Hosting Hints

Throw a Farm-to-Table Party

With summer quickly approaching, what better way is there to show your love of the great outdoors than by hosting an al fresco farm-to-table celebration dedicated to the season’s bountiful harvest? To get the look of this vintage shindig styled by Sylvia Asmussen of Madam Palooza, here are 6 easy tips to recreate its farmhouse charm.

Use what you already own. Even if all your pieces didn’t come as a set, a mismatched, eclectic look will bring personality to your party’s décor. “Don’t feel like you have to go out on a shopping spree,” Sylvia says. “Use your everyday dishes and maybe add the fancy glassware to it to give a pop of panache. Mix in those pretties that are in the cabinets to accent your tablescape.”


Reinvent old items in new ways. To infuse your party with vintage style, upcycle flea-market finds in unexpected ways. On this tablescape, scraps of leftover burlap were turned into a table runner. Old buckets and a trophy were filled with flowers to transform into inspiring centerpieces. While you’re browsing flea markets, think of ways you can reuse some of the items you find so that they can serve double-duty as party décor and decorations for your home afterwards.


Make a statement. Similarly to when you’re styling a room, a vintage tablescape needs a statement piece for wow factor. At this party, the statement piece came in the form of a rusty orb upcycled into part of an inspired chandelier displayed directly above the table.


Take it outside. Think outside the box by bringing your favorite home décor pieces outside. Sylvia decorated this party with a crystal chandelier hung outdoors to make the gathering feel extra special. She also draped burlap curtains at the entrance to welcome guests to the cozy scene.


Don’t overthink it. When styling your party, the rules are that there are no rules. “Develop your own style of entertaining that fits you and makes you comfortable,” Sylvia says. “You will be more open to having people over and want to have intimate gatherings if you don’t feel intimidated and overwhelmed.” If providing a meal with several courses sounds too stressful, limit the party to just afternoon tea and desserts with a handful of close friends.


Add lots of layers. Mix a variety of textures and colors to soften the look of your rustic farmhouse table. Burlap, lace, linen, grain sack and the weathered wood all complement the feminine colored-glass compotes, floral china and metallics on this table. For your finishing touch, the food and flowers will add additional pops of color.

Sylvia Asmussen is the owner, stylist and creative force behind Madam Palooza.

For more information, visit For more upcycling ideas and tips, get your copy of Karen Jeanette’s Upcycled Style magazine, available on newsstands and on May 31, 2016. Follow the editor on Instagram at @KarenJeanetteStyle, or Facebook at


Staci Dumoski

Published by
Staci Dumoski

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