Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Everything but the Kitchen Sink" Holiday Decor

We are often faced with the challenge of not using repetitive materials when designing most of our events, and when it comes to holiday time I am a fan of using every medium to express anything aesthetic and celebratory.

If I could fill a room with squiggly, soft puppies instead of the average Christmas tree I would. But, is that really practical? NOT.

Instead, I am a sucker for the traditional cone shape of a tree, or the outline of what can be reminiscent of a Jewish Star or Menorah, but I tend to shy away from expressing these shapes using traditional materials.

Does Christmas or Hanukah colors necessarily have to be expressed in Green and Red or White and Blue, respectively? I don’t think so… so many other colors and metallics are celebratory in their own ways, such as Copper, Gold and Gun Metal tones, Purple hues, rich Chocolate Brown tones mixed with gradients of Ivory, White and natural Green.

For Corporate events, using your Logo colors as base Holiday tones raises morale around the water cooler.

In my holiday design aesthetic, I like to use a lot of textures. The use of rich Velvet or Faux Fur screams Holiday to me a lot more than a soft linen or light Cotton which I associate more with spring and summer. Festive fabrics that have a natural sheen to them will reflect natural candlelight or any illumination in a room that can easily cause “visual magic.”

To me a fireplace is a Rock Star Holiday element that many of us take for granted… I cant tell you how many times I stared into the glistening light of the fireplace and let it gleefully transport me out of my food coma and into an enjoyable Holiday trance.

What I am saying here is that there are so many simple things that we overlook when gearing up to decorate in time for the Holidays, things that we already own and can utilize from our own surroundings:

Don’t overlook color as a Holiday d├ęcor concept.

Paper and cardboard rocks!

Never underestimate the power of candlelight or LED candles - use them!

Family photos displayed artfully around a Holiday affair gives meaning to your event.

Comfort is key: pillow up! Utilize your plush accents for folks to feel at home. I use shag carpets, pillows, blankets, floor cushions, and give comfy slippers as gifts.

Give Back! If you are throwing a corporate Holiday event incorporate your LOGO in a playful way and find a way to include a charity that your employees want to support.

Treat your guests like Kings and Queens. Everyone loves presents, but don’t go overboard, sending a guest home with a take away cupcake or sweet treat can work wonders.

Make sure those Kings have a good Holiday beer and that the Queens have a specialty cocktail that will make them feel fabulous!

Use your own feel good music playlist as an entertainment source. Most likely if something gets your blood pumping on the dance floor your guests will feel enthusiastic about it too.

Keep Holiday entertaining organic in the way that you should ask yourself what makes you happy and then share it with those you love. An example is if you adore bowling, then take a group of your special people out for a great bowling night that is a great way to start out an evening of celebration; just remember that not everyone will be as passionate as you about it so offer up some other options for the evening too.

If you love your home, then invite the people you love into your home. Don’t feel intimidated if you don’t have a “show place,” you have a good time to offer and that should be enough.

Its funny because obviously we do some pretty heavy duty and detailed events over here at jesGORDON/properFUN, but it seems that when the team actually does get a Holiday off, we tend to spend them very simply, quietly and happily J

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kid At Heart

Birthdays, graduations, bar mitzvahs, quinceaneras – these are just a few of the infinite occasions that may arise during adolescence. While planning for such events may seem initially daunting, with a few pointers you’ll soon find that these occasions provide an opportunity to evoke the kid in you and let your imagination run wild!

To start with, you want to set an atmosphere that evokes the senses and awakens the creative spirit within your guests. To create a whimsical feel, you can pin up color wheels of various shades circulating in waves along the walls. For some sophisticated color, tie together some striped straws with a bright ribbon placed in a clear jar, and voila!

As any child might declare, it is essential to set aside a dessert table with an assortment of scrumptious sweets and colorful candies that will really make the room pop. Apothecary jars filled to the brim with gumballs, jellybeans, rock candy, gummy bears, or other candies are sure to bring out the sweet tooth of any guest, regardless of age! For a nifty beverage idea, use Pirouline sticks for edible straws and dip them in root beer floats.

Lighting is an essential visual tool to enhance the mood. If you want to make the aura more magical and warm, you can hang LED candle votives in mid-air or use paper lanterns to bring some color to the neutral space.

Simple yet vivid in color, flowers like tulips and craspedias make for perfect floral additions that will soften the room.

If in need of labels for guest names or edible items, be sure to make them monochromatic for visual balance with all the mix of color. You can attach them to ribbons on goodies or on a spiraling wire on writing utensils.

All in all, just make sure to have fun with it! Tell a story with your event that will awaken the senses and stir the creative juices within each child.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Moody Music

Music plays an integral part in determining the energy of an event. Having an awesome play list for your party can really make or break the vibe! Since hearing is one of the five senses, every party should have a sound element. It’s always a great feeling at a house party when a classic song plays that EVERYONE knows, it changes the whole mood!

