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My Corona virus event blog April – June

1 April 2020 Sadly it’s all no joke. Interestingly no one considered creating any online April 1st jokes either. Esquire.com prints an article 3 days ago. horrifying but I can see it all happening. The moment the British high street dies etc.. Who knows but it is all sobering.

Sounds like China have been underreporting their figures. Like they need to add another 0 on. Yikes . A 13 yo dies of it. UK daily reported death rate is 2300. We start a weekly menu for home. You buy a lot of food when you are home for 3 meals a day. But that’s the only thing you buy. Literally THE only thing you spend money on. The super healthy eating has started. My dream.

Zoom is the latest thing. Houseparty falls before it really starts people sitting at home. Waiting for the next thing. We start a family one. Online quizzes suddenly go mental.

2 April 2020 Still trying to create a way to Diverse Jens’ company, with all the fridge vans, kitchens etc. They get in touch with Deliverloo. They bite their hand off for more range of take away food. Just more food. No one can eat out. It’s all take away. Jens proposes a lovely Indian menu for the rest of the team to discuss. Sadly it goes nowhere. Everyone is stuck in a weird hope that it will magically all come back. NOT EVENTS and our businesses. We’re a bit more realistic on how long this is going to last. If you have a food delivery service you are winning in these circumstances. But there’s interesting issues arising. Restaurant suppliers have food but don’t have the bottom of the chain customers to sell it too. I read an article on how things might not get back to normal for 10 years. It’s a shock but last year was a bumper year and yes to get to that level again maybe. So many new procedures are getting set in place. EVENTS are just not mentioned. September doesn’t seem likely for any sort of event now. So if we don’t get events in then. That means it is a tight window for the Autumn run so if that slides and we miss September & October. That’s probably the Christmas stint gone as well. So if we can go out again and have events in January will people do that just because they haven’t. Or will the quietness run until March. Yes that’s my prediction. One whole year of no events!!

We start videoing things we are cooking as an online demo for instagrammers. As there is no other event catering content. He accidentally fires the pepper mill across the room and his days as a TV chef seem thwarted on the day they started.

4 April We cycle to Streatham common to continue our Joe wicks exercise. We’ve hardly left the house. Staying in for 8 days at a time is starting to get it’s feet in. Police riot van drive around. If you are not exercising you get shimmied off. People are starting to be a bit divided on going out and flouting the rules.

6 April 2020 Weather is amazing. We make cocktails stay in obviously and generally having a nice time together.

7 April Another big thing. Hair clippers arrive. The lockdown cuts. Jens had left it a week too late for a cut so is already a week overgrown. They are getting expensive on Ebay and running out. There will be a national shortage. We discover though that, we can save £20 a month now on a haircut now we have clippers. Jens has a grade 5 and growing a beard as he is not in the kitchen. I like the look. We are also both loosing weight. Yoga is still happening every morning at 8am. I love getting up early with him. 28 Veg boxes come to our house. Meeting more people. Loving it. Takes your mind off work and real stuff.

8 April 2020 Jens & team bubble think up another initiative . They start meals for food banks. Finally they all agree on a plan for the kitchen to be used. 200 per day and people donate on a go fund me page. Huge stunning full moon. Weather is still amazing. I think there must be a link between the fact that there are no flights no cars no pollution and suddenly we have endless flawless blue skies.

9 April 2020 We do another clap for carers. Nights are getting lighter. WOW You notice so much more when all your senses are not assaulted. But when will this end. I’m starting to think September will even be quiet for events now.

10 April have a hilarious whatsapp call with 3 friends. The first call I can say was honestly like a real night out. Can things really continue like this though? I’m getting more agoraphobic. I only go out for a shop once every 8 days now. We cook Mackerel on the BBQ. Loving the little bubble we are in. News shows continued increase in Corona virus deaths every day. If my mom gets it my brother and I know she will not come out of it alive. Been drumming into my mom. She’s been too ill and she received one of 1.3 million letter from the government to shield from the world as she is high risk. It’s really tough that I can’t go to be with her. She is on her own and can’t even drive as she had the shoulder replacement in Feb (last blog post!)

11 April & 12 April Quiz nights both nights. They are fun kind of but getting a bit fatigued from them now.

16 April mom is really stressed anxious. Not sure she will pull through this with either mental health issues or such high bloody pressure (200) a stroke. She’s repeating herself, bursting into tears and generally all over the place. 

