How to Stock a Bar Cart for Normal People!

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Can you believe that it’s already the end of the April? Welcome to this month’s edition of Inspired By DIY. Every month, I join a group of friends to find inspiration from a design icon. Big thanks to Kathy and Jes for organizing this fun challenge!

This month, we are finding inspiration from Miles Redd. Mile Redd is known for his use of saturated color, pattern layering, love of lacquer, and a killer bar display.

I’ve combined all of these and styled my vintage bar cart, as well as put together a guide for how to stock a bar for normal people.

A simple list to help you stock a bar. This minimal list is all you really need.

For the One Room Challenge, I’m redoing my sunroom to get ready for summer. Gearing up for summer means stocking my bar, so I turned to pinterest to check out some bar stocking lists.

But I came away more overwhelmed than when I began.ย What even is aromatic bitters? Do people actually like Campari?

Stocking a bar shouldn’t be this confusing. This made me realizeย what I’ve known all along. Buy what you like.

If you don’t know what something is, you’re probably not missing out on it. Just because some list on the internet says that I need vermouth, doesn’t mean that I do if I never drink it!

So I put together a list that is actually useful. It’s a minimal list for stocking a bar. A smaller list feels more approachable than buying a ton of stuff that you will never use just to do it “right.”

If you hate an item on the list, don’t buy it. If I’ve left off your beloved aromatic bitters or Campari, buy 3 bottles just to spite me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

How to Stock a Bar (for Normal People)

  • Wine opener/Bottle Opener (I like a combination one.)
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Ice bucket
  • Red Wine
  • White Wine
  • Vodka
  • Rum
  • Bourbon or Whiskey
  • Tequila
  • Gin
  • Mixers

Mixers can be anything from sodas to juices. They will vary depending on your taste. If you hate Bloody Marys, it makes no sense to stock tomato juice.

A simple list to help you stock a bar. This minimal list is all you really need.

(Note: This room is currently being remodeled for the One Room Challenge, so it’s not finished yet. Baseboards and finish trim are being installed this week.)

Styling a Bar

Once you stock your bar, it’s time to style it. This is where it gets fun.

  • Add something fun. All bar carts need the bard, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Willie is a great listener and won’t judge you when you go for a refill.
  • Add life. Behind Willie, sits a tropical plant. You’ve gotta love plants that are labeled “tolerant” under care. Those are the only ones that survive around here!
A simple list to help you stock a bar. This minimal list is all you really need.
  • Use a tray. I’m a big fan of trays to corral bottles. They keep things looking tidy. This was an old bamboo tray that I spray painted to make it stand out a bit against the bamboo bar cart.
  • Add color. Fun glasses add more color.
A simple list to help you stock a bar. This minimal list is all you really need.

The shelf on the bottom holds more colorful glasses, an ice bucket and mixers.

Want to see how this sunroom turned out? 

Check out more inspiration from my friends! Look at all of that beautiful color!

PMQ for Two |ย The Gathered Homeย |ย The Striped Houseย |ย The Rath Project

Up to Date Interiors | Semigloss Design | Iris Nacole | Jest Cafe

Did I miss your favorite bar ingredient? Do you love Campari? What’s your favorite summer cocktail? Let me know!

Pin for later!

A simple list to help you stock a bar. This minimal list is all you really need.

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  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE! The wallpaper in the background is super sexy!
    Are you implying I’m nog. normal person if I style my bar cRt with all kinds of fancy things?

    1. It was meant to poke fun of those articles that say you need 100 items that are “absolute essentials.” ๐Ÿ˜‰ And my buddy Willie is super fancy. Look at those eyes. Yes, one’s a bit lazy, but that man is as fancy as they come.

  2. Haha, this is such a great post! To be honest: we use our bitters every time – they’re essential in a good Old Fashioned! ๐Ÿ˜€ But you’re right – only stock what YOU use! And I love the Shakespeare bust!

    1. Honestly, I’m more of a box wine girl lately. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a new food intolerance that makes me afraid to eat or drink anything new. Box wine forever. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Thanks Mila. Our bar used to be in our kitchen. Before that it was in the dining room on a dresser. It travels a lot. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Willie is the best! We bought him as a joke, but as we were walking through the flea market with him, another customer was lamenting their decision not to buy him. So that made him all the more valuable. Best of all, he scares the dog. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. That striped ice bucket is AMAZING!! And great tips too, but now I am beginning to think that we are far from normal because our bar is packed full of liquor (and we-friends and fam included-use it all).

    1. Thanks Diane. The ice bucket was from a Cynthia Rowley collection for Target from years ago. It’s one of my favorite things ever. I’m more of a wine drinker. Also, my husband is weird and thinks because we have it we need to drink it until it’s gone.

  4. I love how you styled this! I have a couple of bar carts, but neither house alcohol, haha! Even still, it’s a art to know how to do style it well. Thanks for sharing the tips!

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