Lorrie Isringhausen creates her very own French chateau for an unforgettable Ladies’ Night In.
In celebration of a recent girls’ trip to Paris, eight best friends and travel companions file into the quaint stone cottage on Lorrie and Jason Isringhausen’s Moro, IL, property. Lorrie has somehow managed to recreate the intimacy of the French bistro Le Coupe-Chou—mere miles from the hustle and bustle of Downtown St. Louis. The bistro’s intimate French ambiance was an instant favorite among guests, and the Isringhausens’ new entertaining space proves to be no different. The latest addition to the family’s four-acre horse farm, the one-room stone cottage is jaw-dropping to say the least. Behind the structure’s grand antique oak barn doors sits a 10-foot harvest table, dressed to the nines in shades of ivory and gold. As the champagne bottles pop and stories are told and retold, it becomes quite clear that it’s more than a scene that’s been recreated here—it’s a memory.
Anything but Stone Cold
The unsuspecting cottage is an entertainer’s dream come true. The traditional out-building was constructed entirely of reclaimed stone, which was at one time part of a Civil War armory in Lomax, IL. Despite the cold exterior, the inside of the cottage is warm and inviting, and contains nothing, inside or out, that isn’t reclaimed. Even the dining chairs and 15-foot antique sofa are upholstered in durable vintage feed bags, keeping with the equestrian theme of the property.
Dripping in Decadence
While Lorrie prefers to create an intimate setting with candlelight and a roaring fire during most of her dinner parties, the stone cottage has electricity to support the oversized chandelier in the center of the space. The French antique is suspended from the peaked ceiling constructed of 600-year-old petrified oak beams. The structure is topped off with a roof of reclaimed slate, purchased from a historic Illinois farm.
Setting the Stage
Lorrie and designer Annie Brahler collaborated on the décor and table setting for the Ladies’ Night In. The Parisian-themed event was the perfect excuse for Lorrie to showcase her collection of vintage Chanel. Accented with ivory roses, gold-rimmed china and flanked with dramatic candelabras, the dining table was the focal point of the evening.
The meal was catered by The Maine Course in Quincy, IL, which served up traditional French cuisine with a twist. Head chef and owner Kevin Minnick also provided the ladies with expert wine pairings and an assortment of champagnes.
Photo credit: Kimchi Tyler