17 April Moms birthday . I suggested to the family we try and have a socially distance birthday meal but all buying the same meal. Another idea Jens was working on for their company moving forward. (Never got off the ground either sadly.) So we cycled to cook and picked up the same meal as I got delivered to mom in Devon. That worked. And my brother in Brussels also locked down cooked the same for himself . Then had a WhatsApp birthday quiz that I hosted. She was still stressed and not really coping at all with this. We have been discussing the fact we may loose her to this.. Not necessarily the illness by the effects it has on people.  What are those figures like! We don’t know. Will we ever know that.

18 April 

 Cycled to Clapham to buy paint for the front door. Got it home and it’s too bubblegum pink. Queuing out the door and one in one out. Such weird times. Everyone is doing home improvements.

19 April 

Discovered putting paint on eBay is amazing it goes in no time . Put yesterday’s new paint on and it’s sold in record time . Put some more on and some more on and made £80 tester pots the lot!! With the like of Homebase’s and hardware shops not open people are desperate to do some easy DIY home improvements. Amazing. Cleared out the cupboard.

22 April Events aren’t coming back I start an online course in REFLEXOLOGY a new beginning for me. Who knows where this will take me.

Thursday 30 April Loving the reflexology. No more TV. Social media break and get stuck in. Amazing double rainbow almost a triple about 3 hours before the NHS clap . The brightest I’ve ever seen and could see all of it. My photo made it on the school newsletter same night! 

Saturday 2 May Cycled to some friends. Sat in their garden but felt naughty. 

Sunday 3 May Hannah’s quiz . A good one but they are defo drying up now.

Wednesday 7 May amazing moon. The sky is really amazing.  People were saying at the beginning how much less polluted everything feels but I haven’t gotten it until now. Noticed the trees in front of our house flowering for the first time. (In 4 years!) they look incredible. How can we capture some of this and take it forward into a new world. 

Thursday 7 May Jens went to work for his third week in the kitchen getting food bank meals prepared. I had a good day learning. Received a round robin about lockdown easing restrictions. Lots of dates time frames . Turns out it was for Ireland. Annoying as it felt like something to work towards. Events seems like a thing of the past.

Friday 8 May Friday bank holiday as if the days couldn’t get any more confusing. Red arrows flew over London could tell it was current as the streets looked empty and they can socially distance. Put the TV on for the 11am silence. Decided that TV is a bg negative and not been putting it on for weeks. Straight after the silence they start talking on the news about the virus. Felt a bit crass like we have become so self obsessed that we can’t even let the war hero’s have their day without turning it back to our day. Quiz with Jens school friends. Latest we’ve stayed up in 6 weeks 10:30! Also finally painted the front door . Been waiting for farrow and ball to send paint for about 3 weeks. 

Saturday 9 May Went for a bike ride to Wimbledon . Bumped into a chef friend. Cycled up a steep hill and had a really weird reaction. Real respiratory problems a little while after couldn’t catch my breath. Coughing and choking. Embarrassed to cough and typically at that point there were people around. Both discussed after could it be I’m asymptomatic but it only showed it’s head in that strenuous situation. Eventually got back on the bike after an orange to coat the lungs and a bottle of water and a couple were sat in their car waiting for me, to check I was ok! People are being nice. Must have thought I had corona. VERY strange reaction. It is a bit of a mystery that but I will never find out. Probably just unfit.

Sunday 10 May Discussing what could potentially happen next  year with working from home and how that could pan out. If offices do start to now make people work from home to save huge rent especially now they have poured money into this – investing in peoples home equipment. Does this mean out of city commuters are never going to be coming back into the city but instead going out in their home towns for their socialising, shopping and just about everything. Places like Kent and satellite towns will become the place they go out. There seems to be a huge shift happening from the virus, a big shift in every way. Everything is becoming small communities like the old days. Everyone talks about their industry as the forgotten industry. But what about EVENTS & HOSPITALITY. Ours really is.  

18 May our local pub the Wheatsheaf turns into an old fashioned grocery store. We really are going back in time. We also start a grocery store from our front window. Again reverting back to times of old. And where the name corner shop came about apparently people turning their front windows into the convenience store. We make sausage rolls & brownies and sell cheese & restaurant quality deli produce from Jens suppliers from our window. We have a queue. It’s hilarious. And I get to do some food stying. Haha it’s very low rent.

