” I asked my mom. “Like, she could maybe sell this for a couple hundred if she wanted.”

“She knows!” my mom replied. “That’s why she’s happy to give it to you.”

Well okay then!

The brass is in, let’s say vintage condition, but the glass is great and the wheels work. Honestly, I like old things to look old, so I’m fine with its somewhat-worn state. I mean, it’s probably over fifty years old!

So after all this time considering, and being disappointed with Target’s offering that was the only thing that came close to being anything near reasonably priced... a bar cart found me. How about that!

Even though bar carts are super popular right now, I did debate for a minute whether to actually use this as a bar cart, and not a tea cart, or even a coffee cart of some sort. In the end, though, the sad state of my butler’s pantry...

... plus the jumble of bottles in my fridge convinced me that a place to put all my random drinking paraphernalia would be the way to go. (The wine, for the record, could stay in the butler’s pantry. I mean, the cart isn’t THAT big.)

Ok, bar cart it is! So where to put it? Despite having a lot of square footage, we’ve nearly run out of available wall space in this house. So again, I went with finding an area that needed troubleshooting. This corner in the foyer has certainly devolved over time:

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I have not once sat in those chairs. They mostly hold random carseat accessories, because this is where we stash the carseat, as well as any other random boxes or crap collecting in the foyer. I’m not saying that a bar cart can remedy those things, but hey, at least it would be moderately more functional. It would hold things that have jumbled up other areas, whereas the chairs did nothing.

Ok then! Let’s see how the new cart looks in the window.

This photo made me realize that while I’ve worried so much about this corner feeling empty and unused, I’d let the opposite problem happen over time. Clearing out the corner meant more light (bouncing off the glass, yay!) and feeling more open, more intentional. It even wasn’t half bad when I stashed the infant carrier there (because let’s be real, it’s going to be there anyway).

So yeah! There’s officially a bar cart in my home, y’all! I feel so on-trend! Such a legit blogger!

And now, as a legit blogger... to “style” it (ughhhhhh that word). There’s plenty of inspiration around – here, for instance. Or here. Or here!

But to keep the money-saving aspect going, I wanted to style this cart without spending a dime. So I just pulled out all my liquor-y stuff from cabinets, drawers, my fridge, and other shelves and put it in this one place. And bam! Bar carted!

On the bottom, I collected actual bottles and bar supplies I had scattered around my house. Liquor, shakers, even monogrammed drink coasters I’d had but wasn’t using!

And yes, three empty champagne bottles. I realize that’s kind of ridiculous, but they’re celebratory bottles from some big work successes (two funded grants and a high-impact paper) so I’m not ready to give them up quite yet.

On the top it’s a bit less boozy but still ready for a party:

Corks I’ve collected, fun metallic paper straws, and a monogrammed serving plate and knife that I always use for dinners and parties (a log of goat cheese + crackers = instant fancy app). I liked this approach better than using all my glassware, which seems to be a bar cart standby. Mine is happily dust-free in my glass cabinet in the kitchen, and I would prefer it to stay that way!

Though I confess, the plate and knife got stashed away when I did, in the end, spend a few dimes on this project:

I found those plastic (yes, plastic!) glasses at Target, and I’d been wanting Old Fashioned glasses for the longest dang time. Those were a good price and they look like real glass! I also stocked the bottom part of the cart with supplies to make Manhattans after I took these photos, so now I am good to GO.

It’s hard to photograph this nook – bright window, dark corners – but I think you’ll agree this is a nice improvement!

And the butler’s pantry is looking spiffier as well, without the overflowing wine/liquor/mixer/empty champagne bottle-rack look.

Maybe it’s not the cutest or most creative or totally pinnable bar cart in blogland – I can’t even source a similar cart for you! (unless perhaps you too have a relative who just bought a house with this unwanted treasure inside?) But I’m super happy with the simple styling, especially given that the cart itself was free free FREE!

And with that, I guess we’re ready for a party in Casa P, hmm? I’ve got angostura bitters!