Bar Cart Basics | The Anatomy of Styling

Good evening lovelies and happy weekend!

It was such a wonderful past week for me because I just started a new career in my coveted marketing field and am absolutely loving it! I am working for a company with a special mission with a very friendly, fun and supportive marketing staff. In the midst of getting acclimated, I wanted to do a post this week but was far too pooped to get crackin’ on the blog until now.

This week, I wanted to highlight the art of bar cart styling. Why? Aside from the fact that I am obsessed with them, they truly add a unique component to your home. However, some people fear tackling the bar cart for a few reasons:

a. They cannot figure out what direction to go in (from an aesthetic and functionality stand point).
b. They may not know how to style one appropriately.

I am here to solve that problem! Alas, I am providing you with some Bar Cart Basics! Enjoy!

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First thing’s first: choose the style direction you wish to go in. I’ve decided to go with gilded neutrals and pops of color (in this case, a deep, rich blue). Overall, I personally like classic elegance – it’s chic, simple, and will never go out of style. Even if you purchase a few trendy pieces, you can always change them out as your taste changes.

1. Essential Element: Cocktail Glasses. What bar cart would be complete without some beautiful glasses? First and foremost, you need them. But more importantly, you can have a little fun and be as eclectic as you want to be. I like the idea of using touches of gold, particularly because it correlates with my overall look. Instead of choosing one type of glass, why not try several? Personally, I love rocks glasses and instead of using just one style, I’ve decided to mix and match with keeping my gilded theme in mind. Check out the Mingle Bar GlassLex Bar Glass (I own these bad boys) and the Greet Bar Glass – all $9.95 a piece from Crate & Barrel.

2. Design Element: Small Figurine. Of course the functionality of your bar cart is key, but you can add little touches to personalize it and make it fun! I have an affinity for pineapples (not to mention they symbolize warmth, welcome and wealth in a home). Add a small figurine to your bar cart such as this 9″ Brass Pineapple Candle Holder I discovered at Chairish.com for $185.

3. Design Element: Books. Much like coffee table books, they can be used for functionality and/or a way to accessorize. Have some drink recipe books that are relevant your bar cart? Throw them on there and use them to style it. Looking at it from more of an aesthetic stand point? Add some vintage books to tie in your pop of color or to provide it with some timeless elegance. Since blue is my pop of color, I found this eclectic Set of Five Vintage Books for $30 from Etsy.

4. Design Element: Flower Vase. If you’re a sucker for flowers like I am, try adding a vase of them on the top of your bar cart. It creates a soft, feminine feel while giving it a more polished look. If you enjoy grabbing some fresh flowers at the Farmers Market and like to change them out weekly, you can certainly go in that direction. However, if you are looking for something that requires a little less maintenance, purchase a vase of faux flowers that stay fresh forever. I really fell for this mercury glass vase full of Faux Peonies for $99 from One Kings Lane.

5. Design Element: Apothecary Jar. Another great design element to incorporate is the use of apothecary jars. Glass is a popular material used but I have grown a wild infatuation with chinoiserie inspired ceramics – particularly anything blue and white. It also happens to tie into my pop of color. Even if you want to go in the direction of a small bowl or ginger jar rather than apothecary, you can go to any antique shop and pick one up for a very reasonable price. I’ve found several for around $20-$30 a piece. However, I do love this Ming Lidded Apothecary Jar from Frontgate for $79.

6. Essential Element: Whiskey Decanter. This is another fundamental piece of a bar cart, especially if you are featuring rocks glasses like I am. You can find them just about anywhere but this Flamant Home Interiors Leona Decanter from Amara is a beauty and priced at $113.

7. Design Element: Straws. This may not be necessary, but it does add a fresh look to your bar cart. It’s an inexpensive way to add a touch of whimsy to the overall feel and ends up tying everything together quite nicely. These striped straws come in an array of different colors but I personally enjoy the classic black and white. You can pick up a 25 Count from Party Source for just $3.49!

