Style The Perfect Bar

Thank you to Home with Hechart for sponsoring this post (paid partnership).

Holiday parties are in full swing and I’ve been getting a ton of questions about the best way to set up a bar that’s both functional and beautiful. To help me out, I turned to Home with Hechart, one of my favorite home décor and interior design companies (paid partnership). The mother-daughter duo at the helm have fabulous taste and curate a wonderful selection of tabletop and barware, and I had so much fun selecting pieces to style for this shoot.

When you’re arranging a bar for a party, I prefer a clean, simple look so people feel like they can pour a drink without knocking over a ton of décor. A mixed metallic palette is perfect because it makes everything seem “fancy” without having to use a ton of decoration. Along with overly-fussy décor, common “bar pitfalls” include feeling like you have to offer as much drink selection as a restaurant (you definitely don’t), and turning yourself into the bartender for the night (you’ll have a miserable time – people should be able to serve themselves). Below I give all my best advice for avoiding these mistakes and setting yourself up for a fabulous evening. Cheers, y’all!



How much glassware? 2 glasses per person is ideal. Streamline everything by having just an all-purpose wine glass and a Collins/highball glass that people can use for cocktails, water, or soda. If you’re having a larger gathering, remember that you can always rent glassware! At Please Be Seated, we rent glasses in multiples of 10. Renting is a great way to get some really fun, festive glassware that’s a changeup from your regular pieces – you know I love a bold goblet!

What drinks to serve? I preach constantly about batch cocktails because they’re pre-made and easy. Linking my favorite Pomegranate Cranberry Margaritas here – they’re always a hit! A fun spiked punch also feels very festive; Southern Living has lots of recipes. If you decide to simply have guests mix their own cocktails, be sure to have vodka, tequila, and scotch on display. My go-to mixers are pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, club soda, and simple syrup; be sure to offer citrus as well (cut lemons and limes). Another fun idea is a “DIY Ranch Water” station because all that’s required is fresh lime juice, tequila, and Topo Chico. Of course, wine and prosecco/cava/champagne is easy and always elegant. If you know you have guests who don’t drink, it’s always kind to have the mixings for a good mocktail at the bar, plus a soft drink option

How much alcohol to buy? Calculate 2 drinks/person. This is a good average to work from because it accounts for those who won’t drink at all as well as those who might drink more. For reference, you get about 4 – 4.5 drinks out of 1 bottle of wine.

Accessories. Don’t forget an ice bucket and a big bowl for chilling wine, champagne, and bottles of water/sparkling water. Set out more cocktail napkins than you think you’ll need (spread them around the house so they’re always within reach), and have a set of bar tools to make it easy for people to mix themselves a drink if you aren’t using a batch cocktail. Make sure drinks look festive with fun swizzle sticks and a selection of garnishes (edible flowers, herbs, dried/candied fruits from Trader Joe’s, pomegranate seeds). For the stirrers, Acrylic Sticks is fabulous and bougie, and I also have a lot of luck on Amazon (search for “holiday stir sticks”).  

Nibbles. I am 100% obsessed with these cluster bowls from Home with Hechart because it’s totally effortless. All you do is fill each bowl with different appetizers (cheese, crackers, prosciutto, olives, nuts) and drink garnishes (pomegranate seeds, raspberries) and voila! In 2 minutes you have a gorgeous spread without the task of arranging a cheese or charcuterie board. I keep some festive nut mixes on hand during the holidays, plus a sweet treat like chocolate covered espresso beans, because people are always swinging by and I like to be able to easily offer a snack.

Décor. Again, I love a clean, streamlined look for the serving area because it has to be functional. That said, definitely bring in some festive elements, such as a wreath behind the bar, simple florals, or festive touches like the mercury glass trees here. Whatever you do, don’t forget votives! Candlelight bouncing off the glassware makes everything sparkle.

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