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Home Design-Inspired Party Planning

Hi Everyone! I’m Jenn Sbranti from Hostess with the Mostess, Inc. which is a resource for hip and modern entertaining ideas. I’m very excited to be guest posting at decor8 today! I’ve been blogging from my home in San Diego for a little over two years now, and I was lucky enough to “meet” Holly (albeit virtually) in only my second month as a blogging “newbie”. She actually interviewed me here at decor8 way back in the day, and has remained one of the most inspirational and warm voices on the web for me ever since – just as I know she is for many of you, so thanks, Holly!

Holly asked me to give you a little background on who I am and how I got started, so here’s my story in a nutshell… I started my own blog Fabulous Finds & Ideas for Contemporary Entertaining (sorry ? it?s a mouthful!) while my husband and I were working on developing which features contemporary, out-of-the-ordinary party themes and tips for how to easily recreate them at home. There’s also a recipe section, general entertaining tips, an entertaining-focused shopping guide… and a bunch of exciting new interactive features are currently in the works!

The idea for came about when I was searching for creative bridal and baby shower ideas online and kept coming up with nothing – or landing on things that were overly cheesy, frilly, or expensive. So, being a graphic/web designer by trade I finally decided that since I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I’d work on creating it myself. Aren’t most small businesses born this way, to fill a need? My main goal was to create a highly inspirational site that was heavy on the visuals and full of stylish, but approachable ideas.

Fast-forward a couple years, and we’re up and running and continuing to grow! I still post at HWTM daily, and also twice a week on Real Simple and once a week at GlamDish. And speaking of posting…let’s get to it, shall we? :)

Nicky Hilton’s Hollywood Home, Photographed by Paul Costello for InStyle – March 2008.

When it comes to designing parties, one of the questions I get asked most often is, “Where do the ideas for your party themes come from?”. The answer is honestly pretty broad – it can be anywhere inspiration naturally strikes – from a really cool, modern toy that would be a great foundation for a kids party, to a beautiful, unique flower bloom, to a fabulous pattern on a roll of contemporary gift wrap. However, one of my favorite places to turn to intentionally seek out inspiration is home decor/interior design magazines and websites (i.e. decor8!), the reason being 2-fold:

A) There’s so much creativity to get lost in and inspired by in the world of interior design – from great color palettes to funky patterns to retro looks and kids rooms…you can find it all, and there?s usually something for everyone!

B) It’s not usually feasible to actually change the decor of one?s home around all that often, (that whole ?budget? issue, you know!) so designing a party inspired by a cool room design that you’ve fallen in love with allows you to indulge your inner decorator on a less stressful/committed level – and ? even more importantly – without breaking the bank!

So for my guest post at decor8 today, I thought it would be fun to show an example of how easily a well-designed space can translate into a stylish party theme… The inspiration here being a gorgeous black & white dining room from Nicky Hilton’s Hollywood home, as featured in the March 2008 issue of InStyle.

Below are some partyware and decorative accessories I found that capture the same striking black & white damask motif as Hilton?s pad?

Pictured Above: Design Design?s Damask Black and White Partyware and Amscan?s Formal Affair Octagonal Partyware.

Pictured Above: Black and White Damask Gift Wrap ($4.50/roll) is perfect for creating inexpensive table runners and covering cylinder vases, and this Fancy Fake Utensils set ($20/service for 4) from Urban Outfitters has a pretty baroque quality that ties in nicely with the candlesticks and wall mirror in Hilton’s dining room. Beats the generic white plastic utensils from the supermarket!

Pictured above: This ultra-modern, easy-assembly 3-D Chandelier from Urban Outfitters has all the style for a fraction of the price ? just $36! And Rosanna?s Dauphine Candlesticks mimic the chic silhouette of Hilton?s pair and are a tried-and-true personal favorite when it comes to gifting (at least judging by the recipient reactions!). $60/set of 2 for black or white.

Pictured above: These decorative crystal ornaments and garlands from Jamali Garden are the perfect way to up the glam factor at your soir?e?and ? don?t worry ? they only LOOK like a million bucks! Drape them across tables, chandeliers, or your fireplace mantle; hang them from vases, flowers, and branches, or use them to dress up party favors and gifts. Crystal Ornament Drops: $3.50 – $5.99 each and Crystal Garlands: $5 – $20 each.

