Our top 5 styling tips for Melbourne Cup events!



Spring has well and truly arrived and we are loving the warmer weather, blooming flowers and of course the fact that the Spring Racing carnival season is here! Which means… planning the perfect day out (or in!) to celebrate the Melbourne Cup.

There is always such a buzzing ambience at race day events, with champagne flowing, gorgeous dresses, and spirited competition between friends trying to pick that winning horse. But our favourite part of Spring racing carnival and Melbourne Cup events would have to be helping to create amazing designs and set ups for race-goers to enjoy – whether it be corporate lunches, private parties or extravagant Tipi events.

Melbourne cup parties and events are so much fun to fit out as there is always an exciting brief to work with. If you are planning an event to celebrate the Melbourne Cup then there are some visually aesthetic but also practical things to keep in mind to make sure your event is an unforgettable one! Check out our top 5 styling tips when it comes to decking out the perfect Melbourne Cup event.


Image via the Desert Rose Co for Polo Los Loosa


Our number one rule when it comes to race day event styling is COLOUR! Bright and vibrant colours are a no-brainer for styling your Melbourne Cup event. Embrace Spring and think about using bold reds, oranges, pinks and purples – the brighter the better.

It is important to be thoughtful with your approach to bright colours as you don’t want to create a headache-inducing and clashing setup with too many colours competing for attention. Our top tip is to use bright colours as more of a feature colour rather than as the base of your design. A great way to bring colour into your set up is through decorative elements like flowers, stationery and textiles. We are lucky enough to have some incredible bright blooms in season in Spring (think tulips, ranunculas, peonies….) so make the most of these beauties when it comes to styling your space.

Another way to bring some bright pops of colour into your set-up is through vibrant cushions and rugs. A selection of beautiful cushions is a really simple and effective way to transform an otherwise neutral lounge setting, and if you tie these colours into your florals then you can keep the look cohesive throughout the space and really get a ‘theme’ happening!


Image via The Desert Rose Co


Image via the Desert Rose Co


Styling via Kat and Co


Melbourne Cup events are an opportunity for guests to get dressed up to the nines and feel completely glamorous for the day. So reflect this through the styling and décor with metallic gold and silver tones to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to the space. If you are putting together a cocktail event think about using gold vases or cushions to add a touch of glam, or for a sit-down event complete your table settings with gold cutlery and a beautiful decorative charger plate.


Styling via Little Gray Station / Image via Thomas and Rose


Styling via Little Gray Station / Image via Alice Dalton


We love the idea of some more intimate and private seating areas for VIP guests or smaller groups to relax on the day. To get that sense of intimacy, frame the area off with a gazebo (our white gazebo’s are perfect for creating those smaller settings!) A picnic style setting works great for race day events, as your guests can cluster around a lower table amongst comfy cushions and ottomans to watch the races unfold in prime position. Don’t forget to think about the comfort of your guests if you are hosting an outdoor event – it’s a long day in the sunshine so if you haven’t organised a gazebo then consider some market umbrellas for your outdoor seating areas.


Styling via Little Gray Station / Image via The Desert Rose Co


Styling via Little Gray Station / Image via Thomas and Rose Photography


The bar is hands down going to be the hub of activity at any Melbourne Cup event so make the most of this and create a striking feature with it! A decorative bar situated at the entrance to your event is a great statement piece and is perfect for offering a welcome drink on arrival to your guests and setting a fun tone for the rest of the day. Think about the extra bits and pieces you can add to your bar set up to really make it a feature, like bright fresh florals, signage, and beautiful crystal glassware.

Styling via Little Gray Station / Image via The Desert Rose Co

Styling via Little Gray Station / Image via The Desert Rose Co


Styling via Little Gray Station / Image via Thomas and Rose Photography


A photo backdrop is pretty much a staple feature of any spring racing event, for guests to get that perfect Instagram snap from the day! A lush green wall is the perfect addition as a feature backdrop, tying in to the whole garden-party feel of the Melbourne Cup. Incorporate some fun signage and a sprinkling of flower heads to really personalise it for your event. Or keep it simple with a white timber backdrop dressed with colourful blooms, or branded with your logo for a more corporate celebration. Either way your guests will appreciate having a gorgeous setting to get a visual memento of them all dressed up!


Styling via Little Gray Station / Image via The Desert Rose Co


Flowers via Elyssium Blooms / Image via Figtree Wedding Photography

Melbourne Cup events are always an incredibly fun day out and a great excuse to get dressed up and celebrate the race that stops a nation – so no matter how big or small your event may be, make sure your styling and decor choices reflect this sense of celebration and sets the tone for an unforgettable day!

Planning a Melbourne Cup event? Feel free to get in touch with our friendly team who can help put the perfect furniture plan together for you.

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