Thursday, May 20, 2010

Form the Ground Up!

When working on your party decor, you can't forget to look at the broader aspects of the space - the floors, ceilings, and walls. For this post we will be discussing ways to use the floor of your space to accent the decor and not just as an eye-sore that you hope people don't notice.

For a child's party recently, we covered the floor in plush carpet to warm the space up a bit. Any kind of carpet will always soften the space and aid acoustics as well. Carpeting is a real back saver too. Hard surfaces can really break the spine of your guests over the age of twenty-five after standing around socializing and dancing all evening. Warning: Carpet ain't cheap, but there are a few things you can do to mitigate costs. Have a carpet provider measure the space and give you an estimate for a temporary carpet. This means it doesn't have to be bound, just cut to size and taped down at the edges to get through the event.

Choose carpeting that won't catch in women's heels and can take foot traffic and wine spills - that is, carpet that is lower grade and cheaper. Shag carpet is gorgeous, but it's a major tripping hazard; instead, use shag as an accent under a coffee table but not for the entire floor. Ideally, you want to go as ghetto as you can with carpeting: good old synthetic cut pile carpet. Light colors, like white or ivory, create a lovely ethereal look, but in my experience it's best to go with a dark hue, like black, navy, or chocolate brown, so the floor simply disappears. Black carpeting is also the cheapest option.

Throw rugs are another way to add dimension and interest to your floors. We once did a party in a large loft that had this pukey gray carpet. The party was at night so no one was really going to notice it, but I thought it would be fun to break up the floor space into different seating groups. We found faux animal print rugs at, and a West Elm furniture store, and grouped them with lounge furniture and threw in some matching animal print accent pillows to boot.

A brilliant new company that has changed the floor landscape is FLOR (, which makes cool carpet tiles in a variety os styles and materials. You buy FLOR per tile so you can create any size design you want by mixing and matching.

Floor mats or low-tack vinyl appliques are another alternative to rugs. At a wedding, a couple wanted to use a family crest as a design motif. Instead of carpets under the coffee tables, we had cool floor vinyls are made by 3M (the tape people) and any print store can look into this option for you.

Lighting tricks are another way to rock out your floors. Instead of floor graphics on vinyls or creative carpeting, you can project shapes and colors directly onto an open floor space. We did a party in a beautiful outdoor location with tons of plush furniture rentals, but we didn't have any rugs to use. Our lighting designer used a gobo with a beautiful branch pattern on it that he used to project onto the floors where the seating was arranged - it was gorgeous!

No comments:

Post a Comment