This is the fourth post in our series about OBJects of Desire.
When it comes to home entertaining, American consumers are raising the bar on barware. According to Home Furnishing News, the bible of the housewares industry, decorative barware and accessories, including corkscrews, ice buckets, coasters and cocktail shakers, are in high demand.
The home bar is making a comeback, more prominent than it has been since the 1960s “Mad Men” days. As Millennials seek the ‘authenticity of experience’ that fine wines and craft cocktails provide, the bar has become a sparkling new focal point of the home.
Let’s take a look at some trends, as reported by HFN.
Beer and Whiskey
At the September New York Tabletop Show, whiskey- and beer-related products were extremely strong sellers. Microbreweries and small-batch distilleries are growing in popularity, and so is the consumer’s thirst for the appropriate glassware and accoutrements.
OBJ Tip: Look for pewter beer steins, silver-plated jiggers, and sterling silver decanter labels to become highly collectible. Planning a Kentucky Derby party? Search for silver-plated Mint Julep cups in antique stores and at local auctions.
Cocktails are also growing in popularity among consumers. Kimberly Robbins, senior product development and marketing manager for Waterford, told HFN: “Everyone is asking for DOFs [double old fashions] and highballs.” Waterford recently added hot pink, aqua and other bright shades to its Lismore Pops crystal collection.
OBJ Tip: Use metal trays and boxes of different heights to “layer” the objects on your bar as you would your jewelry. Mix crystal decanters with silver-plated cocktail shakers and pitchers. Add a photo in a sterling silver frame to personalize your bar.
The Brunch Bunch
HFN reports that brunch is one of the hottest home entertaining trends. Bestselling Bloody Mary bar sets come with all the tools of the bartending trade, including small glass or metal bowls for garnishes.
OBJ Tip: Wedding season is coming up. If you’re getting married add a Bloody Mary set to your Wedding Registry; if you’re a guest, buy one for the happy couple – they’ll love it.
Putting the Cart Before the Bar
In addition to the gadgets and tools that go into a well-stocked bar, a good bar cart is a must (expect to spend around $300, says HFN). Whether it’s made of Lucite, chrome, wood, or a combination of materials, a free-standing bar cart is a great place to show off your favorite serving pieces and barware accessories.
OBJ Tip: When you’re shopping don’t forget 1stdibs.com and other sites that showcase vintage home décor collectibles. Not only are you likely to score a bargain (see the 1stbibs Saturday Sales), you just might find an “instant heirloom,” a conversation piece for your next cocktail party.
Let’s drink to that!
Source: “Barware Serving Home Entertaining Trends,” by Allison Zisko, in Home Furnishings News (HFN.com), October 12, 2016.