With cocktail parties making a heady comeback, accessories offer elegant ambience
The Parker cart has a midcentury vibe with its acorn finish and brass rail trim. Bar carts are a great way to set up a bar in a small space. Some have wheels or casters so the carts can be rolled to one side when not in use. (West Elm)
Home beer and spirit-making have become popular hobbies. Bars and beverage stores feature a growing range of artisanal spirits and craft brews. Cocktail parties are back in vogue.
And retailers are responding to all this imbibing by offering furniture, barware and accessories with cosmopolitan flair.
All you need are a few invitations, snacks and some good music for the party to begin.
Let’s pop the cork on what’s new:
“Nowadays, entertaining does not have to mean having a glitzy full bar. Bar carts have become more delicate, refined, and smaller in scale, so you can tuck them into a corner of a room or blend them in with the rest of the furniture,” says Veranda magazine’s market editor Catherine Lee Davis.
West Elm’s Parker slim-profile cart in acorn-stained walnut veneer with brass rail trim has a mid-century vibe. The walnut-stained Dodson cart features a flip-down front concealing a mirror-lined interior with plenty of storage.
And a cart in polished nickel with two foxed mirror shelves evokes Art Deco glamour. (www.westelm.com)
If you want the look of a built-in bar, consider Pottery Barn’s modular collection of wine grids and drawered cabinets. In black or mahogany finish, the pieces can be configured to look like a hutch or buffet. (www.potterybarn.com)
Davis says that with barware, the trend is toward shaking it up. “We see lots of different materials like hammered silver, tortoise, or shagreen,” she says.
“It’s all about mixing and matching. After all, entertaining should be about having fun.”
Gent Supply Co. has a natty collection of coasters, glassware and flasks printed with illustrations of turn-of-the-century gentlemen duelers, narwhals, anchors, and animals dressed in distinguished garb. (www.gentsupplyco.com )
A punchbowl that rests in the clutches of an octopus, and a sculpted shell held by a delicate coral stand are part of an aluminum barware collection at Z Gallerie.
There’s also a faux crocodile service tray in rich eggplant, studded with silver rivets, that makes a sophisticated statement.
Silver cocktail picks and stir sticks topped with airplanes evoke the Second World War. And a mirrored sign with phrases like Stirred and Straight Up printed in a gold retro font would make great wall art. (www.zgallerie.com)
JC Penney has a whimsical yet elegant wine decanter from Michael Graves Design that features his signature bird as built-in aerator. (www.jcp.com )
Whether it’s a swanky gathering or a casual movie night, provide your drinking guests with a variety of interesting treats.
Pier 1’s Tasting Party collection includes one-bite ceramic dishes, shot glasses and spoons which can be stored in your home bar.
If you’re setting up a first apartment and don’t have much money, consider giving an old nightstand or tray table new life as a miniature bar.
Hit flea markets and junk yards for salvaged tool trolleys, medical supply carts or old microwave stands and spiff them up with paint, paper or other decorative materials like stick-on tiles and mirror.
The web has many artful ideas, including at www.curbly.com.