Monday, June 14, 2010

Pottery Barn GIVEAWAY and A Morning with Nathan Turner


A week ago, I had the pleasure of meeting designer Nathan Turner at the Chicago Pottery Barn store, where he presented The Perfect Wedding Décor workshop. Seeing as I am helping plan a bridal shower and wedding taking place in the next two months, I diligently noted Nathan's ideas on arranging flowers, cheap and chic decor tips, and food service.


FOOD SERVICE
This is not a spanking new idea, but I loved how scaled down this candy buffet is.
His suggestions:
1. Mix up the shape of the serving dishes. They should be varying heights and widths.
2. Try and stick as close to the event color theme as possible.
All pastels. All green candies. All pinks.
3. Make sure to have little goodie bags at the table so guests can scoop their favorite candies and take them home as a favor.

When serving food buffet-style, whether it's a large bridal shower or a dinner party, wrap flatware in a napkin so it's one quick grab for guests. Tying the napkins with faux flowers, twine, or a ribbon make it both beautiful and practical by holding the set together.

Set glassware on a tray for added dimension and sparkle to the table.

Similar to the candy bar, make sure serving pieces on a buffet are of varying heights. Nathan mentioned there is nothing more boring than seeing a long, flat table with no interest. Three-tiered stands and raised cake platters are a great way to bring in dimension. Candlesticks, flower arrangements, and a champagne bucket all help spruce up what could be a very boring presentation.


FLOWER ARRANGEMENTS
Nathan kept stressing that YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE A VASE for your floral arrangements. Here he's showing how he used an oasis (green foam) in this champagne bucket to prop up peonies. How grand for a gift-drop table or the name card table at a wedding?

Above you see Nathan made use of a soup bowl, pitcher, and cappuccino cup.

Items of note:
1. The striped vases and votives you see are actually clear vases wrapped in paper from The Paper Source. All you need is double-stick tape!
2. Use coordinating paper (the stripes and the hydrangea) to mix it up without being too matchy-matchy.
3. Look at the bouquet on the right. Nathan noted how we all see little Granny sneaking away, weighed down with the huge centerpiece at the end of the night... he suggests making take-away bouquets and adding a little note, "Take me!" Much easier for guests to grab and those expensive flowers won't go to waste! And bunching three in a single vase gives the appearance of a full floral arrangement.

Another affordable centerpiece option is placing small bud vases along a lengthier table with little votives scattered throughout. Nathan said this was one of his favorite techniques when he hosts dinner parties at home. It would also be pretty on a buffet or side tables in your house.

I got to hang out with Crystal at the event. She is also hosting this same giveaway today, so make sure to pop on over to Plush Palate for another chance to win!

With the man himself. Nathan Turner.

He had on such a great outfit! It was a blue checkered shirt, skinny knit tie, and loafers sans socks. And don't get me started on the thick-rimmed glasses (shown in previous photos).

...and because I love playing this game, I just need to point out how much Nathan looks like Greg Kinnear, one of my favorite actors (Little Miss Sunshine, As Good As It Gets, You've Got Mail).


GIVEAWAY
Pottery Barn is offering this beautiful medium-sized Villa Bottleneck Vase to one lucky winner!

1. Follow Live Creating Yourself (in left-hand menu)
2. Comment on this post with your favorite Nathan Turner tip to enter for the giveaway.

INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL so I can contact you if you win.

Winner will be announced Monday next week!

**UPDATE: Congratulations to Torrie for winning the Villa Bottleneck Vase from Pottery Barn! Thanks to everyone who participated.

54 comments:

  1. Wrapping jars in decorative paper is SUCH a great idea!

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  2. My favorite tip is a tie between varying heights of serving dishes on a buffet table and flowers don't need to go in vases - think outside the vase.

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  3. I like the tip about using a non-vase item to hold flowers.

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  4. I love that he noted you do not have to have a vase to put flowers in...I do this all the time and now I know I'm not crazy!
    katelynsheffield@hotmail.com

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  5. Love the Take-away-bouquets! What a great favor to give and makes a large centerpiece when all combined in one vessel per table!

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  6. Wrapping cutlery in napkins is perfect! That way people can grab all they need at once, instead of getting back to their seat and realizing they forgot a fork :)

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  7. thanking you for sharing! I love the idea of using other things other than vases. I want to run home and put some flowers in this cool red pitcher I have.:)

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  8. I love his tip to put flowers in a champagne bucket - so chic! I'm a follower.
    - Danielle
    other-option AT hotmail DOT com

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  9. I love the unique flower vase idea, and that buffets need to be varying heights. Also - the "take me" notes so people know they can take the flowers home - brilliant!

