As much as I wish everyone and their mother’s brother’s cousin would come to Derby every year, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s just not in the cards (why are tickets so expensive!?!). But I still stand firmly in the camp that thinks everyone should celebrate Derby so I partnered with Blooms Boutique to share some entertaining inspiration so you can host the perfect Kentucky Derby party.
Blooms is an adorable boutique in historic downtown LaGrange that’s stocked full of everything you could possibly need to host a pinterest-perfect party. Literally everything in the store in on sale, so if you fall in love with a dish set AND the table it’s displayed on, you can take them both home with you – although you may need to come back with a bigger car.
Beyond just homewares, accessories, barware and entertaining goodies – they also offer florals. So you could easily walk in with EVERYTHING to set your home up for your next party. Stay tuned because I’ll be sharing another post later this week where their floral designer Laura teaches me some tricks of the trade for putting together a swoon-inducing arrangement.
To start off though, I put together two tablescapes to showcase what you can find at Blooms and some inspiration for your next get together.
Colorful Southern Charm
For this first one, I wanted to totally abandon the traditional red roses and horses that tend to be the cornerstone of many a Derby party. Instead, I wanted to go for a more fun, colorful table that draws from the bright outfits, hats and jockey silks that are staples of the first Saturday in May.
Step 1: Gather your dishes. I stuck with a mix of neutrals along with some muted pops of colors. You can probably shop your dish collection and serving pieces for the base layer. The key is to avoid being too match-y match-y. Grab them all and then mix and match as you set the table.
Step 2: Pull in Color. Don’t want to spend a ton on flowers? Pull in some fresh fruit – oranges, limes and lemons are all perfect – to stack in a bowl. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to bring in a lot of color. So instead of having to spend a small fortune on flowers, you can buy a small arrangement and break it up into smaller vases, like we did with these pink peonies.
Step 3: Add in themed touches. I’m always impressed with people have themed dishes for holidays but it’s not feasible for a lot of us. So rather than grab a full set of dishes, add to the Derby theme with some fun dishtowels that can double as napkins or glasses – like these CatStudio ones (remember them from last year?). A set of four won’t break the bank but will bring your entire table together.
Step 4: Add layers. Don’t be afraid to pull in things from around the house to add height or more color to your table. I love pull pretty books to stack up and then place serving trays on top.
This entire set-up was pulled from items available at Blooms. I wish at the end of this shoot, I could have just swiped my arm across the table like the Hamburglar and throw it all in a bag and take it home.
CatStudio Derby Collection
Laid Back Traditional
Yes, I know the title for this table is a bit of a contradiction but I wanted to bring in the more traditional Kentucky Derby party style – lots of red and silver mint julep cups – but give it a more relaxed, comfortable feel. There’s nothing stuffy about this mix of longtime favorites and campfire dishes.
I used all the same steps as above but paired these red enamel dishes with silver and then went heavy on the roses. But instead of a big long-stemmed arrangement we did smaller ones in julep cups. You get a lot more bang for your buck by doing a handful of these instead of one big arrangement. You can throw one on a bar cart, a couple on the table and a couple in your living room.
Playing on the red theme, we pulled in this gingham pitcher but also added some boho floral napkins to keep it from being too country. I love the way it turned out – a lot more than I expected to. And again, it’s all pulled from pieces available at Blooms. If you’re hosting guests this Derby, I definitely recommend making the trip out to LaGrange to pay them a visit. You could easily pull together everything you need in one stop (you know, I’m all about just one stop).
Thanks so much to Blooms Boutique for partnering on this post! Like I said, I can’t say enough good things about their selection. Not only do they have all these festive entertaining pieces but you can also get a custom floral arrangement, snag lots of Kentucky Proud products, gifts, books and all kinds of kitchen goodies. Plus their staff is super friendly. Grab a couple girls, head out to LaGrange, grab lunch and do a little shopping… especially if it’s raining again this weekend (you all think it will ever stop?).