When it comes to event décor, it’s hard to compete with Hawaii. The land of rain forests and volcanoes has done a fine job of creating a backdrop that leaves residents and visitors alike speechless. Viva! Event & Destination Management Executive Director Denise Ker Waldron, CMP, is not one to back away from a challenge, however. So for the past 10 years, she has been coming to the islands to provide event management, including décor, for numerous clients. (Yes, we know: It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.) This lava-inspired tablescape was created on one of those trips.

“The Big Island is known for volcanos, so we chose the fiery-red color for the gala to provide a strong, vivid feeling as everyone walked in,” says Waldron. 

That inspiration gained momentum when Waldron spied the charger at BBJ Linen. “It started everything,” she says. “I designed around it with the hues of gold and red.” The chargers seem to glow, thanks to gold centers that segue to red around the rims. The smoldering effect was repeated throughout the room through the use of lighting, draping and variations in red and orange tones.

While the décor was decidedly tropical, Waldron went inland for the flowers. “[In Hawaii] you get inundated with tropical flowers, so I wanted roses. It brings in the connection between the mainland and the local,” she notes. Additional flowers used included red ginger, birds-of-paradise and red orchids.

For texture, however, she went pure Hawaii: lava rocks. Surrounding the vases with the rocks, she sprinkled rose petals on top. “I borrowed lava from the island, combining the texture of the rocks and the texturized plates with the softness of the roses,” Waldron says. “It made the chargers really pop, and the whole room was so unique and different.”

To further set the mood, she showed videos of Hawaiian scenes, including lava inching down the mountain and spraying up from the core of a volcano.

The design was just one of four she created for her client, who was hosting a four-night sales incentive program. “They did a themed event each night,” Waldron says, “and I designed the décor for all of them.”

DESIGN CONCEPT:
DENISE KER WALDRON, CMP, VIVA! EVENT & DESTINATION MANAGEMENT // 503.477.6280

LOCATION:
THE FAIRMONT ORCHID GRAND BALLROOM // 800.257.7544

VIDEO AND LIGHTING:
THE FAIRMONT ORCHID PSAV // 800.257.7544

LINEN:
THE FAIRMONT ORCHID // 808.885.2000

CHAIR COVERS & FLORAL:
PARADYM EVENTS // 503.219.9290

MENUS:
VON SOYK DESIGN // 503.657.7774

PHOTOGRAPHER:
KILOHANA PHOTOGRAPHY // 808.332.9637

CHARGERS AND BREAD PLATES:
BBJ LINEN // 800.592.2414

The simple checked pattern of gingham conjures up images of homespun goodness. The rustic accents hint at our region’s untamed backdrop. The two combined set the table for a warm holiday party. 

Of her choice of gingham for the table, designer Misty Damico says, “It has a casual ‘cabin’ feel. I felt it was a good textile for a Pacific Northwest vibe.” Damico is owner and creative producer of Luxe Event Productions, a Portland, Oregon-based specialevents firm. 

 

If you want a magical setting, look to the forest, a favorite muse for event planners like Seattlebased Valley & Co. Husband-and-wife duo Nick and Aleah Valley turned to the natural Northwest backdrop to create this intimate tablescape at a backyard celebration on the first day of summer in 2014.

“We wanted to be really playful and complement the setting,” Aleah says.