Flashback: Entertaing Decor

There isn't much going on at my house that is worth mentioning this week. So I figured this was as good of a time as any to do a little flash from the past post. But instead of home décor, Im turning the wheel sharply and careening into entertaining instead. Its more about decorating for entertaining so that’s sort of on topic. Right?

Get it? Flash + Back. I crack myself up!

Over the past few years, I've had great fun helping a couple of close friends throw some parties. I just lurrve parties so I really love to help do the whole thing up. On average, I've had one big party a year. But this year is notably barren of any big shindigs. That is good in some ways - I don't end up losing sleep for weeks before doing all those last minute projects that take so much longer than I expected. But I admit, I miss the zing of it too.

So onto the topic of this this post.

(Insert sitcom flashback music here)

Back in 2007, my very fabulous and beautiful friend was preggers (same friend I mentioned in this party post). Woo-hoo! A traditional bottles & pacifier themed baby shower was just NOT going to cut it. (Sorry, this is a pet peeve of mind - baby showers are for the MOTHER, not for the baby. Go ahead and do something a grown woman can really appreciate!) Along with her mom, we did up something a little more grown up to celebrate.

As usual, the hardest part is always finding the venue. It had to be in the area, be an attractive place but not too expensive. They also had to be willing to deal with all of my special requests. Trust me, that is a really tall order around here. For some reason, most places tend to be too expensive, ugly, inflexible or a combination of all three! After much searching, we found Central Lounge. Chandeliers? Dark Wood? Lighted Marble Bar? Sign me up! I didn't bring my wide angle lens for the party so this photo from their website will have to do.

After we found the place, I got to work on the invites. Fitting with my friend, it was all about the drama and sparkle. So off I went to make the invites. These were easily one of my most favorite invites ever. They were also one of the most time consuming too…but I tend to lose sight of that kind of thing when I have an idea in my head. A few papercuts and hot glue gun burns later, I had these.
Now on to the decorations. Budget was tight so fresh flowers were definitely out of the budget. Instead, I did my best to glam up some pretty manzanita branches with bronze spray paint and hanging crystals.
And candles went EVERYWHERE. Seriously people - there is no easier or cheaper way to turn up the style in any space. Not to mention candlelit makes everyone look twice as good.
Little handcut tags adorned with chandelier crystals hung from one big branch
The "concept" (sorry, I hate the word theme…it gives me chills) was 'a special delivery' so we carried that term through a lot of different elements like the décor
…the wishing well,
…and the favors.

You can probably tell by now but once I have an idea, I really bash it in the skull until its completely all over everything :) I could go on and on about all the little things here but I'll stop. Hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane! If you want to see some more, there are a few more photos here.

Postscript #1: For all those professional party planners out there - kudos to you. I would suck very hard at that job as I don't do well with decision by committee. I like to call the shots and then do what Im thinking up, no questions asked.

Postscript #2: For those of you outside of the tri-state area that think a baby shower at a restaurant is unusual, think again. Showers here tend really huge (50 + people is pretty standard by my count). Not sure if that’s a function of families being larger here or houses being smaller requiring an outside venue. Either way - there is no getting around you need a lot more space than you can fit in your living room.

Postscript #3: These photos aren't that hot. I was really running around like mad that day so I had no time to really pay attention to the shots I was taking. A little big regretful about that but hey - what can I do?


  1. Seeing these photos way back when I first came across your blog was what sparked my love affair w/ manzanita branches! Where did you get yours?

    Might I enlist you to plan a shower for me? Baby, bridal, whatever you'd like, I'll take it =]

  2. Freckles - Im always up for party talk.

    Did I post these on my blog before? I don't think so but I could have totally had a senile moment.

    I got the branches from www.nettletonhollow.com. If I was lucky enough to have trees in my backyard I would have just used those but I didn't have any I could cut from.

  3. Good Lord! I want to get pregnant, right at this very moment, so you can throw me a baby shower! :)

    Seriously, what a sophisticated and incredible event! I love everything about these spaces, every single detail. But, what I love the most are the invites!!!! They were a little sneak peak or tease to what was to come... Sigh.... Gorgeous!

