I'd say that our bar cart is good looking about 50% of the time... and the rest? It's a storage place for random cocktail things that get used on the weekend or for shoots. So when we're expecting a guest, I have a few tricks that allow me to update it in just a couple of minutes.
1. ART! I always rotate in a new piece of framed art or something I paint last minute. Cocktail quotes are always fun, but I have this print I made that is to the point;) I love adding art because it takes up lots of the white space on the wall behind, but not too much room on the actual top of the cart.
2. Flowers, duh. I try and create something that is slightly taller than the framed piece I use. Low pieces tend to take up too much room. Also think about any bottles you will be displaying, the arrangement should be taller than those as well. I usually pick up 2-3 bouquets at the grocery store in a single color palette (white, blush and green ALWAYS work!).
3. Sparkling water. I really like the color that these bottles add. PLUS, they work as a refreshment in between drinks and a mixer for so many cocktails. I always opt for the glass bottles as they're much nicer looking than the cans or plastic.
4. Fresh Citrus. Fill up small bowls or tall glass vases to add color as well as drink garnish. If I leave the fruit whole, I usually have a small cutting board beside it so guests can cut and add to their drinks as needed.
5. We have an abundance of tiny accessories all over the house, so I grab a few to fill in the gaps. Tall skinny candles add ambience and again, don't take up too much space (I have a ton of these white ones, they're only $1.50!), matches in a fun container, and even small succulents or cacti are a great filler. Pull from other rooms and try different combos... the bar cart doesn't always have to be all about booze!
Those are my tricks, what are yours?
I'll also be sharing a recipe for those yummy rosemary cashews you see... another great addition (salty snacks) that guests never pass up;)