Once when I was in an antique store in Louisville, Kentucky, I fell in love with a shelf. Painted several shades of blue and clearly built in a primitive DIY style many moons ago, I was smitten with its folksy charm, cheap price tag, and the 6 levels that could aggregate a wide variety of nicknacks. (My decorating aesthetic could be described as Cracker Barrel.)
Stay with me.
Thirty minutes later, my friend had strapped it to the top of my station wagon, and off we went down Interstate 65. The shelf fit perfectly next to my kitchen table and was soon filled with everything from vintage pyrex to a metallic rubber chicken I caught during a Mardi Gras parade. But mainly it was home to my ever-growing collection of bourbon, spirits, and cocktail accouterment. As you can imagine, people either found the shelf charming or ridiculous. My family found it to be the latter.
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As one does, I recently decided to rearrange and purge my living quarters with a catalyst or prompting—just the cleaning zeitgeist. Part of my plan was to move my cookbooks to the shelf so I would be encouraged to look at them more instead of searching recipes on my phone. This would require finding a more fitting home for the various bottles, glasses, and coasters.
But after thrifting, searching the for sale section in various hollers of Alabama on Craigslist, and browsing online, I couldn’t find a bar cart that was both affordable or aesthetically pleasing. Then, I saw Target’s New Made by Design line included not just one, but three perfect options. A minimalist profile for $30? It seemed to good to be true.
The cart showed up next to my wilted geraniums shortly after in a large cardboard box. Although I do love an engineering challenge, I found putting it together to be about as easy as making a gin and tonic. About 15 minutes of tightening screws with the included hex wrench, I had the perfect-sized home for my Weller 107 Antique, mermaid-shaped swizzle sticks, of the souvenir glasses my grandparents gathered on their honeymoon. The shelf was filled with my cookbooks, and started to look much more ordered and a little less Hoarders.
Both in rectangular and round formats, these rolling carts are the Meryl Streep of portable fixtures. Use them to keep bath linens separated, try it as a side table for your bedroom (no more balancing your charging phone on top of a stack of books), keep extra dishes or pantry items in it, or turn it into a three-tier plant stand. The roles are endless.