Bar Tray Styling for the Office

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the only thing better to an AFL’er than a cocktail, is a well-styled cocktail. It’s a scientific fact that it tastes better when it looks better. No? Prove it.

In any event, it didn’t surprise us at all to hear from like-minded genius friends that they were interested in having bar carts for their offices. Not because it’s the 1960s and they all work at Sterling Cooper, but because, well, they look cool. And perhaps the thought that you could have a cocktail is enough in and of itself. In fact, when I was practicing law, we had open happy hour in the firm every evening, but all I remember is popping upstairs to fill a plate with free cheese. But, I could have had a drink.

All of this got us thinking of how we might style a bar tray (as opposed to a cart, which isn’t quite as discreet for the office) for different professional office settings. While the styles vary, they can all be easily reconfigured and stored if you need a clearer separation between work and play time. Here are three — which one would you want?

The Minimalist — you are a consummate professional and don’t want your bar tray to scream “I booze in the office.” In fact, you want the option to easily convert it to a regular beverage tray and/or put it completely out of sight.

A Feteful Life: Minimalist Office Bar Tray

1. start with a sleek CB2 tray table that easily collapses for storage and allows you to move the tray to a bookshelf or cabinet for stowage.

2. keep the bar accessories minimal with a tall pitcher (that would hold water just as well as mixed drinks), a stainless steel cocktail stirrer, and a minimalist jigger.

3. you are always workin’ that angle, so add some barware with a slight design. it will add interest, while keeping it professional.

4. you’re not sure why, but people love striped paper straws. an understated grey and white stripe will do for you.

5. remind everyone you’re the boss with DIY monogrammed napkins.

6. kitsch doesn’t belong on your bar tray, but some citrus adds a little touch of color and is functional for cocktails or ice cold water.

The Glam Squad — you are a fashion editor, a stylist, an interior designer and you want your tray to shine and shimmer. You might down an occasional glass of champagne, but you want things to look pretty whether you’re imbibing or not.

A Feteful Life: Glam Bar Tray

1. this chic Greek Key Handle + Tray can be stored easily, but we’re guessing you’ll leave it set up as is.

2. protect your office and add some sparkle with these gorgeous Jonathan Adler pink and gold agate coasters.

3. stemless gold rimmed glassware won’t take up a lot of space, but will leave you with lots of options.

4. Veuve Clicquot Cuvee Rose. no other explanation needed.

5. you can’t go wrong picking from Cocktail Kingdom’s Gold Collection, but these will get you started.

6. this gorgeous decanter will help you out when you’re looking for something other than champagne.

7. a fun print adds great visual interest and reminds you to take a much-needed break.

The Modern DIY’er — you are a blogger, a freelance writer, a graphic designer and your perfectly appropriate for the “office” bar cart will pop in your fabulous naturally-light filled studio. And you intend to drink from it.

A Feteful Life: Pop Bar Tray

1. make sure you’re seeing clearly with an acrylic butler tray. Zara’s Wooster Table, shown above, is sold out, but I’ve got my eyes peeled for another (I spotted this one on Amazon, but it’s a little clunky).

2. a bold, bright set of double old-fashioned glasses will work for almost all your cocktails.

3. reusable metal bendy straws add an unexpected touch.

4. add whatever drinks you like, but I know my bar would be well stocked with sparkling water and the ultra-cool designed Crystal Head Vodka.

5. you don’t want to go overboard with the tools, but a mod cocktail shaker, the BEST muddler (I have it), and a sleek jigger are a must.

6. add a fun pop art element, like these mini Jeff Koons’esque balloon dogs. I’m partial to the orange.