May 25, 2010

Poetic Romance Inspired Wedding

Please check out the newest submission to the  Ces't La Vie Parties and Events  page. (click on link to be re-directed to this page, or look for it under "Pages" in the sidebar) for details on this ethereal, elegant and very romantic Poet Inspired Wedding!

Need inspiration to throw that fabulous soiree? Don't know where to start with the planning of your important event? Want the look of a platinum party on a pauper's budget?  You've come to the right place. Please fill out my What is your Design Style Questionnaire or email me @

A bold and modern Asian inspired wedding event coming soon!

May 24, 2010

Butterfly Garden Baby Shower

Please check out the newest submission to the  Ces't La Vie Parties and Events  page. Find it under the Logo in the Parties and Events Tab where I will be posting the Event Design Concept Boards (with links to the all of the juicy details), from the past and present.

Let's start with this colorful, feminine and summer inspired wedding shower I threw back in the summer of 2007.  I planned and executed this Baby Shower it in honor of one of my dear friends who was anxiously awaiting the arrival of her baby girl Brianna. I thought a Butterfly/Dragonfly Theme would be the perfect theme for an outdoor party honoring a baby girl.

(click to enlarge)

(Excuse the quality of these pictures all taken with my little point and shoot camera.)

I decided right away to take advantage of the warm summer months and make this event outdoors and summer-inspired. My Budget for this event was limited, so as always I thought of cost-effective creative ways to make things look lovely without breaking the bank.

The first decision was to take advantage of our decent size backyard and rent a tent, tables and chairs which was produced a practical yet pretty result. This was the most costly of the expenses, but it was much less expensive than renting out a venue or catering hall:

For Centerpieces, I decided to go simple but colorful. Took a trip to my local dollar store and found some lovely turquoise, white  and pale pink vases for $1 a pop. I decided my color scheme around these vases. Turquoise with pops of fuchsia against all the white and natural green background equals love. The vases were filled with grocery store carnations and other inexpensive flowers. I made groupings for each table.  For "runners" I bought very inexpensive yards of fabric at Walmart in pretty turquoise and magenta colors. My handy mother-in-law helped me by sewing large diamond shapes out of this fabric that I then used to layer on top of each other in the form of a runner as so:

I purchased lots of wooden letters and butterfly/dragon fly forms from the craft store at .25 cents a pop, painted and decorated them and then hung them from the tent with real vines I took from my backyard trees. I also  used them on the cake as well:

The favors were also very inexpensive mini pails full of candy:

Other Details:

For extra seating I painted this old  Bench we had a light turquoise and with the left-over fabric made two throw "pillows."

I also used what use't be part of a futon backing and painted it as the background to create an area for presents:

For invites I kept the Butterfly/Dragonfly Theme going. I purchased very inexpensive card stock and envelopes from Staples in a neutral beige, some ribbon and butterfly/dragon fly embellishments from  the craft store and went to work creating:

All in all, this Baby Shower was a huge success!

Need inspiration to throw that fabulous soiree? Don't know where to start with the planning of your important event? Want the look of a platinum party on a pauper's budget?  You've come to the right place. Please fill out my C'est La Vie Design and Style Application or email me @

A Poet Inspired Wedding Event coming soon!

May 18, 2010

Nautical, Nice and (g)Narly

Inspiration Board for: Boy's Bedroom
Client: Anthony/Karen

(click to enlarge)

Anthony, an 11 year old boy with a precocious personality and quite the sophisticated taste, was in need of an awesome new bedroom that would reflect both his and his parents' hip, cool, eclectic style in decor and would transition easily from year to year. He was tired of his former spider-man themed room and wanted something a bit more grown up that would incorporate his favorite colors - orange and blue -  and that reflected his like of all things Nautical (he grew up near the beach:)  Karen, his mother, needed the transformation to stay within her $1K budget and would incorporate elements that would allow Anthony to keep his room nice and neat. They both gave me pretty much a blank canvas to work with, with the exception of Anthony's new bed (pictured above) that was already previously purchased. I was incredibly excited and admittedly challenged to be able to come up with something that would please not only Anthony but more importantly - his mommy:)

Here is a breakdown of the inspiration board with the numbered items below:

1. Represents the textiles and color I chose for this space. Karen wanted something statement-making on the walls, so she was completely excited when I told her alternating navy and white horizontal stripes painted around the perimiter of Anthony's room would look incredible, and would set the tone for this subtle nautical theme. The navy paint is from Benjamin Moore and has the most incredible slight shimmer, giving the walls an added texture.  This color scheme will also be able to grow with Anthony as the years go by, he's not limited to a nautical theme, stripes are classic and transitional to work with practically any decor he may choose. The accent color will be the orange that Anthony is so very fond of.

