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Tropical plants

Top choices

We can’t get enough of rich green foliage & tropical plants here at Tina Nisson design HQ this season. Current faves are strong structural tropical house plants like bird of Paradise, Elephants ear and everyones favourite from the 70’s the good old cheese plant which has made a huge come back in the last couple of years. Have a look at one of my food stations designed around the Cheese plant or using it’s proper name – Monstera.

Tropical Plants

"tropical plants"

Bird of paradise plant

This is our pleasing view every day!! A white bird of paradise. Although I don’t want it to flower incase it ruins that perfect leaf shape. Is that a little bit weird? I thought so.

For weddings

They all look Uh-Mazing when added to crisp white for a wedding like here.

Tropical wedding

 

I’ve personally never been a huge fan of an abundance of flowers. I’m a bit more of a minimalist. So for me strong rich leaves are a super slick winner for me.

Foliage accessories

It also wouldn’t be complete without hand written calligraphy place settings. You can also add leaves for place settings.

gold wedding calligraphy leaves

Just look how the elephants ear leaves in the centre of the table in the mood board below is such a strong & powerful look. Then how the table centres in the one next to it creates a more gentle calm look.

Foliage

 

Really who needs flowers. Go bold & don’t use any flowers for real wow factor.

Take a look at our Pinterest page aptly names foliage for your on trend wedding or event inspo for this summer.

 

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We won’t sink the pink..

We won’t sink the pink

The bright fluffy candy floss pink may have had a really good run. For 3 years or more it’s taken the limelight especially at weddings, well actually there will always be pink in wedding design. It’s the colour of love. However we have a new and exciting  tone of pink busting it’s way in & I love it’s sophistication.

Inspiration

A setting plaster type of pink. As so perfectly named by farrow & ball.  This is a muted powdery colour & has a mild hint of peach. As always it looks stunning with gold. But it also looks great with wood if you want to add gravitas. Add these chairs & you’ve got a strong look. And you don’t even have to mention dusty or Blush pink to your future husband. If you are wedding planning this year and want some inspiration take a look. I believe we won’t be able to avoid it this spring & summer. We’ll tell you one thing Tina Nisson Design door is getting a fresh lick of paint in our new fave!

 

Hell why not go all out…

 

Pink Blush setting plaster

 

 

Event design trends 2018


The great thing about event design is being able to keep bang up to date with fashion trends because most of our event furniture is hired in & thanks to some amazing hire companies we can change our style at every whim. Interior design is a bit slower to move on to the next best thing purely because not many of us have the disposable income to throw out last years millennial pink sofa in favour of this years gold velvet 70’s one.

 

So let’s start from the top. Pantone choose a colour of the year & a few back up colours based on various factors (apparently) and then we have a colour. This year if you haven’t by a slim chance heard, it’s Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet. I’m personally pleased it has a small part to do with Prince & as well as it’s mystical & spiritual properties.  I’m assuming it also goes hand in hand with a bit of a growing interest in Agate & other crystals. My family are hoping they also chose it because my nan, ‘Violet’ reached the ‘ultra’ ripe old age of 103 in November before she went to sleep forever a couple of week later. All very poignant for us. Yay to the Ultra Violet..

 

Pantone trends 2018

Experiential & immersive events aren’t news but add in augmented reality, artificial intelligence & this mystical Pantone colour of the year to the fantasy mix & we have one hell of a talked about party. You also won’t be able to avoid Iridescent colours either. From cocktail shakers to cutlery for your table. These can nestle in nicely with a soft dreamy tablescape or transform themselves & step up to work with quite a strong colour palette.

Iridescent

One of the colour palettes I’m excited about is camel, rust, tobacco & mustard. Tone on tone colours. Outsized glass pieces in amber hues look ravishing bathed in soft golden event lighting, Think 70’s with a bucket load of glamour.

Colour 2018 moodboard

I don’t think we’ve seen the end of the gorgeous rich peacock blue & teal, again particularly in velvet. These colours look fabulous on events & as always a total winner with gold accents. Check out my A/W 2017 forecast last year for  Toast life .  the online directory for the events world.

 

Naturally gold & brass are still the metallics of choice although rose gold & copper are finally bowing out. Still total respect for them though.  One thing events can’t be without is  dark wood furniture with brass or gold legs. This will add to an overall powerful look, be it a corporate event or an intimate dinner party.

All we need now is to persuade our hire companies to buy these in for us…

Gold & walnut table

 

 

 

 

 

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Case study -Sheraton Grand relaunch

We were given a brief a couple of months ago as part of the re launch of the iconic Sheraton Park Lane, now beautifully upgraded to Sheraton Grand. This project was especially close to my heart as it was the first London venue I worked in as a chef fifteen years ago!

The hotel is just WOW now. The Palm Court and Ballroom especially. The 1920s theme chosen for the launch recalled the original hey day of the hotel.

The brief was to match the service with the party theme. Canapé trays needed to:

1) Highlight the new Sheraton Grand branding;

Suspension tray gold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) Be memorable and spectacular;

gold canape tray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Compliment the colour scheme of the new event spaces;

Suspension Tray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Pair the canapés with specific drinks on the same tray, giving the guests a bite & drink the minute that they arrive.

