Being the only male in a home with three ladies isn’t always easy. The house tends to be taken over by lots of pink, flowers, and craft projects. Ross is a good sport when it comes to all this, but for his birthday a couple weeks ago I wanted to surprise him with his own manly corner – a well-stocked bar tray for his favorite scotches, Mad Men style.
Quite awhile ago, I had tested the idea with him of carving out space on our dining buffet for a bar tray. Until now, it has served as my (very girly) plant table. Let’s just say he showed a great deal more interest in that suggestion than any other home decor idea I’ve floated by him in the past. 😉 However, we’d both kind of forgotten about the idea, until his birthday came around and I had this set up for him when he finished work for the day:
The bar tray came together after I had some fun searching on Etsy for some retro barware. I wanted to go with a primarily gold theme to match the gold tray I already had and blend well into our living room decor. I found these 60’s harlequin diamond rocks glasses:
This set of six vintage gold plated bar tools:
And some old brass varnished mint julep cups:
I played around with what to put on the bar tray and how to lay it all out to get the right look. There is something about a bar tray or cart that adds a welcoming touch to a room when coming home from a long day at work or entertaining guests. However, I think there is a delicate balance to making it look chic vs. alcohol overload / college frat house. For what it’s worth, here are a few tips for setting up your own bar tray:
Tip #1: Just select a few of you favorite (prettiest!) bottles to put out on display. Luckily all of Ross’s scotches come in pretty cool bottles. Maybe store the giant bottle of Bacardi elsewhere. 😉 We have extra storage in the buffet underneath the bar tray:
Tip #2: Set out a couple of colorful swizzle sticks. They are a fun addition to a cocktail, and add a pop of color to the bar tray. I found these at Target for just a couple bucks and put them in one of the mint julep cups:
Tip #3: Invest in some nice barware tools and have some on display. Some of the essential pieces include: jigger, strainer, bottle opener, corkscrew, muddler, and bar spoon:
Tip #4: Incorporate different containers, like this decanter or a fun cocktail shaker, to add interest:
Tip #5: If you have the space (and no toddlers at home!), why not go all out and get a retro bar cart. I have seen versions along these lines at Salvation Army and on Craiglist for around $50.