Just as spring began to emerge here in the Pacific Northwest, we received a much-welcomed phone call. A doting husband asked us to throw his wife an intimate and memorable celebration dinner in their home to mark her 40th birthday. The sky was the limit on design, but there had to be good food and good wine. One catch – we had just 72 hours’ notice to curate the evening.
Kelsey and I sat down and immediately began to brainstorm. We both agreed that the guest of honor possesses a calming aura, which called for tones of neutrals with punches of lilac. Kelsey remarked how her poise reminded her of the Duchess of Cambridge. But with an absolutely Americana vibe, like Ralph Lauren, I added. And so, we had our visual direction “The Duchess meets RL”.
As with all my designs, I started by considering the environment of the occasion. The client’s historic home is filled with rich woodwork, Victorian brass fixtures, leaded glass windows, and tiled fireplaces. In the dining room where we would set the scene, the tones of the brocade drapes were directly reflected in the tableware choices. Starting with a luscious base of beige velvet table linens, we began to layer in the details.
And of course, with the clock ticking, it was of the utmost importance for us to rely on our stellar team of vendors to do what they do best. Our color palette was expressed in locally grown flowers by Swoon Floral Design. The Tie that Binds sprang into action with a custom monogram featuring a wreath of spring blooms. This became our motif for the paper goods and was incorporated onto the showstopping dove-grey birthday cake by Dream Cakes.
Lastly, we choose to honor our duchess of the day by keeping her little ones entertained while at the table. In wooden boxes at their seat, each child found supplies for coloring, play putties, and small toys.
And while celebrating a milestone birthday during a pandemic may sound uneventful, this evening was filled with family, joy, good taste, and great conversation.
Sarah G-T for Kelsey Timberlake Events
Our evening captured so beautifully by Colleen Amelia Photography