A vintage-style bar cart has been a top trend in recent years, appearing in dining rooms and living rooms, outfitted with swanky, cocktail-hour must-haves. But now there's a new trend that's starting to make its way into culinary spaces, and, admittedly, it's a lot more practical: the kitchen cart.
There are so many reasons to purchase a rolling storage cart. Perhaps you'd love an island for your kitchen, but there's just not enough space or you don't have the budget for one right now. Maybe you're working with a super-small floor plan and you need to utilize every possible storage solution you can come up with. Or, like a lot of people, you might just want extra counter space where you can prep meals.
Whatever the reason, a freestanding unit will allow you to keep essentials within reach, and within sight. Plus, the ability to roll it wherever you like is an oh-so-handy bonus. And there are plenty of ways to stylishly incorporate one into your kitchen, as proven by these 12 cook spaces.
1. Opt for casual look with rattan.
A kitchen cart does not always have to be metal or wood. If you're using it as a nearby serving cart that's not directly in the action, you can opt for a rattan option that looks more like a piece of home decor than storage. It's a look that's witnessed in this setup styled by Brooke of Nesting with Grace.
Get the look: Serena & Lily South Seas Side Cart, $448
2. Treat it as a kitchen island.
Although carts have an uncanny ability to tuck away into small spaces, you can choose to display yours right out in the open. With a wood top that acts as a cutting board, this cart picked by Justina Blakeney serves as a portable kitchen island and offers tons of versatility — it even has little spots to display potted herbs!
Get the look: Mistana Diaz Kitchen Cart with Wood Top, $229.99
3. Echo the kitchen color palette.
Like any visual detail in your kitchen, a storage cart should mimic the overall color palette. It's an approach that Sarah of Room for Tuesday turned to when she chose this storm cloud-gray cart, with a butcher block top, that mirrors the moody scheme throughout.
4. Use shelving to stash small appliances.
You may think that you have to find spots for your small kitchen appliances within your cabinets or on your countertops, but sometimes, especially in a small space, that's just not possible. Instead, think of a kitchen trolley as a handy appliance garage for gadgets, like your coffee maker, toaster oven, and Instant Pot — an effective method mastered in this setup by Christine of Styled by Christine.
Get the look: Union Rustic Shullsburg Caster Supported Kitchen Cart, $224.99
5. Reimagine a vintage piece of furniture.
As it turns out, you can take an old-school piece of vintage furniture and transform it into a rolling kitchen cart. That's what Emily of Threads & Blooms did when she attached casters and a countertop to this well-worn antique and the result is stunning.
Get the look: Williston Forge Lydd Kitchen Cart, $1,248
6. Include wire baskets to store fruits and veggies.
If you're someone who loves to keep produce out in the open and easily within reach, add a wire basket to your kitchen cart. Or follow the lead of Gloribell from Know How She Does It and make use of six wire baskets. A bundle of eucalyptus and wood slice chargers really complete the look of this rustic trolley.
7. Embrace stainless steel for a surprisingly chic touch.
You may think that a heavy-duty kitchen cart with a stainless steel top isn't all that stylish, but we beg to differ. In fact, it lends an industrial touch to a variety of design styles. For example, in this small setup by Ashley of Cherished Bliss, the cart looks positively farmhouse with its woven basket and copper accents. Plus, it makes for a practical, and durable, place to show off your culinary genius.
8. Add a pop of color.
Newsflash: Kitchen carts aren't always black, white, or stainless steel. Actually, they come in pretty much every shade in the rainbow and can lend a pop of color to any cook space. The weathered cart in this 2LG Studio kitchen flaunts a vibrant aqua finish that complements the floor tile beautifully.
9. Pair with floating wall shelves.
If you feel that a cart won't provide ample storage, you can place it underneath a pair of floating shelves in the corner. Complete with storage drawers and accompanying shelving, this refreshing white kitchen cart selected by Crystal Ann Interiors provides more than enough storage space for culinary essentials.
Get the look: Trinity Wood Kitchen Cart in White, $165.99
10. Try a DIY hack.
One of the nice things about kitchen carts is that they can be made over to suit your individual needs, by changing the hue or even adding adjustable shelves. For instance, people love hacking IKEA products since it can be done fairly easily. That's what Hannah of Handmade Weekly did here, adding fresh pulls and tweaking the wood to look as if it came from an antique store.
Get the look: IKEA Förhöja Kitchen Cart, $109
11. Store pots and pans.
Who isn't looking for more space to store their cookware? If this sounds like you, here's a solution: Place a kitchen cart alongside your countertop and use the shelves to stash your pots and pans. Rebecca of Studio Plumb positioned her kitchen cart right underneath her spice rack, resulting in not only an extra storage unit, but a bonus workspace as well.
12. Create extra counter space.
Perhaps you're longing for just a bit more counter space. In that case, include a kitchen cart at the end of a counter or island. And if you want to give yourself even more room, purchase an option with a drop leaf. Kris of Driven by Decor chose a kitchen cart that blends in seamlessly with the rest of her cook space.