Welcome to the Bella Signature Design Blog!

We are so happy that you came to visit our blog! Bella Signature Design focuses on creating a custom, stylish event that is highly personal, with details that synergistically come together to create an atmosphere that is a direct reflection of you. My passion, as a designer, is to infuse your event with all the little things that speak to who you are, and to share that with your guests in a stylish, unexpected way. Our blog will be changing in the next few weeks to reflect our vision and our passion, so hang on for the ride and enjoy!

Feel free to peruse the posts, look in our archives for some great advice and be sure to leave comments on what you like. We love hearing from you!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Featured Design Element: Lighting

Lighting - one of the most overlooked and under-utilized design elements in event design - in Seattle anyway! Lighting is one of those slightly intangible elements of an event - it makes a huge impact at the event itself, but as you are going through the planning and design process, it's not as tangible as lush flowers or textured linens. It is, however, one of the easiest with which to create the atmosphere or mood you want to establish for your event. Think of the 'power' of thousands of candles (no, not just the few votives your venue supplies) on the tables and window sills, or the magic of an LED lighting package that allows the color (and therefore the ambiance) to shift throughout the night. The picture above was from a June wedding at the beautiful Woodmark Hotel tent; while weddings there are usually focused on the waterview, this couple wanted a bit more warmth and ambiance added in to the typical pacific northwest wedding-on-the-water, so with some chocolate duppioni drapes and a few par lights lighting them up, we were able to add warmth and color to contrast with that beautiful blue water!

The picture below (Newcastle Golf Club, picture by One Thousand Words Photography) showcases the ambiance created by lots of candles (both pillars and votives) on the dining tables; as well as a few par lights lighting up a ruby red backdrop behind the cake to give it that extra glow.

We recently designed an amazing Indian Wedding at the Westin in Bellevue (where, unfortunately the walls are a grey/green color - not in the client's color scheme!) In order to keep the attention away from the walls, we actually shone the lights onto the walls, and completely saturated them with color. We designed a rich blue color to match the bride's sari, and a warm amber to add in that warmth (we love that color!) . The evening started out with a lot of candle light, muted overhead lighting from the three chandeliers, and muted LED lighting washing the walls. As the evening progressed, the overhead lights went out, and the LED was played up, becoming a bit more vibrant over time. The color changed with the music, (which was great bollywood-american fusion courtesy of Ajay of Kumba Entertainment out of Los Angeles...)
We also draped the backdrop of the headtable in gold duppioni, and had a color wash on it that subtly changed in color over the course of a few minutes; it was subtle enough to make everyone take a second look, and not crazy enough to be tacky. It was beautiful to see this color gently washing over the backdrop behind the couple, and I can't tell you how many guests tried to capture that on their video cameras!
Some additional advantages of LED lighting: 1) it takes up a lot less power, so the chances of blowing a circuit are greatly reduced :) 2) it's a lot cooler in terms of temperature (stick 35 par cans in a room and it will get HOT in there!) 3) it's a lot cooler in terms of programability - think lights changing over the course of the night - or even with each beat of the music (sounds like a bit much, but with a technician at the event, you can have the lights around the dance floor changing with the beat of the music...
So, for your wedding or next great event, at least consider lighting as part of your ambiance-creating magic! Daniela