February 1st, 2013 |

MOD BOXWOOD DINNER PARTY | DECOR

I often get asked where I find inspiration for party ideas.  Like, daily.  Truth is, there is no rhyme or reason as to what inspires me.  It could be a book, a gorgeous party dress, or a color palette.  Today, it’s this picture of a fresh, updated interior.  I absolutely LOVE the clean lines, the black, white and grass green color palette, the brass accent, the geometric pattern, the gorgeous boxwood.  It’s the perfect inspiration for a dinner party!

When I start to plan a party, the first thing I do is gather my resources to plan my decor or tablesetting.  Here’s what I came up with for this Mod Boxwood Dinner Party:

boxwood dinner party elements

Every hostess needs a pretty party dress!  This bold check dress from Kate Spade is perfect for this event. Classic, yet updated…just like my inspiration.  The table will be grounded with my black and white Union Street china from Kate Spade, but instead of pairing it with my crystal stemware, I am going to dress it down a bit with these squared-off wine glasses and silverware from Crate & Barrel.  Using a white tablecloth as the base for my table, I am going to use these bold chevron napkins to add a pop of pattern to the table.  The brushed metal tile napkin rings from Kim Seybert add my touch of brass (inspiration was the brass door pull in the picture above!).  A few varying sizes of boxwood balls in basic white pots will serve as my centerpiece, with a few votive candles scattered around them.  And for dessert….well, we’ll talk food later.  But it will definitely be served on my favorite cake stand, with a black polka dot Cake Plate Cling.

Stay tuned for my ideas for food & drinks!

Image: inspiration shot / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

January 30th, 2013 |

SEQUINS

sequin linens for partiesWhile scouring the web for inspiration for my sister’s recent baby shower, I slowly became obsessed with sequin linens.  An emerging trend in the events industry, we’re seeing them used for weddings, dessert tables and in my case, for showers.  Done in neutral colors, they are extremely sophisticated and add a touch of luxe glamour to any event.

sequin linens ivoryA monochromatic combination of ivories looks modern with the addition of sequins.  It adds texture and depth, and the sequins will reflect the light beautifully.  It’s a fabulous update to a solid linen tablecloth for dessert tables, adding a touch of sparkle under your serving pieces.

sequin linens for eventsYou can do an all-over tablecloth, or add just a touch of sparkle with a table runner.  In addition to the neutral metallics such as gold and silver, I am absolutely IN LOVE with the sequin chevron tablecloth from La Tavola.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect “statement piece” for the dessert table I was planning for my sister’s baby shower.

sequin linens chevronI can’t WAIT until I can show you more pictures from this event.  But for now….what do you think of the sequin linens?  Have you used them at an event before?

Images via 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 /  5

January 29th, 2013 |

BABY CHIC | DETAILS of the BABY SHOWER

chic baby shower decorations for a mantelThose readers that follow along on facebook and instagram know that I hosted a baby shower (along with my mother) for my sister this past weekend.  We had SO much fun putting together a gender-neutral celebration, since the sex of the baby is still a surprise.  I didn’t want to use the traditional blue and pink color palette and my sister is not a fan of yellow.  We went with a coral and aqua blue color palette, with touches of nude, gold and silver.

I unfortunately can’t show you all of the details (even though I am just DYING to), because this shower and all of the creative DIY ideas will be featured in my book (launching this Fall)!  So I’ll have to keep you guessing for a while, but for now, here are two ideas that you can recreate for your next party:

braided ribbon garlandTo create a focal point behind where the mama-to-be was opening her presents, I decorated the fireplace mantel with fresh flowers, custom posters that I designed to coordinate with the baby shower invitation and a garland of baby onesies.  Instead of using twine or actual green garland, I very quickly braided three colors of satin ribbon together.  I loved the pop of color it added to the white fireplace and was so lightweight and easy to hang.  I will definitely be repeating this for future parties!

orange and white centerpieces and tablesetting for baby showerThe tables were very fresh and held simple decor.  I’m pretty obsessed with gorgeous flowers (you will ALWAYS find fresh flowers in my house, especially during the blah winter months) so it was a given that the tables had to hold a simply stunning arrangement.  I wanted to add a pop of color to my basic bubble vases, but didn’t want any permanent changes made since I reuse these vases all of the time. I came up with a very simple solution: glue dots and glitter.

