Design Trends 2014

For those of you who know me well, it’s no surprise when I mention that my passion for design is also what I like to call my ‘sixth sense’.  Design is a part of who I am.  I look at objects and environments beyond their conventional use.  To me, design is a universal language that has a profound effect on our lifestyle.  Good design should be accessible to all and remain ever evolving.

I am pleased to share my ’2014 Design Trends’ report with all of you today.  It is my forecast of the many design trends emerging in the weddings of this year.  Design trends in weddings are greatly influenced by the worlds of fashion, interior design, and architecture.  Event designers across the globe keep their pulse on all design industries to remain at the forefront of their craft, but more importantly, to continually fuel inspiration and creative ideation.

The following are my favourite design trends of 2014:

1) Colour.  I am particularly excited about the shift in colour palettes for 2014.  Referred to as the ‘new neutrals’, the muted, smoky tones of pastels evoke energy and lightheartedness.  Blush pink, soft yellow, mint green, and cornflower blue remind us of sunny meadows, spring blooms, and summer entertaining.  Fresh, airy colour palettes will continue to dominate the weddings of 2014.  In great contrast to this, the nostalgia of the 1990′s is evoked through the vibrant tones of green, purple, and deep blue.  Primary colours will begin to re-surface during the course of 2014 re-enforcing the dramatic art of colour blocking.

Pantone Colour of the Year: Radiant Orchid 18-3224.

2) Metallics.  Burnished brass and antique/distressed metals with weathered patina’s will emerge as the metallic of choice for weddings in 2014.  Rooted in tradition, the classical styling of metals lend themselves to an old world charm that brings warmth to a wedding design scheme.  An object that evokes history, adds character to an event environment and offers much room for personalization.

3) Pattern.  Pattern is a dynamic and impactful way to add depth, texture, and overall visual interest to a wedding design scheme.  The leading patterns in 2014 take inspiration from the outdoors and style icons from many of the leading design houses across the world.  I am particularly drawn to the beautiful pattens found in blue and white Chinese pottery, the French patterns of chinoiserie, the beauty of Mediterranean floral motifs, and the high contrast schemes of geometrics.  The foremost trend in pattern for weddings in 2014 leans towards whimsical botanicals/foliage prints; evoking memories of casual garden parties, sleepy summer afternoons, and our love for easy, outdoor entertaining.  The use of botanical/foliage prints will be most prevalent in linen and stationery design.  Updated trellis patterns, contemporary floral and foliage silhouettes, and topiaries (yes, topiaries!) encompass this trend in natural patterning.

4) Decor.  Although several design aesthetics will emerge and evolve over the course of the year, there are four that stand out for their versatility and ability to add character and personality to a wedding design.  These include:

a) The use of distressed furnishings.  Weather woods and distressed metals evoke a handmade, homespun quality to a wedding design.

b) The use of contemporary design and decor elements that are classically styled.  There is an inherent beauty to the contrast and visual tension created by combining contemporary and tradition decor elements, ultimately creating ‘transitional’ event spaces that appeal to all the senses.

c) The return and popularization of antique furnishings in decorating.

d) The re-interpretation of traditional wedding design schemes and spatial planning.  The weddings of 2014 (and moving forward) are viewed as elegant dinner parties and a natural extension to entertaining at home.  Head tables are replaced with beautiful harvest tables celebrating family and friends.  A central axis floor plan encourages inclusivity of all guests and places great emphasis on elegant entertaining.  The ‘cocktail’ style reception becomes more prevalent.

Customization continues to be the defining design tool in creating a distinctive wedding design scheme that is truly personal to the couple.

5) Floral Design.  Floral design continues to centre around floral artistry and floral installations.  The theory and principles of floral design are applied to built structures; creating ‘form’ in an event environment by defining space and establishing focal points.  Suspended floral design and floral ceiling treatments create dramatic floral statements.  Floral design moves beyond dining table design.

The use of foliage is my favourite design trend of 2014.  The natural textures of foliage add interest to a wedding design scheme and allow the form of a composition to stand out creating a sculptural quality that is quite dynamic.  The beautiful tints, tones, and shades of foliage enhance the overall design.

6) Design Themes.  Design themes continue to be a point of inspiration during the initial stages of the design process.  The prevalent design themes of 2014 take inspiration from nautical influences, botanical gardens around the world, resort lifestyle, and modern architecture including the many beautiful hotels around the world.

7) Hot or Not?  Hot: Beading, foliage, blue and white pottery, botanical patterns, colour blocking, natural fibres and distressed finishes, pastel colour stories, and laser cutting.  Not:  Crystals, pearls, stripes and chevron, mason jars, striped straws, and mirrored surfaces.

Hope you enjoyed my ’2014 Design Trends’ report!  Please comment below, what are your favourite design trends of 2014?  Do you agree with my forecast?  What do you see in wedding design for 2014?

Remember to join us for our twitter party on January 13, 2014 at 7:30pm EST!  Follow along with the hashtag #2014DesignTrends.  Co-hosts Christopher Confero (@conferotweets) and Cory Christopher (@artdesignliving) will be joining me as we discuss the most prevalent wedding design trends of 2014.

Have a wonderful week!