2. The Bedding I chose is simple, sturdy and perfect for a young boy, the color and fabric are washable and functional and the price was hard to beat. To bring in a little pop of color and added coziness,  I chose this furry and fun orange pillow. (boys do not need to be overloaded with throw pillows on their beds, especially when these will probably be used to toss around the room as play items and not as a decorative item:)

3. This very cool and funky dresser that is not only practical with its sturdy design but adds tons of style to this cool tween room. Not to mention much needed storage for all of Anthony's clothes.

4. This super cool and modern lighting pendant is not only perfect for this  hip space, but gender nuetral enough to fit in perfectly with Anthony's room and changing tastes.

5. Speaking of lighting, these super cool DIY orange and navy table lamps will looks perfect atop Anthony's fabulous new dresser. The rubic cubes in the picture represent another one of Anthony's favorite past-times. He inherited rubic cubes from his father who gave him a pair of his very own. Quite a personalized detail that just happens to work perfectly in this space.

6. These functional and colorful storage cubes not only provide added seating for Anthony's friends, but come with hidden storage units for Anthony to store toys, games and sport equipment, something Karen will be very pleased for.

7-9. Represent the vignette that will be postioned above Anthony's bed. The floating shelf in a dark wood is a perfect platform to display some of Anthony's favorite items. At the moment Anthony is fond of model sailboats, and all things nautical. His model sailboat and this this orange and brown life-saver will tie in all the elments of the room in a cohesive and colorful way. As time passes and Anthony's tastes change he will be able to switch out these items for new ones.

10. This beautiful wood shelf will be positioned in one of the corners of Anthony's room and will house his books, video games and his beloved portable playstation that happens to be - you guessed it - orange! How cool is that?

11. Finally, in order to provide the right shade and privacy to Anthony's room, these navy roman shades will be perfect for a boys room and avoid any potential accidents that a long curtain panel could cause.


Here is Karen's Testimonial  in her own words:
"If I could sum up my  reaction in a way that reflects both my own opinion as well as my son's in one statement it  would have to be: TOTALLY AWESOME DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I recieved your design board the first thing I did was to show it to Anthony and explain all the elements, he was so excited he couldn't stop uttering how "COOL" everything looked while he jumped up and down!!!!! And I must agree, what an absolutely COOL looking room! It is a FAR cry from the themey boys' room he had in our old house, it is sophisticated, modern,fun, bold, unique and perfect for my 11 year old boy.  How you were able to incorporate his favorite colors, hobbies and interests is mind-blowing.  You are an incredibly talented ARTIST!!!!! I don't know how to thank you besides telling you a million times over - THANK  YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!  You will definitely have a repeat customer here, I think I'm going to have to hire you for my master bedroom, when we incorporate all your ideas into Anthony's room he will most definitely have the most stylish bedroom in the house!"

Before Pic:

 Want to transform your own space on a budget? Please fill out my "What is your Style Questionnaire" or email me @

May 5, 2010

Modern Moroccan Mirage

Inspiration Board for: Living Room
Client: Denise
(click to enlarge)

Denise - a spirited bachelorette with a larger than life personality - asked me to transform her big city "where dreams are made of..." apartment from bland to beautiful and bodacious, to match its owner!  I called it swankifying a bachelorette pad:) We started with the living room, space with great potential and an amazing view of the Brooklyn Bridge. After she took my style questionnaire and I created some custom color palettes for her to choose from, we determined she was drawn to bold, saturated jewel tones, plush, comfortable seating and clean, modern lines.  In choosing paint colors we discovered the perfect color for her walls would be a warm, rustic red with orange undertones (because it matched the color of her door which she happens to LOVE) , I chose the perfect hue which coincidentally, is called Moroccan Red by Benjamin Moore. I also drew inspiration from some of the iron wall hangings on her wall that closely resembled those used in the classic Moroccan decor and  the concept for Modern Moor was born. The color palette would reflect the gold, turquoise, spice, magenta and pale greens used commonly in this exotic part of the world while incorporating her existing furniture and keeping to her $300 budget!

Here is a breakdown of the inspiration board with the numbered items below:

1. Represents the textiles and colors I chose as accent colors for her space. The turquoise and spice colored throw pillows will contrast beautifully with her existing dark brown/with hints of wine sofas. I also suggest she bring in a plush gold/yellow throw like this one to bring in the gold tones and complete the cozy factor, great to cuddle under when watching a movie as well.

