I find inspiration in so much…I initially started to gather images and ideas that were inspiring to me as a way to relax and re-energize myself. Then, after noticing I had quite the portfolio of collected images, I started creating inspiration boards for a few clients here and there, in an effort to help relay my vision for them. They are a helpful way to make sure we’re heading in the right direction together and that I truly am capturing the essence of what the bride is looking for.
From there, I found that putting together inspiration/story/mood boards for other things in my life proved to be just as useful. Here are a couple of boards that I’ve put together recently for interior design projects I’m working on.
You won’t necessarily find any of the showcased items in the finished projects – these boards simply help tell the story, visually.
Inspiration boards certainly do not need to be put together for a bride or a client. I have found that designing inspiration boards are a therapeutic way to escape and lose myself in something that I quite simply…find lovely. Give one a shot (and if you’re inspired – send it to me and tell me why!)
You may have received a heart-shaped choker, a paperweight in the shape of an over-sized dazzling diamond ring or perhaps you even got a pink flask with the brides’ wedding date stamped front and center…All you know is that the gifts you’ve received as a dedicated bridesmaid have hardly been worthy of all of your adoring attention and unwavering support. After all, you did personally assist by fishing the wilted spinach from her teeth before her close-up, you did hold her dress high above her head as she not-so-discretely ‘powdered her nose’, and you even humored her when she insisted that pepto-pink, floor-length organza bridesmaid dresses would truly complete her vision…
Do YOUR girls a favor when you’re the bride-to-be and give them something stylish as well as useful. Iomoi.com has the most crave-worthy gifts, fit for your fabulous friends. Check out a couple of these great, customized ideas…
Personalized Stationary…I covet cutie cards and adore the encouragement to take a few more minutes and write a hand-written note instead of posting a vague thank-you on facebook. Each come with lined envelopes and a custom motif – include a monogram or choose something charming and whimsical. Have fun selecting different designs specifically for each of your girls. Here are just a few of my favorite, sassy motifs:
(Stationary can also make a wonderful engagement gift for a new bride-to-be…goodness knows she will have a lot of thanking to do before her big day!)
Alternatively, these custom Lucite bar trays are a totally chic addition to a worthy friends bar-cart, kitchen island or coffee table! Add a few matching/contrasting coasters and she will be having the happiest happy hour ever! **Note: These gifts can be great for the guys too – choose more masculine colors and patterns!
I often encourage my clients to provide me with anything they find meaningful that I can then incorporate into their wedding design…I’ll create a bouquet wrapped in the fabric taken from her mothers wedding gown, or encourage the seamstress to secure a locket with a picture of a loved one to the inside of her voluminous gown. Simple ways to make the biggest day of her life even more special – if it is only just bride herself that is aware of ‘that extra special touch’.
It meant so much to me that my 91 year old grandmother was able to share our wedding day with us. I wanted to somehow honour her and her exciting presence – but wasn’t quite sure how. I ended up finding a charming and perfectly chic way one dreary April afternoon while my mother and I visited her.
My grandmother got married in 1939 and wore a simple, tailored suit that she embellished with glamorous Eisenhower Ice buttons. When I found those very buttons in her tattered jewelry box that early spring day, I knew instantly that adding them to secure my vintage brocade ribbons was the perfect sentimental touch I had hoped for.
(Thanks to the fab Gerber and Scarpelli team for capturing the special touch so beautifully. And thank you to my Botanicals staff for putting together my dreamy bouquet!)
My great friend (and proud mama of a new baby boy – (see previous entry!)), Lisa Gia Bascomb of Parties Etc., and I worked together on a late summer wedding. Their wedding is now featured in the current issue of Brides Chicago.
Lisa’s clients, Rebecca and Gary, were simple and laid back and wanted their wedding to reflect themselves, while also lending an urban chic feeling to the setting – all with no fuss. We selected a color palette of crisp, summery apple green and white.
Their Chicago wedding took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art, on the very day of the legendary Chicago Air and Water Show. (Setting up the outdoor ceremony was thrilling as the F-22 Raptors soared overhead!) Here are the images from the exciting feature.
The ceremony took place outdoors, under a gauzy chuppah, composed of layers of white chiffon, cinched mid-way by custom green floral cuffs.
Two alternating centerpiece designs were placed on guest tables around the Museum. One half of the tables featured glass collection style centerpieces. These centerpieces were composed of varied glass geometric vases, positioned symmetrically in the middle of the table. Each vase hosted a mono-floral collection of green or white flowers including open-cut calla lilies, cymbidium orchid blossoms and green button pomps. The remaining guest tables featured a tall, sleek glass vase will an architectural burst of sculptural white calla lilies. The base of these centerpieces hosted a trio of vases, swirled with submerged flax foliage and topped with a floating disk candle, for a romantic glow around the room.
