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Contemporary Canapé trays

Looking for stylish canape trays?

Why is it so hard to find stylish canapé trays. I know it is because I have the same problem.  I’ve been looking for canapé trays for various clients and my previous employers for over a decade. This is why I started designing my own.

Where it started for me.

Working for Alison Price caterers I was able to jump straight in and start designing what really worked. As a Chef before event designer this helps get what people really want without knowing it themselves. These were some of my most successful first designs in around 2006

 

perspex canape traycanape tray

canape tray

 

What came next

I set up on my own and carried on what I did in my last job – Event design & canapé tray design. A blend that still worked. These were a few sale items from my last website.

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 canape trays

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canape trays

canape tray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The modular tray below is one tray with multi uses. By having template you can remove to allow for different pots on top.

canape tray Canape trays Canape tray Canape trays

 

 

The below were one of my favourite designs for large events. A hidden drawer or two which allows movement to the other side of the room revealing more canapés to hungry guests.

Canape tray Canape tray

Bespoke designs

Clients are always looking for something else though. Like the trays based on St Paul’s window below or something to hold mini pint glasses.

Canape trays

 

 

 

 

 

Branding

Then comes branding. This can be done by cutting out the acrylic so you can see through or having vinyl printed on.

 

canape tray
Canape trays

 

canape tray

 

 

 

 

 

Canape trays

What next

What came next was hiring out some of my top designs. Found here. This helps makes the products more affordable and rather than a design going to the back of a store cupboard, hiring it means you can try something different next time, keeping clients & guests interested & keeping waste down.

 

The next stage

As you can see my go to medium for making canapé trays is acrylic as that’s what I started out using. One of my fabricators do build pieces from other materials like wood, metal & Corian however they are more expensive than acrylic and that unfortunately is expensive enough.  However my next line needs to be made from sustainable products right!?!?

 

Watch this space…

 

 

How to create rustic and woodland themed weddings and events

How do I create rustic & woodland themed wedding or event

Most people will think..Well that’s easy & maybe to some people it is..It could also be why it is such a popular choice and I might add still going strong. When we’ve seen ‘vintage’ come and go and come back in some forms again. Still so many people love the idea of a rustic themed wedding.

 

What it means

Rustic is a very loose term and can simply be a bride thinking she wants the opposite of a slick contemporary look. Or for some they choose to style everything down to the favours in a strong woodland / rustic theme*. That’s their take and there really is no right and wrong. You should use your own artistic licence here.  For example if I hear woodland I think a cute outdoor space to dress. But the client may be trying to recreate that mystical forest outdoor theme inside top to toe.

*I love this image found on pinterest of the detail you can go to.

Rustic & woodland themed weddings and events

What you need

There are 3 main ingredients here. Top of the list is tree slices, these are used mainly to elevate the design whether it is for cakes, buffet, food station or a photoshoot. Candles give that magical look. Moss fills in the gaps. Then anything else you add leads it in one direction or another. Apple crate definitely more rustic. Pine cones & leaves will take you more strongly to the woodland path. Although as I said before both will intertwine.

This one on Pinterest is utterly gorgeous with just three (my magic number)  items. Logs, candles & flowers. Right down the middle rustic and or woodland. Gorgeous.

How to create rustic and woodland themed weddings and events

These are my version of how you can elaborate on a woodland theme.  The extra props I used on both pushed into an enchanted forest theme complete with potion bottles, branches, bones, ivy and mystic balls.

How to create rustic and woodland themed weddings and events

 

How to create rustic and woodland themed weddings and events

The most important thing

The styling always looks the best if you can elevate it so the eye is drawn comfortably around the spectacle in whatever form this may be. It won’t look anywhere near as impressive if you have to look down onto a flat table. Get some large pieces in there to really lift it in my case here for this wedding at the garden museum – apple crates and plenty of them. Get it high.

How to create rustic and woodland themed weddings and eventsMany of these props can now be hired here and if you don’t see what you are looking for do get in touch on the contact form. 

Here’s some rustic themed canapé tray styling to complete the look. These weren’t all created for the same event. So try and stick with something that matches and runs throughout. For example I would continue using these Shimeji & enoki mushrooms throughout the rest of the displays. Rustic & woodland themed weddings and events

Rustic & woodland themed weddings and events

 

Where to find the most stylish hire equipment

Where do I find the most stylish hire equipment.

