5 tips for event design on a budget- a REAL budget

Any good event designer can make a room work within a budget. The challenge comes when you move out of the ballroom and boardroom, and into the living room. When entertaining at home, here are five key things to consider when planning decor that won’t break the bank.

Halloween Display1. How much space do you have? It’s ok if you don’t have a large patio, or an expansive double parlor. The key is to identify a few architectural features of your house and focus your decor there. Place a small cluster of balloons left and right of an entrance, or add party-theme accessories to the mantle. Focusing your decor will give you more bang for your buck.

Twinkle Light Vase2. Twinkle lights. Remember those white Christmas lights in your basement? They’re no longer just for December and college dorms. Twinkle lights (that’s the fancy industry term), can be used to back-light a mantle display, add light and movement to a table scape, or even Fill glass containers and cluster them for a unique illuminated effect. Image to the right is a vase and light combo available in stores.

3. Bargain hunt. Consignment and second hand stores are filled with colored glass, ribbons, and other accessories that can be perfect for your party. The clearance section at your local home store, or big box store can also yield great finds.

Hand made napkins4. Get crafty! For Thanksgiving this year, the budget was tight and the napkin color I wanted was only available at the fancy (and pricey) mall store. So I headed to the fabric shop, found the perfect pumpkin color, and got to sewing some seams. I also made simple napkin rings from felt. Total of $12 for all the supplies, and easily done in a few hours. Guests will also appreciate the personal touch.

Pops of pink5. Use strategic pops of color and design. If you’re hosting a cocktail or buffet party where you’d prefer to use paper goods, the cost of patterned supplies can add up quickly. Save money by picking a solid color as a base and buy only half the amount of napkins you need in the solid color, and supplement with a fun pattern for the other half. Mix them into the stacks on the table and maximize the effect of a small amount of the pricey napkins. You can also use ribbons or small air-filled loose balloons to breathe life into a solid table cover.

I will explore each of these tips in more depth later, but I hope these get you brain going. You don’t have to be a socialite to host a fabulous party, you just need to get a little Kreative!


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