Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Splurge vs. Save" Centerpieces

Earlier in September we were published in Bridal Guide Magazine's article "10 Splurge vs. Save Centerpieces".  Author Stefania Sainato challenged us to redesign five of our upscale centerpieces to stay within a budget price point of $100.  I thought I would show some detail shots of the "Save" designs that didn't make it into the magazine.

 This inexpensive ceramic urn was brought into the "Autumnal Tree" theme by dabbing on layers of brown, gold, and copper paint.  Seed pods were highlighted with gold paint to match the gold votive holders and manzanita branches.  This centerpiece contains only two bronze football mums, but because of their placement within the focal area, they command a large visual weight.
 The elegant spherical shape of this all-white arrangement echos the sophistication of its pricey counterpart for the "Classic Glamour" theme.  Using a single crystal candlestick, rather than an entire crystal candelabrum, also helped reduce the price point from $850 to $90.
 For the "Enchanted Garden" theme, a slab of a freshly-cut Ash tree, and green sheet moss were used to compliment a basket full of garden flowers.

 For a "Modern Architectural" look, we used hot pink carnations on top of a tall white glass cylinder vase.  Purple design wire swirled around the orb of carnations, adorned with purple dendrobium orchid florets.  More design wire was spiraled around the pink votive holders at the base of the tall arrangement.
 The "Country Chic" motif included charming details, such as a flower basket made of chicken wire and lined with simple burlap.  A pairing of quaint yellow ribbons woven through the wire basket lent a decorative flair. Burlap was used again to adorn the votive holders, along with another ribbon treatment and tiny monte casino blooms.  Faux quail eggs seemed to match the farm-style gathering basket.
Although it isn't easy to slash a centerpiece budget by as much as 90% and preserve a reasonable semblance of the original design, I think we showed that surprising success can be achieved when the designer focuses on the key elements of the design.  With a little creativity, attractive centerpieces can be had at budget conscious prices!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Triple Publication in the knot New Jersey!

We are very excited to see three of our happy couples appearing in the Fall/Winter 2012 edition of the knot New Jersey.  Congratulations on your weddings and for making it into print!  Check out their fabulous receptions:

Christie & Thomas at The Palace at Somerset Park (pp. 92-98)

Mary & Joe at The Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre (pp.106-110)

Aidan & Jon at The Stone House at Stirling Ridge (page 118)

Flipping through the magazine, I also noticed work by A Touch of Elegance in articles and ads from other vendors as well:  My Bellissima, Jasmine Cianflone, The Park Avenue Club, Jersey Street Furniture, Flanders Valley, and dp Studio Ting Yi photo & cinema.  Such a pleasure to work with these talented professionals!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Sweet Little Party!

We had so much fun hosting Annabelle's 6th Birthday Party at our workplace!  Her girlfriends showed that they were 'budding' floral designers while making their own fresh arrangements to take home.

Upstairs, our mezzanine showroom was decked out for snacks and birthday cake, but the show-stopper was this amazing candy buffet by Linda Pirozek of Ooh La La Event Styling!!!

 Customized party hats, paper lanterns, and feather boas were just some of the decor for this dance party!

Here's to being FABULOUS!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Sometimes Spring needs a little encouragement, and we are ready for some warm weather!   We thought reliving a bit of last year's 2011 Tulips and Pansies Headdress Affair runway show would bring warm thoughts of spring and summer flowers.  This sun hat design was loaded with fresh flowers and sported elegant lines, despite being over 6 feet in diameter!  We had a great time collaborating with the talented  designers from Mataano in Brooklyn, who created this gorgeous yellow printed sun dress for the show.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rock and Roll Decor at the Pierre Hotel

Our design team did an AMAZING job setting up this incredible table display at the Pierre Hotel for a swank networking event hosted by Grace Ormonde Wedding Style magazine.  There we met many talented vendors, including Ed Hafizov from Zorz Studios, who provided all the incredible photos for this blog. 

With our set up time slashed from 8 hours down to 3, and a long chaotic route through the crowded basement, this set up was definitely a challenge. Our hosts provided an eclectic list of inspirations for this wedding table design, including Summer, specific Pantone colors (in yellow & blue), Marie Antionette, Juicy Couture, and Rock and Roll. With these factors in mind, our designers brainstormed and pounded the pavements of New York, scouring the flower and fabric districts for materials to weave into a show stopper.

We agreed upon an airy gazebo-like structure, covered with moss and ringed with ivy bush as our mechanics, from which we could hang a crystal chandelier and top with candles in hurricane lamps.  Fresh floral blooms were arranged in a long loosely-draped garland which also contained swatches of yellow printed fabrics and hanging tassels.  We selected varieties of yellow and white flowers for volume and a variety of textures:  asiatic lilies, oncidium orchids, mimosa clusters, proteas, roses, stock, hydrangeas, and craspedias. 

A decadent 'Blush Ruffle' linen from Nuage Designs dressed our table in a couture vibe.  Fantastic 'Leopard Print' chargers, blue braided goblets, and citrine 'Isla' square glass plates were provided by Something Different Party Rental.  Mismatched white and blue chairs from Luxe left no room for convention.

So far, so good.  Yet still we needed more.  Enter silver jewelry encrusted with blue gems, pearl spheres, skulls, and wild animals!  Every other place setting had a ring fit for a goth princess propped on a pillow of craspedia.  Silver skull bracelets posed as napkin rings and jewels sparkled everywhere.  A pair of parrots stood guard over the treasure, and a life-sized silver skull (under apothecary glass no less) served as an unforgettable focal point, like the better half of a Jolly Roger. 


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Visiting the Dutch Flower Auction

Lisa and I took some time to travel to Holland this winter, tracing our connection for world famous Dutch flowers to back its source.   Many thanks to Tony Cummins, our sales rep at Tuning Bloemenexport BV, for taking time out of his very busy schedule to walk us through the Aalsmeer Flower Auction.


The endless arrays of flower carts and the extreme efficiency in which they were rapidly shuttled around was truly impressive.  Equally impressive was the incredibly high quality of product that we saw on every cart.  Tony explained that several of the floral varieties that immediately caught our eye could not be shipped to the United States due to customs regulations.  Also, any flowers that are not sold at auction are immediately destroyed by a shredder, regardless of quantity. 

As the tour progressed, we learned that Holland produces relatively few greens and that flowers sold at the Dutch flower auction are imported from all over the world. 

Although we are generally not fans of dyed flowers, these blue Vandelas were incredible.

We were fascinated to watch the actual bidding process as a non-stop procession of floral carts displaying product moved by on the floor below.  Meanwhile, huge computer screens tracked and displayed competing bids from hundreds of buyers, each lot selling in a matter of seconds!  We began to appreciate that sucuring orders for large quantities of a single variety/color of flower is difficult due to this rapid bidding process.  We were told later that buying in bulk does not necessarily translate into savings.  Also, the buyers promise a set price to their clients before the auction takes place, and must do their best to fulfill their orders amongst competing buyers. 

In spite of furious activity, the floor was quiet and civilized; nothing like the Wall Street stock exchange.  Afterward, we left inspired to acquire new varieties of product for the spring season, and to find unique and  exciting ways to express our design aesthetic.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Touch of Elegance Goes 212!

Although far from complete, we have enough furnishings to begin meeting with clients in our new Manhattan office.  We are looking forward to many exciting consultations, and are already feeding off of the hustle and bustle that is the Big Apple.  More to come...

By Appointment Only:
267 5th Avenue, Suite 506 (at 29th Street)
New York, NY   10016