Hospitality on a Cart!



Today, I want to talk about one of my favorite Farmhouse decorating tips - CARTS. Using a cart to greet guests with a treat is a great way to make them feel at home and a fantastic way to keep your own family feeling your love. They add warmth and comfort while helping the out of place friend find the things they need while visiting.


One of my pet peeves is walking into a beautiful home that has no soul. No comfort. No personality. Perhaps we are too busy working or shuffling kids around to think about decorating. That's okay. There are so many effortless ways to exude a feeling of welcome in your home that this list I put together will help even the busiest person check this off their list.


Carts come in all sizes, prices and materials. You can find one ready-made online or even build you own from scraps laying around the house. If you're really creative, you can repurpose an old object and turn it into a cart. They look great in every room and can really make your guests feel special when during their visit. I have put together just a few ways to use them in every room. The photo below shows how I am currently using one in my apartment. It needs much improvement, but was a last minute attempt to cozy things up for Thanksgiving in my new apartment. The cart was found at Vintage Market Days in Lindale last month. The metal was a silver worn finish that was painted in a hammered nickel. Wood was stained in dark walnut and added to each shelf. A simple change that really added personality.


We have all visited family and friends for the holidays. We've stayed at hotels while traveling. What are some of those things that they did to make you feel more comfortable? Or think about a time when you visited some place and they prepared a nice layout of supplies just for you and displayed them in such a pretty way you hated to disturb their work by actually using them. I cannot tell you how many times our guests thanked me for setting out an arrangement with assorted goods for their stay. Sometimes it would be in a basket. Other times, a corner of the counter. Either way, they knew I did it just for them. {In the title collage above are two (2) photos from an industrial rolling cart that was refinished when I had my shop in Farmersville.}


Entryway, Party Space, Outdoor, Wherever:

An entryway is a great place to really make a statement with guests when they arrive. It's the first glimpse of your home and will often set the tone for their visit. Why not use a cart in this area to roll in a welcome mat? You could set up drinks and a light snack such as crackers, cookies, or fruit & veggies. You might even want to put out water bottles and a carafe of coffee. What about a Keurig? You could use this as a serving bar. If you are hosting a party, you might even want to use this space to arrange a spread of drinks for the night. You don't need a crowd to make a special place for your special night. If you are being sensitive to health concerns and just staying home with your family, you could use this to create a filling station for the night where the kids can serve themselves. Christmas & New Year's are coming up!

Taking inspiration for the adorable galvanized cart in photo #2 above, I shopped around for something to give the same feel and use priced at $150 or less. You can see that sometimes Pottery Barn is the better bargain.


Laundry Room:

This Laundry Room Cart from Pottery Barn literally stopped my scroll!


Laundry rooms can get messy. And let's face it, we don't want to spend any more time in there no matter how nicely it is decorated. Having tools to keep your messes neat and tidy can make a mundane task more pleasant. Pottery Barn is currently selling this cart for $249, but I found similar carts that give you the same look for less at Bed Bath & Beyond and Walmart for $67 and $55 respectively. They don't have the shelf, but they do offer the same storage. The less practical but CUTE vintage cart is for sale at Countrydoor.com for $94. They offer monthly installments so that you can buy that item you want now and pay it out over (4) months.



Bathroom:

How about creating a spa like arrangement in the bath by using a rolling cart to display bathing products at their fingertips? This will help them to feel special and they won't have to look for products or ask if you have anything they can use. Plus, this will give you a use for all those unused shampoo and conditioner bottles you saved from your hotel visits!


You might consider the usual, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste... But what about disposable razors, shaving gel, mouthwash, hairspray and tampons? If you don't have cabinet or shelf space to arrange these items for guests, a small cart will work well in most any space.


Office & Craft Room:


Using a cart to create a rolling workstation is a great way to save space and control the clutter. It also helps you to keep everyday items right at your fingertips in one central location. Why not use a rolling cart for file boxes, paper, pens & pencils, and office supplies? If you are working from home, this allows you to easily move your supplies if you need to change up your work area for the day.


Kitchen:

Oh the ways a cart can be used in the kitchen! Sure you can use it like your grandmother did to store the microwave and cookbooks. But why? It can serve as both movable island and workspace. You can serve your family and guests from it while using it to store supplies that you might wish to display. It's a great way to prepare a meal in the kitchen and roll it into any other room of the house. Plus, it can really cut down on trips back and forth to the kitchen.



Living Room:

Carts in the living room can be so much fun. They do everything from store your books (and movies for those still going at it old school), to displaying your favorite family photos. When friends and family visit, it can be used to create a space for entertaining. And who doesn't want more space to display stuff at the holidays? Add a few presents and BAM! Instant centerpiece.



Nearly anyone can make their own cart marrying these ideas with an unused piece of furniture or shelving. Some have used crates to make one on the cheap, only needing to purchase casters. I would love to see how you use carts to bring Farmhouse Style into your home.


Consider adding one of these ideas to your home today or better yet, make your own. You guests will feel extra special when you roll out the welcome for them one your cart!

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