Whether you are hosting a dinner party, birthday party, or wedding shower, try using color to plan an event with style and class instead of a gimmicky theme!

Just a few weeks ago, I was helping my mother-in-law brainstorm an idea for my father-in-law’s retirement party. Unlike a lot of men who retire, he isn’t interested in fishing or golfing or hunting, so there wasn’t an obvious “theme” to help mark the occasion, put on invitations, or tie in to the décor. But then, I remembered my father-in-law’s new-found affinity for Moscow Mules. So I suggested a Moscow Mule themed celebration. Since Moscow Mule mugs are copper colored, we decorated and accented in black, white and copper. It was the perfect masculine color combo for a party just before New Year’s. Of course, even more interesting were the parallels between the color copper and it’s meaning in the context of my father-in-law’s retirement.

Color has a profound influence on a space and the people in it. Use it to your advantage to create an inviting space that can accent the occasion you are celebrating. The fun thing about color is that you can bring it in to a space in so many different ways: linens and fabric draping, chair covers, lighting, decor elements and centerpieces, flowers, and even the food and beverages you serve.

Also, when considering color, keep in mind the seasons and what colors and textures are naturally present and easy to come by. That has proven to be absolutely helpful in the design of several of my events. It was a no-brainer when I designed an “Our Little Pumpkin is Turning One” First Birthday Party in October. This shabby chic affair was soft and sweet in hues of orange and peach and was accented with burlap, lace, jute twine and bales of hay. And a gender neutral “Baby it’s Cold Outside” baby shower in December was decorated in white, gray, and silver, displaying a festive hot-cocoa bar complete with snowflake shaped marshmallows. And now, I’m looking forward to a Big Kahuna themed Luau in June boasting of bright colors, fresh fruits, and lots of flowers and leis for a special little guy who’s turning one! It’d definitely be a lot harder to host a luau in October and use pumpkins for a party in July.

Did you know, each fall and spring, Pantone, the leading authority on color, comes out with the following season’s color trends and announces the hot color of the year? For 2017, the Pantone color of the year is “Greenery”. Greenery has really become a staple in florals and décor within the last year, so it’s no wonder that this would be 2017’s color of the year.