19 May It happens, mom ends up in hospital. We had to call her an ambulance from miles away as she stops answering the phone after continually being sick. The last place she should be. And that’s what the first ambulance crew said and why they left her at home ( to get worse) for another 24 hours.. A blocked bowel that needed a MAJOR operation. Things get really tough. She says in for a whole month it’s a terrifying time…

Corona virus events blog Jan- March

My memories of the weirdest times of our lives.

25 Jan 2020

I felt like I was one of the last to find out about the virus. I’d had 3 weeks chilling out in Sri Lanka with my better half and he’d gone home a week before me. So when it broke out in China I was having a zen time tucked away in a yoga retreat. When I came to leave, my lovely host from our last accommodation came and picked me up from my retreat & told me there was a virus and 2 Chinese people staying in the Marriot Hotel had it (not sure that that was fake news!) But it all sounded serious. My flight was empty – but had to be too soon to be connected. A few people at heathrow. A couple standing just beyond passport control wearing masks, one asian.  My passport officer said to her senior. “Shouldn’t we be wearing masks?  The conversation went on to him saying “stay away from them”. I realised then, things were changing.

Covid events blog

I spent the next week glued to BBC as the cases in China rose and some weird footage of people being manhandled came to light but every medic was in full space type suits. Death rate at only 2%. Less than flu… SO why the hysteria. Something wasn’t adding up.

11 Feb 2020

I had to take my mom into hospital for a shoulder operation. On the drive down to Devon I listen to an interview of people who have been put in quarantine from a cruise liner. Each family separated off and doing their thing until they can be released in 14 days. Cruise liners seem to be a breeding ground. At hospital the receptionist taking mom & I up in the lift says: ‘Have either of you come back from Asia in the last two weeks’.. We froze -all eyes fell on me and my Asian suntan. I quickly worked it out. A few days clear, phew. And then we figured Sri Lankan wasn’t in the list of 10 places that they had on their print out anyway. Complications with the op. I wasn’t expecting it -being all Zen- so stayed with mom for a couple weeks recovery. This disease sounded big but they kept saying it only affects those with underling health issues. Still not adding up.

19 feb 2020

My husband’s work have first event for 300 cancel.. Oh shit: here we go. Then one of the production companies tell us 7 event have cancelled for them. I’m normally quite quiet at this time of year so so far not a huge amount different from my end. Except willing it to go away after reeling from the back end of Brexit!

24 Feb 2020

I’m back in London. Back to watching the news a lot. Somewhere along the line Corona gets a more official name COVID-19.

1 March 2020

Jens goes skiing for couple days.  I have coffee with friends and we discuss nothing else. Things are still going mad in China.  It’s filtering into other countries and London. News is getting bad. We keep saying it will hit us very soon. We decide between us two weeks until the peak!! It definitely feels imminent. No one knows what to expect. We try to carry on.

3 March 2020

A man named Chris Whitty comes onto the podium and speaks with such knowledge I message Jens and suggest he watch if if he can. Such a refreshing change to Boris.

4 March 2020

Biggest  jump of cases  in UK. The news actually mention events industry. They cancel London Book fair at Olympia. But keep on Crufts… Hurrah. & I go to the Global Awards. Hammersmith Apollo full of people. Gives me hope (false hope it would turn out) I keep thinking let us carry booking events, don’t do a lock down in the UK. Lets push it as far as we can.

6 March 2020

I go to a meeting for a party in September. We assume everything will be back to normal by then. I go on the tube: doesn’t look much different but the paper seems to make it look worse ( of course they do) by cutting and pasting every person they can find wearing a mask and overlapping the images so it looks like a Zombie film. It’s actually not that bad out there. Although People have started panic buying toilet roll, hand sanitiser etc. Not really sure what’s going on and this is just confusing.

7 March 2020

Italy gets hit real bad now and put -a new word- social distancing in place. And EVERY event slides from catering company diaries. Saturday. We have a dinner party at home for our friends birthday. We talk about lockdown’s without really know what’s going on.

Tuesday 10 March 2020

Italy went into a lockdown yesterday. I work on a tasting. Client turns up in gloves and mask. We talk the whole time about corona of course. They think their kids’ school will close end of this week. But all quite determined the party will go ahead in September. Except if their families can’t fly in from the States. I know this is the last bit of work I will do for a while . And that event in September may be the next one I do. Surely that will go ahead?

Wednesday 11 march 2020

One of the catering companies goes under. This is tragic for the events world. The news gets worse. Will we do a lock down too? This week everything is evolving so fast.  The independent writes an article. Coronavirus will bankrupt more people than it kills. Sums up my thoughts of the last week exactly. Let us carry on..

