We’ve all been there…you go to a party in an inspired and compelling setting, you dream about re-creating it…and then life happens and you never think about it again.
Not my friend Betty B. She returned from a “barn” party (in a building that had been built specifically for that purpose) and announced that the true working barn on their farm would no longer harbor its original purpose as a show venue for cattle sales. It was going through a total transformation — losing that function and gaining the status, full time, as party central!
Attending a birthday party recently at Bittersweet Farms, I was inspired to jot down some tips that just had to be passed along. This hostess loves entertaining, take note!
- An inviting entry (full wooden-fronted bar is to the left) helps the barn retain that “gracious home” feeling.
2. Juxtaposing square and round tables provides additional interest in a dining venue.
3. Yes, design the guest list to fill the large space but try to leave enough room for cozy, non-dining chats by the fire.
4. Be clever, but not obtuse, in the presentation of seating “vitals” – how nice to have both the table number and table mates on the same card (love the chicken wire).
5. Use lighting that’s already in place and augment with some imaginative details.
6. Raise table arrangements to play up the cathedral ceiling.
7. How nice to actually be able to read the table number…and also have it contribute to the décor.
8. Use your napkin to send a message. No fussy names here; let’s call it what it is…The Barn (but just a tad bit dressy since it does have the name embroidered on the linen napkins).
9. Be exuberant in your floral displays – but don’t over do the number of them; try to use garden flowers whenever possible.
10. Place pillar candles in unique accessories that further the mood and décor.
11. Always plan the kitchen as a surprise star of the space; it’s all the more fun to see what’s actually going on.
12. Consider a 3-part, farm-to-table appetizer – petit crab cake, homegrown tomatoes stacked with mozzarella and drizzled with pesto, and a demitasse of leek and parsnip soup.
13. Compliment the barn’s new use with selectively placed statuary within and near vicinity to this party venue.
What tips would you like to pass along for entertaining in a barn?