Paras (@paraskmehta)

Newsletter-December 2013

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Creating Effective Design Proposals

 ”Proposals increase a businesses closing rate by 58%”. -Harvard Business Review

How do you present your ideas to your clients?  What is the process in which you engage, interact, and, communicate with your clients?  How do you remain consistent with this philosophy throughout the entire design process?

Our proposal process is ever changing at PARAS Events.  The proposal itself remains an ever evolving document based on client feedback, its continual overall effectiveness, and the success of our closing rate.  Although the proposal process is based greatly on the verbal presentation of ideas, service experience, and fostering a personal connection -today’s entry focuses on the written document.

There are many ways to present your ideas in a written format.  When determining the proposal format that works best for you or reviewing your current proposal style, consider the following:

-Is the proposal easy to follow?  Have you clearly and concisely presented your ideas in a manner that your client understands?

-How do you communicate your ideas visually?  Do you provide a custom rendering of a unique concept or incorporate inspirational images from other sources?  Does your proposal process also include tactile storyboards?  How do you communicate the ‘experience’ of being a guest at the event?

-How does your proposal communicate the value of your art and your expertise?  Does your proposal provide a glimpse of the service experience clients can expect when working with your firm?

-Is your proposal visually appealing and consistent with your brand identity?

Overall, a successful proposal communicates: the event vision, service experience, the value of your expertise, your level of competency and confidence, investment, and brand identity.

It has taken me several years to develop a proposal style that works well for our clients, our staff, and our suppliers (from an operational perspective).  It has simply been an exercise of trial and error.

The following is a basic review of the key elements of our design proposals:

1) Title page.  Don’t underestimate the value of a well-designed, well-appointed title page.  An effective title page incorporates well positioned graphics and dynamic photography communicating your brand identity,  The title page is personalized to reflect the client -this can be in the form of their actual names and/or a unique name for their event.  Be creative.

2) Set the tone.  Our proposals incorporate preliminary imagery that capture emotion.  A brief summary of our firms qualifications and the ‘Design Process’ are outlined in the proposal.  In addition to this, we incorporate a short, dynamic statement that communicates our commitment to each and every client.  We highlight this statement in our proposals for maximum impact.  Our statement reads:

To create events that are fun, meaningful, elegant, and customised to reflect your personal style.  Prompt, personable, and professional service is our top priority.  

3) Create a Design Profile.  Our design profiles communicate the ‘look’ and ‘feel’ of an event in six (6) images or less and include a colour story.  The purpose of the ‘Design Profile’ is to clearly establish your event design concept and communicate the nuances of the overall design scheme.

3) Effective written and visual communications.  When writing a proposal, tell the story.  Take your clients through the experience your guests will have in attendance at the event.  Use appropriate imagery, renderings, floor plans, sample critical paths, etc. to communicate your ideas.  Ensure that you are using vocabulary that your client will understand.  Write in the present or future tense.  Romance the details.

“Upon arrival to the venue, guests are greeted by a whimsical place card table that is draped in luxurious rose gold sequin specialty linen.  Atop the table, a large 8′ grapewood tree is adorned with a cascade of hydrangeas, peonies, cabbage roses, and clematis vine.  A base of moss anchors the tree to the table, creating a landscape of textural interest and organic lines.”

4) Conclusion.  The last page of our proposals incorporate three distinct elements a) thank you message, b) personalization, c) a summary of the key elements of our service contract (as applicable), and d) a call to action.

By no means is this the definitive guide to creating design proposals.  The contents above represent what have been very effective for our business.  I hope that you find this information helpful as you reflect on 2013 and look ahead to your business strategies for 2014.

How do you present your ideas?  What process works well for you?  Please share below!

Have a great weekend!


Weekend in the Hamptons

I can’t help but hold onto summer for a just a little while longer!

Check out our latest feature in Lavish Dulhan Magazine (on newsstands now) entitled ‘Weekend in the Hamptons’.  A beautiful collaboration with very talented industry professionals.

The design and decor of this stylized shoot reflects casual elegance at its finest.  The theme of relaxed luxury is communicated through the use of decorative ‘objets’ amongst bountiful fruit and floral compositions.  Timeless blue and white ceramic dinnerware evoke a sense of nostalgia and restrained elegance.  Wooden furnishings provide warmth to the overall design scheme.

Relaxed summers by the beach provide the perfect inspiration for this stylized shoot.

I hope you enjoy this shoot as much as we did creating it!

The Dream Team

Produced/Styled: Arora Wedding & Event Planning / Photography: Verve Photo Co. / Design, Décor, Florals & Styling: PARAS Events / Make-Up, Hair & Styling: Amplified Soul-MakeUp+Hair Couture / Fashion: CTC West / Cakescape/Sweet Table: Fine Cakes by Zehra / Stationery: Love, Paper & Ink-Fine Bespoke Stationery / Fascinator: Blair Nadeau Millinery


Autumn is here…and so is our monthly newsletter!  My favourite season of the year, fall reminds me of pumpkin picking at the farm, beautiful mums at my doorstep, and the cool crisp air while walking scenic, local nature trails in the neighbourhood.  Can’t forget Halloween either!

We have a great blog line-up for October that I am certain you will enjoy!  Beautiful tablescapes, business insights, design inspiration, and ’Friend Features’!

Looking forward to a great month!


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