Goodbye Bar Cart, Hello Bar Dresser + Styling Tips

bar dresser cocktails

In 2019, we were introduced to the trusty bar cart — perfect for celebrating a job promotion, toasting Galentine’s Day or just mixing a drink after a long work week! While the bar cart brings a unique touch of personality to any space, we’ve recently seen many give this tried and true home staple a modern twist.

For some, introducing a bar into the home was a new concept, but now that so many people have a dedicated space in their home for mixing spirits, the portable bar cart has turned into a permanent fixture.

Enter the bar dresser. We love this piece because it doesn’t take much to set-up at home and can be fully customized to your unique style and home decor.

What Is a Bar Dresser?

A bar dresser can be anything from a stylish credenza, cabinet or armoire to a bookshelf that houses liquor and chic glassware. The bar dresser takes up less space than a normal bar but can still make a statement. Additionally, it offers a place to put down a drink (unlike a bar cart). Storage is also an added feature since the shelving or drawers can stash items like stirrers, coasters and cocktail napkins.

Oh Where, Oh Where to Put My Bar Dresser?

Picking the location of your bar cabinet or dresser can be tricky. It needs to be in an area where it will receive plenty of use, but doesn’t take up too much space. We suggest placing it in a lounge or living area.

Double a large bar dresser to store crockery as a bar-buffet and place the piece in a dining room. If you live in a temperate climate, style your bar dresser in an outside venue for a wedding or formal event.

Bar Dresser Styling 101

Once you’ve selected your bar dresser and location, pick a theme or aesthetic with added glassware, liquor selection and accessories. Choose to have it complement your current home decor or make your bar dresser change with the trends.

For inspiration, we’ve consolidated some of the top tips and trends to ensure your “Hello” to the bar dresser is as successful as possible. Choose your style and get decorating — cheers!

For the Glow Getter

For the lover of all things sparkly! Use lights and vintage embellishments to style a sleek bar dresser.

vintage bar dresser styling

DIY project by My Thrifty Life by Cassiefairy

Photograph by Andy Greenacre

 

Mid-Century Must-Have

Let your dresser do the talking and opt for a mid-century modern style bar scene. By limiting colors and cranking up the light, you’ll have an Instagram-worthy bar dresser in no time.

mid-century bar dresser styling

Justine Celina

A Millennial Moment

For the lover of timeless classics, use your dresser to create a sophisticated space. Don’t forget the aged whiskey and wine!

millenial bar dresser styling

Hannah Drake

French Favorite

For timeless decor, go with a classic French bar dresser equipped with bottles of Champagne.

French bar dresser styling

The Vintage Rug Shop

A Colorful Collaboration

If every room in your home is painted a different color, you’ll love this color blocking style that will bring it all together.

Colorful bar dresser styling

MeloDrama

Bar Dresser Organization Tips + Tricks

The key to styling a bar dresser is starting with the basics. Buy common base spirits like whiskey, vodka, tequila, gin and rum, and avoid too many unique flavors that won’t mix with much and will take up space.

Organize your bar cart by following our section by section breakdown.

Top of Dresser

  • Three to four bottles.
  • A few mixing tools and two to four classic tumblers on a serving tray.
  • Garnishes if not kept in the refrigerator.

Top Shelf/Drawer

  • Bar tools: Jigger, shaker, bottle opener/corkscrew, tongs, muddler and cocktail spoon.
  • Accessories: Coasters and napkins.

Second shelf/Drawer

  • Extra glassware should be hidden, as it will keep the area clean and clutter-free.
  • Glassware: Full set of classic tumblers (4-8), depending on the number of people you like to entertain. Set of champagne flutes. Set of snifter glasses.
  • Mixers: Soda, tonic water and bitters until needed for serving.

Bottom Shelf/Drawer

  • Set of glass bottles and jugs with stoppers — metal or wood stoppers.
  • Ice bucket.

How to Organize a Bar Dresser

For a visual guide, use our illustration below.

organization visual of bar dresser

  1. Stash your bar tools and accessories: Create more space by adding a basket or container to hold your mixing tools, napkins and coasters.
  2. Prioritize your glassware: Keep lighter glasses higher in your dresser for easy access.
  3. Bottoms up: Since lower drawers tend to be deeper, place any glasses with stems, taller glassware like shakers, and any bottles in this drawer. If the glass has a long stem, flip it upside down so the head of the glass weighs it down and it is likely not to fall out.
  4. The heavier the bottle, the lower it belongs. Keep your heaviest ice buckets and bottles at the bottom of the dresser.

Try a new trend out for size with our bar dresser styling guide. Hopefully one of these ideas has encouraged you to think outside the bar cart and spice up your entertaining decor in the new year. Looking for the perfect addition to your bar dresser? Go for an indoor plant or statement bouquet to level up your bar area.