A Themed Table, Sand, and the Trouble You’d Go to Only for a Small Party…

Sometimes you need a little warm inspiration to make it through the winter. Even if it’s been a really balmy, hardly-cold winter like we’ve had…the sort that keeps your nose stuffy and your ceiling fans on and your cute boots in the closet.
Today is the first day I’ve worn short sleeves with no Plan B cardigan. I love it. I’m ready to ice my coffee and blow up my swimming pool (sadly, that’s necessary).

So here’s a little Beach flirting for you. A textured tablescape featuring varied fabrics and bursts of coral, flashes of metallic, and classic white pillar candles. This is the kind of table that you dream up and play with for hours because you’re having a small dinner party and you’re not dressing up thirty tables for a reception. This is for the Wednesday night cook out with friends or an intimate birthday party. And sometimes, aren’t those the best?

A Burlap square eschewed over a creamy Ivory linen is the right kind of casual look for this sort of party. Napkins are folded and tucked between plates so they visually pop against the ceramic. (Note: This is my tableware “sample” table in the showroom so the plates are of various styles and each setting does not have flatware). Natural wood folding chairs tied with gold organza sashes are a charming balance of casual elegance…perfect if you’re having a meal fully set with china on the beach, right?
Gold glass goblets (ahh, the alliteration!) stand at staggered heights in the middle of the table, flanked by iridescent sand colored pillar holders I snagged from TJMAXX. Square shaped glass candle holders filled half way with sand and a short pillar candle set here and there between salt stone taper holders. The salt stone is one of my favorite features of the table. That gorgeous, natural Coral shade is bright and perfect against the taupes of the table.

The entire centerpiece is designed as a runner for the table and all of the holders and seashells and so forth are placed on an Ivory Iridescent Crush overlay that’s been scrunched up in the middle. I love the contrast of the rough burlap and the luxe Crush linen.

Have I ever mentioned that I love mercury glass? Well, let’s just say I get to stare at that pink votive holder every day and I haven’t gotten enough of it yet.
Taper candles, bits of netting, and Ivory napkins cinched with twine add a little bit more romance to the table.
All that’s missing is the fresh seafood, you in a sundress and seven of your best friends.

Layering that Table

Recently, we were inspired to layer, layer, layer tablescapes with as many different elements as possible (linen, glassware, candles, vases, flowers, etc.) to achieve a truly elegant, refined design. It’s not about the one tablecloth and the simplistic place setting and three careless flowers stuck in a glass vase. Instead, it’s about two or three tablecloths (or handkerchiefs or place mats or whatever), one or two linen napkins per place setting, varying style fabrics and as many glimmering pieces of glass on the center of the table as physically possible (this isn’t exactly true, moderation and restraint are valued in all things, right?). But nevertheless, we would rather stick with the MO “More is Better” and then back peddle with Coco Chanel’s famous “Before you leave the house, take one item off” mentality. We say ‘Over do it, snag off a candlestick, and call it perfect.’

Here’s an experiment on our showroom floor.

Admittedly, not the best picture we’ve ever had on our blog.

But the point can still be made. Here we have a 60” table draped with a 120” (floor length) Khaki linen. There is a Light Olive square overlay on top of that and then a 54X54 Iridescent Crush overlay on top of that.
Notice the napkins. Why only have one when two is prettier? We have a Light Olive napkin folded lengthwise and tucked between the dinner and salad plate. Then, for extra fluff, the second Beige napkin is gathered and tied with a shimmery gold ribbon.

Here’s a close up of the center of the table. The things to note here are: 1. It doesn’t really matter WHAT you put in the middle of the table. All that matters is that it’s there and that it’s pretty and that it has some reflective quality to it. Mercury glass is perfect for this. Silver and glass are perfect for this. Those glass pebbles that you can get at the Dollar store for $1 per 500 are perfect for this. Which brings us to Number 2. It doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, one of my favorite things about this table is that is a nicely mismatched arrangement of finer quality items and Dollar store things. The adorable little mounds of moss? $1 for a whole bag of them. The galvinized tin buckets? $5 on average. The tasteful silk flowers? Significantly more. All working like a team to create an appealing table that requires more attention to the details.

So next time you’re entertaining, set your table with MORE. Shop your house for darling things you already have and layer, layer, layer!

Happy Planning!

Photo Shoot Project – The Best for Last

The third and final post logging our Le Pavillon photo shoot…designed by Alisa from Club Windward and fabulously captured by Memphis photographer Amy Hutchinson.

This table was, I think, our favorite. The Blue and White Gingham matched up with Hot Pink was such a surprise for a scheme…Alisa had it up her sleeve and knew exactly what she wanted. In the end, it was perfect and absolutely feminine and flirty and would make for an adorable Bridesmaid’s luncheon or shower. We couldn’t stop ourselves from adding layer upon layer of beading to the middle of the table and I think it was darling for an outside arrangement.

