Guest Picks: Kentucky Derby Party Fixings and Decor
Get a Derby Day party off to a great start with accessories, serveware and furnishings that champion the cause of chic
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I'm an interior and event designer who grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, which means that I do not mess around when it's time to host a Kentucky Derby party. Here are a few ideas to help inspire you to pull together a chic and unique party to honor "the most exciting two minutes in sports." Aaaaand they're off! — Dean from My Little Apartment
Vintage Tarnished Trophy Cup, Small by Little Flea Vintage - $35
Make your party an instant winner by incorporating vintage trophies into the tablescape. You can often find these at thrift stores or online. Fill them with flowers, use them on a buffet for utensils, or have guests blindly pick their pony out of the trophy when it's time to place their bets.
Hexagonal Mint Julep - $25
Put a twist on the traditional julep cup with this modern hexagon shape. Pack it with crushed ice, a shot (or two) of bourbon and a drizzle of mint-infused simple syrup. Don't forget a straw and a sprig of mint for garnish!
Rose Wood Wreaths
This is an inexpensive alternative to a wreath of living red roses, and it's a lovely nod to the blanket of red roses that the winning horse receives in the winner's circle. Hang it on the front door or use it as a centerpiece.
Florence Broadhurst Horses Stampede Cushion Cover by Steal the Limelight - AUD 89
Don't forget to add some Derby decor to the sofa. This Florence Broadhurst fabric is one of my all-time favorites. It's a little pricy, so a throw pillow is the perfect way to bring in this horsey print without breaking the bank.
Ribbon Rack - $79.95
Create a garland with these horse show ribbons. You can hang it over an entryway, above the bar or somewhere outside. You could also incorporate the ribbons into a centerpiece or even hand them out to the winners.
Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whiskey Bourbon Barrel Head by Barrel Creators - $59
Give your Derby party an authentic touch by serving appetizers on bourbon barrel lids. These thick oak circles have a weathered patina and are perfect displays for finger sandwiches or cheese tortes.
Pronto White Folding Bistro Chair - $59.95
Extra seating is a must for parties at home, especially when there's a spectator sport involved. These chairs fold up for easy storage, work indoors or out, and are similar to the chairs used in the boxes at Keeneland, one of the most gorgeous racetracks in the world.
Vintage Kentucky Derby Glasses by Moonlight Decorator - $25
Serve other beverages in vintage Derby glasses. These are plentiful on Etsy and eBay and are often pretty inexpensive. They're great gifts for your guests to take home.
No party is complete without a bar cart. I love this vintage gold bamboo find! It's the perfect spot for guests to restock their mint julep, and the bamboo gives a preppy nod to the equestrian vibe.
Diamond Special Plain Horseshoes
Horseshoes make the perfect little equestrian accents. Use them as coasters, hang them above doorways, repurpose them as trivets or place card holders — the possibilities are endless.
Bronze Horse Head Lamp
If you want to get very fancy, I'd recommend this gorgeous bronze horse head lamp. Do I even need to explain why? It is amazing. Buy it for the party, and keep it on display forever.
Jockey Silks Plates - $7.95
These jockey silks paper plates are the perfect way to serve Kentucky favorites like fried chicken, corn pudding, fresh strawberries and grits.
Traditional Red Lawn Jock - $600
Lawn Jockeys aren't just for outdoor use. You could use this guy in your bathroom to hold the toilet paper, as an accent on the hearth or next to any console. You could paint them yourself or pick up an antique with a little patina.
Presidio Silver Plate Tiered Plate Stand - $124.95
This silver tea cake stand is ideal for pimento cheese finger sandwiches or bourbon balls. If you don't know what a bourbon ball is, Google it and order some immediately. You're welcome.
Bourbon Barrel Table - $500
This bourbon barrel table is perfect for those of you with an industrial vibe to your space — I'm talking to you, Restoration Hardware lovers. But even if your interior is on the more modern side, these tables would work well with almost any outdoor decor.
What, you don't want a huge porcelain bust of an Andalusian? Well, I sure do. Even though it's not a thoroughbred, this stunning accent will be sure to let your guests know that you're of the horsey set.
Reclaimed Horseshoe Rocking Chair
I would most certainly enjoy cheering on the ponies whilst sitting in this unbelievably over-the-top horseshoe rocking chair. I love how bright, glossy and sleek it is — proof that just 'cause it comes from the country doesn't mean it's Americana.
Pewter Horse Head Drink Stirring Sticks - $23
Don't forget to pick up some Derby drink stirrers. These pewter options are great because you can reuse them, but you can also find plastic jockey hats, crops and stirrups in bulk.
Glass Ice Buckets, Horse Head
A glass ice bucket with pewter horse head handles? Yes, please! Wouldn't this be perfect atop the chic bar cart? And you'll need a place to keep the crushed ice you made for the mint juleps. You simply cannot use regular ice in mint juleps.
Framed Racing Silks
I absolutely love framed racing silks. They're colorful, often geometric and can be very special to the farm or family who had them framed. These keepsakes are hard to find, so snap one up if you come across them in a thrift or antique store.
Next: Groom Your Rooms With Kentucky Derby Decor
Next: Groom Your Rooms With Kentucky Derby Decor