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Event decor and design elements are vital in creating an immersive atmosphere and experience for your attendees. The right decor choices can transform a bland event space into something spectacular. As an event manager, the decor you select helps set the tone and reinforce the theme and brand of the event. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll explore creative ways to use decor to elevate your next event.
Your event decor encompasses all the physical elements layered into the environment to delight the senses. This includes lighting, textures, colours, furnishings, floral arrangements, signage, multimedia visuals, and more. Even subtle factors like the style of tableware have an impact.
Thoughtful decor helps craft a cohesive experience that wows attendees when they arrive. It also enables you to shape the mood and energy in the space. Your goal is to create a multi-dimensional, dynamic, yet cohesive setting.
In this guide, we’ll break down fundamental principles, popular trends, and creative ways to incorporate decor to take your events to the next level. We’ll also look at decor ideas for specific event spaces and touch on how lighting, furniture, and the right decor pieces can transform venues.
Critical Principles For Designing Event Decor
Follow these fundamental principles as you conceptualize the decor design for any event:
Reinforce The Theme
Every visual detail should tie back to and reinforce the theme and brand identity of the event. Don’t include random elements just because they look nice. Ensure cohesion in your decor choices.
For example, if hosting a garden party, incorporate floral prints, garden trellises, herb planters, and nature-inspired tablescapes. Or, for an underwater ocean theme, use shades of blues and greens, figurines of sea creatures, fish bowl centrepieces, nets, shells, and lighting that mimics sunlight filtering through water.
Complement The Architecture
Take cues from the existing architecture and layout of the event venue. Use decor to highlight or complement key architectural or natural features. Please work with the space, not against it.
If the event is in a warehouse with exposed pipes, incorporate industrial lighting features and metallic accents. Add crystal, candlelight, and classic furnishings for ballroom events with chandeliers. Or if outdoors, build decor around the gardens, landscapes or views.
Engage Multiple Senses
Aim to delight multiple senses, not just the visual. Incorporate textures, scents, sounds, lighting, food and beverage elements. Create an immersive atmosphere attendees can see, touch, hear, smell, and taste.
Consider scenting the air with subtle essential oil diffusers or fresh floral arrangements. Like tropical cocktails at a luau, serve food and beverages that reinforce the theme. Use audio cues like ambient ocean sounds at an underwater article or jazz music at a Roaring 20s event.
Scale To The Space
Ensure the decor scales well to the size of the space and the number of attendees. Elements should be sized to balance negative space. Avoid clutter or sparseness.
Oversized balloon sculptures make sense for a ballroom but could overwhelm a small reception area. Make floral arrangements and centrepieces proportional to table sizes. Account for attendee movements and lines of sight when determining decor placement.
Allow For Flow
Decor placement impacts attendee flow and circulation. Ensure decor does not obstruct pathways or lines of sight to crucial areas like stages or food stations.
Leave ample space between seating areas. Use signage and lighting to help direct traffic towards bars, buffets, or lounge spaces without bottlenecks. Avoid bulky decor pieces that block main passageways.
Trends In Event Decor
Here are some of the most popular current and emerging decor trends to inspire you:
Dramatic, Artistic Floral Designs
Flowers remain a go-to decor element, but modern events call for dramatic oversized arrangements and bursts of floral art. Work with sculptural exotic blooms for visual impact.
Incorporate an element of surprise by suspending floral pieces from the ceiling or clustering arrangements down the centre of long banquet tables. Include vertical floral sculptures or living plant walls as entryway features.
Make a statement with unique lighting fixtures, chandeliers, string lights, gobos, and creative neon signage. Use lighting to define spaces, highlight focal points, or evoke a mood.
Project patterns or the event logo onto walls or the stage with gobos. Border event spaces with string lights or lanterns to distinguish lounge areas. Use spotlights to illuminate key decor elements like floral centrepieces.
Bold, Vibrant Colors
Neutral colours are out. Go vibrant with bold, saturated hues like Living Coral, Ultra Violet or Lime Green to energize your event. Adapt colours to reinforce your theme.
Vibrant accent colours paired with neutrals help colours pop while still feeling polished. Try a deep emerald table runner down a row of round white reception tables for visual interest.
Add tactile interest with the layering of textiles. Incorporate different table linens, pillows, rugs, and other materials. Mix prints, textures, and patterns for depth.
Opt for sequin or velvet tablecloths and lace overlays for a luxe layered look. Use textured pillows on lounge furniture. Hang patterned fabric on walls as artistic focal points.
Greenery Walls And Installations
Vertical plant walls, floral archways, hanging terrariums, and living plant installations are trending. Greenery adds life while softening challenging architecture.
Create a backdrop wall of vibrant green plants or ivy behind the stage or bar. Frame the entryway with a fresh floral archway guests pass under. Add height with hanging ferns, air plants or moss installations.
Multimedia Interactive Features
Incorporate interactive digital displays, GIF photo booths, projection mapping, or virtual reality to engage tech-savvy guests.
