Virginia Farmhouse Summer Party

Umbrella Stand Centerpiece
Photo: Patricia Lyons

Dogs, kids, and even goats are welcome at Caroline Verschoor's Virginia farmhouse whenever she throws a party. For her, it's not about making everything perfect; it's about living in the moment with her family and friends

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Casual Outdoor Entertaining

Casual Outdoor Entertaining
Photo: Patricia Lyons

A tire swing and rustic benches are hallmarks of Caroline Verschoor's loose and lovely entertaining style.

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Neutral Decor

Neutral Decor
Photo: Patricia Lyons

All manner of textures—from slate and ironstone to bentwood and rattan—add interest to the neutral table setting.

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Crafty Centerpiece

Umbrella Stand Centerpiece
Patricia Lyons

Glass jars, candles, and an umbrella stand transform a sculptural branch into a showstopping centerpiece.

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Place Card Party Favors

Place Card Party Favors
Photo: Patricia Lyons

Simple galvanized metal pots with baby lettuces do double duty, serving as place cards and party favors.

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Kids' Table

Kids' Table
Photo: Patricia Lyons

The coolest kids' table ever uses tree stumps as fairy tale-like seating.

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Whimsical Details

Whimsical Details
Photo: Patricia Lyons

Paper pinwheels add whimsy to the kids' table—and give children something to play with before dinner.

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Dish Labels

Dish Labels
Photo: Patricia Lyons

Verschoor tucks dish labels into a pitcher filled with summer flowers.

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Outdoor Indoor Sideboard

Outdoor Indoor Sideboard
Photo: Patricia Lyons

This pretty tableau allows guests to serve themselves while keeping clutter off the dining table. Indoor pieces like this wooden sideboard bring polish to an outdoor buffet.

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Butterfly Nets

Butterfly Nets
Photo: Patricia Lyons

Informal touches, like this basketful of old-fashioned butterfly nets, help put guests at ease.

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Laid-Back Atmosphere

Laid-Back Atmosphere
Photo: Patricia Lyons

Pups in repose.

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A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place
Photo: Patricia Lyons

Lit by lanterns threaded through the trees, this bench offers guests a place to slip away if they like.

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S'mores Station

S'mores Station
Photo: Patricia Lyons

A three-tiered stand finds a new life as a s'mores station. Verschoor says animals, like Tibby the goat, "add to the ambience."

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