Tuesday, June 30, 2009

event gallery: school of intercultural studies anniversary dinner

another biola event: the 25th anniversary of the school of intercultural studies. this event was a challenge in that there were so many components--clearly the event needed to have an international aesthetic, but we didn't want it to feel like you had walked into world market (nothing against world market). it needed to be clean and simple, elegant and celebratory. at the same time, a new campaign for the school was being launched.

i wouldn't be a marketing professional if i didn't recognize the need to use the event as an "unveiling" of the beautifully designed campaign. the event needed to be sophisticated but simplistic, celebratory but not over-the-top, collegiate but not cold. i think the end result was just right.
...happy sophisticating...

collegiate banners for each of biola's 7 schools lined the back of the stage, lending a sense of formality and academic legitimacy to the event.

a little goes a long way! the ceiling treatment on the tent, combined with some sensational lighting, warmed the entire space, creating a sense of occasion and establishing an earthy quality and tying in the latte color featured in the campaign. SO sophisticated.

candlelight = instant ambiance. there was greenery and candlelight on every flat surface to create mood and a real sense of freshness.

on the tables were light, earthy celadon pintuck linens. so fresh and clean and chic. in the center of each table were overlapping maps printed on latte-colored parchment which we "aged" by burning the edges. our florist completely captured my vision with the arrangements. fresh and earthy green, a subtle international flair with the bamboo and a sweet pop of color to add some interest and intensity. fab.

to make sure that no guest left without encountering our campaign and specially designed 25th anniversary seal, we made special skewer sticks to place in the arrangements featuring the seal. the flowers were so sensational that the presence of the logo didn't seem the least bit corporate, just thoughtful.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

design obsession: molding

living in orange county, i have the benefit of experiencing what you might call "suburban mecca." grocery stores in abundance, a number of targets (as in target, the store) in close proximity, endless dining options, nice wide streets, apartments with granite countertops, well maintained shrubbery, tidy...everything. the list goes on and on. one of the things i DON'T have is a home with character. hundred-year-old hardwood floors, beautiful wood built ins, vintage tiles and bathroom fixtures, et cetera. they are out there, don't get me wrong. but if you're like me and have found yourself in "shiny, new, cookie cutter land" and you're longing for a little touch of old sophistication...i give you molding.duh, right? crown molding, wainscoting, chair rails....my mother has obsessed over them my entire life. now i know why- instant sophistication. even for apartment dwellers, what a fabulous, temporary fix for big white walls lacking character. i know there is "the real thing" and "the not real thing," but i'm talking purely aesthetic here. go to home depot and let your imagination run wild. you're not limited to just picking the perfect shade of "latte" to add warmth and interest to your home. honestly, slap it up there, paint it a different color or the same color or don't paint it at all--whatever you do it will be perfect.
...happy sophisticating...

let's be honest...you can imagine how sad this wall would be without this fabulous wall treatment.

such a creative idea. as a border for wallpaper this creates such a custom feel. the possibilities are endless. artwork? family photos?

a paint treatment to mirror molding. brilliant.

let's get crazy! take it on the ceiling...so chic.

who says it has to be expensive? get creative. in this photo, even simple wood planks add such an interesting, shabby chic touch. try leaving them unfinished. could be utterly fabulous.

all white, but it adds just a touch of sophistication. love it.

cream and white. classic. fabulous.

and i leave you with...molding nirvana.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

design obsession: peonies

"flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into."
~henry beecher, life thoughts, 1858

at one of my bridal showers, one of my bridesmaids was asked, "if victoria were a flower, what kind would she be?" her answer? a peony. God love her. one of the nicest compliments i've ever received, as i LOVE peonies and i love this time of year because, in their finicky nature, they are FINALLY gracing us with their presence.

i love peonies because they are unbelievably glamorous and decadantly dramatic and yet require absolutely no other adornment. throw them in a simple vase, even a mason jar, and they steal the show. how brilliant is that? high maintenance on their way, low maintenance once they arrive. the epitome of a woman.

i won't say anything more because i don't need to. they speak for themselves. my only recommendation: ENJOY them! throughout your home, at an event, in your centerpiece...INSTANT sophistication.
lose yourself in these beautiful photos.
...happy sophisticating...

coupled here with gardenias. all white. perfectly elegant.

in a simple square vase with slices of fresh limes. delightful!

have you ever seen anything so fabulous. so feminine and so strong. in a milk jug. AMAZING.

this almost hurts my heart...it is so beautiful...

again with the fruit. love.

