Browsing Tag

big events


What Can you Bring Home from DIFFA’s Dining by Design 2010?

mmpi tabletop at diffa's dining by design 2010

mmpi tabletop at diffa\'s dining by design 2010

I did not cover earlier the DIFFA’s event of the year, which is the Dining by Design 2010, because, frankly, I was disappointed by the tabletops. I revisited the various reports yesterday night and tried to see if they were some elements that I could repurpose or recycle at home. I found two that are worth mentioning.

manhattan tabletop at diffa\'s dining by design 2010

From the Manhattan tabletop, take note on how they used toys and tourist souvenirs to create a scene. You can do the same for a kids birthday party. In fact, Amy Atlas worked around that concept when she designed her son’s Take Off birthday party.

You can add an illusion of space when designing your dining table with this simple trick. Sandwich service carts on wheels between two console tables to achieve a roomy square table (top picture). You could bring back the caddy to the kitchen between services. Doing that enables you to tailor the carts to the courses and to bring an element of surprise at the reveal. See more tabletops at John Simon Daily and a slideshow on the New York Times.

+ MMPI table: photo via John Simon Daily – designed by Poggenpohl & Harry J. Daniell
+ Manhattan Magazine table: photo via John Simon Daily – designed by Marc Wilson & Mark Tamayo


Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design | Book review

signature sasha: magnificient weddings by design

signature sasha: magnificient weddings by design

I was pleased when the book publicist of Sasha Sousa contacted me earlier this month to see if I would like to receive a copy of Sasha’s wedding book. Knowing how talented Sasha is, I expect her book to be a treat. And it is! Signature Sasha is a definite keeper.

Right from the start, Sasha explained  how each wedding can tell a story. It is that story that will inspire the elements of design. I like the fact that she refers to stories instead of themes. Creating a story feels so much personal. I see a wedding celebration as a mix of scripted actions and improvisations. And the best written ones surprise and wow the guests.

The book will teach you the nuts and bolts of wedding design and planning as it is done today. The concepts are well illustrated through eight fabulous real-life weddings designed by Sasha. There is a chapter on inspirations, another on colors, a big section on food and beverages. Then, she concluded with setting the stage and the stories behind each wedding.

You will discover how she came up with details that make a lasting impression for each wedding. After reading Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design, couples and brides-to-be should have an idea on where to splurge and help them envision the story their wedding will tell.

You do need to plan a wedding to enjoy this book. Just looking at the stunning photos can be fulfilling. You can spot a few ideas that can be useful for any milestone parties.

+ Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design $31.50 USD
+ Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design $41.25 CAD


Three Conversation Starter Games Nicely Crafted by Martha Stewart Weddings

conversation starters

The best hostess knows that it is up to her to find ways for her guests to interact. When you host a big event, you cannot be there to introduce everyone. To avoid awkward moments or to explore new conversation topics, why not plan a conversation starter game.  With games that look as great as those ones, everyone will want to participate.

The three games I selected involved some do it yourself tasks. You probably have recognized her style. You will find the detailed set of instructions on Martha Stewart Weddings site.

I Knew you when…

During cocktail hour, each guest sticks a flag where they written their name into the year she met either the bride or groom. I imagine doing this at a milestone birthday party. Everyone later share how they met. Since you need something that you have no problem pinning the flag, ask the print shop for an oversize print to be mounted on foam board. It will be a nice souvenir for the guest(s) of honor.

Change is Good

You put vintage coins on a cute box wrapped with a ribbon. Each guest opens their box. One by one they tell the story of something good that happens to them on the year of the coins. Shown here are the chic Semikolon gift boxes. I bought the same collection to neatly store my magazines.

I Spy…

This is a game that will occupy the kids. Equipped with their own portable or digital camera, the kid who took a picture of the most challenges on the list win. This is why I think a cheap digital camera will work best for this game. It is called I spy but it could have be named I shot.

+ I Knew you when – including
+ Change is Good
+ I Spy


Tastemakers Green Room: The Celebrity Gift Lounge at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival

tastemakers green room at the international film festival by the designer guys

The latest episode of HGTV’s Designer Guys was just in time to close my Earth Day coverage. The Designer Guys were called to give shape to the Tastemakers Celebrity Gift Lounge at Toronto International Film Festival 2007. Reusable, reclaimed and recycled act as the foundation.

My favorite ecological foundation, the World Wildlife Fund-Canada was official charitable partner. They raise funds and provides information for their Save Our Climate campaign.

Located in a 1250 square foot banquet room at InterContinental Toronto Yorkville hotel, the room had a temporary facelift to fit the event.  The facelift required the use of temporary solutions that would not damage the original surfaces.

Whenever you host a large event, a total superficial facelift is something you can envision doing if you have a huge budget. This way the banquet room does not dictate a look of your event. Naturally, you need to rent your space from a flexible space provider. The banquet room has to be booked for a longer period. For example, the chandeliers and the drapes were removed from the room for the green event. The hotel needs time before and after to execute it. You can imagine that the supplementary costs can add on pretty fast.

Changing the Face of a Banquet Room

The traditional pattern rug on the room really clashed with the green design. Therefore, a cork floor was installed on top of the rug. Since the floor is installed with a clapping system without glue or nails, you can remove the floor as easily as you put it. It also improves the sound quality of the room as the cork sub-surface absorbs more sound. If you plan a large event or need to set up a trade show, a cork floor like this is a wonderful solution.

A living wall was installed by Elevated Landscape Technologies. I like the idea. But the plants used could have been cuter; it was too much wild flower for me. The most daring and successful element from my viewpoint is the giant art installations made of insulated concrete forms from Greenblock. The insulated concrete forms cover entirely the perimeter walls. It completely redefined the space. Again, this is an idea to borrow of you want to design a booth for a trade show.

As the founder of the Tastemakers Celebrity Gift Lounge, Debra Goldblatt talked about the need to educate and create even more awareness within the movie community:

There has never been a better trend than everybody attempting to go GREEN. We not only wanted to continue providing visiting talent a great Canadian lounge to visit, but during a week of frivolity and fun, use this opportunity to support a charity and continue educating others!

The three Designer Guys, Allen Chan, Anwar Mukhayesh and Matt Davis met the expectations of Debra Goldblatt, the president of Rock It Promotions. I invite you to read the article on BizBash Toronto to learn more about the eco-friendly products that were used in the Tastemakers Green Room.

More Green Living Ideas

To do your part for the environment on a daily basis, check out my latest posts on green living:

Learn more: Tastemakers Celebrity Gift Lounge Goes Green on BizBash Toronto