The Drinks Trolley Re-invented

The revival of the drinks trolley happened somewhere in the last couple of years and whilst I always imagined it as a bit of a fussy piece of tacky furniture gathering dust living in a badly lit room in the 50’s, I now love the way in which it has been reinvented.  A stat just to show how popular it has become:   The number of bar cart ideas (if you don’t mind an Americanism) saved on Pinterest in the UK jumped 40 per cent in six months. Sales of bar carts were up 173 per cent from January to June 2016.

Some Drinks Trolley Trivia

(taken from http://www.thebarcartist.com/bar-cart-history/)

The bar cart actually got its start during the Victorian Era (1837-1901). However, at that time it was not associated with alcoholic beverages. The bar carts of the Victorian Era were actually tea trolleys!  It seems we have the Interbellum and Greatest Generations to thank for taking us from Tea Time to Party Time when they started using bar carts for cocktail parties during the end of Prohibition (1933). Though bar carts started being associated with cocktails after the repeal of prohibition, they did not become well known cocktail entertaining items until the 1950’s.

If your’e thinking of including a drinks cart/trolley as part of your decor at home here are a few do’s and don’ts.

Cart Style

Retro-style carts are particularly popular – think gold and glitzy with glass or marble shelving.  Marble with a very dark brassy metal would be my choice.  But look for contemporary details, such as oversized wheels and sleek lines, to stop things feeling too fussy. Two shelves is way better than one and three shelves is probably too many.  Purchasing the cart is probably the easiest part however.

Alcohol 

Its not about a purchase and then stocking it with a couple bottles of hardtack and some crystal glasses.  Of course not, in 2017 everything has to be styled!  The styling also includes the brand of alcohol you have on display.  I would personally pick two or three bottles of spirits, I think an over stocked trolley will look messy and cluttered.  Perhaps add a soft drink like an Elderflower cordial, a bottle of bitters and lots of sparkling water (San Pelligrino).  This is for the everyday display and then when you have guests you can add your wines, champagne etc. When you are picking your display bottles of spirits I can’t speak for Bourbon’s or Whiskey’s but a bottle of Gordins isn’t going to cut it on the Gin front, Hendricks, Bombay Sapphire or something on that level.  If residing in SA you may be up to speed with the gin re-awakening (well that’s a whole other topic altogether). Cape Town is one of the leaders of this world wide trend.  Talented and passionate locals are distilling gin using indigenous flora such as fynbos and rooibos to create gin that you’ll find nowhere else in the world. A few of the local names to look out for that would sit very prettily (and go down very happily) are Inverroche http://www.inverroche.co.za Hope on Hopkins http://hopeonhopkins.co.za Musgrave http://www.musgravegin.co.za Woodstock Gin Company http://www.woodstockginco.co.za to name a few.

Styling

Bringing in some artwork, plants, a lamp, jugs, candles, good crystal pieces or books are a few of the many different objects to look for.  Fruit is also a great idea, I would go with a bowl of lemons, limes or both and a pineapple or three.  Recently we have been drinking our gin with slices of pineapple and I can honestly say that Pineapple in gin should be part of the gin revolution.  Basically any of the above objects would add interest, texture, colour and style to your cart.  Again for me personally I would choose a few items and not make it too busy, ensuring every item has the ability to shine and be seen.

Inspiration

I have picked out what I believe to be beautifully styled trolleys.

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-15-06-15

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-15-11-50

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-15-14-57

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-15-17-30

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-15-50-13

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-16-38-50

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-15-15-34

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-16-20-25

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-16-40-12

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-16-47-10

I’m still looking for my perfect drinks trolley, I imagine its living in an antiques market somewhere.  I look forward to sharing it with you here when its found.

X

Interior Additions

Some beautiful pieces to lift a space that needs little change up without a complete overhaul.  Interiors are like wardrobes in that you have your staples (your larger pieces of furniture perhaps like your classic sofa’s, cabinets and sideboards in neutral tones) then you can move out coffee tables, side tables, rugs and scatters to either change your colour scheme ever so slightly or just bring in a new design element that you love.

The velvet topped stool.  I love this elegant looking stool, at first glance it’s quite sophisticated looking, but the lighter oak legs will ensure that this piece fits in with traditional or contemporary decor themes.  Shop the stool here

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-19-35-33

Mix up your outdoor area and add this round day bed to a special corner for curling up in.  Its a very contemporary style but feels very luxurious at the same time.  It looks like a piece you would find on the deck of your private plunge pool at a lodge. Shop here

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-19-51-42

Add texture to your walls with baskets, a different take on artwork or mirrors, I love the layers it adds to a space.  Choose from a range here

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-19-56-17

Free up some space on your bedside table and attach lamps to your wall next to your bed.  I love these, they can be shopped here

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-19-48-47

You probably know by now Im a sucker for baskets.  These could be used for anything from kids toys to bathing towel storage outdoors (undercover).  Shop baskets of varying sizes  here

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-20-21-38

A plant sorts out any space when you don’t know what to do with it or if an area is lacking life. Why not put plants on your wall too.  I adore these wall hanging pot plants which can be ordered here

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-20-56-52

Adding ceramics, wood, metal and wicker to your bookshelves is a great way to add interest to an area.  A home can never have too many bowls in different shapes, colours and sizes. Shop this striking yellow one here

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-20-55-51

This bark mirror is so different and again doubles up as artwork, purchase three and place them on a wall beside one another.  Shop these at a bargain price here

