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.

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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.

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Le Pink

If you thought Pink was having a moment last year and the year before, it’s biggest moment is still to come, I feel it hasn’t peaked yet. It started off subtly in blush and nude tones and has evolved onto the scene in all shades from fuschia and cerise to dusty pink and cherry.  What I love about it, is that the variety of the shades are endless ensuring theres one if not three out there for everyone.  When worn with black or military green it can easily be ‘de-girlified’ and worn with white or pale denim gives such a great summery cool vibe, especially against a gorgeous tan.

There are so many lovely colour combo’s for pink.  If you aren’t scared of colour wear bright pink with bright red or plum.

Shop some Pink below:

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Wide Leg Culottes here

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Earrings here

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Pleated Neck Cami here

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Frilled Merino Wool Sweater here

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Velvet Skirt here

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Side Tie Dress here

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Chinos here

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Sweatshirt with frills here

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Velvet Dress here

Ways to wear pink

It’s a great Saturday colour 😉 Have a lovely weekend

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New Year, New Goals

I am sure we hear ourselves say this at the start of every year.  If I think back about the start of last year, I wasn’t thinking goals, challenges, resolutions etc.  I was focused on one massive continent move.  We celebrated Christmas, went away to the Countryside with friends for a couple of days over New Years, had a whale of a time and kept everything as normal as possible until that little trip was over…. and then, the big pack up begun.  Everything after that was a bit of a blur and I certainly was not focused on the year ahead, other than surviving the next couple of months.  Last year for me was about getting through lots of “news”.  New town, new home, new schools, new people, new absolutely everything.  So whilst I did a bit of a spring clean when we packed up in London, I also held onto a lot in case I needed it.  After having been back in SA for 11 months now I am starting to realise what is needed and what is going to stay and what is going to go.  I have worn about 5% of my wardrobe in the past year, which for me is really sad but the new climate and much more casual style here means I simply cannot wear closed shoes, high heels or coats and wooly jumpers for many days of the year.   On the interior front, our rooms now are a lot more spacious than we had before so things like rugs and tables and decorative stuff all feel rather puny in the larger space and rugs are not filling the areas as they should.

Having said all of the above my goals for this year are about slowly fixing everything to suit our new lifestyle.  We have survived the past year, now we need to thrive! Im quite an impulsive person and sometimes a little hasty, so when I get a bee in my bonnet or the slightest inkling of a “go ahead” from my husband, Im on to it.  I currently have the flooring guys in, ripping up carpets and sanding parquet and wooden flooring (we’ve only been home for 3 days after a month away).  Once that is done, I will move onto the next phase of this project.  Slowly but surely we will start to renovate and redecorate our home, but first we need to have a proper plan in place (which we are still working on).  The other goal this year is to not buy a thing! Other than the necessities of course. There are always those: “this is the best lamp I have ever seen and there will never be another one like it” (how many times have we heard ourselves say that and a couple of months down the line…!?!).  I want to utilise as much of my current bit and bobs as possible and make my wardrobe really work for me, discover new outfits and clear out what is not being worn.  Same goes for the boys.  The toys, and any home decor. This year is all about de-cluttering and then figuring out what exactly we want to replace and what we need once we are back to a minimal of everything.  I want a blank canvas to work with for the next phase.

Here are a couple of inspirational pics of those perfect spaces I would like to create, from bathroom to living to utility.

Bathroom Organisation – order and colour co-ordination

Make- Up, Accessories & Sunglasses. I seem to get a lot more of it all every year (clearly the older I get the more I need although the less I actually seem to use)

Books and Clothing – you need to see them both to appreciate and use them, tucked away and unseen, they become useless and forgotten about.

Kids play – I have this exact kiddies kitchen and I promise it is impossible to keep this tidy but I guess that is a sign it’s actually loved and is used regularly.  As do we have this many, if not more animals but I love the way they are displayed on the shelf (that wouldn’t last either).

The perfectly set up Utility room.  My lovely cleaner would kiss me if we set this up for her.  She is a laundry fanatic, loves it and takes great care in washing and retaining clothing colour and shape (we have a lot in common).

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I will share any developments of the house and wardrobe with you here.  I will also promise to disclose anything bought that is not on the necessity list on my instagram page here, you have my word (basically a name and shame of myself, hopefully this will help to refrain from purchases).

I would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2017 filled with so much love and adventure!  And thank you so much for reading my blog.

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The heart and soul….

I think most modern families would agree that the kitchen is most definitely the heart and soul of the house.  With the crazy lifestyles we lead, its pretty much cook, sit, eat, clean and run off.  So with this in mind to maximise the rushed time together, the best idea, is to ensure your kitchen has a table and is a family friendly environment so everyone can enjoy themselves in the space.  This means probably a little kiddie friendly corner with mini table and chairs, a box of toys, a wall or an island side painted chalk board, perhaps a door to the outside and if you have the luxury of loads of space, potentially an island with stools as well as a big table with chairs (hmmm I love it when my mind runs wild with ideas).

The dining table in a kitchen these days serves as many things.  A homework table, an admin table (mine certainly piles up with all the paperwork I need to see to), a place to sit and drink coffee and of course a beautiful space for family and friends to sit and eat.

My pet hate however with having a dining table in the kitchen is when hosting a dinner party and all the dirty cooking utensils, pots and pans pile up around the kitchen, so its a good idea to either design the kitchen so the sink area is far from the table and if possible around the corner of the fridge for example, better yet in a separate utility room so completely invisible.

We are in the process of buying a house, a lovely old family home, HOWEVER, the kitchen is teeny tiny and is a galley type kitchen so no room for even a miniature kids table. Luckily there are two laundry/pantry style rooms on the one side and a dining room on the other, so hopefully (all fingers and toes crossed) we will be able to bash through all these walls and rather than have four separate rooms have one super large kitchen/diner.  And although Im not sure we will be able to do any work straight away, I still sit and dream up the perfect kitchen……  I love a contemporary space but Im a sucker for a bit of rustic-ness too, so I would love contemporary kitchen units with modern appliances but a large old style table, perhaps mix and match chairs, large windows and an extra large natural rug (from Coral & Hive, check out their page here). If there’s space in this design mix and match, then give me an exposed brick wall too.

Having a fire place in the kitchen really turns this into a warm happy place, however probably not necessary in hot countries!
Having a fire place in the kitchen really turns this into a warm happy place, however probably not necessary in hot countries!
Love all the light and the large island complete with chalk board of course
Love all the light and the large island complete with chalk board of course
I love the high cupboards and the ladder.
I love the high cupboards and the ladder.
A very classy kitchen
A very classy kitchen
I will take the dog too ;-)
I will take the dog too 😉
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Quite busy but looks a fun kitchen to be in.
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More of a breakfast nook, very casual, but inviting.

When the time comes in the hopefully not too distant future I will be sure to post pics of what the result actually turns out to be.  For now I will continue to day dream about my perfect kitchen layout.

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