Drinking with Draper and Boozing with Bogey

don draperI think that we should credit the resurgence of the bar cart to the popularity of shows like Mad Men that give us a look into  our midcentury past. A time period in which drinking happened seriously and often, when the idea of cocktail hour was just as important as dinner time, and when entertaining at home certainly trumped going out to the hottest new farm to table restaurant. 1950s cocktail hourI have always appreciated the concept of cocktail hour. Yes, yes the drinking, but really more of the trappings of cocktail hour. Perhaps mixing something interesting like a martini or a gimlet or a fizz instead of pouring a glass of wine – and perhaps doing it all in a location in your home specifically created for the purpose of mixing drinks. Perhaps you have a bit of a catch up with your spouse, partner, or friend before you finish cooking (or ordering) dinner and turning on the t.v.bogart barI have always loved the bar set up in Humphrey Bogart’s office in the movie Sabrina. Sterling Cooper’s bar carts do not hold a candle to Bogey’s built in bar complete with marble backsplash, swing arm sconce, and sink. And it seems that while the bar cart craze is seemingly never ending, some companies have begun to manufacture not only a cart, but a full bar set up which include storage or even a place to lean.

Bar CartThe first is West Elm’s Midcentury Bar Cart, is a more traditional bar cart, not too dissimilar from the cart that Don Draper and his colleagues are surrounding in the first photo – I so appreciate the combination of the walnut veneer with its antique brass accents. A great pick for Sterling Cooper.Bar Cart 7Next is West Elm’s Baron Deco Bar Cabinet again in walnut veneer with brass accents. While this cabinet still has the display option offered by a more traditional bar cart, you also have the ability to store additional bottles, glassware, napkins, and other bar accessories below. A great choice for those who like to entertain in small groups and appreciate a variety of cocktails that require different mixers that don’t need to be displayed. 
Bar Cart 8Finally there is West Elm’s Leather Upholstered Bar. This would certainly suit the Bogey in all of us. With a true “bar” to put a foot up on, and a place to lean. this piece is for the mixologist who loves to entertain and appreciates a good cocktail. Made with a walnut veneer, with a facade upholstered in leather, this is a serious bar which is sure to impress. Bar Cart 9This Leather Upholstered Bar has no shortage of storage – room for bottles, a rack for hanging glassware, and two drawers, you can have everything you will possibly need to host a great party – or simply to appreciate the importance of cocktail hour.

Good news is right now all dining furniture at West Elm is 15% OFF! 

Finally, below are some suggestions on how to stock your Bogey bar.


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  • We at oomph agree – a bar cart is an essential piece for every home, especially for those who take cocktail hour seriously. We make a habit of tidying up just a bit before we sit down to our favorite time of day. Who doesn’t love having a ritual where you glam up after a long day and sip that first delicious cocktail! Is it 6 yet?

    1. Amy – so glad you and the rest of the Oomph team agree. Please let me know if you’re ever in Charleston and we can celebrate cocktail hour together. Thanks so much for stopping by! xo Olivia

  • I also fondly remember lusting after the bar in Sabrina!! There are so many fabulous bar carts and cabinets on the market – Ralph, AERIN, Jacques Garcia for Baker but do check out what Celerie Kemble did for Maitland Smith. There is a fabulous stitched leather bar cart and fantastic parchment lacquer bar with silver eglomise top I think you’ll like!

    1. Thank you for stopping by Stacey – and thank you so much for the recommendations. Headed to all those websites as we speak …