Who would have matched Gold accents up with this? Not I! I learned a lot from Mrs. Alisa this day.

Amy so gorgeously captured all of the many elements of this table. I can only imagine how fun this party would be!

This shot is one of our favorites. The entryway at Le Pavillon is stunning and even with its classical formality, I think this tablescape shows how funky and colorful you can play up the venue. And we absolutely love this look. Bright chair sashes crossing a crisp white linen…perfect for a birthday party or a tropical themed event.

Alisa added the Gerbers and these adorable little paper cups of grass.

The last shot is a simple and pretty bistro table draped in Maize and cinched with a Coral sash. Bright florals and some small tea lights make the sweetest centerpiece. We love the way a cinched bistro looks and this one is particularly lovely in the courtyard at Le Pav.

We love helping make spaces beautiful and we just can’t say enough about working with Amy Hutchinson, Alisa, and Le Pavillon. We hope you will keep us all in mind next time you need to create or capture the beauty for your event!

Photo Shoot Project ~ Part Two

A second installment of our amazing time at Le Pavillon with Alisa from Club Windward and photographer Amy Hutchinson

I mean, how bright and gorgeous can you possibly get? We shot these images on a gray, January afternoon but look how this Hot Orange Circle Taffeta and the colorful wild flowers set this little corner of Le Pav ablaze. Wouldn’t you love to sit down to this table for a warm, celebratory meal?

Paper butterflies and bare branches add dimension and whimsy to the setting. The variation of fabrics (poly, taffeta, and organza) create a lush feel, while the wooden candlesticks and striped tapers carry enough enchantment to keep the tables from being too fussy or formal.

Blueberry Krinkle linens add a rich hue to the room while a singular crystal candelabra uses height and sparkle to dress things up. Muted white flowers and our platinum china further the elegance.

A simple change up of colorful flowers and pink candles transition the Blueberry Krinkle tables into something more airy and fun. Alisa creates more easy whimsy with punches of pink and bright Gerbers.

I think we’ve saved the best for last! Come back again tomorrow for our final post on the photo shoot and in the meantime, visit Amy Hutchinson, Club Windward, and Le Pavillon online at their websites. Inspiration abounds!

Photo Shoot Project ~ Part One

You know how every now and then, the stars collide and everything works out just perfectly? You want to throw a party and the date is available for all your guests, the menu is perfect, the weather is stunning, and the atmosphere takes on its own magical note? That’s how it felt when we began thinking over a photo shoot a couple of weeks ago. We wanted to showcase our inventory and we wanted it to look…perfect. So we called up our friend Alisa at Club Windward, picked her brain and borrowed her expertise at tablescaping. She, in turn, contacted local photog genius Amy Hutchinson. One phone call to Le Pavillon and we had ourselves a date, time, venue, camera, and designer.

Alisa brought in boxes of inspiration…in the form of flowers, tiny birds, bright ornaments, mercury glass, and butterflies. In a record time we had set up nine tables for the shoot, utilizing all parts of Le Pav’s gorgeous building…rooms, foyer, and courtyard. The natural lighting and classical elements of the space were perfect for creating the scenes we wanted. We could do elegant, candle lit tables in one room and funkier, more modern versions outside or in the foyer. The versatility of the venue was fun to discover as we layered the tables with everything from burlap to beads and it all worked!

Then came Amy with her camera. She captured all the details perfectly and in that sharp, clean (but fuzzy in the right areas), vibrantly colored way that a really wonderful, professional photographer knows how to achieve. She made our tables light up with all of the energy and expectancy you find in the reception hall thirty minutes before the bride and groom walk in. As we stood there and watched her shoot, we felt just as excited as if something real was about to happen here at Le Pav…a bridal luncheon, birthday party, or wedding. And we’re hoping the images inspire you as much as they inspired us to create.

For the next few days, we’ll continue posting images from the shoot and we can’t wait to show them all off! A big heartfelt thanks to Amy Hutchinson, Club Windward, and Le Pavillon! We were thrilled to partner with you and so very happy with the results!

Tangerine TangOh-My-Goodness!

I mean really…how much prettier and sunnier could you get? We are kind of amazed at this Tangerine Tango trend. It’s everywhere! We just had to share some more pics with you.

Think Coral and Orange used together to create the look of Tangerine.

And now one final example of the succulent floral trend we discussed in the “2012 Wedding Trends (explained)” post. Aren’t these colors just stunning together?

Ok! Back to the gloomy Thursday…think Spring!

Cool Blue and Hot Tangerine

We woke up feeling sunny this morning. And this color combination just seems to spell out Sunny…

Orange Ranunculus look tousled and cheerful and create a stunningly bright arrangement for your centerpiece.

A milder version of the same. Pale aqua against crisp white allows the accents of tangerine to pop unexpectedly…but not too rudely.

Deep turquoise mingles with orange with create a bold, gilded look.