 

Who’s looking?

Are you looking for the best furniture hire around. Are you a bride and this is all new to you? Or are you an event planner with little time on your hands to research the hot new Furniture Hire places? Either way I can guide you with some tips. The good news is that there has been an explosion in luxury hire furniture in London (& I’m sure the rest of the country) with great companies literally springing up.

What sort of equipment.

I’m not talking about the standard stuff that we’ve all seen before. There’s really no excuse for  generic looking event furniture now. We are talking the sort of swoony sofa’s that we dream of lounging on at home. The real deal. And those oh-so-on-trend gold wire pieces to go with them.

Ok there’s no point in me just talking about it: let me show you my top faves in no particular order…

My top contemporary furniture hire companies.

  1. Hire it. This is a stunning wedding or intimate dinner set up. They have some bang up to date pieces. Work well for out of town events too as they have lots of uber-cool garden furniture for marquees and country garden parties.

Contemporary event furniture

2) Granger Hertzog. Ok these guys have one off pieces ideal for photoshoots and the lobbies of venues for example. But you won’t find huge quantity of any one thing so don’t go looking for your wedding breakfast seating here. They do have artwork, ornate mirrors, art deco vases & lamps and rugs. This does mean you need to go & physically pick out the pieces here to style you event/shoot. You get given a trolly and whizz (ok not whizz – as there’s some mighty pricy artefacts in some of those aisles) around.

Contemporary Event furniture

3) Juno hire. These guys slammed into my radar only this week and again I have to say “wow!” Just look at this set up (for Plain Jane Events I imagine). I mean this is what dreams are made of right? Pink velvet AND gold geometric. Five stars for these folks. Contemporary Event furniture

4) Furniture on the Move. I’ve always thought of this company as being suppliers of heavy, almost industrial equipment like metal chairs and wood pallet bars. My view has changed now as I saw their range this week and it turns out they have all sorts of yummy soft furnishings too. Add them to your list.

Contemporary Event furniture

How nice would this tray work with the above look. We have 2 available for hire here. Which we’ve had adapted. They have mirrors on both sides to work either way up – one way as risers for that stunning looking buffet and also they can be carried as drinks or canapé trays. Geometric gold mirror tray riser

Here’s the links to my top four from above.

Hire it

Granger Hertzog

Juno Hire 

Furniture on the move 

 

Boho patterns & textures

Patterns

Ok I started this blog post nearly a year ago to the day on 1 Feb 2018 .  I’m pleased to learn that I’m not fickle as I thought as this post is still very much valid in my mind. However it also demonstrates that perhaps I need to upload & share some of these blogs and stop procrastinating.

 

My style

I don’t do patterns. I don’t own any patterned clothes. My wardrobe is black, white, grey. Then a splash of yellow & orange with some acid colours for good measure in the summer but still then only block colours; never patterned. When it’s totally up to me my events are usually similar – ultra contemporary, not fussy. However the plates are shifting & I’m loving the ethnic boho vibe with all those patterns & textures, These aren’t necessarily new: they’ve been around for years.  But this mix really started to take hold at the end of 2017. I really think this one is here to stay for a while. More about why I think that later.

 

How it always was for me

My home has always been a stripped-back, clinical white space. We lived in a loft apartment for 9 years which was basically a split level white box. No picture on the wall. Only one photo (our wedding)  displayed. No identity. I’m not sure why other than it always felt too cluttered with different colours & ‘things’ everywhere else. Even when I was really young every detail had to be matching. Even my little battery alarm clock wasn’t spared. It had to be painted black or white to match everything else. Yikes.. OK: I was strangely into interior design & style from a very young age.

 

What we’re moving towards now

Don’t get me wrong I’ll always have a place for a strong contemporary looks. But perhaps I’m craving a little more comfort. These boho patterns & textures are part of the bigger picture. Which is the growing use of natural materials. Woven goods are huge right now. Every cheese plant is feeling right at home in a woven basket. Natural wooden floors look fantastic with a zigzagged patterned black & white rug. Yes I said ‘look fantastic’ in the same sentence as zigzagged pattern.. My husband would have though I had a guest writer in if I had actually published this last year before I started dropping the Z word into conversations Haha. So a move towards wicker, cane, anything woven, rattan, tan leathers, wool & natural fibres is the way forward.

