Heading into 2009, resolve to do more with your décor. Here’s how to get the most out of it for every aspect of your event.by Jim Bailey | Published in December 2008 decor | Event Currents | event design
Good designers need to creatively find ways to use their budget effectively to create a spectacular environment with the available dollars — in this economy and any economy. Sometimes the challenge can seem out of reach. But with a little ingenuity and some good common sense, there are multiple ways to bring the wow factor to the event design, on almost any budget.
When dealing with a smaller budget, select specific areas of focus and concentrate the décor so it has more impact. Create a few high-impact areas, rather than scattering miscellaneous props and decorative elements throughout a large space. Smaller, randomly placed pieces often have little or no impact.
Design to create impact at the entrance to the festivities. This first impression is an important one, so don’t skimp here! The impact of the entrance décor sets the tone for the rest of the event. If possible, place the entrance inside the room rather than outside in the foyer. This makes the event space appear more heavily decorated, and guests can enjoy the décor throughout the event — not just when they walk in.
Stretching the budget can easily be done by creatively using house linens. See what color the venue offers. Usually, you can use a basic color as the foundation upon which to build. The good old standby poly-cotton, usually available in a variety of colors, will do just as well as the satins, lamours, damasks and bichons. If you can’t live without more luxurious textures, enhance the basic linen with a fun and interesting napkin. Smaller linen overlays in a more dramatic fabric used over a house linen can also stretch the budget.
By utilizing colored overlays or snazzy napkins to dress up tables, instead of more expensive floor-length linens, you just might have enough to do something creative in the center of each dining table. Bring the prevalent color in the décor to the table in an inexpensive way, such as flower petals or colored glass pebbles scattered around votive candles. Most venues will provide votive candles at no charge, and they add a lot of drama to the room. Also consider alternating centerpieces from tall to low throughout the room. This strategy creates visual interest and saves money on smaller, lower florals.
Save money by knowing what’s in season. You might be in love with peonies in fall, but reality check: if the flowers aren’t in season or readily accessible, this may not be the most economical choice. Many different species and shapes of flowers in a variety of colors are now available at floral wholesalers. Look for flowers that resemble your favorite flower to create a similar look for less money.
As they say, if you’re going to make a scene, be seen! You can create the most dynamic high-impact settings, but they lose their effectiveness if your guests can’t see them well. Up-light your scenes with basic floor lights, accented with colored gels. If budget allows, use simple accent lighting on the walls to create a warm, inviting atmosphere without breaking the bank.
The stage is a key area for décor, since guests focus much of their attention there during the event. Utilizing standard pipe and drape with one or two unique, strategically placed scenic elements in the foreground, you can provide a cost-effective, visually interesting stage set.
buffets and action stations
Another area where you can have big impact for not a lot of cost is on the food buffets. Fill large urns with an arrangement incorporating different colors and textures of foliages. By doing this, you create a colorful, natural look without the expense of multiple flower blossoms.
Follow these simple steps to maximize your event design budget, and you’ll successfully navigate financially challenging times. You’ll also keep your creativity and innovation in prime condition — and those skills are an asset in any economy.