Gold canape tray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a visit to the hotel and discussions with the Executive Chef we set to work on the tray designs, building in each of the key style requirements. An extra consideration was that the trays needed to work with an on-theme vintage Champagne coupe. We asked them to send us a glass so that the coupes fitted perfectly before coming up with initial drawings.

Canape tray design

As part of a high profile rebranding the hotel’s logo had to be just right.

Canapé tray design

“Tina provided the Sheraton Grand with some specifically design canapé trays that held Coupe champagne glasses with pairing canapés on the same tray and all branded with the Sheraton Grand logo. This was planned and designed by Tina herself and these products made a huge impact with the guests and certainly raised the bar in terms of our presentations going forward.

Tina also designed canapé trays in conjunction with some perspex drinks trays light boxes doughnut holders and Mini Milk Bottle holders.

I can highly recommend Tina for her patience and her ability to match the theme and design of the Hotel spaces and at realistic prices. We also held the Grand opening of the Hotel after renovation and she themed one of the venues in tandem with an Italian market concept which was amazing.”

Executive chef Andrew Bennett MBE

 

Sophisticated Halloween events

Sophisticated Halloween events

Look at these little beauties.. Totally perfect for your sophisticated halloween events.

 

Halloween trays

Inspiration

Add a few autumnal leaves and you have a bowl food tray that will glide through this season until the dreaded Christmas season! After some research we found these sophisticated trays at Notre Monde

Halloween doesn’t have to be black and orange!

…And we don’t all have to be able to carve a face in a pumpkin. I’ve gone a different route this year.

Black skull pumpkin

Top tips for a sophisticated halloween event

Here’s 3 of my top style tips :

1) Matt black is an all time winner

2) Gold adds sophistication

3) Using just two colours keeps it slick

Add your ghoulish desserts on to one of these burnt dressers and you are literally laughing (in a witches cackle)

Halloween dessert bar

We have dressers to hire that can be adapted & painted to suit the perfect halloween party.

Jones hire stock this athena range, which is couldn’t be more suited for Halloween. But I did say sophisticated so you may want to loose Dracula’s teeth. Although we can have a little fun sometimes and I’m certainly not averse to that…

halloween dinner party

Food Styling credit  : Maggie Ruggiero & Prop Styling credit : Elizabeth MacLennan. Image saved from  Food Network .

Check out some more fab images from some creative people all saved to my Halloween Pinterest page.

Top picks added to my moodboard.

Black Halloween moodpboard

What do I look out for when buying canapé trays ?

We are very often called by people in the hospitality industry with questions before buying their trays.

 

So to help you along a bit here’s a few words of advice.

There are many companies out there that mass produce trays made from acrylic and they sell them nice and cheaply.

The downside is they will be made from an inferior acrylic that could be prone to a crackle effect when subjected to heat or just over time.

They are usually made from a very thin acrylic and they don’t have the surface area to stick together which is ok for home use but no good for how many multiple outings they get on your events.

Hotels, event caterers & restaurants are like the crash test for acrylic trays and they are put through the mill. The washing process, sending out on events and getting packed (thrown) into boxes at the end of a long night quickly takes it’s toll.

So ask questions and stick to these rules to avoid buying the same trays a second time a few months later :-

 

1) Don’t get your trays made from an acrylic of less than 5 mm thickness if they have parts that will need gluing.

2) Insist they are bonded together and not just stuck together with a solvent.

3) Inspect for air bubbles.

 

Have a look at the below this is made from 5mm clear. Perspex is the best acrylic but there are other brands that are fine.

Canape trays
It’s so pleasing to see a lovely clear join like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what you want to try avoid
This is what you want to try avoid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what you are looking for. No air bubbles, perfect joins & even all edges have been diamond polished to give that smooth look !!
This is what you are looking for. No air bubbles, perfect joins & even all edges have been diamond polished to give that smooth look !!

We want plates

Oh gawd! I’ve had to face up to that Twitter page that everyone keeps tagging me in conversations about it in as it’s not going to go away.

109k followers type of not going to go away…

(https://twitter.com/WeWantPlates FYI)

Here’s my problem. 1/3 of my working week is made up of trying to find unique ways of serving food in fact if you include building food stations for food to go on that sends it to 2/3’s

SO I’m doomed.

enchanted forest
C’mon, everyone loves to forage for their Magic mushroom macaron in an enchanted forest..

However I totally agree. I hate eating any food from scratchy slate or my cherry tomatoes rolling off an olive board. Ok I know you’ve heard all this before it’s my biggest industry moan (except of course for big companies who don’t pay up for 3 months..Yawn) and that goes for eating your baked beans directly from a mini victorian bathtub.

The mouth feel of cutlery is very important for completing any delicious mouthful. I don’t like those white clunky spoons with the deep base for that reason.

SO WE HAVE TO GET IT RIGHT.

