Thursday, February 9, 2012

La Fête d' Amour..

Lately, I've been a miner for a heart of gold.

 Each year I work with a group of very talented women to put on La Fête, a benefit for Children's Hospital. The party has a different theme each year, and since it's going to be so near Valentine's Day this year we've named it La Fête d'Amour. 

I usually take on the task of decor and it is always an interesting process, in the beginning, it's very mental....after walking around the space, sometimes an idea just pops into my head, as it did last year for La Fête Blanc. This year, it wasn't so easy, the space is highly decorated with a twisted air of whimsy and sophistication and there is a alot of bold colors and textures throughout the space. Yes, this year required a lot of noodling!

Then I walked by the windows of Fran's chocolates, the creator of the sea salt topped chocolate caramels {yes, she did it first} and looked at her display, I thought to myself "what is more beautiful, simple, luxurious, inviting, promising and symbolic than a heart shaped box tied up with an elegant ribbon?"

FINALLY, the wheels started turning!

But, where does one find such lovelies? I found some paper~mache heart shaped boxes on~line, easy enough to order, but I knew I wanted a massive, textured display, so they couldn't be all the exact same sizes and textures. While I was trying to work out the heart situation, I was also trying to figure out how to display such hearts.... given the boldness of the room, the average vase from pottery barn just wouldn't cut it.

I don't know when it struck me, maybe during that handstand in yoga, but at some point it dawned on me that to deal with this flamboyant space I needed to turn everything upside down. Why not put furniture on top of the tables, romantic furniture with elegant lines and fun details....gilded furniture, perhaps? What about setting up little vignettes one might see in an elegant ladies abode, each piled high with golden hearts?

The idea clicked, on many different levels, and I went out on a mission. I had a few pieces around the market, but knew I needed more, so I set off for my local Goodwill store....where I quickly found a cart load of pieces that made the grade.

But, it wasn't until I returned in search of that splendid missing earring that I found these....a rag-tag gathering of heart shaped boxes, that may have once contained treasured gifts filled with meaning, promise and maybe chocolates or jewels, now all discarded and collectively displayed on a shelf at the Goodwill. One look at these romantic has-beens and I knew I had struck gold.

The collection was a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. I wasn't sure how the different finishes would respond to a showering of gold paint, but I lovingly {okay, more like frantically} swooped up anything in the shape of a heart,

{could someone please cue Jackson Browne?}.

Regardless of the materials with which they were finished, I took them all, tin, cardboard,




a plastic heart, painted gold and tied up with a wired satin ribbon, seriously
ceramic, velvet,


 patterned sheer nylon,

 moire and wood.
Gilded hearts, moire on the left, wooden on the right
The hearts did not disappoint, as I spritzed them, each one maintained their uniqueness, yet gracefully conformed to their new gilded status. These hearts will take center stage at the party at Escala tonight....oh,.. btw, what are you doing tonight? If you are in the area, please come to the party, click HERE for the invitation.

I actually loved the look of the hearts simply gilded, but for this situation, they really needed that special touch that only a satin ribbon can provide.

So, I spent Superbowl Sunday tying on bows, none of which were green or blue, no, they were shades of raspberry, maroon, pink and fuchsia....different widths, some wired, some not.

 I loved the added zest this fringy number brought to the party.

Countless cans of gold spray paint, {by the way all gold spray paint is not created equal, I especially liked the ACE hardware brand for it's nozzle, it allowed me to paint at various angles more easily, also I loved the wonderful shade of 24 kt. gold paint from Michael's} and eighty-plus bows later, I have my props all painted and ready to go downtown this morning for La Fête.

It's always hard to perfectly visualize how props will "fit" into a room, so I'll be bringing more than I think I need to add depth, dimension and interesting details to the displays.

Colorful candies are always a hit.

I really don't have a plan for the umbrella, pink sari's, painting or Audrey pillow, but I thought I'd bring them along just in case.

The luggage rack, rattan suitcase

and gilded pumps will definitely be used.

Not so sure about the colorful paper mache vessels, but I am bringing them all the same.

At the back of the room at Escala, there is an oversized marble counter, right in front of the kitchen "pass through" window. I really wanted to block that "pass through" window, so I am using this desk from my guest room to set up an elegant ladies desk, somewhere I have a copy of Le Monde to add to this display.

I'll dress the desk up with some sort of gold paper frou-frou at the base of the legs.

Would love to see you at the party tonight, if you have trouble with the invitation, please contact me at I'm hoping it all turns out well, please wish me luck!!


designchic said...

Wow, wow, wow, never disappoint. I cannot get over the sprayed heart boxes with the gorgeous bows and the pieces your bought from Goodwill - fantastic. Hope it's a wonderful party tonight...can't wait to hear!!

I Dream Of said...

Hi Emily, This is indeed splendid! How fun to walk through the creative process with you, and I LOVE the final results. Amazingly creative and just beautiful. You did a fantastic job! Wish we didn't already have plans this evening, I would love to come see it all come to life and support Childrens. But next year! Please share the date once you have one, I'd love to get it on our calendar. Have fun!!!!

pretty pink tulips said...

This is such a gorgeous combo of gold hearts and hot pink ribbon!!! I know your party will be a fabulous success tonight and that the guests will be swooning over the decor!!!

xo Elizabeth

Splendid Sass said...

You have created a masterpiece here and given this girl some great ideas for her own Valentine treat. Everything is stunning, Emily. It is no wonder they ask you to do the decor!
I hope that you have a wonderful night.

Melissah from Scrapbook said...

Loving all the Valentine's day inspiration - what a beautiful colour combination! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am so happy to have found yours. I have just signed up as your latest follower!
Melissahfrom coastal Style & Scrapbook

quintessence said...

What a great idea - everything looks FABULOUS!!