Why this

Well it’s a solid change. It’s not news that I’ve love plants. Not flowers so much, just for the record, but the big phat (is that actually a word? seems somehow appropriate here) leafy strong greens. I’ve gone on about this in previous blogs so there’s no need to go there. But it’s more than that. It’s the shift to sustainable products. We are becoming aware of what we use and it’s spreading to our surroundings too. We’re thinking about where our purchases come from & we’re becoming more conscious.

 

Get the look

Ok so this is a full on go of the boho & Moroccan pattern look & a bit much for me. That throw is a bit of a problem. Parts of it would look great on events however. In the right setting of course. Placing lots of these traditional tan leather Pouffe would be the bones of a fab event! I’m not going to say I’ll be bringing the pouffe home any time soon that would be a step too far

Boho patterns and textures

Boho & moroccan patterns

Photo from : Etsy

For myself personally however a toned down a version of the patterns and concrete (Yes of course I still adore concrete) textures can be brought right into the modern home.  Drag in that sophistication of the good old Scandi magic and we’re heading towards an absolute winning formula. Boho & moroccan patterns

 

Ok if you’re still not sure I’ll meet you in the middle. How about the below. Add in some more creature comforts for y’all, Ideally it won’t be complete without a frayed rattan light shade and some cane furniture and then you’re on!

Boho & moroccan patterns                                                  Image from : Delight collective Pinterest

But if you want to stick with me and throw ultra modern into the old 70’s look and that’s where we’re going with this look.

Boho & moroccan patterns

 

boho patterns and textures

Photo credit : One kings lane

How do we create environmentally better events

We need to work out how we create less environmentally damaging events.

What have we done?

Unless you have been in space for the whole of 2018 it will have become horribly clear what we have actually done to our planet. We didn’t realise we were doing everything so wrong. Plastic is lighter than glass meaning transportation is cheaper & easier. So instead of being that return and reuse society we once were, we’ve became a throw away nation ..ok world! We didn’t realise that every single piece of plastic ever made is still on the planet.

The understanding

This year has been the one of stark realisation for me & most. For some time we have seen images of  the floating plastic island that’s 3 times the size of France. But now every social media is showing the next stage. These bottles, cups, fishing line and so on become brittle and break down, being ingested by fish, sea birds and wildlife, potentially killing them and I’m sure it won’t be long (maybe it’s happened already) before a shard of plastic is sticking out of our fish dinner.

The biggest culprits

We need to all take blame and do our bit. There are some industries that are worse than others for waste & I’m ashamed to say the events world is a big bad culprit. We can’t hide any more. We have to do something.

I have worked  in and seen many of London’s catering warehouses and I can see many ways to reduce waste in general (I absolutely hate all waste from food to plastic and everything in between and that goes for leaving offices full of computers on over night. It’s still a resource that we are wasting!).

7 quick fixes

  1. Make or buy rigid boxes for trays & glass wear. Send it to the event like this. It actually makes breaking down at the end of the night quicker. Even better if these boxes have a photo attached of what should be inside. Makes stocktaking easier & most efficient.
  2. For unusual shaped fragile items with no box, protect all sides with cardboard. Kitchens and offices receive goods every day in cardboard boxes. It’s a free resource and it will reduce on what we have to pack down into our wheelie bins. Double win.
  3. If we have to use glitter (and this has been my biggest faux pas), then we need to use something that is either biodegradable/edible or use an adhesive that holds all the glitter in place on the item so no bits end up in our river & streams and finally into the sea.
  4. Stop cling-filming glass. It invariably ends up on site smashed within the cling film… It does not protect it… It IS single use plastic.. Keep the cardboard box it was bought in and label it clearly. Send it on the event like that. If it needs a dust wipe it over when you use it.
  5. Absolutely no plastic straws. These should be well gone already. There are paper, bamboo & metal alternatives. No question.
  6.  Say no to the guests wanting their mini dessert in a dispo plastic bowl from Plastico with a mini plastic spoon (sorry plastico we know you are trying make to changes too.)* There are now so many beautiful reusable small bowls and cutlery around this should no longer be an option.
  7. Don’t buy bubble wrap. It’s that simple cardboard & newspaper should and will replace it if it is not there to use carelessly.

