Saturday, 21 May 2016

Party Styling: My Tips For A Fuss Free Event!

I love a good party or occasion  - even more so if I'm hosting it as I love decorating a space and transforming it into something special.
And last weekend was very special indeed. It was my sister's hen party and I wanted to give her a little surprise - decorate her kitchen and host the pre-drinks there before we headed out into the unknown!
I wanted something girly and sugary and thought a classic white and pink colour combination conveyed the theme of a hen night, without having to have any naughty accessories anywhere! Now, don't get me wrong, I've sucked out of a novelty straw before, but for this occasion, I wanted to steer clear of the crass and keep it class.
I got some gorgeous paper pom poms from Ginger Ray and they were fantastic value for money. I love all their party supplies and accessories! I chose the pink, ivory and white mix and you get 9 various size pom poms for £10 on Amazon. I found these cute balloons on Not On The High Street and the rose gold 'love' balloon is actually reusable - so again, you get a lot of bang for yor buck.
Tiara's, photo booth props and confetti canons were little favors for the hens and some yummy cupcakes adorned with the cutest cake toppers - from The Party Postman. I must confess - a few of these cakes got eaten post party in the early hours! It's a shame I can't remember how many I devoured! 

I really enjoyed putting this together, but I also know that sometimes party planning and styling can be stressful. So, I thought I'd share my tips on how to find the fun in planning that party and achieve a fun fiesta! 

1. Decide on a Theme.

This for me is the fun bit! I usually see one item that I fall in love with and then I expand my idea around that. For my son's first birthday, I decided to throw a circus themed party to tie in with how I decorated his nursery. Whilst looking at styles and accessories, I found that there were two very distincitve circus styles - the whimsical, vintage type citcus and a more cartoonish, brightly animated theme - I chose the former and just kept it simple: red and white with hints of blue and yellow. For those of you who have read my earlier blog on decorating my sons nursery, I chose a red and white colour theme orginally as those (along with black) are the first colours a baby can identify - so by incorporating this into a party theme, it's visually interesting him first and foremost, but the adults can enjoy the details - I bought circus party hats and cake stands and filled a vase with red clown noses for the guests to wear - and bless them - they all did! 

2. Get Crafty! 

I've said it before, but I love a bargain and what better way to save a bit of money than to make it yourself! You don't have to be the most artsy person in the world, but I think there's more fun to be had making something and the end product is a bit more satisfying and the cherry on the cake is, it's one of a kind!
I can't bake to save my life, so for parties, I tend to buy plain celebration cakes - (just topped with white icing) and then decorate them myself, with confetti, sprinkles, handmade paper pin wheels or cake toppers - or for the circus party - big toy animals! You can pick up great cakes at Costco, they serve serve 48 and are only £12.99. It's a great way to save a bit of money and you've got full artisitic licence to make it as simple or crazy as you like! Just remebmer, if you do plan to do this, choose the gloopy style icing so your decorations stick! 

At Easter, I made the most simple sock bunnies to use as an easter display, then handed them out to the kids afterwards - using just childrens socks, rice and ribbon. They were cheap to make and looked really cute sat guarding the easter eggs! 

3. Keep it simple

I don't think you need to do an idea to death for it to be effective. If you have a centrepiece that you were working around, you can carry the theme through with choosing the right colour palette. For example, if you're creating a pirate themed party, maybe try and source an item like a pirate ship piƱata, so you have a visually great centrepiece or party prop and a game for the kids later - and then carry the nautical theme through with blue, red and black plates, napkins, cups etc. It may also save you money buying plain accessories, instead of having a motif on everything.
For my baby shower, I chose white napkins and blue striped treat bags, instead of opting for 'it's a boy' themed tableware - I also made some blue and white pinwheels for my cake. By keeping it simple, your table display can still be effective.

4. Colour Code

I love colour and love how you can use it in different ways to really make your styling pop. You can either pick bold, contrasting colours, or muted colour tones - but no matter what you decide on, colour certainly speaks louder than words if used in the right way! Bright primary colours look great in summer for outdoor parties and hold their own in a big outdoor space. Or if you chose a singular colour, maybe try an ombre effect and pick one dominant colour for your main decorations, then accent with different tones of the same one. So a pink party suddenly has the spectrum to be pale and interesting with ballerina pinks, blushes, peaches and whites  - or young and vibrant with hot pinks, whites and bubblegum tones. 

5. Create a talking point

I think a centrepiece can really bring guests togther and also can serve as a great conversational point between guests that may not know each other well. For my circus party I made this huge popcorn box. It was really easy and a great talking point on the day. I sourced a large cardboard box - now if you have kids, you probably will have aquired plenty of these - anything you buy for a baby seems to come in a huge box! I chose some material from Hobbycraft and adhered it to the box with spray glue. You don't have to use material, you could use paper, but to be honest stiped material was better for this piece, instead of cutting strips of different coloured card. I bought some alphabet stickers and finally, popped different shades of yellow and ivory balloons in the top for the 'popcorn'.

