Sunday, January 10, 2010

Design cliche: Bananas for Bar Carts!

I think I'm going to start an ongoing series called Design Cliches.  I've got to do something productive with the countless hours of time spent reading magazines and blogs and my amazing gift for over-analyzing pointless crap that no one really cares about.  Think of it like a PSA to designers and amateur decorators out there - I'M WATCHING YOU BITCHES!!

A design cliche is something that's one step beyond a trend and fast on its way to becoming predictable.  Or maybe just a trend that I think is stupid.  The I Married Adventure book = cool vintage read with grapic cover but then it started appearing on every tablescape in magazines and inflated the price to hundreds of dollars on ebay = cliche.  Cliches aren't inherently bad but they are something to be wary of - like using plaid in a room.  For instance tulip table = round marble cloud sent from heaven but appears in kabillions of rooms of snobby intellectuals with money to burn  = cliche that's still awesome.   Nothing will ever make tulip table lame.  Unfortunately being able to identity said cliches will not make me immune to their powers.   I guarantee to make multiple design cliches when decorating my house because I have zero creativity and my motto is "those who can't do, blog".  One day if I post pictures of the renovations we can play a game to see who can pick out the most cliches and they'll win my disdain a door prize.  I would say the prize could be a copy of I Married Adventure but if I ever see one of those at Goodwill I'll snatch it up faster than a free bag of Sour Patch Kids.  It's like in every fancy room I see in magazines for gawd's sake!!!

Today's cliche is the bar cart.  See Exhibit A below:

here with even more evidence

The blogosphere just LOVES bar carts because they are shiny, have lots of colorful things that are organized nicely and seem all fancy and grown up.  That and it's very Mad Men cocktail-at-any-hour-of-the-day chic.*  But I have some practical problems with this phenomenon of hospitality.  For starters I hate dusting and bar carts are just big glass tables with tons of tiny round things on top that look like fucking hell to dust.  And then to clean the top that you've spilled a party's worth of sticky drinks on you have to take all that shit off and windex it and then put everything back in exact row after row of mixers and booze and glasses.  I don't think so.  Speaking of glasses I once poured myself drink at a friend's house from their bar cart only to discover as I took the first sip that there was a floating island of dust, dog hair and a dead spider on top of my wine.  It's disgusting to leave your glasses out all the time.  There is a reason your kitchen cabinets have doors!  FUCKING USE THEM!!! 

Miles Redd from Style redux
I hope you're just getting ready for a party because I don't leave cans of Hormel chili lined up on my coffee table so PUT THAT SHIT IN THE CUPBOARD! 

from Lonny
I'm pretty sure there's no room to actually make a drink on that thing.  This one is for looks only.  And if you squat to get a glass there will be a book embedded in your anus.  Are you having a party for hoarders?

from Style Redux
Still can't make a drink on that thing.  And I don't think it's a good idea to have a bunch of drunks fumbling around a rickety folding tray that holds nothing but crystal and glass on it.  Nothing ruins a party faster than a trip to the emergency room.

from Style Redux
This isn't a decorating problem it's a drinking problem.  Seriously get some help.  (Future design cliche alert!  I've got my eye on you giant rope knot!!)

Eddie Ross from the NY Times
Tee Hee I'm pouring drinks barefoot and in a vest!  Eddie your toe jam is dangerously close to a glass that my lips might be touching soon and it's grossing me out.  I don't care how delicious those strawberries look!  And where the hell do you store that cart if you only use it for parties? 

 from Lonny
At the very least confine everything to a tray that you can easily move, clean and store.

Never fear because I have a solution to all this bar cart madness - it's called a liquor cabinet.  It has doors and lots of useful storage and a working area to make drinks.  The novelty!

from here

I know that technically you have to windex all that shit too but if things are looking bad at least you can shut the doors.  That's how I clean - pretend it isn't there.   If vintage isn't your style how about this sexy beast?

Amy Lou Designs from Houzz

I was referring to the thing on the wall with doors that kinda looks like a butt on the bottom - NOT the bar cart in front.  Why that's just silly having two designated boozing areas in your house unless your house is super big and you need to wheel the booze around to your bed party guests like a hot dog vendor.  If bar carts did travel with booze and hot dogs that would be totally awesome and not cliche at all.  But only if the hot dogs were kept behind closed doors.  Places like Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn have a shit-ton of liquor (and hot dog?) cabinets but I'm not posting those here because those places are about 5 minutes away from being another design cliche. 

Oh wait...      yes, yes they are in fact design cliches now.

*Apparently the NYT wrote an article about bar carts unbeknownst to me and they say pretty much the exact same thing.  I didn't know anything about it when I started writing this so I think that makes me pretty fucking awesome since the NYT are the obviously THE purveyors of hipness.  Nothing says cutting-edge trend like being chronicled in a newspaper.


  1. God I love you! I peed in my pants reading this, and agree with every word.

  2. Dearest anonymous - I know we just met and all but I think it's safe to say I love you too! I will pour myself a stiff drink (out of my liquor cabinet mind you) and toast in your honor tonight for your comment.

    happy dust-free drinking!