We worked with the outstanding husband-wife dream team Pen Carlson Photography – who shot the absolutely stunningly artful images. Brett and Kiri are one of my latest obsessions. They truly ooze talent (I am constantly inspired by their work). On top of that, they are incredibly lovely to work with. Here are a few more showstoppers taken by the dynamic duo:
I delivered the bridal party flowers to an apartment high in the Hancock Building – check out this brilliant view of the air and water show that the bridal party took in as they were getting fussed and mussed over by hair and make-up.
A shot of the groom – I love the editorial style!
The bride carried a sleek bouquet of open-cut white calla lilies, cut short and collected in double-faced silk ribbon. I absolutely adore this photograph!
The bride and groom arrived on the remarkable summer day. A day brides dream of.
A stolen kiss. The groom wore a coordinating miniature calla lily boutonniere – the perfect selection to compliment the bridal bouquet, but also a great choice as they are a wonderfully hardy blossom that holds up fantastically out of water.
Congratulations to Lisa Gia Bascomb on welcoming her new baby boy into the world!! Lisa’s son was born into a household of 3 ladies (two of them are wee-ones!) – Papa Bascomb must be thrilled about his new little pal!!
Best wishes and lots of love to you and your family, Lisa!
(Lisa, of Parties Etc. http://www.partiesetcetera.com/ is not only a dear friend – but is one of the cities top wedding planners. I absolutely adore working with her! PS: She also lent her gentle guidance and pure expertise to my crazy weathered wedding day!)
One of my oldest, most special friends is getting married this summer. As her matron of honour, I’ve got plenty to say and plenty to be inspired about! I am so excited that Caroline and her family have enlisted my help with some of the details…
Caroline and Gene live in dreamy San Francisco and are planning their Chicago wedding mostly from afar. Both the ceremony and reception will take place at the iconic University Club…Where Caroline’s family has been members for years.
After a few phone calls and a handful of emails – I was able to nail the happy couple down over the holidays to really talk design. I presented them with a quick inspiration board – put together based upon the unique (and fabulous) color palette and the essence that Caroline conveyed to me.
Caroline is hoping for a color palette of 75% varied greens (ranging from bold citron tones to earthy mossy hues), accented with touches of vibrant melon and periwinkle. The bride is a landscape architect and adores varied textures and interesting, unexpected (almost quirky!) elements – from funky foliages to bountiful blooms. The groom is an architect, himself – and so the couple certainly has an eye for color, proportion and design!
Here is the board I put together – also deciding to add crisp, graphic white as a mod backdrop for the collection of colors….
Caroline and Gene are so perfectly suited for one another…I am yet again inspired by the power of love – and how it so captures pairings that are truly meant to be. I am thrilled to be a part of her planning process and am excited for whats to come…Stay tuned!
The current issue of one of Chicago’s hottest wedding magazines, Chicago Social Brides is on stands now.
I was pleased to find that one of my past client weddings was featured. As I have already talked about this wedding in an older post “Client Inspiration – Movie & Era” where I showcased her Inspiration Board; I will spare some (but not all!) details. Here was the full page spread…
The bride is the owner of one of the trendiest boutiques in the city, She Boutique, and had absolutely no free time – but did feel loads of pressure to fulfill a vision of an uber striking wedding – not to mention the hundreds of expectant guests, all awaiting a smashing display of the brides style. With a bit of simple direction (inspiration from the movie De-Lovely, a white, black and silver color palette and a love for all things sparkly…) I created a current, chic design with a nod to timeless style and charm…worthy of the fashionista herself.
Thanks to Cloud 9 Weddings, and The Drake Hotel – and my amazing Botanicals staff who took care of every last detail of the set-up while I happened to be walking down the aisle myself!
I was honoured to be approached by our good friend, Kadie, to design her recent winter wedding. Because my husband and I were invited to attend, I had the luxury of seeing both sides of her day, through the eyes of a vendor and as a guest. Everyone worked wonderfully together, eager to create the perfect day for such fabulous clients and friends.
Kadie works for one of the hottest wedding designers in the world, Monique Lhuillier in LA, and therefore has an impeccable, discerning sense of style. I was thrilled and inspired by Kadie’s vision of a chic black and ivory wedding – set in snowy Chicago. Kadie’s favorite ivory rose, Vendela, was the star of the evening used in abundance, paired with graphic black details.
The soiree took place at the W City Center Hotel…a contemporary hotel, rich with ornate and unexpectedly eclectic details.
The ceremony took place in one of the two ballrooms. The aisle was bordered by custom chiffon-covered cylinders floating disk votive candles, creating a beautiful pathway of flickering flames – visually anchoring the unique chandeliers above. The end of the aisle was noted by a grand fireplace, also enhanced with varied flickering candles. With the addition of provided custom floor to ceiling curtains, the ceremony was warm and utterly romantic.
We positioned the Place Card Table outside of the second ballroom, on a long rectangular table. Kadie provided me with fabulous jet black faceted crystals that we used to fill a pair of shallow, black rectangular boxes. Guests’ seating assignments were nestled into the crystals for a unique presentation. A shapely black lacquered vase hosted a perfect floral sphere composed exclusively of a pavé collection of open roses.