polka dot vaseThis was such a simple project and added a sweet touch to the table.  After a quick trip to Michael’s craft store, I had removable glue dots and gorgeous colors of shimmer glitter from Martha Stewart’s craft line, and about 30 minutes to decorate 3 big vases.  I placed the glitter into a shallow bowl, and then just rolled a strip of the removable glue dots thru it.  They were easy to peel off the paper strip and attach to the vase.  The great thing about this project is that you could adjust it to any color palette and could even create patterns with the polka dots.  The dots are simple to peel off (thank god for the “removable” glue dots) so my vases were unharmed and ready for the next event.  It truly was as simple as that!

 

January 24th, 2013 |

PARTY PREP | BABY CHIC

baby shower prepThe very cold temps here in Chicago this week have ensured that I have been hibernating inside and catching up on design work and also prepping all of the decorations for our “Baby Chic” Baby Shower photo shoot (Friday) and baby shower (Sunday) for my sister!  If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen some of these.  But here are a few images of the prep work, and even with the horrible lighting, you can get an idea of the aqua/coral/silver/nude color palette we are using (gender-neutral) and some of the decor elements.

What do you think?!

January 14th, 2013 |

MOD VALENTINE’S DAY + FREE PRINTABLES

Modern Valentine's Day Party Balloon

Valentine’s Day is exactly one month from today…..it’s time to start planning your parties, classroom treats and sweet ideas for loved ones.  It’s the perfect opportunity to show your family a little extra love in the sweets department. Dessert tables have been trending for some time now and are a staple at most parties. But you don’t need to be serving a crowd of 30 to pull off a stylized table. Even if you are hosting a small party of 5, you can organize your sweets in a stylized, festive way….making your day seem that much sweeter.

valentine's day dessert table

I love the color red, so there is never a doubt that it will be the center of any of my Valentine’s Day parties. This year, I decided to update it with some bold black and white patterns: a chevron, a clover and some crisp stripes. To throw in a pop of color, I created modern conversation hearts in bright, pop colors with some contemporary sayings like “call me, maybe” and “text me”. You can download these for FREE and make cupcake toppers or string them into a banner.

valentine's day chevron cake pops

For this simple dessert table, I topped a crisp white table-cloth with a striped, square topper. The centerpiece was created by stacking cake stands and a footed candy dish together to create a tower that anchored the big, 36” balloon from Shop Sweet Lulu. The cake stands were covered with patterned Cake Plate Clings and held both cupcakes and candy. Red pots were full of tiny, pearlized candy balls, and held chevron cake pops from Sweet Lauren Cakes and darling heart lollipops from Candywarehouse.com.

valentine's day desserts

Small, 6” cake stands held jars of red gumballs, chocolate covered oreos topped with big red and pink hearts, and conversation heart cookies from Firefly Confections. Jumbo marshmallows were dipped in red chocolate and sat in striped cupcake liners. They held our darling modern conversation heart cupcake toppers. Old-fashioned candy sticks in a crisp black and white stripe fit into our theme perfectly.

heart chocolate-covered oreos

striped candy sticks

I think this table is a perfect example of creating something special for a small group, so it’s perfect for a family dinner or kids’ playdate for Valentine’s Day.

lollipops

To download the free conversation heart printables, and for more Valentine’s Day party ideas, please click on the image below.

valentine's day conversation heart free download

December 28th, 2012 |

Kelly’s Christmas Eve Tablesetting

Good Morning, Everyone!  Although we are still technically on a little holiday break, I wanted to pop in to say hello and show you all a peek into my Christmas Eve party.  We hosted my extended family of thirteen for dinner and as always, I had fun setting the table!

My Kate Spade china gets used less frequently than I prefer, so I knew that I wanted to design the table around it.  I took inspiration from the tablesetting I did for last year’s holiday magazine, as well as incorporated a few new ideas.

Since my china is black and white, I wanted to introduce a pop color in the tablecloth.  Green is my signature color, and with Pantone naming it theirs for 2013, I figured it was perfect.  I had a hard time locating a tablecloth in the exact emerald green I wanted, so I had one made.  It actually ended up being a very cost effective idea – I found both 60″ and 120″ width fabric on fabricdirect.com in my desired color – so I was able to make one tablecloth to cover my very long, extended (via card tables) table.  I had a local seamstress hem it for me, and add a black and white gingham stripe ribbon trim.

