How I Style my Bargain Upcycled Marble and Gold Bar Cart

upcycled bar cart marble and gold

When we moved into our new house, there were certain items of furniture that I knew I absolutely had to get straightaway. Some of them were more practical than others - we definitely needed a bed, for example...and a washing machine. 

Others were a lot less practical and a lot less approved of by Sean - I have a feeling that when a dusty old tea trolley turned up at the front door before we'd even got as far as buying furniture for the spare room, he had a bit of a 'why is this happening to me' moment. That's right - I had my heart set on a bar cart for the living room, and a bar cart I bought myself. Kind of.

upcycled marble contact paper bar cart

As soon as I started looking for bar carts online though, I quickly realised that the beautiful gold and marble ones I had spotted on various blogs and pinterest images actually cost a ridiculous amount of money. My favourite was an Oliver Bonas number that cost over £250 - more than we had spent on ANY item of furniture so far. That was one purchase I knew I wouldn't be able to sneak past Sean, beautiful though it may be!

Even when I started looking on Gumtree and eBay, which usually totally came to my rescue when it came to bargain furniture, I was still finding that people wanted you to shell out upwards of 80 or 90 quid. I had just about resigned myself to waiting for my bar cart when I did one last search on Etsy, this time for vintage tea trolleys. If you guys are looking for something similar, do the same - turns out there's a lot less people after a retro tea trolley than a super popular bar cart!

I didn't bother taking before photos unfortunately, but obviously the particular style I went for was very popular back in the day, because there's plenty of photos on various sites of the exact one I bought. Isn't it special?

Whilst there's definitely a kind of retro charm to it, it really didn't work for me - and Sean absolutely hated it! It took me a little while to decide what I wanted to do with it, but in the end I decided to go for something simple and cheap - I took out the middle shelf to make more room and to make it look a bit less 'trolley-esque' and then I bought some £5 marble contact paper to cover the remaining shelves. I'm not going to bother doing step by step instructions, because honestly it was the easiest thing ever. I just turned the contact paper over and flattened it out on the top shelf so that I could use a pencil to mark out the inner measurements, cut out the contact paper and gradually placed it down, using a damp cloth as I went to push out any air bubbles. It went so well that Sean actually came home and refused to believe that I'd done it, because it actually looked good (thanks love). 

I Just love It gin this way illuminated canvas

Now that the bar cart itself looks how I want it, I've been playing around with different accessories and items to put on it. Currently it looks exactly as in the photos above - eventually I want to get some more pretty glasses to go on the top shelf, and swap the wooden tray for a round mirrored one, but it does the job for now! 

My absolute favourite addition is my illuminated canvas from I Just Love It*, which is a website offering gifts with a personal touch - perfect for you guys to bear in mind for Christmas! Sean and I are big fans of gin (Eden Mill is my current fave) so this sign is just the best thing ever - and it lights up! What more could you want? If we wanted to we could  of course hang the canvas on the wall, but I quite like it balanced on the top of my bar cart. What do you guys think? Can I rub it in Sean's face that I totally made the right choice, furniture wise? 

*The canvas from I Just Love It was sent to me for review purposes, however I was not paid to include it in this post and as always all opinions are my own - I genuinely think it's awesome, and it has pride of place in my living room!

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