Browsing Tag



Eight Bar Cabinets: From Small Sideboards to Single Towers

Maxine Bar Cabinet :: crate and barrel

If you entertain guests often at home, you certainly appreciate the virtues of a well-designed bar cabinet. It saves you time since you don’t have to set up the bar each time that you throw a party. Living in a small spaces can be challenging when it comes to finding the right furniture. I found eight bar cabinets that would fit in any small space apartment or condo.

A small sideboard is my preferred choice due to its versatile use.  You could even consider buying two small sideboards, instead of a double sideboard. Having two small sideboards provides more flexibility if you change often your furniture placement. When the sideboards are tightly side by side, most people will not notice that you have two. Continue Reading


Three Simple Ways to Set Up a Beverage Station

handy bar cart that you can customize

My top three finds from the December 2010 issue of Canadian House & Home allow me to discuss three simple and effective way to set up a beverage station this Holiday season. These ideas can work with any types of party and at any time of the year.

First, all you need to transform a side table is a cork sheet, 8 eye hooks, a brass ball chain, 4 casters and contact cement. A good choice is VEJMON side table because it has a middle shelf. (page 70)

chest with styrofoam coolers

If you prefer a solution that is not permanent, you will love this one. You can hide two styrofoam coolers inside an IKEA BYHOLMA chest. This affordable idea offers plenty of room to keep your bottles cold. After the party, you can use the chest to store occasional bedding, linens or throws. (page 78)

beverage stations

The simplest form is when the beverage station is a part of your appetizer table or is next to the dinnerware and flatware. Just make sure to separate the bottles from the food with trays or platters. There is a purpose besides the good look; your drink station will stay cleaner if you contain the bottles and the glasses. (page 138)

You will find many more great entertaining ideas on that issue. I encourage you to get a copy.

+ Canadian House & Home – December 2010


Libations of Life by Dee Brun | Book review

libations of life by dee brun :: cocktail recipe book

libations of life by dee brun :: cocktail recipe book

If you are planning a girl night out or wish to laugh on Valentine’s Day party with your single friends, you should get this cocktail recipe book by Dee Brun. The subtitle of Libations of Life says it all; it is A Girl’s Guide to life one cocktail at a time. It is fun, refreshing and you will get to learn how to make cocktails that all women like.

We know that girls like to drink a Cosmopolitan. Here you get to choose between the Commitaphobe Cosmopolitan, the Good on Paper Cosmopolitan, the Control Top Cosmopolitan, The Butt Cleavage Cosmopolitan and Ya… I got carded Cosmopolitan. The classics are there from the daiquiri, the long island, the mai tai, the mojito, the manhattan, the margarita, the martini and so.

To give you an item of the tone of the book, I will let Dee speaks for herself. Watch her in this video where she demonstrate a cocktail recipe from her book.

+ For Americans: Libations of Life by Dee Brun $13.22 USD
+ For Canadians: Libations of Life by Dee Brun $14.56 CAD

Disclaimer: I met Dee Brun ia twitter last month. She sent me a copy of her book for review.


Candy Table Ideas for Halloween

3-tiered stand for a candy Halloween station styled by pottery barn

There are plenty of ideas to make yours from the styled pictures of Pottery Barn. Using small containers inside a tray is an excellent way to serve small candies. By keeping all the containers of the same color and made with the same material, you create a neater look.

I love the popcorn in clear cellophane bag tied with a ribbon. Having fruits in your table had variety. Also make sure to serve a mix of sweets, sour and salty treats.

how to design an halloween candy table by pottery barn

Your station needs to integrate decorative elements with the serving ware. Garden urns and footed plates can be used to elevate not only food but also festive items to create a wonderful scenery. Play with shapes, colors and finishes to direct the eye at strategic places across your table.

Sadly, some of the items, like the galvanized tiered stand, are already out of stock for Halloween. It is time to think about what you need right now.

+ Rattan Pumpkins $19-$29 USD
+ Spider Tealight Holders $18 for set of 2
+ Skull Cocktail Collection $19-$24
+ Crow Candle $10 USD


Designing a Cool Soft Drink Station

Old-fashioned soda bar

Dressing up a soft drink table for a party deserves as much attention than setting a regular bar. Both have to be pretty and inviting. This week provides delightful examples of what you can do to make it grand.

That quest started by this Old fashioned soda bar featured on Project Wedding. The concept was to find several old-style soda bottles. They collected 14 soda drinks. They made it beautiful by lining the sodas by color. This is a merchandising trick that you often see at fine stationery stores. They also suggest to not put them on ice. Instead, keep them on the fridge until the last minute.

