Trending | Banana Leaf and Palm Print

I'm admittedly a pattern girl. Give me a pile of fabric with complimentary (yet contrasting) patterns, I'm smitten. But as patterns, prints and trends come and go, there are a few that have continually stood the test of time, and one of those happen to be the ever lovely palm leaf (or banana leaf) print. It's one of those elements that can morph itself into any design inspiration- from natural, to glam (Hollywood Regency, anyone?), to boho- this leafy maven has us covered.  Laurel and Wolf, the iconic online interior design firm, inspired me to share my thoughts on how to introduce the print into whatever you happen to be styling.

Interiors + Living Space

I tend to lean toward the philosophy of grounding with neutrals and adding patterns, color, or unexpected elements in smaller doses (or in specified areas) for a beautifully layered effect.

Right: via  | Left via My Domaine

Each of these spaces have mostly white, tan, gold and black accents, layered with the leafy pattern. 

However, the print is also amazing at grounding a busier space, too, like this crazy adorable nursery. 

Weddings + Parties

Using the palm leaf as part of your wedding design and/or party decor is less about becoming tropical and more about adding a fresh + modern accent to your event. And while the leaf definitely lives in harmony with a Hawaiian vibe, it can also be super stylish with even the most romantic or playful design. 

Right via Camille Styles | Left via Laurel and Wolf

I love turning traditional things into unexpected surprises, like penning a menu on a large palm leaf (or insert any object de nature, here), and a wedding lounge would be so sophisticated and on point with a pairing of graphic patterns, complimentary colors, and the palm print. 

Left via The Sweetest Occasion | Right via We are Scout

And of course, for the more fun-loving social parties, this print is perfect on decorations or as a live centerpiece to your table. 

All in all, this print is one of those you just can't go wrong with. All of this inspiration has me rethinking our outdoor lounge at home, too- just might need to pick up some of these banana leaf pillows for a little touch of sophisticated nature to our backyard. Would love to know- what are your favorite inspirations or ways to use the print? 

Don't forget to check out Laurel + Wolf for even more inspo on all things style and decorating, via their website, blogInstagram, and Pinterest!



Styling a Coffee Table with Chairish

When it comes to styling my home, I tend to be a bit of a minimalist- in both color (neutral always wins it for me) and accessories. And when I do buy trinkets and decor, it has to be something I really love to look at. But I do love putting together areas of my living space that pop a little more, and give the entire room a nice balance of visual interest. One of the places I love to do this is with a coffee table, so when Chairish approached me about my take on styling one of their gorgeous vintage coffee tables, I was all in. 

Chairish is an online resource, and basically a design lovers solution to buying and selling vintage furniture across the country. The company features beautifully curated pieces, and includes everything from art to decor to rugs and lighting too. I was asked to share my tips on styling, using one of the gorgeous vintage coffee tables available in their shop right now. My heart jumped a little when I saw this four drawer black lacquer lovely, and it was so fun to put together a collection of accessories and must-haves that would make this gem shine. 

I started with the necessities: the items that would ground the entire look, while also keeping everything together. This white hexagon tray is dainty and functional, and I thought it provided a nice juxtaposition to the masculine lines of the table. 

My next go-to is books. I love switching out really great coffee table books periodically because they are constant conversation starters, and tend to be lovely to look at too. I have both of these books- Erin Gates’ Elements of Style and Coco Chanel by Lisa Chaney- and both of their black and white covers are the perfect amount of neutral yet stylish for this table. I also love mixing in other trade style books, whether they be for entertaining or even just photo books. My biggest requirement for a really great coffee table design is that it’s both functional and beautiful. 

From there I will always have a candle and flowers. I love finding soft, floral scents that aren’t too strong for the room, and it’s always a bonus for pretty containers too. This Cucumber Pop candle would be a great way for a subtle addition of color in the mix, and I love how the rim is in gold, pulling it together with the neutrals too. 

Finally, we can’t forget ‘les objets’- the accessories that really speak to your personality and finish off the entire look. I loved this lacquer box (perfect for the functional purpose of concealing anything from remotes to the small items that have no place to go) and this vintage brass wishbone for style and luck. 

It was so fun to find pieces to style this beautiful table; Be sure to check out their entire collection of coffee tables here. 

Favorite Fall Wedding Ideas

If I had to choose one favorite wedding season, it would be fall. It might have something to do with the crisp cool temperatures, aromas (pumpkin spice anyone??), or my slight obsession with textures (and the pairing of them):

Pillows: West Elm | Stool: World Market | Pink Stone Coasters: West Elm | Hammered Metal Decanter: Bed Bath and Beyond | Pretty Macaroons: L'extravagance | Fall Wedding Centerpiece: Jacin Fitzgerald

Colors: My go-to colors that are inspiring me right now are jewel tones with a touch of neutral + light pink. I think it keeps it ethereal while still adding the right amount of bold elements. 

