Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Decorating for a family affair

Embolden Design threw a big party last week, which was fitting because the web development, design and consulting firm in Pawtucket, RI, was celebrating a big anniversary (its 10th...which is like a century in the web world, considering how young the industry is), and it was celebrating in a big place.

Embolden lives in a brick mill building in Pawtucket that has attracted artists and small businesses. The wooden floors are scarred from the years of manufacturing work that was done there, the windows are upwards of 10 feet and the ceilings, 15 feet.

Embolden (which, in the interest of full disclosure, is owned by my sister Ann-Marie) occupies about 4,500 square feet of the mill. So, how to decorate such a large space for a party? The answer: Keep it simple. And keep the scale grand.

We hung about 40 16-inch white paper lanterns from the ceiling. We selected white so they'd pop against the orange walls of the space. The idea was to create drama and to visually lower the ceiling in such a tall space.
We also asked Flowerthyme in Wakefield, RI, (as it turns out, related to me in no way) to create several large arrangements - about four feet tall - so they wouldn't get lost in the space. Flowerthyme incorporated blooming branches, birds of paradise (for their orange) and white lilacs.

The result: An office space that looked elegant and festive.

Plus, there was booze and the food was terrific. It was catered by More Than a Meal Catering, which is run by Amos House, a social service agency that helps the poor and homeless of RI. The money the catering business makes is used to do good. I highly recommend using More Than a Meal, both for their professionalism and tasty treats.

Another neat thing about the party: Embolden, which primarily works with nonprofit organizations and community foundations, did a takeoff on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and instead gave away a prize of a "Radical Makeover: RI Nonprofit Edition" to a nonprofit whose name was drawn from a raffle. (Nothing beats doing well and doing good at the same time.)

The grand prize, worth more than $20,000, includes a new or redesigned website by Embolden and marketing, communications, and financial consultations contributed by various companies and an office makeover by At Home Redesigns (my business) and Consignments Ltd., a home furnishings consignments store in Wakefield, RI, that my friend Marianne owns.

The winner, Options Magazine, happens to be in the same mill building as Embolden and should be a lot of fun to redesign. I'll keep you posted.

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1 comment:

Scribbit said...

Love those lights--we're looking for some lighting in our new addition and this would be so pretty.