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-21-05-41

X

Incorporating Black

So you would have heard me banging on about my floors in one of my previous posts here, and I decided to go dark.  The actual colour used was Ebony, but it doesn’t come out pitch black, its more like a really really dark brown (perhaps one shade lighter than black…) Anyway the outcome is sensational (for me) Im so thrilled with them.  Ive left the rooms quite bare at the moment as Im trying to decide how Im going to fill them and what I want to do with the space.  Anyway now that Im obsessed with my floors it got me looking through other ideas of using black in the home.  Last year I decorated a guest house which you may also know about if you follow my Instagram page   There I decided to paint the kitchen cupboards black.  The owners didn’t want an entire kitchen renovation but rather update what was there, so I went with black and it made such a great impact on the rather vast, outdated and dull space that had existed beforehand.  I also brought in black chairs for the dining area (open plan) which carried the boldness through to balance the spaces out somewhat.  Now, I know black is no great shakes in terms of “newness”, it’s been trending in various ways for some time in the world of interiors.  We have been loving black steel door and window frames as well as cabinetry and bathroom tiles for a few years now, but there are certain ways to do it, for a better, bolder and slightly classier outcome.

Here are some ideas of how to incorporate black.

I just love this black backdrop for this bedroom, so simple and effective.

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-19-45-14

Here we see it used in a far subtler way but that pop of darkness is so strong

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-19-47-39

I think black floors are my new thing 😉 love that the rest of the woodwork has also been painted black.

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-19-47-04

Loving the dark sinks

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-20-22-17

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-20-17-05

So rich, the blues with black.  Im always a fan of mixing blues and black in dressing. (clearly Slim Aarons fans judging by the pictures)

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-19-46-40

I almost feel like this black staircase replaces the necessity for too much artwork.

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-19-49-44

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-20-11-48

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-20-12-25

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-20-08-03

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-20-10-00

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-20-18-22

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-20-07-41

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-20-09-14

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-20-09-36

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-19-49-16

I love a black exterior wall for a wooden house, it looks great in a lush leafy area as below or even on a beach house with the contrast of the white sandy surrounds.

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-20-18-49

There will be pics up on the blog or instagram soon of my floors 😉

Happy Hump Day (or what’s left of it 😉

X

 

The Next Big Thing To Talk About

Now that Halloween is over can we talk about Christmas? Well apart from those that celebrate Thanksgiving, but Im certainly starting to peek at the decorations out the corner of my eye every time I walk by a display.  Well to tell you the truth I will just come out with it, I’ve already bought my first 3 additions for the tree!  Im such a sucker for anything sparkly and Christmassy.  I asked my oldest son (who was 2.5 years old) last Christmas to choose a decoration for the tree, it was such fun watching him search, take one and then change his mind and then I tried to sway his decisions too, the first thing he picked out was a really funny looking little scraggly felt dog, I guess that is what gives the tree character, anyway we came home with a reindeer and a scraggly looking dog.  I will turn this into a ritual until the boys are older and don’t find picking out a tree decoration that fun anymore, which will only be a few years away I suspect.

Last year my tree was filled with white, grey and a touch of red, and then of course the odd pink, yellow and red knitted socks from great gran and a kitsch purple liberty ball that somebody gave us amongst a few other weird things that we feel obliged to put up but generally I like to have a theme going. So for every strange looking decoration I buy another three to overshadow the bizarre bits and the theme never gets lost.  As this is our last winter in the UK I will probably keep the white and silver theme going as Im sure summer Christmas’s to come will be filled with neon and colour.

So far I’ve found a garland of small wire star fairy lights, a wreath in a heart shape of painted white berry’s and a little grey felt tree with a bit of white embroidery on it.  Two of my favourite places to buy decorations from are Paper Chase and The White Company who are, for me, are the epitome of Christmas. They do it so so well!  And actually I must mention Waitrose too, as whilst I walk around doing my shopping I always manage to chuck one in as if Im throwing in the usual pack of apples (it doesn’t make me feel like Im actually spending extra on unnecessary extras as it gets lost amongst the food shop.

Paper Chase do amazing wrap and ribbons too, their decorations are especially fun and different which is where I will take Oliver and Adam to again for picking out their tree decorations this year.  I have gathered a few of my favourites below and put them into their themes. All decorations featured are picked from Paperchase, John Lewis, The White Company and Liberty. Never right off your local supermarket, Ikea or a little independent store where I have picked up many little trinkets along the way.

Slide1
The playful Neon Tree
Slide2
The rustic winter tree
Slide3
The Glamour Tree
Slide4
Winter White Tree
Slide5
Traditional Red, Green & White Tree

Well I won’t say Happy Holiday’s just yet but happy decoration hunting. Now we just need the trees to come out….(Big cheesy grin).

Had to share the Happy holiday’s caravan (below), one of the cutest I have come across which I might have to pop into my shopping basket next time!

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 19.54.20

Home Decorating

Open shelving is a great way to have all your gorgeous crockery on display. What’s the point in keeping it behind doors, especially as some pieces are used so seldom. It’s important to keep it all neat and preferably keep similar colour tones together for an organised and effective overall look in your kitchen.  Here are some pics of how to arrange an effective shelf display in the kitchen.

 

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 09.52.37

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 09.52.08

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 09.49.06

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 09.53.40

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 09.51.06

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 09.52.23

I love a little reorganisation when I am getting bored of my displays, this is such an easy and economical way to make a statement in your kitchen. Ikea have some great shelving in all different finishes at great prices. Then all you need is a clever handyman (or you may enjoy a bit of DIY yourself, I love it) and voila all is left is to dig out your gorgeous pieces and display them.

xx

 

Pictures via Pinterest