 8. The Bar Cart Itself. Speaking of bar carts, this post would not make much sense without the bar cart itself! Here’s the deal: there are numerous bar carts out there at different price points, styles, colors, materials…essentially, the world is your oyster here. Going for a more rustic look? Anthropologie has some beautiful wooden and metal ones, for example. However, I adore this one to tie into my gilded/classic theme. I also really love this bar cart because it is reasonably priced. There are bar carts out there in the thousands, but this Meredith Bar Cart from One Kings Lane is just $210!

9. Design Element: Monogram Letter. If you scour Pinterest like I do, I’m sure you’ve noticed the increased popularity in implementing the letter of your first name or last name in design. Being a newlywed and my last name starting with an “A”, I’ve been collecting “A’s” at every chance I get. Adding a monogram letter to your bar cart adds a little personality to it while also personalizing it. You can find them practically everywhere, particularly Etsy, which has some that even light up for a more retro feel. However, this Acid Etched Letter from Urban Outfitters priced at $14 is pretty inexpensive, vintage-inspired and well, gorgeous!

 10. Essential Element: Cocktail Shaker. For those of you who enjoy a good cocktail, a shaker is absolutely mandatory for your bar cart. I’ve seen some made of sleek brass or hammered metal and also some that are more simplistic. This Madison Collection Cocktail Shaker from Sur La Table is $50 and can be used for many years to come. I love that it is both European-inspired and timeless.

 11. Essential Element: Coasters. Trying to protect your wooden table? No one likes the dreaded ring left from a drink! Coasters are absolutely essential in regard to a bar cart. These beautiful coasters are made from natural agate and play into my neutral color palette. This Set of 4 Coasters by Shiraleah can be purchased from Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th for $57.70 (originally $71).

 12. Design Element: Prints. I’m a art enthusiast and lover of good prints. Adding a piece of art to your bar cart whether it be physically on the cart or hanging on the wall above it pulls everything together. The print you pick truly depends on your style – it’s a very personal thing. You could add your favorite artist’s work, something illustrated and funky, or a letterpress print that relates to the bar you are essentially creating. The Blue Pineapple Print I fell in love with ties into both my pop of color and pineapple trinket and is an instant download priced at just $5. The Gold Foil “Pop Fizz Clink” Print ties into the gold and metallics I’ve been using, directly relates to the bar cart and is priced at $25. Both were found on Etsy (one of my favorite places to shop of all time).

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The Big Move

Happy Wednesday, lovelies – I hope all of you are having a splendid week so far!

It seems like we’ve been working on our future home for forever now. The whole “patience is a virtue” thing definitely has a whole new meaning after this experience! But alas, I can finally say that we are officially move-in ready as of last night (thanks to the hubs and our dear friend, Andy for painting the master bedroom ceiling and trim). Shahin and I are both so excited to start this new chapter in our lives and see what all is to come! Even more, I’m ready for my two furry little hellions to have a fenced in yard to run around in!

So what’s next? The Big Move. I say it like that because I loathe (and I do mean loathe) moving. Tell me, is there anyone out there who actually enjoys it? At the beginning of my relationship with my husband (almost seven years ago), we moved several times and I always felt like a gypsy. Having not moved ever as a child, I could not understand how people did it so frequently without completely losing it because it drove me to tears almost every time! Needless to say, we have certainly not made it easy on ourselves when it’s come to this house; we’ve painted and taken numerous DIY approaches in an effort to save some dinero (which ultimately means it can go elsewhere – hellooo decor and other fun things). You can probably guess that the physical move is not going to be any different from our previous strategy. Yes, we are moving everything on our own (God’s speed). I’ve already been packing like a crazy person and of course we need to do some deep cleaning and touching up in our current abode. But how does one maintain a level of sanity while moving? Below are four steps I will be taking during this time and hopefully it can help you too if you’re planning a move in the near future!

1. Stay organized. It sounds a lot easier than it actually is. I don’t care how organized you are in every other aspect of your life (because I am borderline OCD when it comes to this), it is very difficult to keep everything (and yourself) together during a move. What I have personally found helpful during this process is Pinterest. I’m writing everything the box contains ON the box in addition to color coding by room (i.e. – kitchen is yellow, bedroom is purple, bathroom is blue and living room is green). I also have a running checklist of the number of boxes in each category to ensure all are accounted for.

