Oh my goodness the American election is such a nail biter! So let’s escape a little and think about nice party decorating ideas for a total girl night indulgence, ok? Maybe it will be a post election party idea? Hmmmm… Today I have my friend and fellow author Leslie Shewring, an artist and designer from Victoria, Canada, who will share her recent book party night with us along with 9 easy tips for making a gathering special on a budget. This party was recently held to celebrate the launch of our book, Decorate for a Party, which is sold where all fine books are stocked. It’s available in Australia, Canada, United States, UK, German-speaking Europe (in German), France (in French), and Italy (in Italian). We are so happy to see our project around easy, simple decorating ideas for meaningful gatherings attract so much attention. It’s very heartwarming.
Leslie’s goal for her book party wasn’t only to celebrate the launch of our book. In fact, Leslie isn’t the type who likes the spotlight on herself or her accomplishments. She is very humble and prefers intimate and meaningful gatherings over large crowds and fanfares. In this way, Leslie pulled together only her nearest and dearest for an evening of girl power inspiration and it made her evening nice because it was in harmony with how she likes gatherings to be when gathering girlfriends – inspiring, feminine and at ease.
She decided to teamed up with her friend and local lady boss, Pam Lewis from Moonrise Creative, and together they hosted a talk show style party where guests were taken into the lives of creative women and allowed to chime in with views of their own to create a fantastic, insightful dialogue. I love the spirit of this evening, the magic shared together as women discussed stories, laughed and walked away with cake in their bellies and love in their hearts.
I’d like to share 9 easy decorating ideas with you for your next party, all styled by Leslie Shewring and photographed by Kelly Brown. Then, I’ll show you some photos of the ladies gathered in her studio and of Leslie signing the book because I just love how at ease she is and joy that she radiants. These photos made me so happy and I hope that somehow they do too.
1. Tiny white bunting and pretty white lights make a party feel special. Keeping it simple with white is also very classy. Scroll down to see how effective this look can be when you add lots of bunting and lights…
2. Large wooden beads in glass cylinder vases. A grouping in an odd number (3) with beads at different levels looks pretty and is very simple. Another tip is that if you don’t have a large painting on the wall and you wish you did, opt for something easier – hang a framed poster, macrame or a beautiful grouping of inspirational photos in a mood board style.
3. Carnations in glass jars and bottles. The key to making this work is to stick to one color and to group them.
4. Keep snacks simple but gorgeous and delicious. These cakes were made by Susannah Ruth Bryan from Ruth & Dean Baked Goods and work beautifully with the space. They are simple and elegant. With coffee, tea and champagne, you don’t need much more to satisfy a group of friends if they’ve already had dinner or if it’s a mid-afternoon event – cake always makes people happy.
5. Mix in warm wood when you’re working in a mostly white space. Mismatching chairs is always nice. The key styling trick here is to keep the most dominate ones the same (in this case, the wooden chairs) and then the less dominate (white) can all be different.
6. Style flowers simply. Sometimes we think we need to go to great lengths to style the perfect arrangement. You really don’t! The styling trick with flowers is to use solid vessels that work together and then flowers grouped by type. Anyone can arrange flowers like this – it’s really easy. Styling tip: Clean off leaves that will be showing beneath the water line.
7. Add fresh greenery. Plants are a big trend currently but we’re hoping that, unlike the 1970s, plants stick around this time. When you add a plant or in this case, a giant ceramic vase filled with Eucalyptus leaves, you’ve instantly added freshness and life to the space, making it feel less clinical while still feeling pure and modern.
8. Group paper lanterns together to create a focal point. They also look like balloons but last a lot longer so you can use them for other parties. Such a pretty corner!
9. Add wooden beads to lengths of ribbon to create pretty wall decor. This is easy, fun, and can be used for other projects later on.
Now let’s look at the room after the sun went down and the room was a-buzz with creative women sharing their stories and Leslie leading the discussion on the topic of creativity.
Doesn’t this party inspire you to not only keep things simple and elegant, but to get the girls together and share stories of love, creativity, encouragement and promise? I certainly want to do this now, it makes me smile to see my friend having such a beautiful evening with so many women that make her happy in her part of the world. Leslie, you rocked your party, so proud of you girl!
(Styling: Leslie Shewring. Photography: Kelly Brown)