Cocktail Hour

It’s Friday which always calls for a celebration! Whether you clink your glass at the end of the week with your favorite person or a gathering of people, it is always a good excuse (if you even need one) for cocktail hour. While inviting people up to the kitchen counter and passing drinks around the table is an easy fix, it is not always functional. In my opinion, it is totally worth having a home bar to keep your top-shelf libations organized, accessible and presentable.

Having a legitimate home bar may seem far fetched for those short on space, but it is feasible. Bar carts are a timeless way to set up all of your favorite cocktail essentials for the happiest of hours. Also, a simple side table or bookshelf can make an inviting space for friends to help themselves to the drink of their choice. Setting up a bar cart may seem like work, but having an open area for friends to mix their own drinks can save you the hassle of deciding if your frenemy can handle one shot or two.

Along with images of classic cocktail hour carts and bars, I have included some expert advice on how to make your bar area the best it can be. At the end of the post you will find my wish list of bars to buy and accessories to make it look great! Cheers!

Bar by Ashley Whittaker in House Beautiful

What a gorgeous marble top and backsplash in this bar designed by Ashley Whittaker in House Beautiful. 

Bar Cart by Jan Showers

Some bar carts can look messy, but this one designed by Jan Showers is the perfect amount of glamorous sophistication.

Black High-Gloss Bar via Margaux Interiors

A beautiful black lacquer console provides the ideal drama for this black and white room. Just fix a drink and take a seat! Design by Margaux Interiors. Photo source: Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles

Bar by Francie Adler Elkins via AD

A very sleek home bar designed by the once renown designer Francis Adler Elkins in Architectural Digest.

Black high gloss walls and butlers tray in Badgley Mischka's Kentucky Home via Elle Decor

This Butler’s Tray serves as a chic and easy way to set up a bar in the home or off to the side of a dining table. Love the black statement wall! This is the Kentucky retreat of Badgley Mischka featured in Elle Decor.

Fernanda Kellog and Kirck Hencke's NYC Apartment Bar via AD

This rich built-in bar is well adorned with a mirrored backsplash and lion’s heads smartly placed. I like how they put the hard liquor in the crystal canisters, very distinguished. Photo source: Architectural Digest

Bookshelf Bar via kitchn

If you have nice height in your middle shelves of a bookcase, it can serve as a spectacular bar area. I think it is necessary to use trays when organizing a bar to make all the loose bottles and glasses more visually appealing. Photo source: Kitchin

Blue Bar by Miles Redd_Town & Country

Miles Redd strikes again with his excellent use of color and design talent. I refrained from showing the whole photo since this home will be on the blog next week, but I had to include this lovely color in the post. The point of a drink is to have fun, so why shouldn’t your bar area reflect that!?! Photo source: Town & Country

Tangerine and Chrome Bar by Steben Gambrel via Elle Decor

Designer Steven Gambrel had some fresh fun with this orange and chrome high gloss bar cabinet. I love how it has a sink built-in. It’s aways important to have water nearby when making a fresh cocktail! Photo source: Elle Decor

Gold Bamboo Bar Cart with Removable Tray via Shelterness

An ideal gold bamboo bar cart with a removable top tray. This makes entertaining in any room stylish and organized. While the flower arrangement takes up precious space, it sure adds personality! Photo source: Shelterness


Definitely a different approach to a bar, but surely a conversation piece. Make sure you notice there is an actual bar cart on the left, after seeing the wallpaper-lined wooden bar cabinet. Incredibly unique! Design by Amy Lau Design. Photo source: Dering Hall

Miles Redd_Pink Room Bar Table via La Dolce Vita  

Miles Redd provides this room with a pretty pink backdrop for an ornate console full of everything needed to keep a party going. I adore how the shells and coral are placed under the table.  Photo source: La Dolce Vita

Modern NYC Apt designed by Rockwell Group via AD

A gold statement bar and beautiful glass shelving make this room the perfect place for entertaining. I bet that bar is even better looking at night! Design: Rockwell Group Photo source: Architectural Digest

Phillip Gorrivan small nyc bar via House Beautiful

A colorfully lined bar console saves space in any small room. Designed by Phillip Gorrivan and featured in House Beautiful. 

Silver Tray on table for bar via Pinterest

Gorgeously placed silver trays can help in organizing all the essentials, even when just placed on a side table. If you have absolutely no room to spare, just clear off any table or desk, throw on a pretty piece of fabric, place some trays out, and add some flowers to soften all the glassware! The fabric is recommended to avoid any spillage! Interior design: Cathy Echols. Photo source: La Dolce Vita

Tory Burch Red Bar via Habitually Chic

Tory Burch’s red lacquered bar in her Manhattan home is chic, daring, and inspiring- One of my all time favorites! I would love to have any form of a lacquered bar! Photo source: Habitually Chic

Tom Scheerer Bar House Beautiful

This image justifies the notion that organized bars are pretty bars. Whether you use trays, baskets, or platters to make your bar look presentable, make sure you add some element of height (flowers) and have a pop of color (lemons, limes). This bar is designed by Tom Scheerer for House Beautiful 

advice and shop:

Essentials for An Expertly Stocked Bar- Architectural Digest

Spring Up Your Bar Cart- Elle Decor

Make Your Bar Cart Beautiful- Camille Styles

Williams Sonoma Steel Plated Bar Cart


Williams Sonoma Polished Nickel and Glass Cosmopolitan Bar Cart.

Trellis Home Hayworth Gold Bamboo Bar Cart

Trellis Home Hayworth Faux Gold Bamboo Bar Cart. 

Mecox Orange Lacquer Bar Cabinet

A unique Orange Antique Lacquered Bar Cabinet from Mecox.

RH Milo Bar Cart

Restoration Hardware’s Milo Bar Cart- very sleek and classic.

Ballard Designs Olivia Bar Cart

Ballard Design’s Olivia Bar Cart is not only affordable, but incredibly timeless.

Below: One Kings Lane is full of fun finds to dress up the bar! Hurry before the sales end!

(Click images for links)

One Kings Lane Blue and White Ceramic Jar

OKL Faux Orange Croc Tray

Hammered Ice Bucket OKL

Green and White Striped Straws OKL

One Kings Lane Bamboo Trays