Home Sweet Home Bar Basics

I love bar carts in an apartment. They are a simple way to make a space sophisticated, and also a sign of a good time. I personally prefer bars that are not actually a bar, but instead a side table or desk transformed into something a bit more convivial. Here are a few that inspired me:

Christie and Bascome’s Bar

When Christie moved in with her fiance, Bascome, he had this beautiful granite countertop antique dresser. But she didn’t want it in their bedroom. It is now in their living room bar, and the first thing that catches your eye as you walk in the door.

Emily's Bar from Cupcakes & Cashmere

LUUUUVE the L.A. Poster. This much booze could look a bit fratty, but the industrial bar cart paired with the framed poster jazz it up.

Bookshelf into Bar

I am not crafty (wish I was and trying to be more so), but this is a project my friends at Deux Maisons, or my best friend, Sarah, would rock. I love using wallpaper as a backsplash on cabinetry, and will at least steal that idea.

Imbibe: A few staples come to mind when stocking your bar, but really, it should just be whatever you like to drink or entertain with. I prefer red wine—a Spanish red called Juan Gil or a pinot noir from Lucas & Lewellen (one of my favorite Santa Barbara tasting rooms). I also think it’s lovely to have a nice scotch whiskey, like Balvenie, or a scotch bourbon, like Maker’s Mark. Plus, vodka and or/gin. I’m not a big rum drinker, but it’s nice as an entertaining option because it’s fairly universal. And make sure to keep mixers and limes around! For tips on becoming a better bartender, check out this useful guide from Country Living.

Decorate: Finally, a bar, like a lady, is nothing without her accessories. Below are thematic touches that give you a little wink. Once you have the basic piece of furniture, and of course the beverages, build from there. Over time, a bar can become a meaningful collection of stories, scraps, and keepsakes that make it much more than a place for your booze. And of course, mix and match!

1. Feminine

Inspiration: Will Ryman's Park Avenue Sculptures


1. Shabby chic desk from Target
2. Folding tray from Z Gallerie
3. Shabby chic bookshelf from Target
4. Hardware from Anthropologie—I love their knobs and pulls and put them on furniture all the time for a fresh look. You’ll see them throughout. Home Depot also has very basic, nice pulls if you need to buy in bulk.
5. Color Inspiration A: Farrow & Ball’s Green Blue 84 and Sherwin Williams Magnetic Gray. Wash with these colors for an unfinished, aged look.
6. Color Inspiration B: Sherwin Williams Romance and Sherwin Williams Valentine. The pink is so flirty and the clay, off red gives a French countryside feel.
7. Self-adhesive wallpaper for backsplash, Anthropologie

1. Artwork from Watson Kennedy. These are fairly expensive…but EASY DIY. Paint an inspirational word and have it framed, or place a piece of sheet music that means something to you into a frame. Maybe something from the piano lessons we wish we had kept up with.
2. Bird Wine Stopper, Kir Devries
3. Mirrored vanity tray, Rose, Target
4. Barbie candle, Jonathan Adler
5. Bling Coasters, Z Gallerie
6. Mermaid bottle opener, Fish’s Eddy
7. Little vase, Anthropologie
8. My First New York: Early Adventures in the Big City. Brief memoirs from New York notables, celebs, athletes, politicians, and more. I sometime read right before bed to wind down.
9. Floral flask, Francesca’s
10. Decanter, Ralph Lauren Home (Macy’s)
11. Etched tumblers, Tom’s Glass Works. A wonderful gift and also nice to hold hydrangeas or roses.
12. Jane Austen’s Guide to Good Manners
13. Rose carafe, Apartment 48

2. Global Adventurist

Inspiration: My dear friend, Kristen, who moved into a HOT one-bedroom in the West Village that I am very jealous of. To her beautiful home, positive energy, and constant encouragement. She's on the lookout for a Zebra rug for her bedroom!


1. Lacquered Table, Serena & Lily
2. Piccola Cabinet, Ballard Designs
3. Buffet, Target
4. Hardware, Anthropologie

1. From Jamie Mears’ home, High Gloss Magazine. Fun idea and pretty!
2. Monkey wine holder, Z Gallerie. Hahahaaha.
3. Travels with Charley, hardcover. I really like hardback books used as stands for candles, vases, or barware. This has one of my favorite quotes: “For I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness.” I like it because it describes passionate living.
4. Candle, Zitomer.
5. Ratten Tray, Target.
6. Faux crocodile tray, Z Gallerie.
7. Faux crocodile coasters, Z Gallerie (if you can’t tell, I like Z Gallerie).
8. Coral candle holders, Uncommon Goods.
9. Lion coaster set, Amazon.
10. Orange glasses, Amazon.
11. Hand carved lion and rhino bottle openers. Gift from a friend who bought them in Ghana.
12. Milk glass bud vase, Pier 1.
13. Bowl, Anthrolpologie. For lemons/limes or candy!

Vintage Bar


Inspiration: Betty Draper.


1. Entertainment Hutch, Home Decor World.
2. Peek-a-bo clear C table, CB2.
3. Faux croc bar tables, Z Gallerie.
4. Formosa Folding Table, CB2.

1. Bicycle Playing Cards, Duane Reade. Or your local pharmacy, drugstore, airport, grandparent.
2. Classic Cocktails, Watson Kennedy.
3. What Would Jackie Do? I ask myself this everyday.
4. Postcard, Le Papier Studio. Frame this for an inexpensive and thoughtful touch of art.
5. Flask, Francesca’s.
6. Vintage martini set, Chic Shop L.A.
7. Coasters, Z Gallerie.
8. Match strike, Jonathan Adler.
9. Fauz croc tray, Z Gallerie.
10. Decanter, Fish’s Eddy.
11. Mirror, Z Gallerie.
12. Retro tray woodgrain laminate, Etsy.

Rustic Chic

Inspiration: Austin, TX. This city is so much a part of who I am, and where I love to be. I also have two good friends named Austin, and it is on my "boy" list names. It'll be a boy or a dog, ya'll.

1. Console Table, Pier 1.
2. Belmont Kitchen Cart, Crate & Barrel.
3. Buffet, IKEA.
4. Key pull, Anthropologie.

1. Austin dish towel, Catstudio.
2. Tray, Crate & Barrel.
3. Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Made in Austin.
4. Lonesome Dove.
5. Cowgirl pin-up flask, Etsy.
6. The Tender Bar. I realize this is set on the east coast and has nothing to do with Texas. But I like it. Shut. Up.
7. Cactus plant, Home Depot.
8. Ceramic pig, Z Gallerie. Reminds me of Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web.

9. Rooster glass, Fish’s Eddy.

10. Framed Johnny Cash photo, Amazon.

11. Boot glass, Etsy. I’d buy one and use for flowers.

12. A wooden man called “Hans,” Etsy.





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