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Event Design Forecast: Seeing Red

Event Design Forecast: Seeing Red

Want to see the hottest event products? Just look at these events.

Here, event pros deconstruct their events, cluing us into their decor choices right down to the last spoon. Our featured fêtes and tour guides include:

  1. A Chinese New Year sit-down dinner for 2,300 with a $350,000 budget from King Dahl, executive director of event design at MGM Mirage Events in Las Vegas. Dahl notes the celebration needed to be “opulent and sophisticated with an infusion of contemporary and traditional Chinese elements.”

  2. A 59th birthday party for 100 in a private home by Craig Gruzd, creative director of Designing Trendz in Toronto. Gruzd strove for an event that was “over the top but elegant at the same time, all because his client didn't want anything “traditional, typical or common.”

  3. A 40-guest Hindu-style wedding featured on the Style Network by Jo-Anne V. Brown, managing director of Celebrations in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. This wedding blended “the groom's Hindu background, the bride's Catholic tradition and local island culture,” Brown says.


    • To achieve the effect of a modern, swank, Chinese-accented soiree, King Dahl featured Chinese lucky coins, “The Year of the Boar” decor, pagoda lanterns, swags of gold and red fabric, and red crystalline drape from Dazian.

    • Two styles of gold Chameleon chairs pull up to the table, and orchids serve as delicate foils to the bold modern shape of the vases.

    • This event featured a new concept for place settings, Dahl says. Each setting featured three pieces of stemware, a teacup, a full set of flatware, chopsticks, an individual serving spoon, individual soy cups, a special spoon for shark fin soup, a printed menu and traditional toothpicks. Because “space considerations precluded the use of chargers,” Dahl notes, he use specially designed place mats in coordinating gold fabrics in their stead. “Each place mat featured a strap that nestled the printed menu, napkin, chopsticks and silverware,” he adds.

    • Napkins were sewn from the same fabric as the custom pillow take-away favors.

    • Chameleon Chair custom-made the linen and crafted the place mats, as conceived by MGM.


    • “Growing stronger in 2008 is the ‘suspended’ trend,” notes Craig Gruzd. “Centerpieces offer a much grander image when hanging elements are added.”

    • Here, Gruzd uses gold trees from his inventory in a new way by suspending rose bouquets and glass votives from the branches. He selected red roses as the floral because they are “elegant and rich-looking.” Celosia gives the look of moss without using moss itself.

    • “This coming year, clients are looking for textures more than ever — guests want to touch everything,” Gruzd says. So he used multiple textures at the dining tables, cocktails areas and dessert tables.

    • “The caterer for this event was extremely insistent that plates did not compete with his food presentation,” Gruzd says. The caterer wanted white plates; Gruzd wanted red, brown and green plates. They compromised with gold-rimmed white china and red bubble chargers.

    • Additional touches include Torre & Tagus red water glasses, Riedel crystal glasses, olive-green crushed taffeta linen by Around the Table, and gold-plated cutlery and walnut chiavari chairs, both supplied by Chair-Man Mills.


    • “The bride loved pink, but the traditional color for weddings in India is red,” Jo-Anne Brown says. The solution? Use a shade of each that complemented the other.

    • The clear-top tent, from the SEC Group, is accented with fuchsia silk organza, crystal curtains and a Castilian Imports crystal chandelier with pink lights.

    • The ceremony was conducted in a bamboo mandap draped in gold-beaded red voile with white satin accents. The garland at the top of the mandap includes cherry lady roses, dark pink hydrangeas, pink and white ranunculus, gloriosa lilies, viburnums, red calla lilies and orange passion roses. The Celebrations team hand-strung clusters of Morocco orchids alongside beading to create the hanging-flower effect.

    • Gold chiavari chairs topped with fuchsia and red cushions provided seating. Fans kept everyone cool.

    • While the Catholic bride incorporated the traditional Indian red into her wedding, her husband-to-be and his bridal party show off other traditional touches. The groom and groomsmen all wore sherwanis, which are long, coat-like garments that fit close to the body and extend slightly below knee-length. Brown calls them “stunningly regal.”


Product-makers have what you need. They assess the party situation, make the products that may be missing, and tell us all about them right here:

Neutral-colored furniture that can be arranged in different configurations “allows the event designer to use furnishings like a canvas and accessorize to meet the specific event theme.” To help designers, Cort has introduced Oz sofa and chair convertible pieces in white.
Dave Flory, director of sales and marketing of Cort Event Furnishings in Atlanta

The lounge look, lamour and oversized chairs are on the event horizon. Creative Coverings offers affordable lamour in 30 colors and can cover oversized chairs in their newly designed lamour chaircover line.
Robin Brockelsby, owner of Creative Coverings in Sparks, Nev.

“There are so many textured fabrics today that already offer a custom look, so you have to take it a step further. We created a custom 60-inch round table cap for The Special Event 2008 Leadership Luncheon. The fabric is a bronze dupioni fabric embroidered with waves of fall colors — copper, taupe, champagne. The 8-inch band is separated with piping around the edges to create depth and a truly custom-fit look.”
Blake Wiederstein, general manager of Tabletoppers in Atlanta

Tablecloth Co. touts the polyester-and-nylon blend “Cascade” for tabletops, chair covers and skirting. It “has a three-dimensional quality consisting of pintucks and circular fabric appliqués running diagonally across the fabric.”
Mary Kerr, vice president of operations of Tablecloth Co. in Paterson, N.J.

“Colors are vivid and bold. Flashy prismatic hues have made a comeback. Fabrics are shiny, slick and sensuous. Brocades have been reinvented and modernized. Glitter, twinkle and sparkle abound.” Many of these trends can be seen in satin Pucci print, designed by Table Wraps' art staff.
Judy Komson, vice president of Table Wraps Ltd., Jericho, N.Y.



Cort Event Furnishings
888/CORT-YES (267-8937)

Creative Coverings

Designing Trendz

MGM Mirage Events

Tablecloth Co.


Table Wraps Ltd.

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