Have you ever been inspired to design a party around a cool room or interior space that you loved? Were you able to capture the look you were going for within your party theme?

(images, layout and text by jennifer sbranti, hostess with the mostess)

Posted by decor8 in Decorating Tips, guest bloggers, inspiration on August 18, 2008

Your comments...

  1. Interior Designers Pune commented
    August 18th, 2008 at 5:55am

    Waw!! very creative…….

  2. Denise Smith commented
    August 18th, 2008 at 8:48am

    Hi Jenn,
    What a great post! I appreciate the prices of your items very much.
    I get into trouble when I go to Ikea when I am planning a party. They always have some new collection of really cheap serviceware, that I just have to have…that really adds up when you buy it all. And when the next entertaining oppurtunity rolls around, it looks horribly out of season or “so last year!”

    Denise Smiths last blog post: Decorating Dilemma #5

  3. Justine commented
    August 18th, 2008 at 4:42pm

    Hmmm… that is great! It’s true that you can find some rooms or design trends interesting — but maybe not great for the long term. I always love the rustic, woodsy cabins and ranch houses I see — but think it might be too dark to actually live with. This week I’m organizing a VBS (vacation Bible school… which is basically a week-long party) for kids at our church and amongst other decorations, we built our own ranch house set with painted cardboard siding that looks like wood, and a front porch with all the tack and saddlery, etc. It was fun to create the scene I love so much… but not live with it long term!

  4. richly scented candles commented
    August 18th, 2008 at 5:04pm

    Those are really great ideas for a a fancy & fashionable party on a budget. The nicest thing, though, is that your instructions could apply equally to any them you may run across, thereby making partying (and decorating) but easier and more fun. Kudos to this post!

  5. julieann commented
    August 18th, 2008 at 6:53pm

    I am so glad Holly has introduced you to Decor8 readers I know they will fall in LOVE with your fabulous blog/website just as I have! You have such a wonderful creative energy and your blog is always so bright and cheery. Thanks for all the great tips. Oh and great find on the Damask placeware, just perfect!

  6. Cassie commented
    August 18th, 2008 at 11:41pm

    Aw I LOVE black and white damask, it is what my house is decorated with. I think I will need to have a party just to use all those cute things!

    Cassies last blog post: Featured on Tip Junkie

  7. Brittanie commented
    August 19th, 2008 at 12:50am

    What a great idea – to plan a party theme based on always classy black and white decor. I love black and white interior design to begin with – this just makes me love it even more! Thanks for the post!

  8. Sherrie commented
    August 19th, 2008 at 11:08am

    HOstess with the Mostess is def a weekly check for me. Love the fresh content there. Just curious. Would anyone know where to find that white chandalier in the Hilton dining room?

    Sherries last blog post:

  9. Jenn commented
    August 19th, 2008 at 12:43pm

    Thanks so much for the sweet messages! I’m so excited to “meet” the wonderful decor8 readers!!

    Jenns last blog post: Fresh Finds at Urban Outfitters

  10. Madelyn @ Southern Weddings commented
    August 19th, 2008 at 1:07pm

    I adore this color scheme and damask is my absolute favorite! I really love the classic black and white look! Fantastic!

  11. Andrea commented
    August 26th, 2008 at 2:55am

    damask rocks, i have recently noticed that i have unwittenly placed it in some shape or form in almost every room of the house!!!

    these ideas were splendid, nothing like throwing a party to have an excuse to refresh the decor in the house as well :]

    …and thanks for your intro. i read hwtm often, and found this through that site. i am a recent graphic design grad and i am looking for “the need” that i’m gonna fill. thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Divya commented
    August 29th, 2008 at 3:00am

    Hey fabulous ideas for thme parties. Thanx a ton!!

  13. CJ - LA Woodwork Artist commented
    January 26th, 2010 at 10:13am

    Excellent idea to use recommendations for semi-permanent change for a temporary situation. It does create an environment much like an escape to another lifestyle. I bet you could even do a nature theme room with lots of wood and green colorings.

  14. Murtaza commented
    June 16th, 2010 at 1:09pm

    Thanks Jen for featuring our crystal ornaments and garlands. We recently revamped our site so the link above does not work anymore. The new link to our crystal section is:

    Thanks again,

    Jamali Garden

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