Like they say, the hardest thing is to find the old-fashioned bottles. If you have relatives who live in several parts of the country, ask their help to expand your collection.

Print Your Own Soda Labels

ice cream soda labels

Inspired by that project, Amy of Eat Drink Chic made templates to print your own soda labels. They are available in two font styles. It may be simpler than looking for the old style brands. You could buy bottles from different brands for a more realistic effect.

Homemade Lemonade Stand

homemade lemonade stand

Finally, the appeal of the old-fashioned homemade lemonade stand does not die. Here they used big jars with tags and ladles to serve the lemonade. Anyone with some carpentering experience can build a cute lemonade stand.

Fabric pennant banners hanged on the stand mimics the vintage look. You can follow the instructions on Mommy Diaries to learn how to sew your own banner or head to etsy to find one that you like. You can refer to some of my favorite flag pennant banners.

+ Project Wedding
+ Eat Drink Chic
+ One Love Photo


The Latest Trend in Bar: Speakeasy Can Inspire Your Next Party

pdt - please don\'t tell bar in East Village, New York

The latest trends in bar seems is inspired by the era of Prohibition. It is not surprising since it was a period where cocktails flourished. The bartenders of the time have to be resourceful and use all their talent to concoct something delicious with the spirit quality of the time.

With mixologists returning to the basics and experimenting again with fresh ingredients, it seems like a natural fit that some bars play on the nostalgia of the Prohibition era. Several bars have emerged across the United States. And you have to look where they are because they do not exhibit big neon signs to attract you inside.

Several concepts are used to make these bars feel underground. Each bar developed its own trick. When you make a reservation at Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco, you will be given a password to whisper at the door. I am going to SF at the end of the month, I will plan a visit to see what Bourbon & Branch is all about. Let’s hope my experience will be worthy of a post.

At PDT (Please don’t Tell) in East Village, you have to pass through a secret door at the back of Crif Dogs. You must enter a phone booth to identify yourself so they can buzz you inside the bar. It is the cocktail-lounge annex to Crif Dogs, a hip hot dog restaurant in New York.

I thought these are easy think to reproduce at a party. It would add something special.

Spreading the word locally

The Lab, here in Montreal, plays a low key version. The touch is visible through the bartender outfits and the theme of their special event. The Lab is owned by friends of mine; they are excellent at what they do.

+ Review on New York Magazine
+ Via New York Times


Martini at the Oak Bar in Boston

strawberry martini at the oak room boston

Since it is Saturday night, I will share a few of my travel pictures. I told before that I enjoy staying at the Gold Floor of The Fairmont Copley Plaza when I visit Boston. I love boutique hotels but I also enjoy the pleasures and attention to details from the old luxury hotels.

Even if I am a modernist, I love history and value the treasures of classical architecture. The Oak Bar décor is reminiscent of a British Officer’s Club in the Orient.

A Treat for Martini Lovers

The Oak Bar at The Copley hotel is a must for martini lovers. They cater Boston’s largest martini menus. One martini order counts for two drinks.

I enjoy the way they serve their drinks. If you order a martini, your order comes in a mini pitcher served on your own ice bucket. This is what I called entertaining in style.

Casual Chic Clothing

There is an evening dress code. I suggest observing the dress code all day. When you travel, your best bet is to wear casual chic clothing all the times. This way, you can act on impulse and be presentable for any time of bars and restaurants.

Next to the Oak Bar, you get the Oak Room, their formal dining room. The overall look of your outfit should look dressy than jeans at the Oak Room. It is good to know that you can eat anything on the Oak Room menu in the Oak Bar.

The Oak Bar
p 617.267.5301 – 138 Saint James Ave, Boston, MA, United States, 02116


Jumbo Bar by Jorge Najera Makes a Cool Home Bar

jumbo bar and drink light by Jorge Najera

If you are looking for a modern bar that works for both an indoors or outdoors installation, check out the Jumbo Bar designed by Jorge Najera.

Made of rotationally molded polyethylene, the Jumbo Bar incorporates light sources beneath the surface.

You can easily vary the eye-catching glow by using colored light bulbs. It is a great way to change the mood of your party.

Jumbo Bar Accessories

From one angle, Drink Light is a luminous stool that matches the look and feel of the Jumbo Bar. Turn it upside-down and Drink Light becomes a fabulously trendy ice or wine bucket. The light comes handy to read the labels of wine or beer bottles at a night party.

+ Jumbo Bar by Jorge Najera at Generate Design – price: $1499 USD
+ Drink Light by Jorge Najera – price: $379 USD