When planning a spring or summer event, it’s easy to get stuck in the garden-party rut. Surrounded by a sea of blush tones and matchy-matchy place settings, things can easily start to feel stuffy.
But three event designers from the Chicagoland area have exactly what you need when it comes to out-of-the-box inspiration. After styling tabletops for an event on private yacht Chicago Elite in partnership with Modern Luxury Brides Chicago, it’s clear that breaking a few rules can lead to event décor that’s vibrant and unexpected.
Morocco Meets the Sea – Debi Lilly, A Perfect Event
While the vintage Moroccan linen is certainly a stand-out piece, everyone can take inspiration from Debi Lilly’s mix of colors, textures and metals. Gold, silver and copper all make an appearance on her table, as well as mismatched china. The china, crystal and silverware are from The Festive Frog.
“So many times people worry that they can’t mix and match, but doing so looks much more interesting. I love elements that look like family heirloom pieces, something special and meaningful,” she said.
Another highlight from her table? Ombre centerpieces moving from pale to bold pink.
Understated Elegance – Jess Syburg, The Eventful Life
For Jess Syburg, this tabletop started with the color palette.
“We love blush pink as much as the next girl, but we wanted to display it in a unique way,” she said.
The answer? Deep purples and blues brought out with candles and unique components in the floral display like artichokes, fern heads and purple tea leaves. A dove-grey table cloth, vintage gold accents and hand-lettering by Bushyl keeps things light and fit for the summer.
As proof that inspiration can come from anywhere, a particularly elegant powder room at the new Rent the Runway store in Chicago inspired this design.
Keeping It Personal – Christine Janda Design and Events
When planning a summer event, starting with a theme can be a tempting jumping-off point. But for Christine Janda, it’s always better to start with what’s close to the heart.
This tabletop started with the Blue Willow China print. With historic ties dating back to the 1800s, it’s near and dear to Christine because it’s a print she associates with her grandmother.
She amped up the traditional print with poppy pink and yellow flowers, and kept the nautical touches subtle, including gold spray-painted rope tied around the menus.
“Don’t back yourself in to a theme or a trend,” she said. “Think about your personal style, the guest of honor and the type of energy you want to give off. Have that lead the design.”
Ready to start planning? Learn how to pick the perfect bar package for your summer event.