A Texas-Style Bon Voyage Party
For a surprise bon voyage party celebrating a New Yorker's move to Texas, bold graphic accents and iconic cowboy themes help take ordinary living spaces back in time, offering partygoers a taste of the Wild West.
A brand-new Staten Island home gets redressed in Old West themes for Ron and Anthony's party. This is the home's great room prior to the transformation by Dina Manzo and her crew.
The great room offers ample space to create a Western ballroom that serves as the main dining area for the party.
Dina's idea is to turn the dining room into the saloon bar, complete with hitching posts, railings and an assortment of Western gear.
Once the transformation is complete, rustic distressed-wood shutters, cocktail tables made from old whiskey barrels and a variety of cowboy paraphernalia set the mood as guests enter the party.
An antique oil lamp, battered cowboy hat, faux leather tablecloths and Mexican blankets are among the accent items used to dress the saloon.
Pull Up a Chair, Pardner
Authentic worn-leather saddles, secured atop barstools using zip ties, make for imaginative bar seating. These and other pieces were rented for the party from a local prop house.
No Western motif could truly be complete without wagon wheels and cattle skulls — used here with hay bales, rope, sunflowers and other Western props, they fashion a decorative tableau.
One of Dina's challenges for this project was how to make use of the kitchen in the context of the cowboy theme.
Green felt, poker chips and playing cards turn an ordinary kitchen-island countertop into a poker table.
A Nod to Sergio Leone - and Maybe Giada De Laurentiis
Playing off the "spaghetti" in the Spaghetti Western theme, olive-oil tins and restaurant-size Italian tomato cans double as flower vases and are filled with arrangements of sunflowers, cactus and grassland foliage.
Chuck Wagon Buffet
For serving the meal, Dina creates a buffet table reminiscent of a cowboy campfire. Menu items include barbecue, chili and — of course — spaghetti.
The patio, before redecorating began
Simply swapping out some accent pieces was sufficient to continue the Western theme into the outdoor space. Among the less-subtle ideas that Dina had planned for the backyard: line-dancing lessons and a mechanical bull.
Throw Pillow Accents
Dina selects a color palette evoking the colors of sunsets and the desert Southwest.
Decorative Patio Lighting
Glass hurricane lamps in ambers and orange tie together the color theme seen also in the place settings and sofa pillows.
The dining room entrance, just inside the home's front door, is seen here prior to being transformed into a portal to the Old West.
The archway entrance to the dining room, now made over into a saloon façade complete with swinging saloon-style doors, provides a suitably grand entrance into the party.
One of the two cakes custom-created for the party features a cowboy hat, boots and a western belt. A second cake celebrates the Italian component of the party: It was in the shape of the "boot" of Italy, with a riding spur, naturally.