Just some spring like inspiration for your Tuesday in January…
Happy Coordinating!

2012 Wedding Trends (explained)

It’s a New Year and the trends are changing. What was supposed to be (at least Mayan-wise) a downright apocalyptic year is actually full of promise. Or at least escapism. We will elect a president, maybe the economy will keep on the up and up, and our dreams of nuptial bliss will reflect a society that is blurring itself into the fantastic, the glamorous, and maybe even the dangerous. In other words, to get a good glimpse of the 2012 bride, check the New York Times Bestseller list, the best rated TV drama, and who’s getting Oscar buzz. Think vampires, royalty (both fictional and otherwise), and competitions of stealth.

1. Vintage Glam/Vintage Modesty – When Pippa sauntered out of that black limo last Spring, we all gasped with awe. This was a truly classic white gown on a gorgeous lithe figure we had not previously acquainted ourselves with. ‘My Week with Marilyn’ reminded us that that very same class has never really gone out of style. Who doesn’t want to be a bombshell…especially on their wedding day? But in the same vein, classic modesty came back hand in hand with the classic glam. Kate herself wore long lace sleeves and a perfectly sweet neckline. Even Bella covered up (as long as she didn’t turn around) in white satin for her ill-advised vampire ceremony.
We’ll see a remake of The Great Gatsby this year so we can only imagine that such timeless style will stick around for 2012/2013 brides. We would assume that this kind of vintage fashion will translate into big, dramatic receptions. Maybe we’re seeing the last of chalk board signs and mason jars in a barn setting? Only time will tell!

2. Jewels – The simple may be on its way out with the Recession. 2012 brides are expected to bedazzle everything. Think studded headbands, bouquets dripping with crystals, etc. Silver and Gold will be paired with any and everything for the Bride who wants a traditional yet edgy look.

3. Food Stations – Maybe it’s the food truck phenomenon. After all, society is all about showing some love to small business and especially those on wheels that cater to our every taco craving. The translation to Wedding Reception? Mini food stations. Coffee bar here. Milk and Cookie bar there. Travel around the reception hall to nibble on your favorite, varied flavors. It’s also just cute.

4. Custom, custom, custom – Mix a genuine, Southern affinity for the Monogram and a very real hipster mentality that makes it crucial to have a wedding unlike any other…and you’ve got the fascination with customization! You put your initials in lights, on the aisle runner, and on the personalized, mixed cd you’re sending with the invites. Couples are even creating “When Harry Met Sally” type wedding films so that their guests can know every little unique detail of their falling in love.

5. Gothic Dresses – We’ve definitely been dabbling in the realm of the fairy tale this year. With prime time dramas throwing us into the dark, modern worlds of Snow White, Cinderella, and the Brothers Grimm, we seem to be favoring the original, Gothic children’s tales over the brighter, Disney versions. Vera Wang shocked the couture runways last October by presenting her wicked new line of wedding gowns. Her Twitter account described Vera’s inspiration: “Witchcraft! Light, airy, concoctions of froth. … Mysterious and sexy, frivolous and fun.” Every dress is pitch black. We wonder how far this trend will reach but anticipate at least some hints of Gothic style in wedding designs, whether or not the bride is brash enough to go all black.

6. Hunger Games-esque Bachelor Parties – If you’ve heard anything about Suzanne Collins’ Trilogy, ‘The Hunger Games’, you know it’s grim stuff. The Young Adult Lit has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for over 60 weeks running and its film release is due out in March. It seems like the post-apocolyptic tale of survival is even striking a chord among husbands-to-be. Don’t fret…groomsmen aren’t expected to battle it out to the death in snowy arenas. But 2012 is going to the be the year of strength and skill training. Instead of glitzy retreats to Las Vegas or even shady trips to bars around town, it looks like more grooms are wanting to challenge their best pals in actual hunting trips, extreme sports, and even race car driving.

7. Neutral or Bold – 2012 style swatches are showing us either palettes of complete neutrals or shockingly bold pop. Use blush, peach, and taupe or jade, cherry, and tangerine. Bridesmaids are being mismatched in their own, bright attire and fresh cut flower alternatives such a big paper flowers or succulent plants are adding a more sustainable approach.

8. Sapphire – It’s most definitely Kate-inspired but it’s also solving the problem of the “conflict diamond”. Guys and gals are picking out sapphire rings over diamonds and the deep shade of blue may be popping up in more conspicuous wedding details as well.

9. Backyard weddings – Why spend the money on a venue when home will do the trick? It could be for the budget conscientious or maybe just because of the charm, but creating the perfect nuptial setting in one’s own family home is making a comeback. All you need to do is rent the tables, linens, and chairs!

10. September and October – We’ve always known that October was a fashionable month here in Memphis for a wedding (not too hot!), but this year, it looks like the trend has risen nationally. September and October are THE matrimonial months of 2012. So start booking now, ladies!