Butler’s Tray as Bar Cart

You’ve probably noticed that bar carts are all the rage. They’re everywhere. If you’ve missed the memo, head over to Pinterest and do a search to see what I mean.

I’ve taken note of the trend and, while I didn’t want to go all in with a new bar cart, I do have this butler’s tray in my dining room that I thought would make a good place to do a mini version.

Dining room bar cart

This square silverplate tray that I recently picked up secondhand was just the right size to gather a few items.

Bar cart styling

Why am I just now embracing trays? Everything looks better arranged on a tray.

Vintage silver tray holding liquor

These little cocktail plates are also secondhand finds.

Dining room decor

As is the silver wine coaster that holds some odds and ends, including the corkscrew that we’re always having to dig through the kitchen drawers to find.

Liquor tray in dining room

And the clear hurricane makes an easy place to toss wine corks.

Dining Room Styling

Have you jumped on the bar cart bandwagon?

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  1. Julie, I love everything about your butler’s tray bar cart. We have a wall in our living room that needs something. I saw a ‘cocktail armoire’ not long ago that I thought might fit the bill. I liked the design…fairly simple, not too big, and could be convenient for parties. However, your bar cart idea is another idea! ~Jillian

  2. Sounds like you have a couple of good options, Jillian. I’ll bet you have some fun parties!

  3. Vanessa Bower says:

    Hi Julie, love your idea of using a butlers tray as a bar cart. Small, compact, attractive and doesn’t scream we’re alcholics.
    We use my husbands grandmother’s old treadle sewing machine as our bar cart/sideboard. Hubby retro fitted the hole where the sewing machine head sat with a piece of oak. My job was to stain the oak to “match” 100+year old wood. In all, it came out really well. It fits in our tiny dining room and is a conversation piece at our dinner and cocktail parties.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. “doesn’t scream we’re alcoholics” – Vanessa, this made me laugh. That sewing machine sounds amazing. What a unique piece!

  4. janpartist says:

    We’re apparently alcoholics. I have a butlers tray that I tried as a bar cart but I had it so loaded down I was afraid it would collapse so I switched it all to an old tv cabinet I had restored and I’m much happier now.

  5. janpartist says:

    PS-I need a Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry partner, wanna come over some time???

    1. Haha, Jan. I understand. This is a small, small part of our liquor supply. Most of it is in a high cabinet in the kitchen. And I’ve never had Harvey’s BC Sherry. I’d love to come over and try it with you. I’ll bring my bottle. 🙂

      1. janpartist says:

        I’m from KC but lived 3 yrs in Mass. I had a group of lady friends and every Friday at 4 pm it was sherry time. I loved the concept more than the sherry initially though sherry’s good. We may have to make a sherry date, although now I am gainfully employed and 4 pms on Fridays may have to be adjusted to something more accommodating of working girl schedules.

  6. Rosemary Downey says:


    I love your bar cart idea! It looks gorgeous. I’ve just purchased a vintage mahogany butler’s tray and your suggestions as to how to style it looks wonderful.

    I’ll try it out and let you know.


    Ro (Melbourne, Australia)

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