When preparing your house for sound, I really recommend using satellite speakers. The sound is super crisp and provides a very fresh feeling for your guests. If you have an outdoor space, satellite sound is a great option too! But, be sure to keep your iPod hidden. Though they are awesome devices, they should be hidden because the last thing you want are those obsessive iPod people who want control over song selection!

Though there will always be audio hot spots, you do want to make sure there are places your guests can go to escape the sound and take a breather if they need to. Some of these places may include an outdoor terrace, the dining area, or a bar.

I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite tunes at the moment that will really get your guests dancing and having a good time.

I recommend…

“Pumped Up Kicks” – Foster the People

“Borderline” - Madonna

“Moves Like Jagger” – Maroon 5

“Freak Out” – Chic

“Dancing Machine” – Jackson 5

“Give Me Everything” – Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer

“Without You” – David Guetta ft. Usher

“I Feel for You” – Chaka Khan

“We Found Love” – Rihanna

“Upside Down” – Diana Ross

SexyBack” – Justin Timberlake

“We Are Family” – Sister Sledge

“Dancing Queen” – ABBA

“Freedom” – George Michael

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Everything Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is approaching very fast and we are all very excited. Personally it is one of my favorite holidays for two reasons. I can eat big meals all day with out feeling guilty and gives me an opportunity to decorate my dining room & the table to host my family and friends.

I've seen a lot of elaborate Thanksgiving table settings that includes gigantic branch arrangements, pumpkins in varying sizes, carved wooden turkeys, and bulky centerpieces. They are magnificent but let's be honest, how many of us own a dining table that is large enough to accommodate plates, glasswares, silverwares for twelve people, large pumpkins, carved wooden turkeys and serve-wares?

My ideal Thanksgiving table displays an array of Fall colors such as Brown, Orange, and Yellow with a Metallic accents. Centerpieces intermixed with candle votives placed down the middle of the table like a runner. They should not be too busy but interesting enough to get conversations started!

Get started on brainstorming for your table decor items before you go hunting for a super awesome turkey (if you are a good planner, you may already have your turkey picked out). Here are fun DIY decor ideas & props for Thanksgiving table settings that I've discovered.

1. Tava Round Charger (PotteryBarn): This naturally sturdy and beautiful rattan charger is the perfect backdrop for white dinnerware which will display mouthwatering Thanksgiving dishes.
2. Glowing Hurricane Glasses: Wrap hurricane glasses(varying sized) in layers of colorful tissue paper to glowing effect.
3. Lush Flower Arrangements in Antique Brown Cylinders & Bowl: These gorgeous antique brown cylinders will enhance the bright colors of the flowers.
4. Maple Leaf place-cards: This is an easy project for anyone. These 10" Orange & Yellow artificial maple leaves(Jamali) will add a great accent to your table. It is also clean and mess-free.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Folding!!

Go the extra mile at your next dinner party by creating crafty designs with your napkins.

Not only will it add style and grace to your table setting, it will also create a refined aura.

Here are some simple, yet sophisticated designs for you to try out at your next event!

Fold the bottom up again on top of itself.
Then fold the two sides to meet in back.
Fold in sides again, and place the napkin on the table.
Tuck flowers, menus, or table assignments into the front pocket.

Spread a dinner napkin out, lying flat.
Fold opposite sides in so they meet at the center.
Then fold again at the center to form a narrow, ribbonlike shape.
Next, fold short ends in so they meet at the center.
Cinch in the middle with a ribbon in a coordinating color, and glue at back.

Lay the napkin face-down in front of you.
Fold the napkin in half and orient the open end toward you.
Fold the napkin into quarters.
Orient the napkin so the open corner is facing away and to the right.
Roll the top-most layer of napkin diagonally down to the center and press it flat.
Roll the next layer down until it meets the first and press that one as well.
Repeat the last step once more and turn the napkin over.
Fold the right side back about 1/3 of the way and press it down.
Fold the left side back also about 1/2 of the way and press.
Flip it over and your design is complete.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Color Violet

Violet is one of the hottest colors at the moment. I am noticing a lot of gorgeous Violet colored items in season right now (Proof: Two of our next parties have violet & Blue centerpieces!).

Many people use Purple and Violet interchangeably but there is a slight distinction and difference in those two colors. Violet is synonymous with a bluish Purple and represents colors nearer to Blue, while Purple is used for colors between Violet and Red.

I've surfed through some of my favorite websites and blogs and have picked out a few great items featuring this color!

1. Dutch Hydrangea:

2. Floral Palette for our Bride:
3. Plum Square Capiz Shell Candle Holder (Source):

4. OPI Louvre me Louvre Me Not: