June 28, 2011

A Simple Summer Soiree

A few weeks ago I planned and hosted a fun summer soiree.  Two factors were determined to be mandatory:  it was to be outdoors and on a strict budget.

Here are the details of the event with their descriptions below:

The Invites

The invites were completely DIY and turned out to be a grand total of only 15 cents each when I calculated the costs. I had to really think out of the box for these (due to budget), and after wandering around a local craft-store for a bit I managed to find a back corner of the store that sold scrap pieces of cardstock for only $3 a bag. Score!  Next I found some colorful spools of ribbon that were on a 3 for $1 sale, double score!  I had the colors and theme I wanted to go with, but I initially had no specific idea of what I would do with  my "supplies".  After a bit of brainstorming  however, I decided I would start out by taking my scissors and (free hand) cutting out a few iconic shapes that reflected summer-time outdoors: sunhats, kites and sailboats. These I cut out of scraps of cardstock and then glued to another piece of  larger cardstock in contrasting but coordinating patterns so that nothing was too matchy matchy.  I then added a little bit of colorful ribbon to deliniate the sunhats, kites and sailboats while adding a bit of texture.

The information was hand-written on the back.  I liked how they're not "perfect" and boast that "handmade" look. The whole project was so much fun and very reminiscent of 5th grade art-class.  Ha! I think they turned out ideal for the casual, fun and summery theme I was aiming for, and fortunately were a hit with the guests!

Centerpieces and Tablescape

For the outdoor table-scape, I kept it simple, colorful and very budget friendly. For centerpieces I  found these super cute white and yellow striped "planting pots" on another great 2 for 1 super sale ( in the same craft store above) and loved how these coordinated with the invites.  To add a pretty, fresh and organic pop of color, I added bright orange gerbera daisies that I bought at my local grocery store (also on sale.)  In case you didn't know this orange/turquoise combo is one of my favorites because of it's seasonal versatility! I also had a seperate larger-scale centerpiece using a summery pale yellow watering can  boasting  a gorgeous, tropical bird of paradise arrangement.   All these were set a top the table covers that were actually flat " bed sheets" that I found on super sale at a discount home store. The turquoise color provided a great contrast to the yellow and white pots and the bright flowers, it also coordinated quite lovely with the green outdoors. The "dinnerware" was re-usable outdoor plates in a similar bright blue, and these were also purchased on the cheapo:) The "napkins" were actually dish-rags I picked out from the dollar store from a 99 cent bin, I made sure to choose the yellow and white ones to coordinate with my summery "theme." I then tied them with a bit of rustic string and added a pretty pop of orange daisy and voila!

The event was a great success, albeit I unfortunately forgot to capture shots of the food and desserts that were served (yummy red-velvet cupcakes), but I did manage to take this picture...

The grilled steak and cheese sandwhiches that were being gobbled up by those of the male gender...go figure;)

Looking to throw a summer soiree on a strict budget of your own? Look no further than C'est La Vie, I can make the simplest of concepts become spectacular events. Please email me to cestlavie.events@gmail.com with any and all questions or fill out my C'est La Vie Application Form and Style Questionnaire to begin!:)

Stay tuned for many more projects, updates, and galleries to come!

June 20, 2011

A Sophisticated and Spicy Dining Space

Design Plan for: Dining Room
Client: Elizabeth (Beth)

(click to enlarge)

Beth and her fiance Mark, have recently purchased a Condo and will be moving in right after their August nuptials. Both are extremely busy with their careers and finishing the last minute details of their wedding and felt overwhelmed with the prospect of having to figure out what to do with their new home. They hired me to help them take off some of the load  by designing one of the rooms they consider most important  - since they are self-professed foodies and love to entertain - their dining room. As with most new homes, the rooms are currently boasting a boring "builder's beige" and they plan to transform each space, room by room.  After taking my Design and Style Evaluation, I determined their style was a mix of bohemian chic, and modern glamour with a touch of funk. They are also not afraid of bold statement pieces and colors. I eagerly went to work on a design plan that would embrace their fabulous personalities and provide them with the ideal dining space that would spice up their newlywed lives.

After showing Beth and Mark my inspiration source and starting off point as indicated here, I drew up the proposed color palette and materials guide:

Beth and Mark fell in love with the concept gave me the go-ahead. Working with their budget allowed me to mix high and lower end pieces into a fabulous, cohesive space full of sculptural furniture pieces, bold statment making art pieces, (like the two prints from my Far East Art Gallery that were captured by me in Thailand, more on how to purchase prints from this gallery in a future post), as well as a touch of Glam factor with materials such as the glass table and chandelier as well as the laquered panton chairs. The gorgeous settee was actually a fortunate find from craig's list that will be re-upholstered in a beatiful bold red fabric that is also functional enough to work in a dining area.  The wall color will be a subtle, barely-there silver satin from Benjamin Moore that in most light actually looks white. I chose these gorgeous espresso wood as the ideal flooring choice to ground this stunning space.

Here is the Testimonial in Beth's own words:

"What an INCREDIBLE design! We are completely blown away!!! This is divine, simply divine!!!! It is amazing how you took our personalities and incorporated them into this gorgeous dining room!!!!! Mark and I cannot thank you enough, your work is spectacular! Our Master Bedroom is next!!!"

In need of transforming your own space on a budget? Please fill out my Design and Style Evaluation here or email me @ cestlavie.events@gmail.com.

June 11, 2011

Are you feeling spicy?

While on Holiday in Thailand, I ran across these vibrant beauties sold all over open markets...

They are Thailandese Red Chilis and beleive me when I tell you the intensity of their red color matches the intensity of the heat that is produced in your mouth when biting into these babies!

One of my recent clients asked me to transform her boring and beige dining room into something that will make her salivate. These chilis are my inspiration. Stay tuned for a spicy dining room design coming soon.

Also, be on the lookout for a new Fine Art Gallery entitled "Far East",  that will be brimming with beautiful Eastern inspired art prints captured by me in the beautiful land that is Thailand...