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.

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.

 

 

 

 

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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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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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

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

Food station commotion

Everyone is all over the food station at the moment. It gives theatre to an event. And thanks to Heston (no surname required ) all guests and clients are looking for theatre with every mouthful and they are quick to move on to the next thing . They are even bored of dry ice God damn it. I do wonder where it will all end up. My husband is  a chef -a bloody good one at that- and he’s paring his components right back so maybe we are actually going full circle.

All the intricate flowers placed on the plate with with long tweezers with millimetre precision are being stripped right back. Just look at Vijante my favourite restaurant oh no it closed down. Hmmm . Look at how many new restaurants popped up in the last couple of years up with only one or two things on the menu (even bigger stateside)  like Burger & Lobster, Ooze (risotto only) Bubbledogs, Meatballs. etc. Not to mention the upmarket burger explosion. Simple is back ..for a while anyway.

But for us the event caterers we have to give choice – and that we do. Food from every nation. I’ve had to research diets and religions. Like the Jains diet. I’d never heard of it until I started working in event catering. So yes everyone is quite used to Canapes with their champagne now. Or, if the guests are special enough – a sit down dinner. But now it’s the rise of the FOOD STATION & BOWL FOOD event. This is where it would appear I come in. Event managers call me in when their client says “we’d like interaction” “a food station”  “mini bowls” so their guests can talk to each other while slurping over a delicious noodle dish from an authentic 8oz chinese pail. Or tempura veg served in cones made from Chinese newspaper that I’ve run to China town to pick up 50 copies of.   Don’t get me wrong it’s not a new concept I’ve been designing food stations for 8 years plus but it’s really ramped up in the last year or two!

So my job is a bit more like set design in this respect.  You need to create a mini China on a 6 foot trestle table or India, Italy, Mexico or a picnic or seaside scene. I discuss with the Event managers, get the brief work with the Chefs on what food they will be serving and start sourcing and researching. Here’s a few from the last twelve months :

Tiffany theme food station
Tiffany theme breakfast buffet
English summer picnic theme
English summer picnic at The Granary building Central Saint Martins University of Arts
Seaside theme food station
Seaside theme foodstation

 

Indian theme food station
Indian Theme food station at the Natural History Museum

 

Chinese food station
Chinese food station

 

Sweetie food station
Sweetie bar
Italian theme food station
Italian Deli food theme.

 

Usherette tray fabrication – from concept through to event

So this is the story of a set of Usherette trays from the design to production.

Macaroon trays

Ohlala-macarons contacted us looking for a unique way to serve their macarons (French style macaroons) . The team gave us some requirements like holes for syringes and shallow trays for fresh fruit . They also requested scalloped trays to protect the shells and we suggested business card slots and hidden compartments underneath for extra shells – to avoid trips back to the kitchen for re stocking.

We then had a CAD drawing made up – or seven !!!

usherette tray

Once it looked perfect on paper we begged for a barbie size one to take to the client. This is 1/3 scale model, complete with strap holes. Too cute!

bespoke usherette tray model

Signed off, fabricated…AND now they are going out on events complete with the poodle branding.

Meredith bespoke

Macaroon trays

Usherette trays are a growing trend and oh la la have got in there early with their fab idea !

Shakespearean Christmas in London

This event started out slightly differently to the normal ones that I work on. Rather than a commission from an events company, I was asked directly by the end client to style their event.  This made it a bit harder for me as I was starting from scratch with equipment. Most caterers I work with have a stores that I rummage around and add things to when I have my theme. Ebay was my best friend  here combined with lots of trips to Wimbledon car boot sales!! Once the client had found a venue (with a view – was most important) I was then off to work. On this occasion the venue determined my styling – it was Shakespeare’s Globe. So there was my theme! Done.

It always starts with a moodboardShakespeare Moodboard

I created a food station – something I am asked to do a lot these days. It helps to define a theme on an event and it gives guests some interaction with their dining experience. A growing trend ! It also worked well for Christmas.  Obviously I placed candles everywhere to set the scene and old books, lots of them. The thicker the better. They help to give height which draws the eye around the food station. I thought a cheese station was fitting for this event.

Shakespeare Event

Shakespeare Event Shakespeare event

Shakespeare event

Shakespeare event

Shakespeare event

Shakespeare event

Shakespeare Event

Shakespeare event

Shakespeare event

Shakespeare Christmas

 

Grape tree cheese station

IMG_3253

It started off looking a bit like this …and grew and grew from there. IMG_2923

The client asked me to to think of a give away for their clients seeing as it was Christmas.

So what else would 200 (mainly) men appreciate taking away at the end of a night into a cold December evening. We had hip flasks branded in the company logo RSG.…My office this time turning into a production line for a lovely ginger-smelling cocktail.

P1140417

Thank you to David Spink Photography for most of the photo’s.

 

Shakespeare Mood board

 

 

 

Fast & furious 6 premier party

2013 was a very good year for me. You can tell – the blog ceased for 12 months!! Since the launch of the website I have been splitting my time between designing bespoke creations and hands on styling events. But it’s fun juggling both. I was even listed in Event magazine in the ‘Fab 50 newcomers’. Have a look here!

This event was one of the highlights in 2013. Working with Bubble food who have gone from strength to strength themselves over the last couple of years so when they ask me to assist with styling an event I know it’s going to be a fun one. This was to turn Somerset house into 6 food stalls in the court yard surrounded by the fast and furious cars straight from Leicester square.

It started with a tasting..

Italian buffet

Building in day light

Mexican food stall

Film Premier

And finishing with a sweetie bar

Sweetie station