Mount a real-time social media feed display projecting guest posts—project digital decor patterns like swirling galaxies onto plain walls for psychedelic effects. Let guests get immersed in VR experiences related to your theme.
Lighting Tips and Tricks
Lighting plays a starring role in event decor. Follow these tips for using lighting design to elevate your events:
Set the mood– Use coloured uplights, gobos and dimmers to create an ambience. Cool blue or purple hues are relaxing, while warm reds energize.
Highlight decor – Use spotlights on floral centrepieces or display areas to draw attention—Backlight greenery installations for dramatic effect.
Define spaces – Use area lighting like string lights to distinguish individual lounge groups or dining spaces.
Make it functional – Ensure adequate lighting at buffets, bars, and seating areas for comfort and safety.
Create focal points – Illuminate standout decor pieces like ice sculptures or balloon art. Shine pin spots on stage during presentations.
Play with patterns – Project swirling light marks, logos or brands onto plain walls or dance floors.
Layer lighting elements – Combine string lights, lanterns, wall sconces, gobos, and spotlights together for depth.
Furniture Rentals For Style and Function
Your furniture rentals tie heavily into the decor and aesthetic. Follow these tips:
Match the theme – Pick furniture with finishes, colours and silhouettes that tie into your event theme. Opt for vintage rentals for a Gatsby affair or sleek modern rentals for a tech conference.
Consider ergonomics – Select seating for comfort during extended events. Look for adjustable chairs, lumbar support and padded cushions.
Allow for flexibility – Furniture arranged in multiple configurations enables you to divide space or create intimate areas.
Mix and match – Vary furniture styles, shapes and sizes for visual interest—accent sleek rentals with your textural pillows and throws.
Define spaces – Use area rugs beneath furniture groupings to create lounge spaces and define seating zones.
Review logistics – Understand delivery, setup and breakdown timing to ensure furniture is ready before guests arrive. Have a cleanup plan in place.
Decor Ideas For Different Event Spaces
Now let’s explore how to apply decor details to transform key spaces throughout an event venue:
Entryway First Impressions
The entryway makes the all-important first impression as guests arrive. Greet guests with a dramatic floral archway, branded step and repeat, or multi-media art installation. Hang a draped backdrop behind the welcome desk. Other ideas include:
- Suspended lighting elements like lanterns add warmth.
- Vibrant entryway carpet in coordinating colours
- Towering live plant installations or moss walls
- Sculptural logos, initials or event names built from lighting
- Artistic event signage on easels or decor pedestals
Main Event Room Setting The Scene
For the main event room, layer lighting, linens, centrepieces, and multimedia visuals create a dynamic space. Drape ceiling pipes or trusses to add dimension. Other transformational decor touches:
- Suspend giant floral chandeliers or other statement pieces from the ceiling
- Project patterns, logos or imagery onto walls or even the dancefloor
- Line the stage with LED light panels synchronized to music
- Use venue-flowing pipe and drape backdrops behind stage or focal areas
- Border stages and lounge areas with string lights for separation
- Cover plain walls with textural fabric panels or wallpaper
Tablescapes For Networking
Thoughtfully decorated tablescapes promote networking during meals, receptions and breaks. Include:
- Multi-level floral centrepieces with LED candles for drama
- Decorative table runners, overlays like sequin or lace
- Accent lightings like lanterns or low vase lights
- Charger plates that pick up accent colours
- Themed tent cards with creative guest assignments
- Unique table numbers like mini chalkboards or acrylic shapes lit from within
Lounge Areas Visual Interest
Carve out lounge spaces with area rugs, varied seating vignettes, throw pillows, end tables, lamps, and greenery. Other lounge decor ideas:
- Backlit bars with ambient lighting built-in
- Food stations decorated to match the theme
- Hammocks, hanging chairs or conversation nooks
- Fire pits, fireplaces or other interactive elements
- Abstract art, multimedia displays or games
Foyer And Pre-Function Spaces Guiding Guests
The foyer and pre-function spaces prime guests for the event through decor. Greet guests with a floral focal point, then guide them with the following:
- Effective wayfinding signage on stands or hung from ceilings
- Ground decals, carpet runners or tile patterns showing the flow
- Roped stanchions to direct queues if needed
- Distinctive lighting cues guiding guests towards entrances
- Greeters positioned at crucial decision points.
Bars And Food Stations Focal Points
Bars and food stations are hubs of activity. Make them stand out with the following:
- Sleek graphic neon signs or lighting displays above stations
- Textured tile or wallpaper as backsplashes
- Ambient lighting built into food station counters
- Floral garlands, lanterns and props dress up the space.
- Highboy tables and high-top chairs encourage socializing.
Thoughtful event decor can infuse any venue with your brand’s essence and create the right atmosphere. Following core design principles and the latest trends ensures your decor delights guests while working harmoniously within the event space. Layering lighting, florals, textiles, colours, textures, multimedia, and functional furnishings transforms generic rooms into captivating branded environments. With creativity and planning, you can craft personalized decor that effectively sets the scene for each event on your calendar this year.