Vintage Drinks Trolleys for the Living Room

If you're thinking of giving a more sophisticated touch to your living room, the item of furniture you may be looking for is the vintage drinks trolley.
Vintage Drinks Trolleys for the Living Room

Last update: 29 February, 2020

Are you thinking of giving a bit of a vintage touch to your living room? We’ll show you one of the best ways in this article. It’s a question of including items from times past. Antique furniture pieces are ideal to give that retro atmosphere. Enter vintage drinks trolleys for your living room.

These give a distinguished air to any room, and they can also get you out of a tight spot when you’re holding a party. But what are these items?

They are a serving cart with wheels, where you can keep everything necessary to put together a good cocktail: drinks, glasses, and other complementary items.

These trolleys have made a comeback as a decor trend. They’re very simple, useful, and can provide that special something that might have been missing in your entertainment nights.

Vintage drinks trolleys – furniture with a history

Some colorful decorated vintage drinks trolleys

No one can deny the resurgence of this unique piece of furniture. But how has it become so popular? Answering this question isn’t straightforward. However, what we can say is when the drinks trolley appeared in the decor world.

The first time this type of cart was in use was around the 19th century, during the Victorian age. However, during this period, trolleys were only used to serve tea. It wasn’t until the 1930’s that trolleys started being used as an accessory for making cocktails.

The biggest boom for the drinks trolley was around the ’60s and ’70s. During this period, society had recovered somewhat from the disasters of the world wars. In reality, people had more free time that they dedicated to leisure and recreation.

It’s an interesting item for meetings and parties, wherever cocktails are sevrved.

How can you choose a vintage drinks trolley?

A serving cart ready for a party

Over the last few years, we’ve watched this antique item make a comeback. You’ll find antique designs on the market, in honor of timeless classics, as well as new models. In that regard, the variety of drinks trolleys is quite amazing.

You must choose the design that will best suit both your personality and existing decor since there is a wide range of models. Here are a few different types and styles of trolleys you can find:

  • Vintage: this is probably the most common that you’ll see in decor and interior design magazines. This design usually uses two materials: metal, normally bronze, and glass or mirrors.
  • Retro: the same as the originals from the ’50s, these trolleys have round shelves. However, what characterizes them is the use of bright, intense colors and contrast.
  • Minimalist: this style is marked by putting functionality before function. That’s why the finishes of minimalist trolleys are polished and uncomplicated. And, in contrast with other style models, they are usually monochrome.
  • Industrial: this is one of the most versatile and relaxed styles. The materials of industrial style carts are usually different metals and unfinished timber. They’re ideal to add a casual touch to the room.
  • Garden carts: these vintage drinks trolleys are of natural materials such as timber. They are also a little different from the rest thanks to their wheels, which are larger and thicker since they have to move around more irregular terrain in the garden.

Essential items for vintage drinks trolleys

Including color and flowers will add freshness

A well-stocked, elegant drinks trolley is capable of setting off the glamour of your home. To achieve this, it’s necessary to equip it with everything you’ll need to make a good cocktail.

  • Alcoholic drinks: the choice of drinks you set out on your drinks trolley will depend on your guests and your preferences. Even so, you can give an especially distinguished touch by choosing more elegant or classic bottles. It’s recommended not to choose more than 3 types of bottles so that your cart doesn’t look untidy.
  • Glassware: this is essential. The set of glasses that you choose should be appropriate for the drinks you’re going to serve. But of course, within each type of glassware, you can find a great variety of different glasses. If you go for colored glass, it will give a unique flavor to your drinks trolley.
  • Cocktail accessories: cocktail shakers, decanters, mixers… these are items that have obvious functions. However, thanks to the simplicity of the designs you can find, they can also give an unmatched elegance to your drinks trolley.

Original ideas for decorating your drinks trolley

Vintage drinks trolleys such as this with a gold theme are classic

Lastly, don’t forget to add your personal touch to your drinks trolley to make it a unique feature. The extras you add will be what makes your cart more than just a drinks holder. It will become the focal point of the room.

Here are some more ideas for a unique and original vintage drinks trolley. Try adding a couple of small pot plants or flower vases, to give an air of nature and freshness. Another option is creating a romantic setup, including some candles or a string of fairy lights.

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Kay Plunkett Hogge (2016): A Sherry & A Little Plate of Tapas, London: Mitchell Beazley.