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Entertaining with Retro flair: Throw a party inspired by your childhood lemonade stand
Quench your guests' thirst with nostalgia!
Written by Hannah Hagen
Photographed by Bret Gum
Styled by Sylvia Asmussen

There are few things more classically summer than a lemonade stand on a hot day. Now is a great time to create one that both kids and adults will enjoy.

Stylist Sylvia Asmussen has some wonderful tips on how to jazz up this usual sidewalk affair. As the proprietor of and designer behind Madam Palooza, a vintage prop rental company, Sylvia is a pro at using stellar vintage finds to create a memorable gathering.

A classic lemonade stand is easy to DIY. Grab some wood and leftover yellow paint and throw together a makeshift stand that you can pass down to your kids.

When styling this lemonade stand, Sylvia reminisced about the summer picnics her family used to have. Vintage accents work well because they are a celebration of history.

“Use items you are familiar with and that have meaning to you,” she says, “because if guests ask about your treasures, you can share the story behind them, which is what your guests will remember.”

Summer Table
Set up some backyard furniture and don’t forget to style your table.

Using vintage elements is a must. Classic glass lemonade bottles, red-striped décor, caramel corn and old-fashioned candies are just a few options. Placing these elements atop the stand will help emphasize the vintage theme.

When preparing an event, it is always good to offer options. Popcorn, cookies, berry cake and chocolates are just a few of the goodies Sylvia prepared to accompany the lemonade bar, which was stocked with multiple fruity takes on the summer staple. Sylvia recommends pairing salty with sweet.

Set up some backyard furniture and don’t forget to style your table.

“I love the two flavors together,” Sylvia says. She also likes creating food that is attention grabbing, and since food will be a big part of your lemonade party, why not use it as décor? Also, add accents of brightly colored fruit and greenery from your backyard.

“I love the nostalgia,” she says, “We’ve all been to a lemonade stand, and to see it still being used by children today brings me back to simpler times.”

Presentation is everything. Add some berries to your lemonade to provide some extra flavor to your drinks.


Sylvia’s Tips for a Successful Summer Party

  • Make sure you have enough food and drink for your guests. It sounds obvious, but don’t forget that there might be extra guests who show up at the last minute. It’s always better to have extra food you can send home in care packages than to run out.
  • A good variety of food is essential, regardless of the occasion. Your food choices don’t need to be gourmet, expensive dishes. Finger foods are always a crowd favorite but can sometimes look boring on a plate. Add to the presentation of your dishes by using fruit or flowers as garnishes to mix in pops of color.
  • Make sure to involve your guests. Play music, bring out board games or set up an ice-cream station with a variety of candy toppings, like when you were a kid, and watch the crowd gather around and share their memories.

The full version of this article appeared on pages 104-111 of the June/July 2014 issue of Cottages & Bungalows (Vol. 8, Issue 3) with the title “When Life Gives You Lemons…”