The second ballroom hosted the intimate dinner and was also sectioned of by floor to ceiling textured sheers to feature a private lounge for dancing and relaxing. I designed three simple and varying centerpiece designs to be placed on guest tables alternating around the room.
A portion of the tables featured shallow geometric black boxes designed with a flat hedge of open roses, the stems left long to showcase a bit of the organic, thorney foliage. Vintage black glass votive cups complemented each design, mimicking the eclectic feeling of the setting.
An alternating portion of the guest tables featured an ornate black riser, also topped with a perfect sphere of open Vendela Roses. The base of the stand featured a trio of varied black candlesticks topped with thin, graceful taper candles and loose rose blossoms.
The third centerpiece design featured a tall black candelabra, left graphic and bare. The base of the structure, however, hosted a trio of varied candlesticks each topped with a miniature floral sphere composed of dozens of Vendela Roses.
The cake was a simple design composed of squared-off layers topped with off-set ivory rose clusters.
With the help of Kadie and her fantastic LA-Based wedding planner, Alex Alexander, ( http://alexeventsdesignandcoordination.com/ ) we created an evening that had a classic and romantic feeling, but was executed in a manner that was chic and current – fit for the fashionista bride.
The wonderful Stacey Roney, co-founder of Glossed and Found (the hot new online magazine and newsletter, reporting the most current trends in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries) invited Jesse and I to be featured on their website as their lifestyle experts.
Stacey wanted to feature home holiday decor ideas that were easy to create and cost effective. Here are a few of my pointers to help make your home feel like a winter wonderland in no time:
-Fresh fresh fresh!! The use of fresh winter greens inside or outside will add a festive and welcoming aroma for you, your family and any guests. Whether it is a fresh pine garland or more modest wreaths from your local florist or boyscout or even loose clippings from your backyard thrown into an existing vase…the addition of fresh spruce, pine, juniper or cedar will lend a scent no candle can mimic!
-Cloved oranges. Another quick easy way to add a holiday fragrance to your kitchen or home is to take fresh oranges and stud spiced cloves directly into their waxy skin. Showcase the charming creations in a simple bowl on your kitchen island for a cost-effective color burst.
-Current Classics. Don’t waste your money on purchasing new holiday decorations from year to year…Choose pieces that are classic – but that still fit and speak to your personal style. Whether you select a glamorous Winter White theme or a Lodgey Rustic theme – finding key pieces to carry you from year to year is a sure way to allow for a little more $$ for a fancypants new holiday dress!
-Gorgeous Ribbons. As you may or may not know – I am a major ribbon snob…and adding some beautiful double-faced silk or extra-wide patterned ribbons to your home is an easy way to dress up the basics. Tie bundles of birch bark logs with ribbons and place them next to your fireplace. Tie lengths of ribbons around copious amounts of pine-tips on your christmas tree. Loop ribbon tails through your dinning room chairs (no bows!) to gracefully add color to the setting. PS: Tartan plaid may have been hot on the runways this season – but it’s even hotter for home decor!
Check out Glossed and Founds website (http://www.glossedandfound.com/) for the video footage of Jesse and I and the Botanicals Team simply enhancing ones home for the holidays…
Special thanks to Rachel and Stacey of Beauty on Call/Glossed and Found and the wonderful Fig Media crew for shooting the artful footage.
I had a lovely meeting today with one of my favorite old friends, Samantha, who is getting married this April. Today I presented Sam’s proposed wedding design and walked her and her sister through all of the details that I envisioned for her day.
After our initial meeting weeks ago, I was inspired to create a wedding design based upon Sam’s vision and direction, while also seriously considering her future husband, George’s, fairly different take on design.
Sam was inspired by a fantastic black and white photograph of her grandparents, taken years ago. The photo had a simple elegance about it…It had a slightly glamorous feel, yet still felt modest. The image radiated love and companionship.
Sam had a title for her wedding, Modern Romance. She wanted it to have a classic and warm feeling, without feeling ‘expected’ or ‘cookie-cutter’. Her chosen color palette of red and white evolved slightly over the last few weeks to a focus on classic whites for the ceremony, shifting to a saturated, rich, monochromatic collection of bold reds, cranberries, crimson and claret for the reception.
Now, George had a slightly different vision for the wedding design…He and his grandmother used to love the original movie, Dracula, and therefore liked the idea of incorporating some Gothic touches here and there.
I quickly put together this inspiration board for the couple…One that captured Sam’s vision and taste while also incorporating a bit of George’s vision (perhaps even more than Sam expected!)
I see Sam and George’s wedding as a sophisticated soiree, laden with romantic, glamorous touches and unexpected ornate black accents. Featured flowers in the tailored creations will include numerous varieties of velvety red roses, miniature calla lilies and cascading hanging amaranthus. With our graphic ornate black risers and compote bowls, vintage black glass votive cups, billowing fabrics and warm candlelight-inspired lighting scheme, Samantha and George’s wedding will be the perfect balance of glamour and elegance…A wonderful way to start a life together.