And for Easter, I adorned this paper twig tree with some easter trinkets - glass baubles filled with egg shells and feathers and porcelain rabbit discs for an unusual addition to the easter table and it got everyone talking and posing next to it for photos! 

More than anything, it comes down to planning and I hope these little steps prove helpful! I love it when people enjoy your displays or decorations - you're literally setting the stage for people to have fun and by transforming a familiar space into something special, you're creating a memorable event for everyone - and you get to enjoy a glass of wine on top! Cheers to that!

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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Bedroom Makeover - From Pewter To Pink!

I've decided recently to give our bedroom a bit of a makeover and thought I'd share my progress so far with you! (ignore that big empty space above the bed, I'm just waiting for a canvas to arrive and fill it!) When we moved into our house two years ago, most of the rooms were decorated in a neutral palette already and there was nothing that we were desperate to change. So, we decided to let the dust settle and live in there for a while before we decided what rooms to do first and what we wanted to change.

When we first moved in, the master bedroom was painted in a dramatic dark grey and paired with very deep silver raw silk curtains and pewter accents. There was also a black damask feature wall behind the bed. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the whole room, but you can see the wallpaper in the photo below and get a sense of what is was like. Now, don't get me wrong - I LOVE grey! I decorated our previous house in different grey tones and was particularly obsessed with Laura Ashley's dove grey paint and Josette wallpaper! But, for this house I just wanted a change. So, cue the fun bit - picking out the new colour scheme!


I wanted the room to feel relaxed, cosy and light and airy - a little haven for us to retreat to. As the old room was quite rich and opulent, I wanted a more relaxed and simple feel and decided to go much lighter. I toyed with a few colour options - I really like peppermint green and stone together and classic white and grey.

I eventually decided to go for nude and blush tones - I really love a plaster and pink theme and thought they'd sit well with light grey accents, as they're all part of the same colour family, without being too 'matchy'. Settling on a soft blush was basically like picking a grown up version of the ballerina pink room I had when I was a little girl - and I always loved that space! So, with inspiration from my childhood room, I got stuck into sourcing different taupes, pinks and greys to transform my bedroom from powerful pewter to powder pink!

photo via pinterest

Inkeeping slightly with the whimsy of a childhood inspired palette, I really got into fairytale mode and bought the felt 'Odette' swans head I fell in love with at Christmas, at The Country Living Fair  - an absolute bargain on eBay and originally made by Sew Heart Felt. Yes, I had earmarked it for my future daughter's nursery - there's nothing like planning ahead! However, years ago my mum gave me the best advice for decorating your home - buy what you LOVE. So, I'm a big believer in just that. Buy what you love, even if it doesn't completely 'match' or if it's not to everyone's taste - if you love it, you'll always find a place for it! This is a fun piece and I can't wait for her to arrive!

I painted the walls in Farrow and Ball's Elephant's Breath (my go to neutral) and took down those heavy curtains and opted for some beautiful DKNY voiles that I found in TK Maxx. I have two windows in my bedroom and when I found the first pair in Homesense - I knew instantly I had to have them! They only had one pair, (disaster!) so I frantically called round all the neighbouring TK Maxx stores I could, as they sometimes stock the same things and I eventually found one more pair - it was fate! They are so delicate and pretty - and when they're drawn they diffuse the light so subtly, I just love them. I always find they have a great range of curtains and voiles at TK Maxx, but you can't dilly dally with your decision - as once they're gone, they're gone forever! No happily ever after!

I also found this amazing plaster pink bedspread from TK as well - honestly, I love a bargain and I couldn't resist this, I think it really finishes the room off and injects more colour into the space.

The wardrobe is from Oak Furntiture land, we bought this last year, but this particular range has now been discontinued. I have seen a similar country style one in mink from Next, you can see it here.
The bedding boxes are from a friends new furniture business - I will write a post on this very shortly once she's opened her shop, but there's some absoutley gorgeous pieces to be found!

The blinds are from Dunelm and are just simple blackout blinds - they're so reasonably priced. I chose some that had a linen look - they offer a subtle texture and inkeep nicely with the colour of the walls. I finished the room with an accent bouji chair from - I love their quirky twists on traditional furniture -  and sat a cute little tartan footstool next to it, which was a gift from my mum last year.

I really love this room now, it feels so light and bright - the romantic blush tones make the room feel delicate and pretty, but not overly girly. I think the colours are subtle and simple. We need a new carpet and some accessories on the walls, but it's getting there! I'd love to hear your opinions and please let me know if you've seen anything that you think would go nicely in here - I'm always on the lookout for something special! But for now, this is the place that this little Sleeping Beauty is happy to catch 40 winks!

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