Sunday, June 22, 2014

Simple Pleasure Sunday: Bookcase to Bar Project: Part 1

I'm having fun working on a small project. No, it's not scrapbooking my Paris pictures (which I should really do next)... It's creating a bar in my apartment! This project is still in progress.

I've been planning on increasing the selection of drinks on my bar lately. Summer is margarita time in this household (which sometimes replaces my daily glass of red wine with dinner). After my trip to Paris, I'm daydreaming of sipping chilled rosé during this season. Plus, I have wanted to have an Italian drink on offer too, Spritz, a drink ubiquitious in Venice. Because I believe every single item has to have a home so it can be put away neatly, I have wondered where I would put it all. I currently have all my liquor bottles, my new bottle of blood orange syrup, a couple of bottles of San Pellegrino (fizzy water), a glass vase (for limes), my shaker, margarita salt, a margarita glass and a shot glass (for measuring) all on a tray on top of my small wine cabinet in a corner of my dining room. It's pretty full. And I still need to top the tray with Aperol for a Spritz.

I have so many different glasses intended for different types of alcohol (margarita glasses, champagne flutes, martini glasses, etc.) stored inside my linen closet in the hallway. I'd prefer them to be displayed rather than unseen behind a door.

At first, I thought I might want a bar cart and started to look at them. Ikea offers a cheap utility cart. Target's one is more expensive, yet is like 1/3 of the price of other bar carts out there. Then, I thought I just need a little more space than a tray for alcohol, and a more sturdy, solid furniture piece to hold more of my delicate glasses would make a bit more sense. I started to look for bars (or buffets) online, but didn't like anything I could budget for. Finally, I decided on the matching small 2-shelf bookcase that I will turn into a bar. So much of my furniture is from the Avington collection from Target. I've been watching the price and finally it was 20% off and offered free shipping today. I actually didn't work it into my budget (as usual), I charged the $110.23 to my credit card (it's most unusual, which I can picture Audrey Hepburn saying in the movie Roman Holiday). I love buying furniture as it's such a grown-up purchase.

I plan to place it on either side of my wine cabinet, perhaps on the left side where a chair wouldn't back up into it (based upon how I currently have the chairs arranged). Even though I don't think I'll be able to put out all my drink glasses, this will still free up some space in my linen closet, which is much more an entertaining closet to me. I have vases, cutting boards (as serveware), antique punch glasses (as candle holders), table linens (placemats, cloth napkins, table cloths), napkin rings, platters, bowls and other serve ware, pitchers, an ice bucket, a large lasagna pan, a couple of candlestick holders, surplus espresso cups and a lot more in there. I have a large tote in the walk-in closet in my hallway that is half full of outdoor decorations like string lights. I will store those in my entertaining closet so that I can see them more and as a result, hopefully use them more.

After assembling it, I look forward to styling my new bar. I've been looking at ways to style a bar cart on Pinterest. Check out my five favorites...

The Target bar cart option.

Parisian chic.

My basic plan is to mainly store glasses on the two shelves and primarily store liquor within the tray on the top, with a bit of it mixed up/swapped. To add visual interest and organization, I might want another tray like this one...

Quatrefoil tray.

I also looked up those striped paper straws and these deep red and white ones are my favorite...

Although these polka dot ones are cute too. (And this shop has nice washi tape!) If I have space for a small decorative object, I might shop around my apartment for something to add.

Since this frees up the top of my wine cabinet, I have a fancy wire 3-wine bottle holder on top of my refrigerator that I can relocate. I also have two vases full of wine corks that are now on an end table in my living room that I can place over there too. All wine-related things could be in one place; imagine that! Why didn't I think of this before?

As you can see, I'm adding some things to my apartment when I hope to move soon and should be focused on subtraction. My home is already decluttered anyway. If I wasn't moving (which is so not an option!), I might wanna hostess a Stock the Bar Party so I could collect other basic spirits like vodka, mixers like cranberry juice cocktail, and fun little things like beautiful coasters (as I only own two basic cork ones).

I look forward to sharing a picture of the finished product! ...and apparently toasting the summer all season long...


  1. Lovely little bar cart. I have something similar, with a tray on top and a wine bottle rack below. French Rose wines are my go-to summer perfect for summer meals.
    My suggestion for a little more room would be to keep one bottle of Pellegrino in the fridge until needed.
    Love the colour of the pretty!

    1. Thank you. I'm so excited to style mine!

      I still need to purchase a French rose. Perhaps this weekend... I have looked in the liquor store I can walk to but only remember seeing California White Zin.

      That's a good idea for the Pellegrino. I will be keeping the prosecco for the spritz in the wine cabinet, along with the sauvignon blanc I want and some champagne I already have until it needs to go in the fridge before I entertain. I hardly ever have bottles of beer and that would kept in the refrigerator until I had to had it with jumbo wings and french fries!

      I love the pink color of my blood orange margaritas! I will post a photo when I update about my summer bucket list.

    2. California Zinfandels are nothing like the real French rose wines. Do not be fooled. Keep looking and I am sure you will find them. Serve chilled. I like Prosecco a lot, and always try to have a bottle in the fridge. The blood orange syrup intrigues me, as does the Aperol!
      You may find a tea cart or bar cart on Craig's List or at estate or yard sales, if you do decide to replace the one you have.