2. Purging. What I mean by this is to really go through what you have and part ways with belongings. I know, it’s hard. In fact, my husband calls me a hoarder. Am I really? No. But I guess to some degree, I could be considered one. I like to think of myself as an emotional hoarder. I hold on to things that have sentimental value. I guess it’s okay to a point but there has to be a limit. I’ve sorted through many items with a fine tooth comb and have had to trust my gut instinct in many cases. If I look at an item and question getting rid of it, I end up putting it aside to donate. Why? Because if it were really that important, I would not be questioning whether to love it or leave it.

3. Have a course of action. Create a plan and implement it…it’s that simple. Are you renting a U-Haul? Are friends and family helping you? Are you going to be providing food and beverages throughout the day for those who are assisting? Are you doing everything in one day or spreading it out? So many questions that one should never left unanswered.

4. Breathe and channel your energy. Why stress over something this exciting? Is moving a royal pain? Yes. But it’s part of life and in many cases, a very fun time! Think positively and focus on the great things to come once you’re in!

The moving process begins for us this weekend and we are taking our time bringing over boxes since we are not on a time constraint. It’s best to have it done efficiently and effectively. As #4 suggests, I’m channeling my energy to all of the great things about our new home! As mentioned in my previous post (Home Is Wherever I’m With You), I will soon be sharing and updating you all on our touches, details, decor, DIY projects and ideas! Below is a little sneak peak of our home as a blank canvas! Stay tuned!

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{ Dining Room in Benjamin Moore Brittany Blue & Kitchen in Benjamin Moore Gray Lake }

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{ Dining Room in Benjamin Moore Brittany Blue & Kitchen in Benjamin Moore Gray Lake }

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{ Master Bedroom in Benjamin Moore Ocean Air }

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{ Master Bedroom in Benjamin Moore Ocean Air }

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{ Living Room in Benjamin Moore Brittany Blue }

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{ Kitchen in Benjamin Moore Gray Lake }

{ HOME } is Wherever I’m with You

So in case you are not already aware, the hubs and I are starting to move into our first real home as a married couple – weeeee! It’s the cutest little bungalow in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte, NC and we couldn’t be more ecstatic! New hardwood floors are in and the counter tops should be here and installed any day now (it is seriously gorg).

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{ Our recycled glass counter tops in “Ocean Shell” }

As exciting as all of this is, we are now faced with the daunting task of purging and packing. Let me just tell you, if I could pay someone to do all of this for me I would because when I say I loathe moving…I mean it in a very passionate way. However, I have opted to take on the beast because I do not want to shell out extra cash for someone to pack my things for me while I am very capable of accomplishing it on my own. The problem is, I tend to look at everything from a macro perspective and when I see everything that I have to go through and prepare to move, I get slightly overwhelmed. Even with us leaving our wedding gifts in their original boxes, we still have a ton of belongings and it frightens me that so much has to be transported from one house to another. #firstworldproblems. Aside from having to remind myself to breathe during this process, I have to provide myself with little things to look forward to in order to stay motivated. As the saying goes…gotta keep on truckin’. So in light of this stressful situation, I’ve decided to focus on the fun components of it and dedicate this post to my decorating plans for the new casa.

We are going to first touch on my color inspiration followed by the look we’re trying to achieve and ending with the paint colors I’ve chosen. However, I’m going to ask you (my lovely blog readers), for feedback regarding the kitchen color. Just comment at the end of the post with your vote because I am quite stumped and desperately need your opinion! Enjoy, loves!

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Shahin and I are on the same wavelength regarding the hues of the new house. We both really love grays, neutrals and blues. I’ve never met anyone who loves the beach as my as my husband, so he was immediately sold on the idea of utilizing ocean colors in our decor. I myself have always been a big fan of the dusty blue color (a light shade of blue with a gray undertone) and drawn to different grays and neutrals. Above is a mood board that I created which include my inspiration and the words that come to mind when I think about the feng shui of our new home.

Style

Now, you can imagine how over the last year I have been trolling Pinterest to nail down the look and feel we are going for in the new house. Shahin and I are both very similar so it made choosing our signature style fairly simple. We’re both free-spirited, music lovers, DIYers, eclectic, enjoy art and love a mix of modern, handmade, vintage, primitive, flea market chic, simplistic, farmhouse, rustic, natural and eclectic. I know, it’s a lot and some of these descriptions contradict one another. But once you see all of the elements together, it will make perfect sense. Imagine: Etsy, West Elm, Pottery Barn & Crate and Barrel…all mixed together with some thrift store and antique shop finds.