My pinterest page is full of Creative Plating , Canapé presentation & Unique Plates These creators have covered food styling with effortless class and finesse. Or my moto created “a perfect stage for their food & drink”

But we are in events and so it’s quite different, number one we are mainly talking about standing receptions which takes the mess away from the diner consuming straight from a plate . Number two we,  have to go one step further,  mostly because it’s expected of us now to push the boundaries. It’s all about miniature theatre surrounding the food they pick up from Canapé trays or whatever serving vessel not while we are sitting a at a table eating from a slate oozing with gravy on a white crisp table cloth… So I think we are off the hook …Phew.

But we still push it.

World war two Canapé trays
Ahem..

 

When I worked on the Great British Menu we were pushed to the limit of creating inventive ways of serving food to make good viewing. Which is why I was brought in, in the first place.

 

Before..
Before..

 

After I got my hands on it
After ..Same dish but with a bit of TND sparkle.
Great British Menu dessert
Dessert Larder cupboard. Sorry Not sorry.

 

 

We set the bar in Events way before Restaurants and then hotels got hold of it. When I first started working at Alison Price in 2005 we were all over it.

Edible garden 2010
Edible garden 2010

Hotels Are way behind .. And restaurants are in second place but frankly making a mess of it with the creation of such a massive following from we want plates in the first place.

I’ve got a file of over 250 photos dedicated to ways I’ve presented food and that’s only the ones I’ve go around to taking a snap of here’s some from my archives  …

Science…

Science themed trays  P1000285

Apothecary …

Apothecary Apothecary

Asian..

Sugar Cane Prawns with Mango and Coriander Dip Bamboo fish & Chips

Woodland..

woodland dry ice canapé tray  Woodland

Food Credit:   Moving Venue, Bubble food & Alison Price.

I’ll let you decide do we want to see plates or carry on how we were before the restaurants & hotels stepped in.

 

lets just get one thing clear no one wants to see this. It’s just plain wrong : Source @wewantplates  Twitter 

we want plates

 

A few of my favourite things 2016 – Concrete & Marble

So 2015 flew by in a haze of copper for me .. But mid year I had time for a spot of Terrarium action. After a trip to Japan in April I had a vision of a minimalist dessert station of hanging globes full of succulents. This went well with a gentle persuasion for my husband to design a green tea sprayed dessert. One of my other fascinations. Well any effect created with a chocolate spray gun. (green & red being the current faves!) This is one all ready for the desserts by Bubble food.

terrarium

 

Succulents & Terrariums with green tea partfait under a min cloche. (Did I ever mention Cloches were my other fave of 2015)

Green ta parfait

Here is the same perspex food station design full of desserts at Kensington Palace. terrarium

Now this year I’m obsessed with concrete & marble & I’m adding those materials to more succulents… The only thing is the first two are just a tad heavy..and anyone in events will know that puts me to the bottom of the Christmas card list with the warehouse packing and loading vans for events.

Now what’s just perfect is how well copper goes with the above two medium too. Here a mixture of Copper with Succulents thrown in with marble & lovely cool matt grey concrete to whet your appetite. Doesn’t it just feel calming..

concrete plant pots Copper succulents Concrete succulentsmarble copper pink copper succulentsMarble copper pink 3828003b5bea274033250f0d6b2f3684 a27cfa1ef9f9b67d257f6c78bfd12773

I created a food station with fresh white Marble and geometric copper bowls with tea light holders like the last picture here and it looked gorgeous. Sadly no photos allowed from this one. So the above moodboard will help you to imagine.

So look out for my food stations of 2016 to include of course – Marble, concrete, succulents to add contrast & life & lastly just a touch of  shiny copper for a bit of warmth not too much this year or people will think I have a copper mine..

x

 

Copper feel

 

We just love things that shine and currently we are loving gold, rose gold and copper. It’s just so pleasing. I created this moodboard last March in the hope that someone would give me free rein for some fun with all things shiny.

copper and rose gold

Hurrah.. They did… I got to work on a Steampunk-esque copper meat-molecular-carvery food station !!! Well I didn’t have anything to do with the meat myself but instead off I went sourcing pieces of shiny copper from DIY shops. It’s now grown from 6 foot station to an 18 foot one and add new bits as I go.

P1030168

Copper food station

Copper food station

Here’s some of my best buys…

Copper Tray 

Copper tray

Wire vase

copper-cuivre-grid-vase-collection-de-jaime-hayon-pour-gaia-and-gino

Tom Dixon copper lamp. Well what do you expect. It just has to be in there!!

dixon_Copper_lamp

Terrarium Don’t even get me started on my love for these.Copper Terrarium

 

And for my next project …

brc-pipe-table-9

Tis the season to be Neon

It started off on the catwalk  like it always does – and next filtered through to the home in the way of scatter cushions a couple of years later. And now the events industry have grabbed hold of it making this year the NEON season.

 

For me it starts with a mood board to get the vision.

Neon mood board

It’s no secret that my favourite medium is acrylic, and Perspex make the most incredible neon range.

Who wouldn’t get excited about these badboys..

Neon swatches

Here’s a few of the TND neon creations of late …

P1010353P1170378Neon Canape trayNeon pink canapé tray neon Cone tray Orange neon tray

 

Don’t forget your neon sign…

Neon sign

 

 

 

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