  4. This looks fantastic! You are so talented.

  5. Breathtaking! Can you please throw me a shower?

  6. Ummm those event photos are incredible. Absolutely breathtaking! How did you do the invitations? I would love a whole post just on that! Wow, I am just so impressed!

  7. Oh my word, that is bar far the best looking shower I've ever seen. Well done you!!! Your decorations make my wedding centerpieces look like garbage!

  8. "bar far" definitely means "by far." Whoops!

  9. I love the way you think! What a great idea to have a more grown up baby shower, instead of cutesy pacifier and diaper stuff all over the place!! :)

  10. I don't think you posted directly about this, but I believe I first saw the branches in your flickr album in your sidebar? Maybe I'm senile now.....Ha!

  11. I love when you do your posts about parties that you plan - they always leave me staring at the computer screen with my jaw hanging open in awe.

  12. Will you be my party concept planner?
    You really are a natural born party animal.

  13. Fantastic! Those invites are stunning.

  14. Anonymous10:10 PM

    I bow (and drool) to your creative greatness

  15. Awesome! And I'm with you, I tend to take charge and like to do what is in my head no questions asked. He He. Hmmm, I wonder if that is why my family laughed when I asked them to help me decorate my christmas tree. Knowing I would change it up once they left. he he. hugs from Conroe, TX

  16. Oh, I fell in love with these invitations when I first saw them over a year ago. I knew that you had to do something creative when I saw them. They are super sparkly fantastic. What kind of adhesive did you use for the glitter in the box?


  17. Everything was gorgeous Stef - you are a goddess. In my next life, I think I might like to come back as you. ; )

  18. Thanks everyone. Im glad I didn't turn everyone off by talking about old crap.

    Len - I thinned out white glue with water and then painted it on the inside of the box with a brush.

  19. Wow what a party. Your friend is one lucky lady.

  20. Where did you find the crystals, every where I have looked they have been very expensive? I made one similar for a wedding that I decorated. Here is the link to the post: http://bellcreation.blogspot.com/2009/03/kyu-mee-and-sixtus-wedding.html

  21. Oh I love this - what an exquisite shower you designed! I am sure that she was thrilled and felt so special. Thanks for sharing these photos!!


  22. Wow! What an amazing party!

  23. Wow, that looked fabulous! Your friend must have been so thrilled!

  24. Brandi - I found the crystals on ebay.

  25. Anonymous12:43 PM

    Fabulously done. My bff has informed me that I will be on baby shower duty (someday, but that I should start planning now!) and I'd rather die than ask people to play that diaper sniff game. Sparkles and wonderful food sound MUCH better.

  26. That was some shower!

  27. Love the grown-up-ness! So the invitations were three cards, glammed up and then put in the box, lined with glitter? How do you do your invitations? Do you use a graphics program? Did you print onto the pritty background design? or is the whole design printed on cards? Did you print them yourself? Or did you have them professionally printed? Or go to a Kinkos type place and use their printer? I love them so!

  28. That is sooooooo far away from pink and blue baby bottles and pacifiers.

    Heavens to Betsy, Girl! You can sure throw a partay!

    Looks like everyone brought a book...did I read that right?

  29. JH: I used Adobe Illustrator to design. Normally I send my work to a printer but since budget was tight, I printed these myself.

    Linda: Yes, that was the wishing well. Everyone brought a book and I printed up little bookplates for people to stick to the inside cover and a write a note to the baby.

  30. Anonymous10:22 AM

    OK, spill the beans... I must know where the feathered wreath came from in the post you reference. Must have it!!

    Both showers are amazing. And this Central Lounge *almost* makes me want to take a trip out to Astoria. It's chic and fabulous. Great location!

  31. Anonymous1:21 PM

    I'm calling it, you should have your own craft book or craft magazine. Your ideas are simple yet amazing. The feathered wreath... swoon and yet how clever and simple.

    Someone needs to market you.

  32. Anonymous11:59 PM

    i think this is wonderful and so special!
    and i am with you...i HATE design by committee..
    i am too much of an only child - i like my ideas/getting my way...

  33. Honestly...this is a total beaut! I am bookmarking...and filing away your email address for future party plans! :-) Fabulous.


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