Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's a Party!

 The lovely Catherine Hopkins over at The Shiny Pebble blog is having a party! Catherine's dining room has been re-designed by fabulous interior designers over the past few months in her Designer Challenge series. To celebrate, we were all invited! 

I thought I'd help design her party. Of course, I've had to make a few assumptions. Please join me!

Catherine's guests are arriving at the front entrance. They don't realize that the main party will be in the tent in the rear of the property. The twinkling lights they caught a glimpse of were assumed to be hanging on the back porch. You know, fourth of July-ish.

Not Catherine!

Let's begin in the entry:

The niche was crying for flowers for the occasion. I suggested using two glass vases filled with delphinium, agapanthus and magnolia.  Simple, beautiful.

Delphinium                         Agapanthus                            Bay magnolia
Italy of My Dreams               Veranda magazine                       

Look at Catherine's pantry!

Italy of My Dreams by Matthew White

Ah-ha! I found that lovely heirloom lace tablecloth for the dining room table. Thankfully it was rectangular. I didn't think it was necessary to use the undercloth, but we could have if Catherine had insisted. Maybe in another color?

Italy of My Dreams by Matthew White

Isn't the Julie Neill chandelier she chose to-die-for? 

It was just installed before the party, so we had to go with a centerpiece on the dining room table that was a bit lower. It was difficult to decide between two of these tall fruit compotes filled with flowers and trailing greens that spill onto the table,

 Abigail glassware

 or Casa Blanca lilies in these mouth blown vases.

Veranda magazine  Photo by Tria Giovan

The guests are now being guided by Catherine's oldest two children (who have promised "to be good for the rest of my life!" in order to stay up late and spy on the adults and sneak the food) out the rear door, into the garden and the tent beyond.  

Here is how it looked during the lighting focus last night. 

The dance floor, all white with a black border, is placed on an angle. The tables are all 36" rounds, to encourage guests to mingle and dance. No parkers allowed!

Catherine chose a theme of elegance (for a Southern lady!): cream and gold with touches of silver/blue, so we chose table linens of sheer white over an undercloth of metallic platinum.   

On the guest tables are these precious, gilded glass vases scattered down the center:

Carolyn Quartermaine    As seen in Set with Style by Caroline Clifton-Mogg

We definitely need lots of candlelight! Everywhere.

Set with Style by Caroline Clifton-Mogg

Be they candlesticks or votive candles, lighting is the most key ingredient of the party. And it goes without saying that the tent lighting makes or breaks the party.

The huge food stations on each side of the tent are draped with the metallic platinum cloths. They are accented by these large, fabulous vases.

The flowers we used for Catherine's party included as many garden flowers that Catherine could cut. The garden roses were perfect. Look at her front walk filled with hydrangea!

 Italy of My Dreams by Matthew White

Here are some of the garden roses. They include the peach Crown Princess rose and the cream Classic Woman rose. The tent smells amazing!

       unknown name  credit              Crown Princess rose credit              Classic Woman rose            
We accented the roses with white and soft blue hydrangea, along with cuttings from the Weigelia bushes in Catherine's yard, and some Solomon's Seal cuttings. Both will last a long time if they are conditioned properly first.  

Veranda magazine                                                           
Solomon's Seal                     Weigelia

 In the powder room, we placed these garden roses:

Italy of My Dreams by Matthew White

And last, but not least, Catherine decided to give her guests these good-bye gifts as they leave:

Can't wait to see you, Catherine!


  1. Great Job! I'd love to have her pantry, and what beautiful flowers! All so creative. I just posted my party in honor of the Designer Challenge. You might want to check it out too.

  2. Oh, what a beautiful event you've helped design with all the right accoutrements! I believe my choice would be the Casa Blanca lilies but really, either will do -- I love the rush and freshness the orange of the citrus evoke, too. Beautiful images and so well thought out. Bravo!

  3. Oh Ann everything looks so gorgeous! I love it. You paid attention to every little detail. And my heart was racing as I read thru the whole thing and looked at all the beautiful pictures. By the two older children, i am thinking you are joking about my dogs. Too cute. You are so wonderful and talented. The flowers and the tent were magnificent!

  4. What a great post! Hello new friend!! Love every single picture. Stop on by my blog for a cocktail, you deserve one after all the hard work you did on this blog post sister!

  5. Oh my goodness, I need to know you...every little thing thought through...I love it. Come see what C's wearing, over at my place. xx's

  6. Ann it is all so fabulous!! Come and see what I set up for the party!

    Art by Karena

  7. Love the tent idea, it looked breathtaking at night!!

    So glad to bump into you at the party, I'd like to invite you to visit my blog. You are welcome any time :)

  8. A beautiful 'Whimiscial Fantasy Land' you have created for Catherine and all of us blog party attendee's. We are not going to want to leave this dreamscape.

    Just magical -- the strung lightening in the tent 'Rose et lis' all the stunning collections of flowers, oh the list is long everything is perfect would not change a thing.

    Would love to use ---incorporate or reproduce that strung lightening sometime or somewhat close to it.
    Came over from Catherine's -- I welcome you to come over to my blog.


  9. simply fabulous! specially love that antique chandelier. great blog and glad to be a follower. have a fab day! verbena cottage

  10. I mean, REALLY?! You just took gold when thinking of the powder room!! THAT is the greatest touch I've seen yet b/c it's SO important to have a beautiful place to refresh on such a fancy evening :) AWESOME

  11. Every inch of this post is sheer beauty. I am expecially intoxicated with the pantry! ANd the chandy! And the roses! Everything!

  12. Oh My God, thank you for stopping by, your post is amazing, I was goint to post a comment yesterday and something happened that I lost your page... I am going to follow you now before I loose page or somebody calls me...