2. The gorgeous sheer turquoise curtains I chose for the window. These will pop beautifully against the red-orange walls and the sheerness will give that dreamy, romantic and breezy vibe. She will drape the scarf so that it pools at the floor giving that whole window area almost a Moroccan-Tent like appearance. These will be the perfect frame for that fantastic view of the city lights at night as well.

3. My vision for this room was to make  "window seat" area for the space right under her window (where her sofa currently resides) using her existing chocolate leather bench and softening it up with colorful jewel tones pillows atop placed in a diamond pattern.  The turquoise curtains will frame this space in the most delightful way and she will be able to enjoy the view without the obstruction of the large sofa. This window seat will truly be the focal point of the room and provide the most delicious little area for Denise when she wants to read a book, relax or enjoy the magnificent views.

4. This space was in need of a few furniture pieces to complete the look. This modern-styled end table I chose to position  in between her sofa and “window seat" is the perfect piece.  I loved the  architecture of this table and how the legs mimicked the lines common of Moroccan décor, but without being too intricate or stuffy. Another plus is that the clear glass top will  give the illusion of more space than using an opaque one, this will be the perfect place with which to place a new table lamp providing much needed lighting.

5. In order to open up the space on one of the currently blank walls above her sofa, this mirror will be the perfect accent piece  to reflect light and make this small space appear larger. The iron scrolled detail ties in perfectly to the Modern Moroccan theme and coordinates perfectly with her existing iron hangings, the price was also hard to beat!

6. During the day, Denise's space brings in a lot of natural light because she has a South facing window, at night however, lighting is limited. This amazingly low-priced lamp will not only provide  great lighting and just the right touch of soft ambiance to that new table, but with the hammered bronze finish looks a lot more expensive than its price tag!

7. Speaking of lighting, adding these beautiful hanging Moroccan lanterns  to the left side of  her “window seat” will look amazing! Not only will it bring in beautiful soft ambiance (they hold votive or tea-light candles) but add just the right pop of accent colors to that side of the space. They will be hung from the ceiling on one corner of her room one above the other to provide just the right touch of coloful contrast and romance factor. 

8. I always love the element of something organic in a space. Denise currently has two beautiful plants that are  the perfect component. In order to highlight her beautiful greenery I suggest re-potting them to new pots, something like a hammered bronze or copper finish like shown here would be lovely and tie into her existing decor scheme. The plants will be positioned in different corners of the room to highlight their beauty!

9. Denise asked me to choose another essential lighting option that would not be part of the original budget, a new fan for her space.  This one is reasonably priced, with clean, modern lines but added just the right subtle hints of that bronze/coppered finish common in Moroccan decor. It will also provide lots of great lighting with its 6-bulb design.

10. Last but not least, I wanted to take advantage of all the great shelving in Denise's current entertainment center by bringing in these super inexpensive turquoise colored storage brings to hide any additional clutter (such as remotes, batteries, etc) and bring in more color to that side of the room. Her TV is currently bolted to the wall and cannot be moved, but by bringing in a few key accessories to that part of the room and alternating these storage bins with the ones she already owns, everything will look clean, colorful and appealing. In her entertainment system. It’s also a great way to bring in the turquoise to that side of the room.

Here is the suggested furniture arrangement for Denise's room:
Here is Denise's reaction to the inspiration board in her own words:
"WOW!!!!!!!!! Oh my Word....I LOVE it!!!!! From the color scheme to the accessories to the re-arranging of really took a little bit of me and gave my living room life. Thank you thank you thank you… absolute favorite part is the “seating area” by the window… friends always went straight to the window and would have to practically climb over my loveseat to take in the view and now they can have a look without any possible it!   I love love love the fact that you took the time to “listen” to my inquiries and really focused on me...on my personality...

Thank you also for really giving me a play by play on what to do…because I was really was clueless about what to do with that room, well you saw the before pics…..I had pretty much the bare necessities with no punch of color or personality… my living room breaths in the Concrete Jungle…..thank you!!!!

Thank you sooooooo much for all the time and effort you put into swankifying my bachelorette pad. It went from yawn to salsa concert and I cannot wait to see all your tips and suggestions in action!

Can’t want to proceed North, um yeah, you have 3 more projects coming your way, so prepare yourself!!!"

Here are Denise's Before Pictures:

Want to transform your own space on a budget? Please fill out my Decor Questionnaire or email me @