Textures: Fall is your ticket to using all sorts of textures and patterns without anything looking or feeling too busy. Along with the more expected (warm) textiles like fur, I love the idea of incorporating other elements like stone or crystal to mix it up and keep it interesting. 

Gold: Need I say more? Gold goes with everything. Use it. 

Comfort Food: The fastest way to your guests' hearts is through their tummies. Take advantage of the cooler weather and serve both sweet and savory comfort food. Now is the time to get a little decadent and experiment with a menu that touches all of their taste buds. {And hot toddies are never a bad idea either}

Flowers + Foliage: Whimsical, natural, and textural. This amazing centerpiece by my friend Jacin Fitzgerald says it all. 

Beaded Wrap: Bhldn | Peaked Lapel Tuxedo: The Black Tux | Gold + Pearl Cufflinks: The Black Tux | Rockstud Ivory Pumps: Valentino

A fall wedding is also the opportunity to get jazzy with your look for the day. Statement pieces and bold accessories are such a beautiful addition. 

For her: Boleros and caplets are all great additions (both for style and comfort), but how about this stunning beaded wrap? And imagine, some killer shoes and a classic, ethereal gown. 

For Him: Who can go wrong with a black tux? This classic look is both dramatic and stunning at the same time. While suits became the norm of summer weddings, I'm looking forward to seeing more of this iconic look this fall season. Pair it with some eye-catching cuff links and I'd say this couple is camera-ready. I recently came across The Black Tux, an online tuxedo rental company, and was so excited to see quality, well-fitted tux, suit, and accessory rentals available to men wherever they're located. If you haven't discovered it yet, take a peek- you'll be glad you did! 

What are your current favorite trends or ideas for fall weddings? 



What to Wear to the Wedding {Dress Codes De-Coded}

As we continue into the most popular season for weddings, it’s inevitable that you have received at least one invitation to attend a wedding celebration.  And depending on the location and timing of the event, you’ve probably also had at least one moment of panic as you wonder what you are going to wear.

With so many things to consider- tradition to climate to formality to terrain- it’s no wonder the etiquette for wedding guest attire has gone cloudy for most. So when the men’s clothier Paul Fredrick contacted us to weigh in on the subject we jumped at the opportunity to join in the conversation!

This infographic is a handy reference guide Paul Fredrick put together in conjunction with a team of stylists, wedding specialists, and the like. At first glance you can see how the formality progresses as the day goes along.

We thought we could elaborate on this even further by discussing the fine line between tradition and our thoughts on how to dress your best for every style of wedding- for both men and women.

Formal- After 6p

Wedding ceremonies beginning at 6p or later call for your most polished duds- and even more so if the invitation indicates Black Tie. A tux will always be the way to go in either of these situations, polished black shoes, and we agree with this graphic that the traditional bow tie (ala Bond) is the only way to go (and besides, ladies do you not agree the men look so dapper in a bow tie?).

Sara + Dylan Photography

Ladies you’ll want to pick out a dress, tea-length to floor length (black tie), to really seal the deal at a formal wedding. If you have straps, bring a shawl or bolero to cover your shoulders if the ceremony is held at a church. And let’s weigh in on the debate over whether you can wear white or black to this affair. In short, we think black is chic and is completely acceptable. White? Though times have changed a bit and traditions have loosened we still agree with etiquette and say let the bride be the only one shining in white.

Semi Formal- Before 6p

Ceremonies beginning at 5:30p or earlier call for a less formal look, though by no means casual. Guys look cool and polished in a dark suit- think dark navy or gray. A slim tie or vest (with a jacket over top) is acceptable in this situation too.

Ampersand Studios

Ladies will look for what we call cocktail attire for this style of event. With the exception of a floor length gown, you can often intermix the attire requirements for a formal and semi formal event. One rule we live by- for cocktail attire, keep the hemline at the knee, longest at the calf. We are not clubbing so let’s leave the super short dresses at home, ok?

Casual- Before 6p

If the wedding invitation clearly states a casual celebration, don’t overdress for the occasion. Men can look to lighter fabrics like khaki, poplin, or seersucker (tradition holds this to Memorial day through Labor day only if you’re really by the book).  A sport coat would be the way to go here, though guys can even get by with a nice dress shirt, tie, and slacks sans the jacket (Paul Fredrick has a great selection of looks here), loafers or other less formal dress shoe, and a smile. And by no means are you allowed to wear jeans to a wedding.

Ampersand Studios

A more casual wedding can also be considered “garden party” attire for the ladies. Think summery fabrics (cotton, linen, light silks), and getting a little more colorful in patterns is acceptable (and don’t worry- it doesn’t have to be florals). The most important issue to note here is the terrain.  Most of our garden party or casual weddings have included grass or other nature to contend with, so consider wearing flats or wedges to avoid sinking or other ankle rolling debacles.

