Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

April 4, 2013

Treasure Hunting Report: Finally, a Bar Cart!

Good things come to those who wait.  Well, good deals, at least!


Last spring I asked your opinion about adding a small piece of furniture to our petite dining room.  For new readers, our dining room looks spacious but it's an optical illusion (thank the sheers and white walls).  The chair under the painting can just barely be pulled out when it's time to dine.  Although our dining table is a nice size, I wanted a place to store a bottle of wine, pitcher of sparkling water or even some side dishes when hosting dinner, to help keep the table clear for wild hand gestures and animated conversation.  I thought a corner hutch or bar cart would be a cute sideboard stand-in and offer extra display space when the dining room isn't in use.  Readers chimed in and a bar cart came out on top for its flexibility, small scale and versatility.  Thanks again to everyone for their feedback!

Well, I hunted and hunted all summer, trolling the classifieds, yard sales and vintage shops but came up empty handed.  I've even seen a few different want ads for bar carts and tea carts in the local classifieds, so it seems they are in high demand in Ottawa.  Are we all playing Mad Men or something?  With no bar cart to be found, Handy Hubby and I planned to weld one.  So funny in hindsight, that we thought we'd have the time!  Summer flew by with trip preparations and then I jetted off to Hungary for four months.  We'd talked recently about finally welding a bar cart this summer, but we have a lengthy to-do list and lots of fun trips and adventures planned.  When I spotted a pretty brass cart for only $20.00 on kijiji, I pounced on it.  I drove out to Barhaven and arrived at the seller's house a little breathless, with crazy-eyes I'm sure.


I know some folks rock the brass look (Carrie's looks amazing) but, although I pine for gold, often it seems, I plan to paint this a vintage-inspired mint green or bright turquoise (maybe the same colour as my chair).


The little Genie finials were cropped out of the seller's photo (above), so they were a bit of a surprise.  We are snipping those off ASAP and adding something simpler or just capping the end.  Looks like we might end up welding anyway!


I'm happy to show off this find, only ONE YEAR LATER!  As soon as spray painting weather arrives (i.e. it stops snowing), I'll paint this baby quick and show it off!  You know now that I finally have a bar cart, I will find dozens more thrifting, antiquing and yard saling.  That's just how these things work . . .

P.S. Speaking of treasures, don't forget today is the last day to enter my giveaway fabulous Etsy shop laKattunClick here to enter.
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26 comments

  1. Nice find! We've been buying stuff off of kijiji like mad people lately, haha.

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    1. I find spring is such a good time for yard sales and classified ads - people get the spring cleaning bug and sell good stuff! My luck runs out August. Happy to hear you have been finding awesome stuff!!

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  2. That seller's photo is hilarious! Too bad you didn't get the flower basket thrown in. Mint would be awesome.

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    1. I think the basket was too distracting for the other people hunting for bar carts and tea carts - it worked to my advantage! Haha.

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  3. Great find! I'm pretty jealous. It's so gorgeous as-is, but I'm sure you'll make it equally as pine-worthy.

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    1. Awww, thanks! The brass IS pretty and I feel a little bad about planning to paint it. But the brass just doesn't work in the space because a few feet away is our super modern wall unit with brushed silver details. Plus I'm excited to add a bit more colour to the dining room. I can't wait to get painting! But you're right: it would be cute either way :)

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    1. HARD to find, too! Meant to be I think, because I had exactly twenty dollars in my wallet when I spotted the ad! I so rarely have actual cash these days . . .

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  5. Great find and well worth the wait!

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  6. Love it! It's perfect for the space. Great find!

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    1. Aww, thanks! I'm so happy with the scale because any wider or deeper and it would make getting around the table tricky. I was almost hoping for something a bit less delicate but I think the brighter colour will make up for that!

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  7. A bar cart was our sole request for Christmas (especially after actually hosting successful Man Men party). Found my dream brass-and-mirror glass bar car on the Anthropologie website for only $3,000... ha! So, needless to say, my folks insisted they would find something and they gifted us with a dark wood rolling bar cart with a mirror top. I was hoping for something more vintage looking (or authentically vintage!!), but it was nonetheless a touch of sophistication for my Midnight in Paris birthday smash.