Paint

I have to admit, I have become rather obsessed with Benjamin Moore‘s paint colors. Like WHOA. I have spent countless hours in Lowes, Blackhawk Hardware and the Benjamin Moore store itself…just standing there like the crazy paint lady comparing different swatches. For me, trying to determine the perfect shade of gray and the perfect blue was fairly difficult (it’s the perfectionist in me) – but I eventually accomplished what I set out to do. These beautiful paint colors are what I’ve nailed down for the new place. However, I am still pulling my hair out over the kitchen color and I’ve narrowed it down to three (yay for progress). So what do you think? I’m officially taking votes so leave your comments below!

Building a home can be so much fun…stay tuned for more updates to come! I can’t wait to share all of my decorating, entertaining and DIY projects with you!

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Home Office Inspiration | { His + Her }

The hubs and I are preparing for a move in a few weeks to an adorable little bungalow in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte, NC. The house has two bedrooms, one bathroom and one room that is perfect for an office. We both need a functional working area and need to utilize the space to the best of our ability in order to suit both of our needs. Between Sean working on a start-up business with my brother and all of his side projects and my blog, work and grad school homework, it can all become slightly overwhelming if we’re not careful. My life is in complete shambles even if I’m in a little bit of disarray so in our new home, it is critical for us to stay organized. In an effort to do so, I wanted to create both a personalized and inspiring {his + her} office space. I started gathering ideas and came up with two inspiration boards that truly encompasses each of us.

For this blog post, I was initially going to focus solely on a feminine work area until Sean mentioned how he wished I would post more about things the male demographic can relate to and get inspired with. I am all about taking constructive criticism. In fact, I welcome it with open arms. Why? I have always believed that there is always room for improvement and feedback is totally necessary in order to grow and flourish. With that said, I decided to take a shot at the ideal male office space in addition to my own.

First and foremost, I took each of our interests, likes and dislikes into consideration before creating the perfect office for each of us. I am as girly as they come, adore soft colors, flowers, quotes, anything vintage, eclectic and woodland-inspired, fun patterns and desire an aesthetically pleasing area that will make me feel energized. Sean on the other hand is a tech junkie. He would love more of a masculine space with funky gadgets, harder lines and the perfect blend of both a contemporary and industrial/vintage feel.

Alright, so enough about my method behind the madness – I’m not going to make you wait a second longer! Below are my {his + her} work space creations with a shopping guide for those of you who are also looking to gain some work space inspiration. Enjoy!

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Office F

1. Inspiring Prints (from first to last): Start Each Day with a Grateful Heart {Etsy}, Gold Foil 2014 Print {Etsy}, The World is Your Oyster Print {Etsy}  2. Red Coral Vintage Book Collection {Etsy}  3. Gold Antler Coat Rack {Etsy}  4. Tassle Garland {Etsy}  5. Distressed Inspiration Board {Etsy}  6. 13″ Peonies in Vase {One Kings Lane}  7. Monogram Mug {Anthropologie}  8. Gold Zag Tray {Etsy}  9. Emily + Merritt Brass Bunny Table Lamp, {PB Teen}  10. Shag Rug, Ivory {One Kings Lane}  11. LexMod Ghost Chair {Amazon}  12. Vintage Desk Mail Organizer {Etsy}  13. White and Gold Desk {Worlds Away

Office M

1. Work Hard Print {Etsy}  2. Industrial Faux Metal Letters {Etsy}  3. Vintage Pull Down Style Map {Etsy}  4. Mojave Rug, Aqua {One Kings Lane}  5. LED Binary Clock {from ThinkGeek}  6. Subway Sign, Charlotte, NC {Etsy}  7. Wood Block Bulb Lamp {West Elm}  8. Scape Magazine Holder {CB2}  9. Mesh Silver Bulletin Board {Crate and Barrel}  10. Delilah Desk, Natural Finish {One Kings Lane}  11. Coup Office Chair {CB2