Resort Chic- Anytime

With more and more destination weddings becoming the go-to celebration, we’ve found a lot of would-be guests struggling to find the right seaside look. Unless Black Tie or other formality is indicated, much lighter fabrics and styles of dresses (ie: we would find the maxi dress totally acceptable in this situation) are the norm. Depending on the locale, men would even be good to go in flat-front khaki shorts and a button down shirt with loafers.

And there you have it- the complete thought list on what we think your guests should be wearing. We would love to have you weigh in on the discussion- what are your thoughts on wedding attire and formality?

{Featured} Real Soiree- Sarah + Laura's Garden Valley Wedding

Happy Tuesday! So excited to be able to finally share this intimate, sweet wedding with you. Featured on Wedding Chicks today, do head over to take a peek at the whole spread- and get some great ideas on how to really personalize your wedding. We'll be back tomorrow with more photos from this mountain destination wedding, so stay tuned!



On Copying Vs. Inspiration

I know what you're thinking- I get back on the blogging train after a few months hiatus and after a few lighthearted posts I go straight into a serious one. But in reality, it's been on my and some of my industry friends' minds lately. And when I saw an Instagram post from Kathryn at Creme Brands (@kathrynduckett) the other day, which lead me to the source of the conversation,  I decided I wanted to join in on the conversation too.

Let me preface all of this by saying that I believe it's extremely hard to define the fine line between copying and simply being influenced by someone else's work. After all, everywhere we turn there are beautiful pictures on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook...everyday someone is perfectly styling a table in the right light for the perfect 'sneak peek'. I think it's natural to want to hold yourself to a standard, or to admire what someone else is doing. I find this especially hard if you're a perfectionist, like me. I mentioned yesterday that I realized I only have four posts on Instagram in the month of October- and I completely realize it's because most of the photos never made it off my iphone because I just didn't think they were good enough.

But perfectionism aside, I do agree with these ladies that way too much gray area is being taken advantage of. It almost seems the days of "how can I create something different" are replaced with "how can I recreate that". I think being inspired by someone or something is a beautiful launching pad for something even better. I've come to realize over the years that everyone has to find their own way of doing things. Jacin Fitzgerald of Lovely Little Details (@lovelydetails) even mentioned once that she never looks on Pinterest anymore because no matter what it seems everyone has already done "your great new idea".

So with that, I propose that we have a little tunnel vision. Put your head down and respect your strengths and weaknesses in business, social media, and how you find inspiration. Now I understand why almost all of the wedding designers I've had the opportunity to speak with almost always say they never read wedding blogs- they don't want to become swayed, even subconsciously. It's like the saying goes- be aware of what's going on (trends, competition, etc), but don't become obsessed. For me, I'm realizing that while I still read wedding blogs, I've also added in a copious amount of interior design and home still keeps me in the creative, and most of all it inspires me to find ways to incorporate those style elements into my work.

I'd love to hear...what have your experiences been with copying, or seeing so much of the same things in your industry on social media? How have you dealt with it? 



October Insta-Favorites

October was a big month for the Soirettes- we had a myriad of projects and weddings to tend to- who ever said wedding season ended in September?? Looking back through all of the photos, a few things became obvious to me: 1) I really need to be posting on Instagram more. Seriously, 4 posts in October? Not good. 2) Kim is much better at posting on Instagram than I am, and therefore most of these photos are from her account (good job Kimmy!) 3) October was a busy month, and no wonder I'm tired. Here are a few photos from our adventures in October-and now that I've admitted to the world that I'm not so great at publicly documenting things, please check my Instagram for what will be a crazy amount of posts this month!

We started this month off with the sweetest private ranch wedding, ever. Dubbed the "fancy farm wedding", our bride wore a gorgeous pink dress, and lots of gold and sparkle made way into the farm setting. It was also one of the most torrential wind storms ever, too- back up plan in the barn worked well in a split second change of weather!

Baby Hudson is a star. 

Our most favorite project to date- an amazing collaboration with so many great vendors. Our "Come Away With Me" photo shoot introduced a brand new venue in McCall and had so much fall and winter inspiration included- can't wait to share more of this one! And no, those were not Moscow Mules in our cups, but rather warm coffee as we were freezing!

The three musketeers at our last wedding in October

And bonus: this one is actually not on Instagram (surprise), but on my iphone, so I included it anyways. A snapshot of the fall-inspired table we designed for Paperie and Pen's grand opening at the Village at was actually quite a challenge to take the ideas of one design and change it up a bit. Fun nonetheless, and hope you've been able to stop by their amazing new store! 

Happy Wednesday! 




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