    I LOVE the metallic carts and encourage you to please consider leaving it gold! Metallics are so in right now and quite classy... especially with some vintage decanters atop! My parents gave us Grandma's 1940s purple glass decanter, in addition to their lead crystal wedding-gift decanter---seriously so dang gorgeous on our, yes wood, bar cart. Cheap bourbon gains at least $40 in value once you pour it in a decanter ;) One of our friends sniffed a $5 bourbon in the decanter and said, "See, you can tell that's good quality."

    It's all in the presentation ;)

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    1. That's a shame your dream cart has such a nightmare price. That's pretty steep!! But it's so sweet your parents tracked a pretty wood one down for you. I love the addition of a mirror top - that must look so pretty with glasses and bottles on top. Your purple decanter sounds gorgeous!! I would love to find something like that. And yep, definitely adds lots of value to cheap booze, lol.

      I agree: metallics, especially brass, are so in and I agree, it does look pretty in gold. But the finials need to go and when they do, I'll have to paint anyway to hide the replacement/mend job. Also, there are more scratches and wear than my photo captured. Hopefully you'll be won over, especially when you see more of the rest of the space ;)

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  8. Nice score- I really love the casters. I have a thing for casters- I put them on everything- converting chrome shelves to rolling racks for the kitchen, my kids' play kitchen, a patio table. And up next, an old flaky-painted, yellow metal shelf that may have been an AV cart in another life (come on spray-painting season).

    I've priced similar hooded casters in chrome to replace the lousy ones on our desk chair- but pricey! At $15 a pop, that's a $75 upgrade just so our chair can actually roll.

    Can't wait to see how you transform your new bar cart.

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    1. Thanks! I also love the casters and they are still in great condition and the cart rolls really smoothly. Your old AV cart sounds cool. I guess we're both waiting for warmer weather! Wow - I can't believe casters are so pricey.

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    2. just as a follow-up on casters- I had looked all over and could only fond them specialty on-line. BUT this week I found chrome ones for $4.99 ea at home hardware. Have to say that I'm a big fan of home hardware- sometimes their prices are higher than the big box stores but if it's only marginally higher, I can just pop into town rather drive 35 km. HH has a pretty extensive catalogue- if it's not in stock I can order over the phone and pick it up by the end of the week.

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    3. Great tip!! And such a good price, too.

      Funny: I was just at the HH by my house earlier today. I needed batteries for a smoke detector and I bought some spray paint, too, so I'm ready for warmer weather ;) I walked back with my Dad and commented that although HH can be more expensive, I like supporting them because the location is awesome (no car needed!) and the staff are super knowledgeable. We have gotten some fabulous advice and great products over the years.

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  9. I feel you on the bar cart thing. I am looking for one as well. CL and Kijiji are dry however and I just can't stomach paying more than $50 for one. Yours is awesome!

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    1. I have seen a couple for sale for hundreds. HUNDREDS. I hope you find a good deal on one soon. Sending my kijiji karma your way :)

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  10. Great find! I'm looking for one for our dining room, and it's really difficult!

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    1. You know what's funny - everyone seems to have this problem!! WHY are we having such a hard time finding bar carts? The classifieds and thrift shops are cart-less. Even worse, new one's in stores are ridiculously expensive. Is there some conspiracy afoot?

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  11. I LOVE IT! what a good find, and a steal. Can't wait to see the finished product!

    I saw one at our thrift store a few months ago and wanted to get it...but adam vetoed it. He was right, it doesnt go in our home.

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    1. Awww, too bad!! Nice to have Adam there for an honest opinion! I just walked away from a gorgeous, quality sideboard and hutch. Mid-century lines, lots of solid wood, made by Canadian company Gibbard, so it's amazing quality. It was in perfection condition but HUGE. Would never, ever fit anywhere in our house. It was the biggest sideboard I have ever seen. Oh, and it was only $150.00 for the two pieces. I tried to convince Hubby it would look good in the guest bedroom (the only room big enough to fit it). He said it would look weird. I agreed, but I was SO SAD. But sometimes it's just meant to find another home :)

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  12. All I can say is LUCKY! (in Napoleon Dynamites voice). It sure is pretty! I want one so bad but I have yet to find a perfect spot like you did.

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