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Pour la maison: Entertaining à la Carte

It’s no secret bar carts have staged a comeback. You can find them everywhere from high-end design shops to IKEA. Designer Sarah James Moss says bar carts’ mass appeal lies in their ability to meet just about any entertaining need, while still packing a major style punch.

“It’s a way to have that luxury element — to have your home bar without having to dedicate all that space,” says Moss.

According to Moss, the bar cart is versatile enough to work almost anywhere in the house: the corner of a dining room, breakfast nook or even in the living room as a side table.

Whether your style leans more antique bohemian or midcentury modern, choose a bar cart that fits your aesthetic. Just don’t forget about functionality. Moss suggests looking for carts with two shelves and wheels. She says she loves the combination of mirrored or glass shelves with gold or brass finishes.

When choosing items for your cart, Moss recommends balancing modern, functional pieces with family heirlooms or collections — it’s a great excuse to dig your wedding crystal out of storage. Moss starts by grouping larger, more fragile items on the lower shelf and placing glasses and serving ware on the top, within arm’s reach.

Remember, less is more. You don’t need to display every single glass in your set.

“You don’t want your top shelf to be all glasses all the same height ... like a bussing cart,” says Moss. “Think balance. Sometimes when it’s all clear glass, you lose that sense of depth.”

She also suggests filling clear crystal decanters or glass pitchers with darker liquor to give them more of a presence.

Once you’ve stocked the cart, all it takes is a little lagniappe to dress it up for special occasions. Moss recommends fresh flowers and ingredients for seasonally-inspired mixed drinks — think cinnamon sticks, candied cherries, sugar cubes and orange zest. Bottoms up!


Setting the Bar

  1. Opt for a two-shelf bar cart for maximum storage and style, bonus if it’s on wheels.
  2. Mix modern pieces with some of your own collection.
  3. Create a few interesting vignettes by grouping different sized items.
  4. Set glasses, barware and ice buckets within reach.
  5. Place taller, more fragile items on the bottom shelf.
  6. Add finishing touches, such as napkins, seasonal flowers and fresh fruit.


Award-winning designer and New Iberia native, Sarah James Moss, has designed interior spaces for clients across Acadiana and New Orleans. In 2016, Moss teamed up with HGTV’s “Property Brothers” for four episodes of “Brothers Take New Orleans.” She is the founder and principal designer of Moss Manor: A Design House, an online boutique specializing in modern furnishings and home décor.

Sarah James Moss, Moss Manor  |  Mossmanor.com  |  1-888-996-1986


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