I decided to forgo traditional floral centerpieces this year, and go for something a touch more modern.  I wasn’t sure what that was until about the 22nd, but I found these darling white trees at Z Gallerie (and they were 50% off at that point!) and knew they would be perfect.  I jazzed them up a bit with black and white stripe grosgrain ribbon at the bases, as well as added it to the base of black candles.  To add a touch of glam, I placed silver ball candles from Crate and Barrel on my polka dot tibit plates from Kate Spade as part of the centerpiece.

Instead of traditional placecards, this year I decided to have a little fun with my guests’ monograms.  I had a red monogram ornament from WH Hostess made up for everyone, and tied it along with a silver jingle bell to their napkin.  (and yes, if you look closely, you can see me photographing the table in the reflection on the bell!) The napkins were made from our black berries custom fabric.  It’s a pattern that I have always loved and was able to also carry over into Cake Plate Clings for the event too.

I hope you enjoyed a peek into my holiday party….I wish their were more pictures, but once I started cooking I got too busy to take any more!

December 12th, 2012 |

The Hubby Turns 30

This past weekend, my hubby turned 30!  I’ve been waiting for him to catch up to me for a few years now….so of course I had to throw a party!  He specifically asked me not to….so it had to be a surprise!  ;)  I invited our closest friends and family over to celebrate with a cocktail party, and since the December birthdate lends itself to holiday decor, I had to be extra careful for my color palette and design to read “manly” and “winter” instead of “Christmas!”

I chose a grey, white, green and navy color palette, and used stripes and gingham check as my patterns to look a bit like haberdashery. I kept things VERY simple.  Three tables: a bar for beer tasting, a buffet table full of appetizers and small bites, and desserts.

The buffet table was anchored with three tall centerpieces featuring white hydrangeas and cotton berries, and I used all white serving pieces to give the table a cohesive look.  Green striped Cake Plate Clings lined the plates and tiered serving pieces for a little added pop.

I decided against traditional food tent cards to save space on the table, and instead opted to do plaques that I hung off ribbon.  These are just a few of the appetizers we served: beef tenderloin sliders, shrimp shooters, a cheese plate, crudités, a couple of dips, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts and stuffed mushrooms.

And for dessert….gorgeous macarons and one delicious birthday cake.

{please forgive the photography lighting….the lights were dim and there were tons of candles so although the room was cozy, it did not make for the best pictures!}

December 5th, 2012 |

Christmas Cocktails & Desserts

When it came to designing a Christmas party for the holiday issue of The Party Dress magazine, I decided that I wanted to put a chic, girly spin to it with a festive color palette of pink, red and green.  I also wanted to provide you with ideas that could be used for either an adult cocktail party or a family-friendly celebration.

The color palette was inspired by my favorite Christmas invitation of the season, the multi-colored ikat party invitation.  It’s crisp and modern and looks great mixed with lots of different patterns.

Welcome guests at the door with a tray of champagne!  (or Shirley Temples if it’s a kids party!) Our lucite tray looks light and airy and with removable inserts, you can change out the pattern to coordinate with any event.  An assortment of pink, green and red striped straws from Shop Sweet Lulu were dressed up with straw flags with cute sayings like “eat, drink and be merry” and “happy everything”.

You can incorporate your color palette into the gifts under the tree too!  Here are two of my favorite littles taking a peek at their Christmas gifts!

The tablesetting was a lot of fun to put together.  I had a tablecloth made with a hot pink, tonal polka dot fabric, and napkins made from our Christmas chevron fabric to play with patterns.  I tied the napkins with a green sequin ribbon, and a personalized monogram ornament (which also served as a party favor).  The centerpiece was made with white hydrangeas and red tulips and I flanked it with two white nutcrackers.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the delicious dessert table details!  Lots of yummy ideas that you can incorporate into your own holiday parties!

 

December 4th, 2012 |

Click to Print {Free Holiday Printables}

I know that the holiday season can be stressful.  You want to do SO.MANY.THINGS: bake cookies, cut down the perfect tree, select the perfect gifts and wrap them with unique trimmings, throw the perfect party for friends & family.  It’s takes a lot of time to be the perfect hostess, so I teamed up with HP Print this season to gift all of you a collection of FREE HOLIDAY PRINTABLES.  5 darling designs that are sure to help you accessorize your party in a flash.

