Drinks trolley with floral arrangement
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How to style a drinks trolley like a pro

December 23, 2022

Wondering how to style a drinks trolley like a pro? Follow these five rules to create the best-dressed bar cart for a festive celebration…

1. Choose a drinks trolley

First things first – choose your drinks trolley! The growth in popularity of these mobile cocktail stations means there are plenty on the market to choose from, starting from around £30 and reaching up into the thousands. Art Deco is on trend, but silver, gold, wooden, bamboo, rectangular, rounded and super contemporary are all options. Check out Good Homes’ pick of the best drinks trolleys out there. Simply choose one at a price point you’re comfortable with and that coordinates with your decor.

Here’s a little secret… you don’t actually need a drinks trolley at all! You can dress a sideboard, table top, worktop or drinks cabinet for the occasion.

copper-barware-on-a-wooden-sideboard-with-vase-of-eucalyptus

Photo: Debenhams

2. Keep it simple

Don’t over-style your drinks trolley – this is a place to prepare cocktails and drinks, so leave enough free space for shaking, cutting and mixing. Beautiful glassware is a display in itself, so cut-glass, pearlescent or coloured glasses space to breathe. Dress up plainer styles with fairy lights and party favours. You can also make your ingredients centre-stage with beautiful bowls full of citrus fruits. Separate items such as glasses, tools and bottles into their own groups – arrange on trays, in bowls or in utensil holders to keep everything organised. Grouping items by height also helps things look more curated.

A message from the editor:

Let us help you create the home of your dreams! Get ideas & inspiration from Good Homes every month, delivered direct to your door. Visit goodhomesmagazine.com/newsletter to sign up for the weekly Good Homes newsletter. Meet the Good Homes team at Ideal Home Show and be inspired by our on-trend roomsets.

~ Karen Walker, Editor, Good Homes

Drinks trolley with limes

Photo: Arteriors

3. Accessorise your drinks trolley

As well as all the must-haves, it’s the quirky items such as coasters, drink toppers, streamers, colourful straws and napkins that give your cocktail trolley individuality. Keep to a colour-theme and add in accessories from the rest of the decor in the room for a cohesive scheme. If you have space, add a seasonal floral arrangement and perhaps a festive banner. To add panache to a drinks trolley that lives in the room permanently, add some candles and cocktail mixology books.

Drinks trolley with floral arrangement

Photo: Dobbies

4. Location, location, location

Where you position your drinks trolley is important. Stay clear of the entrance to a room as people will continuously bump into you and the cart. If it’s on wheels, you can bring it out post-dinner to create a real showstopper, or, place in another room to continue the party elsewhere and away from the dirty dishes! If you have a large hallway, welcome your guests with a homemade cocktail.

Blue pompoms with gold barcart and blue accessories from Homesense

Photo: Homesense

5. The menu

To limit the amount of alcohol you need to buy, why not theme your bar cart around a particular drink; gin, whiskey and vodka are a popular base for most on-trend cocktails. That way, you can style your glassware to match the colour of the spirits bottle and/or the main ingredients. Create non-alcoholic versions with fresh juices and fizzy drinks – great for children and those who aren’t drinking.

a gold trim bar cart with cocktail accessories in a teal blue living room from John Lewis AW18

Photo: John Lewis & Partners


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A message from the editor:

Let us help you create the home of your dreams! Get ideas & inspiration from Good Homes every month, delivered direct to your door. Visit goodhomesmagazine.com/newsletter to sign up for the weekly Good Homes newsletter. Meet the Good Homes team at Ideal Home Show and be inspired by our on-trend roomsets.

~ Karen Walker, Editor, Good Homes