"give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where i can walk undisturbed."
~walt whitman

Monday, June 8, 2009

sophisticateur: michael musser

you know how there are those people you meet in life...and for some reason or another, you just ADORE them? you may not even know them very well, but you just develop this...affinity toward them? michael and kimi musser are two of those people. i met michael through our work together at biola university and he has to be one of the most talented artists i've ever encountered. from photography, to university advertising campaigns, to invitations, everything he created just had "it."

he's left biola now (*tear) and he and his incredibly talented wife are immersed in freelance work through their company anticipate invitations. visit their website. you will faint. perhaps literally. here are a few snapshots to entice you!
...happy sophisticating...

printed on the pages of an old shakespeare anthology, for a literary-loving couple. brilliant.

call me indulgent. our wedding invites. he perfectly incorporated a classic, traditional invitation with all of the vintage flair and creativity we were hoping for. hand sewn, placed in the most delicate white pastry bag and sewn shut. utterly delightful.

these were actually designed for a friend of mine. they wanted to incorporate all of the five senses with their invitations. michael's idea? dried rosemary included in the delicate fabric bag containing their beautiful invitation. shut. up.

michael and kimi's very own. the ribbon on the cover stretches from pennsylvania to washington--each of their home states. such a sweet touch!

clyde and anna belle cook's 50th wedding anniversary. somehow he managed to turn one of the most traditional of event concepts (the golden wedding anniversary) into an invitation that was both personal and traditional, yet still stylish and fresh. quite a feat!

if you are in need of invitations or print materials of any kind...anticipate invitations.
you won't be sorry.

design obsession: outdoor dining spaces

there is NOTHING i love more than good food and great atmosphere. honestly. nothing. now that summer is here, i seem to be stumbling across photo after photo of incredible outdoor dining spaces. it's cruel really, as my apartment has the ittiest and bittiest of patios. these inspirational spaces range from elegant and formal to shabby chic, but they all look like the kind of place i could spend an evening...or every evening. for. the. rest. of. my. life.

in my opinion it all comes down to a great table--whether large or small, creative seating (no need to match) and OF COURSE the lighting. candles, candles and more candles. throw in an exquisitely tended garden and it just gets better and better.

here are some FABULOUS outdoor dining spaces to inspire you. i have gone overboard, but i just know you'll get lost in them, the way i have.
...happy sophisticating...

a simple, burlap tablecloth becomes chic and delightful in this outdoor space. love the mismatched chair. and the peonies. clearly.

how fabulous is this?! it's like a kid's fort, but for grown ups. very sophisticated grown ups. who love candles.

shabby chic at its finest. don't tell me you can't afford an arrangement like this. go to a thrift store. look hard. find furniture. buy it. and buy some fabulous laterns while you're at it. gorgeous.

so simple and yet so wonderful.

a more polished version than some of the others. so chic. like an adorable french bistro in your own backyard. you can't go wrong with black and white.

this was recently featured on one of my favorite blogs, absolutely beautiful things, but it needed to be featured here as well. is this not the most glorious sunday dinner you've ever seen?

so rustic and so wonderful.

a twist on a dining space. lounge while you dine. like in ancient rome. only better.

so simple, yet so sweet. okay...maybe a huge expansive view of the ocean is not so simple.

love love love the tiered terra cotta pots.

has to be my favorite. the chandelier is from an old church sanctuary. and the all white? fabulous.