I say quick fixes because we have so far to go. However imagine if we ALL start with this.

I don’t believe replacing items with corn starch is the answer either. Imagine how much land we will have to start destroying to produce enough corn to make the starch. Sadly we have to change our throw away nature and simply wash and reuse. See how much better it looks.

Sustainable events

2019 is going to see changes in what we serve and we are going to go back to nature a bit more with design & materials.

 

*I watched a short film by Plastico who have suggested they will start collecting glasses up from festivals and events and re using them. Ok but they may have forgotten about the range of other events that we put on every day of the week.

Halloween dinner party

This date in the diary is a great excuse to get creative with your pumpkins and have some fun with your table centres..

 

Styles & colour schemes

This one is one that you can work with the tablewear you have at home or can hire in for your event. I failed art so plurlease don’t tell me you can’t do this one. All you need is some white paint and the follow a similar pattern to what’s on your plates. If they are striped do stripes.. Everything ties in beautifully and it makes you look like a domestic goddess.

Halloween dinner party

I saw this on Casa De Perrin. Yes again! and decided to try it. Of course theirs is better but I had fun building this tablescape and so did our guests so that’s all that matters.

Chalk and cheese! Uber chic and modern. Why not add something funky to your pumpkins to match your cutlery. These are munchkin pumpkins they are a beautiful shape & accentuated when spray painted gold. I do love black and gold so this one is the winner for me.

Halloween dinner party

Who’s going to invite me around for next years Halloween dinner party.

How do I style a halloween party

Are you wondering how do I style a halloween party – A grown up one? Let me throw you some tips so you can wow your friends at home.

Where to start

Choose your colour scheme. Traditionally there’s not much to play with here. Black, orange, red, purple, gold are about your strongest colours for this time of year and this is plenty! If you remember my rule from previous blog posts you’ll know to stick with 2 or 3 colours to keep it slick.

Where & what to display & dress

Up there at the top of the list should be to decide what sort of party you want to hold. Like if you are having a dinner party where you’ll want to dress the table or a stand up drinks you can decorate more of the room. How do you style halloween

This is loads of fun if you’re having a drinks reception. Theres a focal point and it gets everyone fully immersed.

Likewise this dark moody dresser could be  propped with some ghoulish props or kept gothic and moody..How do I style a halloween party

Halloween party

For dinner parties or events you can still go super stylish and have as many gourds and pumpkins as you like or none at all and get really creative. I utterly love this company. @casadeperrin on Instagram. They do all sorts of table top curation & rental in LA and are the absolute best!

 

How do I style a halloween party

 

I also love this image on Lettice event  Pinterest page.  It’s macabre but also delicate too. Big up – if it was their super cool creation.How do I style halloween party

Finishing touches

You know how easy this would be to do. You can buy mirrors like this from Ikea and using those spray paints to distress the frame and the mirror adding the skeleton with a glue gun. Hey presto you have a great feature.

How do I style a halloween party

No halloween party is complete without some front door decoration. This is mandatory. It helps your guests know where to come and gives them an exciting taster of the stylish event they have waiting for them inside. How do I style a halloween party

If you want to remind yourself of a previous halloween blog post with one of my fave mood boards check it out here. 

 

Hiring Canapé trays V buying canapé trays

 Hiring canape trays

We are seeing a shift from purchasing to hiring canapé trays with our event industry clients. Everyone wants the new latest thing and to stand out & be different so it’s hire all the way now!

 

Benefits of hiring for the client are

-Exciting & interesting pieces that move with the times.

-No need to find storage space for the stock.

-No need to invest in stock that will go become yesterdays news.

 

 

"Perspex buffet risers for hire" pink cake pop tray Bowl food tray hire "Clear canapé box"

 

 

Where it began

I started out designing pieces for sale. However in an ever changing world when everyone is trying to keep up with the times & keep inovating. Clients are no longer investing in these very expensive trays.

Hiring canape trays Hiring canape trays Hiring canape trays Hiring canape trays

 

 

 

 

And I have had to keep up and adapt to what people want. So much so that I have removed sales from the website altogether, which leaves me time to concentrate my time elsewhere.