Whether you are planning a holiday dinner, a cocktail party or a family dinner, this set of FREE HOLIDAY PRINTABLES has 5 items that will dress up your event.  First up, a menu card in a crisp red quilt pattern with elegant touches of green.  This could be used on individual plates or in a picture frame on a buffet table.  The second item is a red name plaque that could be used as a placecard.  I used a crisp red and white stripe ribbon to weave thru the plaque to add a touch of holiday spirit.  Once combined, it’s the perfect size to lay across a napkin.

No party would be complete without some bubbly!  Welcome your guests in style with a tray full of champagne glasses.  Add some festivity to your display with striped straws embellished with our third printable item: straw flags.  Offered in both red and green, the flags offer up seasonal greetings such as “mix and mingle”, “happy everything”, “be merry” and “holly jolly”.

When dessert time rolls around, individual treats like cupcakes, mini tarts or pies, or cake pops are a great option.  Easy to serve, tidy to eat, and you as the host won’t get tied up slicing cake.  I designed a set of charming 2″ round tags featuring a bough of holly, and sayings such as “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Everything” that could be used for cupcake toppers, cake pop sticks or you could even use them as stickers.

Our fifth printable item is a 3 inch gift tag or sticker that could be used for party favors or gift giving.  Offered in three different sayings, they are a darling way to dress up gifts this season.

I hope you enjoy these FREE HOLIDAY PRINTABLES brought to you by WH Hostess and HP Print.  You can CLICK TO PRINT to use the files.  Have fun!

“This holiday season, let loved ones know how much you care. Use your favorite photos to create something personalized and unique for everyone on your list. Make it memorable. Make it meaningful. Make it matter. Go to hp.com/holiday for inspiration and ideas.”

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by HP via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of HP.

November 27th, 2012 |

Pier 1 Imports® Holiday Entertaining

Known for their colorful, one-of-a-kind-items and unique holiday decor, Pier 1 Imports is the perfect spot to head to when styling a holiday table.  When offered the opportunity to shop their latest holiday finds and put together a holiday tablesetting to inspire you, our readers, I jumped at the chance.

There are so many different ways you could go….sophisticated, glam, shabby chic….but I decided to go with a traditional red, white and green color palette.  Crisp and festive, I think this tablesetting would be perfect for Christmas brunch or a family dinner party.  I fell in love with their peppermint placemats.  Especially the beaded trim!  That set the tone for my table and I carried the stripe throughout in a few details.

I love a layered table….so I stacked together the peppermint placemats, my basic white plates, and then topped them with both my cloth napkin and a mini bowl full of Christmas candy.  I tied the napkins with a striped grosgrain ribbon and a large red jingle bell.  The bell added a touch of shimmer to the table, and also made for a festive sound when moved around the table.

I wanted a centerpiece with a little height.  I stacked two of Pier 1 Imports’ white, fluted edge cake stands together and arranged them with red candles, some peppermint salt water taffy, and red jingle bells.  It just goes to show you that you can repurpose your entertaining basics – cake stands aren’t just for desserts! I also added a few peppermint votive candles to the table to tie in the striped theme.

A textured white tablecloth really made all of the accessories pop and look very crisp and modern.  I encourage you to visit Pier 1 this season to pick up some extra-special accessories perfect for your holiday celebrations and gifting needs.

“If it’s interesting, if it’s impressive, if it’s colorful and cute and one-of-a-kind—then odds are it’s probably from Pier 1 Imports®. After all, Pier 1 has been the place for unique finds for over 40 years. Our buyers travel the world’s major capitals and small villages hunting for the kinds of treasures you can’t find just anywhere—fresh and fragrant candles, exotic wicker, hand-painted dinnerware, gorgeous textiles and thoughtful hand crafted gifts. Find what speaks to you at Pier 1 Imports®.”

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Pier 1 Imports® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Pier 1 Imports®.

Resources: cake stands, mini white bowls, red jingle bells, peppermint placemats, peppermint votive candle holders (pier1.com), cake plate clings decorative liners on cake stands (whhostess.com), candy (candywarehouse.com)

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