By Renae Frey

How to Create a Beautiful Kentucky Derby Tablescape

Are you having a Kentucky Derby Party? I have some great ideas for decorating the perfect Derby Table.

Hey Friends!

Welcome! I am so glad that you are here. I always enjoy our time together. Have you ever gone to the Kentucky Derby? It is so much fun. It is more than 140 years old, the Kentucky Derby is steeped in tradition. Indeed, the large throng in attendance and the millions viewing on television can’t escape the annual rituals and pageantry that have become familiar to multiple generations of racing fans and once-a-year visitors/viewers alike. Can’t go to the Kentucky Derby? Why not have a Derby Party. Today, I am sharing How to Create a Beautiful Kentucky Derby Tablescape. Come on, I’ll show you.

Horse head bust, race ribbons, mint julep cup, moss mat table runnerAre you having a Kentucky Derby Party? I have some great ideas for decorating the perfect Derby Table.
How to Create a Beautiful Kentucky Derby Tablescape.

What is The Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, almost always on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The competition is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of one and a quarter miles at Churchill Downs.

Churchill Downs is a horse racing complex famed for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby. It officially opened in 1875 and was named for Samuel Churchill, whose family was prominent in Kentucky for many years.

horse head bust, royal Albert dishware, trophies
How to Create a Beautiful Kentucky Derby Tablescape.

At the Kentucky Derby, you will find hats of elegance and style. Women wear wide-brimmed, “Southern Belle” inspired Kentucky Derby hats. The hats can be decorated with flowers, feathers, bows and ribbons of any color to express creativity and individuality. A more recent trend in Kentucky Derby headwear is the fascinator. Smaller than a traditional hat and just as stylish. It is so much fun seeing all of the hats. Some of them are over the top amazing!

I used the theme and traditions of the Kentucky Derby to set my Table. I started by using a moss mat table runner, to resemble the horse pastures. Then for the centerpiece, I used trophies, and this one, or this one, a horse head bust (or this one), a horse figurine, race ribbons, moss balls and red roses.

Royal Albert dishware, horse shoe place card

The Kentucky Derby was long ago dubbed “The Run for the Roses.” For the garland, more than 400 of the red flowers are sewn on a green satin blanket and draped around the neck of the victorious horse in the winner’s circle. So, for the place settings, I chose to use my Royal Albert dinner plates and salad plates, I got mine from vintage marketplaces and antique stores, but you can get them here and here. I put them on a woven wood placemat to give it a rustic elegance feel. Then, of course, I used a cabbage charger plate by Bordello Pinheiro.

See the YouTube “How To” video below.

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silver mint julep cup, amber goblet, kentucky derby table setting

Among the long-standing Derby traditions are the drinking of mint juleps in silver julep cups.(an iced cocktail consisting of bourbon, mint, and sugar), the wearing of ornate hats by female spectators, and the raucous partying that takes place in the track’s infield. I will be posting a recipe for Mint Juleps on Tuesday. I added Silver Mint julep cup and beautiful amber water goblets. The amber in the goblets, brings out the amber in the dinner plates.

royal albert dinnerware, trophies, race ribbonsHow to Create a Beautiful Kentucky Derby Tablescape. Are you having a Kentucky Derby Party? I have some great ideas for decorating the perfect Derby Table.

I topped off my tablescape with dark green cloth napkins, tucked into silver napkin rings. Then, I added the cutest place card holders, ever! The horseshoe design is perfect for a Kentucky derby Tablescape.

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9 thoughts on “How to Create a Beautiful Kentucky Derby Tablescape”

  1. Leslie Watkins

    Well, who knew you had a Kentucky girl inside? Love Derby time! Love those bee glasses…they have been in my collection a long time…love that the world still loves them, too! Happy weekend!

    1. I love the Derby. It is so much fun. Such a memorable experience. Hugs to you.

  2. Lou Ann

    ……..AND THEY’RE OFF! The Derby is always a favorite here in the South ! This table is simply beautiful ! We just picked up the annual Woodford Reserve Derby bottle yesterday ! For the last couple of years , I have been growing LEMON mint for a little change in the mint juleps . It seems to be a crowd pleaser…Delish! I have plenty of horse shoes, but NONE like the napkin rings! Can you tell me where to get them? Did you know you can order an actual 🐎 horseshoe right from the track ? It even has the dirt still embedded. I will be adding that to my Derby decor this year. Hope y’all will be having some delish Hot Browns! Thanks for all the inspiration!

    1. Hot browns are posting on Tuesday. There is a link in the post for the horse shoe place card holders. I didn’t know that you could buy horseshoes from the track. So fun. Hugs to you.

  3. This tablescape idea is fantastic. It gave a house a lot of spring vibes. I’ve already pinned it, and I appreciate you sharing both the article and the video, thank you so much

  4. I love Kentucky! My mom and grandma were from Ky, I grew up there! This is beautiful! You did Kentucky proud with your beautiful table scape! Thank you for sharing the history of the derby!

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Renae Frey

Beautiful interiors don’t have to come with an outrageous price tag. My style is what I like to call Vintage French Farmhouse, I love mixing decorating styles, especially opposites like the glitz of a chandelier dripping in crystals with a chair upholstered in worn aged leather. Refined, yet not too formal-but, livable, elegant traditional design, adding warmth and vintage elements.

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