Who hires

So along came hiring. Caterers, hotels, restaurants, members clubs & wedding planners are coming to Tina Nisson Design looking for trays, often for large creative events & they charge the hire fees straight onto their client. It’s a winning formula all round. Our part of the bargain – making it as user friendly for clients to have what they need as easily as possible.

I read an article in the ES Magazine and a wise person said ‘The assets people care about have shifted — we’re renting far more and experiences matter more than ownership. It’s the same with the events industry.

See for yourself

Head to the hire page and take a look.  at the range. It’s not only acrylic trays now either, with an increasing stock from wedding & event design. There’s lots of unusual items that add something special to events.

 

Large bottle for hire "Rose Gold storm lantern" Glitter Champagne bottles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there is something that you would love to hire on a regular basis get in touch & I will consider designing something new for hire.

 

 

 

 

The best ways to style your own wedding.

Styling your own wedding

Where do you start?

I’m often asked what’s the best way to style a wedding. Many people say they don’t want an actual theme as such but want it all to coordinate.  There are a few different ways to come up with your unique wedding design.

I’ll list a few ‘ins’ to help you get started. See if you have any of these criteria.

In no particular order :-

  1. The dress – Perhaps you have  your heart set on a particular style of dress – vintage for example.  All styling will build from here.

2. Colour – You may have a favourite colour. You may have chosen your bridesmaids colours or you & your future husband may have seen a tie / suit colour that he loves.

The best way to style your wedding
Pick a colour – any colour!

3. Location – Where you choose to get married. If you would like to get married abroad somewhere hot then the style can & will be determined from this.

4. Season – If you choose to get married at Christmas you have chosen this for a reason and will want to be sympathetic to that time of year.

The best way to style your wedding

5. Theme -Some choose an actual theme like a festival theme – a really popular one for summer of 2018 or perhaps choosing something with even more styling like Great Gatsby or Art Deco. This is much less subtle but it’s a way for brides & grooms to really go to town on the design if that’s what they are looking for.

 

Got a design. What’s next?

So now you have the nuts and bolts of a basic design to embellish & take to the next level..Adding that key element to the rest of the big day is the next step.

Lets set the scene. If you have found your dress first. Say it’s a boho style. – Another hot one for for summer 2018 . It’s lace so to tie in you would probably go for soft florals throughout your arrangement and try and incorporate lace in somewhere else. Table decor for example. Favours wrapped in lace and so on.

Best way to style your own wedding

Whichever is your starting point you then have many ways to tie in the theme..Table centres, Stationary, Favours, Ceremony backdrop & Flowers. Then as you are getting braver you can keep going further with finer and finer details.

 

If you would like further design assistance have a look at the website here 

Wedding arches – why have one?

What are they?

Wedding arches basically create a perfect backdrop for your ‘I do’ moment. A lovely bride has contacted me to design her a fabulous one.  Her ceremony is on top of a hill (with a knock-out sea view) so the arch will have pride of place. A wedding arch can be shaped however you like & made from pretty much anything. Ideally use whatever material features most in your wedding styling.

 

Why have one?

Quite simply put, they frame you & your partner perfectly when you are saying your vows. That’s the all-time memorable photo opportunity with your loved one. The one time all eyes are on you. While a traditional church gives you a wooden framework around the altar that your florist can work with, anywhere else you have the exciting option of building something totally unique.

 

Top choices

I love the ones below. The first one is made from copper which I’ve become a dab hand at working with, creating all sorts of food stations & even clients cook book stands!  Scroll through the carousel images at the bottom of my website here or check out a previous blog post.

Since writing that blog post in 2015 copper has gradually not only filled events in every way possible, it has worked it’s way into almost every home and now of course naturally into weddings & it looks great. The other two are gold and work perfectly too.

Wedding arches

modern wedding arch gold wedding arch wedding backdrop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a sassy boho one. Floaty lace wedding dress essential with this style.

contemporary wedding arch

It doesn’t actually need to be an arch. You could make something like this.

wedding arch

There is a lovely backdrop using balloons on my wedding design page too. So whether it’s a back drop or traditional wedding arch you can have fun here and it’s such a great opportunity to get more of your personality into your celebration. Finally it can help tie the whole theme together.

Head to my wedding arch Pinterest page for more inspiration.