FRIDAY 13 MARCH (Can’t go unnoticed)

Jens company decide to do 4 day week & 10% pay cut. Some companies making staff re apply for fewer jobs. Some are shutting doors completely. Some are doing 3 days for 20% pay cut. But in the afternoon 3 big events cancelled for them and it already felt like discussions were out dated. Things are moving so fast. Government say pubs, bars restaurants should close. Our industry is going to be affected for the longest by the sounds of all this. How can anyone have a large event..Maybe until September. This last week really was the week that was.

17 March 2020

Government start social distancing. Another new word that quickly becomes commonplace. Whole households should quarantine if one person shows symptoms or been near anyone who has it. Over 70’s to stay home. My family have first WhatsApp family chat.  Boris said he will not ban mass gatherings. But we know we are not going to be able to have them so what’s the difference.

18 March 2020

I go to supermarket to see what people are fussing over for the last week – Yep the shelves are empty and I’ve well and truly missed the boat for toilet roll. The most desperate I’ve let us get for it.  Salons, bars and restaurants sense they need to close even though our government are not demanding it. But establishments feel it’s now their duty. People start circulating that the army are on their way in and the gossip goes that its to help with locking us down. Jens phones me with same news have you done a shop?? Yes but for how long.. Maybe 2 weeks. Nooo.

19 March

Another new word..Furlough announced. It feels like it’s time to give in to events not happening now. It’s all caving in. The economy will suffer enormously here. Where does the balance lie.

Friday 20 March 2020

Jens is working from home. But we expect he may not be going back into work next week. Fully expecting a lockdown for a couple of weeks. Like China and Italy & Spain. They mention social distancing could last up to a year. Can’t comprehend what this means for the events industry. The phrase “long year this weeks been” summed up the last week. Well could be said for two weeks actually. Start group facetiming with friends. AND I start an organic veg box delivery hub with my neighbours. Supplies are getting really short and so businesses are evolving if you have any kind of food outlet you need to get it out to domestic homes. Bloody hope people don’t buy food and then throw it away. Jens is working on plans for a home delivery service. They have supplies, kitchens and chefs all phoning him desperate to work.Everyone is desperate.

21 March 2020

Gym memberships get frozen! Which is great as we have started yoga every morning at home. And we have our first saturday night birthday party Zoom call. Another new word that will become commonplace.

22 March 2020 Over 70’s need to stay at home. Worried about my mom and her mental health. Now I’m making our own almond milk we’re baking bread. It’s turning into the good life but I rather like that anyway.

23 March 2020 Boris announces lockdown during the new 5pm briefing. We’re going to get used to these briefings with their cast of scientists and politicians.

24 March 2020

My first veg box delivery comes to my house. The neighbours love it. 25 boxes. At least this make me feel happy. I’m getting to know my neighbours. Really hope that this sort of thing continues when we return to normal. I suppose I’m expecting the boxes to continue for a month or so. A few people are self isolating so I’m running a few boxes to houses, knocking and leaving it there. One family were on a flight with someone who has since tested positive so they are all isolating. If I can help in some way like this I will. I took some milk to an elderly neighbour last week. Would love to help the elderly more. Shame the charity I work with on Sunday isn’t doing more. I don’t really know how to find the elderly.

25 March 2020

We venture out into Tooting. It feels wrong. We are technically allowed to go shopping. Tooting is quite. Very quiet I never thought it would or could actually happen. Like China ect. I felt very emotional. WhatsApp is so busy with jokes flying around the country. everyone is sitting ducks at the moment.

Thursday 26 March 2020

We do day two of Joe Wicks 7 days of lean except we cycle to Garratt park and complete it there. There’s a few people out all keeping their distance. Streets are empty of cars. Yoga in the morning and a Joe wicks in the afternoon. This needs to be a routine. NHS clap 8pm. I said last week when my brother was doing this every night in Brussels: we could never do it here. But we did and it actually worked. We even had a drive by with blues & twos from an ambulance. It was literally the most exciting thing that has happened in two weeks. The pace has reset and the terrible things we have been doing to our world seem to be lessening. It’s a chance to start again, slow down be with our loved ones more. I work from home a lot but having Jens as home is perfect.

Saturday 28 March 2020

We discover house party – and so does the world. This should help. The most used phrase is “It’s all so weird and “Such crazy times”.

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

canape tray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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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.