Entertaining + Design fun at West Elm

As we inch closer the highly anticipated Memorial Day weekend we’re excited to share some of our summer style inspiration. We were honored to be invited to host a workshop evening at West Elm, bringing to life three separate styles for home design, entertaining tips, our how-to projects, and a delightful cocktail recipe. Big thanks to West Elm for having us and to our awesome audience! What fun – we can’t wait to do it again for another season! These beautiful images were taken by the talented team at Limelife Photography – thank you guys!

We brought to life three entertaining and living vignettes based on totally different styles: coastal, rustic and an around the world setting. For each we created elements that we enjoy and the bode well for entertaining. We spoke to each vignette and, of course, shared our entertaining and design tips and how-tos {and a cocktail recipe!} for each style.

Old faithful. Our trusty glue gun sure has been around the block!

Lauren’s oh-so lovely spread.

Our how-to space with creative {effortless} projects we brought to life.

In true Valley style we wanted to create something with a coastal vibe but with eclectic and unexpected elements. We mixed and matched textures and pulled pieces from the floor with patterns and colors that coordinated in a fresh summertime way. Blush, navy and a sunny yellow did the trick. We turned the place mats sideways for a pop of color that draped down the table.

As we’re big on outdoor entertaining during the summer and beach bonfires, we encouraged our audience to welcome their guests with blankets cinched in twine. This not only keeps them warm when the sun goes down, but they’ll be nice and cozy if it gets a little chilly so will stay and celebrate longer.

Our Polka Dotted Craft Paper table runner anchored our table {we used a West Elm shower curtain as our table cloth – the pattern was awesome!} and our lovely helper learned how to recreate with wine and champagne corks.  We also showed our audience how to turn this paper into napkin bands and gift wrap.

We brought to life our popular Nautical Rope Coaster project and it was a huge hit! We had an awesome helper show everyone just how easy it really it. You can make up a handful of these and gift to a special hostess.

Our next vignette was that of rustic elegance; a mixture of gold cutlery, metallic trays and bowls, wooden tree stumps we turned into benches {by placing sequined pillows atop them}, and our Rustic Air Plant Wall. Yes, we showed everyone how to create their own and it was a huge hit. They were all gifted their own air plant and we’ve seen several photos of how they brought them to life. Fun!

Air plants!

Our final setting was inspired by utter relaxation with friends and family, either on the beach or at home. It reflected our love of travel and we dubbed it Around the World, focusing on incorporating awesome West Elm designs from Morocco, handforged tables, a wedding blanket, and huge patterned tufts perfect for summer fun.

Mr. Valley showed off his cocktail expertise and whipped up our Provençal-Inspired Pimm’s Cup that pulls tastes from our favorite places to travel during the summer: London and the South of France. If you haven’t heard, Nick is quite the story teller and our audience enjoyed hearing his take on entertaining and all things fun!

 Photos courtesy of Becky and Jesse of Limelife Photography

A huge thank you to Lauren and West Elm for having us and for Becky and Jesse for taking these lovely images. Thanks to Jessica for being wonderfully supportive and to our awesome audience for participating and being so fun! It was great seeing bloggers and home entertainers and to meet so many new people!

We can’t wait to do this again soon. You can see the rest of the album on our Facebook page. Cheers and happy holiday weekend!


  1. says

    Yay! I’m so glad I was able to come and support you guys! The nautical coasters were my fave. Now I just need an excuse to throw a party 😉 Hope your Memorial Weekend was lovely! Thanks again.

    p.s. – my airplant is still kickin’!

    Nook & Sea


  1. […] Posted by Aleah & Nick on Monday, June 4, 2012 · Leave a Comment  Happy Monday, friends! We hope you peruse some of our favorite post from last week {we shared some delicious recipes!} as we kick back and take today off for Aleah’s birthday. Some summer tastiness: Rhuby Garden Sparkler, Roasted Potato Bites with Honey-Brushed Prosciutto and images and summer project how-to links from our West Elm event. […]

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