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  10. I am also a follower, and I LOVE the peonies in the champagne bucket!! So, so classy! What a fun seminar to attend, and thanks for sharing!

    Suzanne

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  11. gorgeous!

    jdeng87(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. Great tips! I love the idea of wrapping paper around the vases. That way everything coordinates for a punch and who cares what your vases look like!

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  13. The striped vases and votives you see are actually clear vases wrapped in paper from The Paper Source. All you need is double-stick tape!

    That is such a great idea!

    jrsaksa@gmail.com

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  14. While it is not necessarily new, I love all of the different sizes of arrangements. I tend to stick everything in one vase.

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  15. wrapping the votives and vases in decorative paper is a great idea! love it!

    emilyblinn@gmail.com

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  16. I love the glasses on the mirrored tray...who needs a wedding, I just might do that in my house!

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  17. I love the tip to put glasses on a tray...so simple and so elegant. Love it!

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  18. So much great advice! I love the tip about wrapping utensils in napkins for a buffet. Useful and a way to add a pretty visual to your table.

    I follow, of course!

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  19. Love the take away bouquets...I work with a wedding decorating company and we're always trying to get rid of the flowers at the end of the night, this would be such an easy way to do it & make everyones day!

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  20. katielynch02 @ gmail
    I love the paper wrapped take away bouquets. I wish I had thought of this when designing my tall centerpieces for my wedding. I also love paper wrapping the vases. I have some scraps I'd love to try that out on.

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  21. Hi Alaina! First let me start by saying that I absolutely love your blog and follow your daily musings religiously :) with that being said I know you had briefly mentioned going to see Nathan Turner and how I wish I could have gone. It looked like a great little event! My favorite suggestion has to be the affordable centerpiece option of placing small bud vases along a lengthier table and scattering votives around. I am always looking for fun and inexpensive ways to spruce up my dining table when entertaining. I think I'm going to try this for my next gathering but first I'll have to pick a color theme and stick to it when purchasing the floral to put in the bud vases (another great tip from Nathan!)

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  22. All of his tips were fab, but how great was the tip about wrapping silverware in individual napkins and tying with a decorative object? It's not something I've ever thought about, but I know it's something I'll be using when I plan my BFF's baby shower!

    greenerpaztures@hotmail.com

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  23. i love the wrapping paper idea! great post darling and great photos, thanks for sharing!! I follow of course
    have a greta week xoxo

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  24. I love Nathan's tip for arranging flowers in unexpected items- pitcher, bowl, etc. Definitely using this one at home! But I wouldn't mind that precious little bud vase you're giving away!

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  25. It's hard to decide what my favorite is. Possible I love the votives and vases wrapped in paper. It's hard to not love anything Pottery Barn!

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  26. I love putting glassware on trays!

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  27. I love the idea of putting flowers in anything other than vases - so much more creative and interesting!

    beautydesignlife at gmail

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  28. love the tip about the varying heights on the table! lcmheydon at gmail

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  29. Great tips! The tip for take-away bouquets is brilliant!

    afabus@hotmail.com

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  30. Lately, I'm really loving the idea of putting flowers into pitchers, canisters, etc. It's not a monumental concept, but it's creative and different. Love it!

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  31. Im a follower!! I already use different pieces around my house as vases... So the tip I liked was making sure serving pieces on a buffet are of varying heights. Thats so true and im guilty of having a flat table!


    kmmcgarvin@yahoo.com

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  32. I like the use of the unconventional vases..brilliant. I am a follower and really hoping I win!!

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  33. what a great giveaway and blog!
    emgoodchild@gmail.com

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  34. Love any flower tips. So great

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  35. Great tips. Thank you for sharing.

    1) I follow your blog.
    2) My favorite tip is that you do not have to use a vase for your flower arrangements.

    *E-mail...
    aplace2share@gmail.com

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  36. Great tips...just wish I had a party or wedding to plan for.

    My first time commenting but I've been reading your blog for a few weeks! I love it =)

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  37. such great tips!! I love the idea of having votives that are actually clear vases wrapped in paper from The Paper Source.

    keeping my fingers crossed!!

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  38. Good tips. I like the one about using small bud vases throughout a lengthy table.

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  39. greetings from greenwoodJune 15, 2010 at 12:45 AM

    I love Nathan Turner and your blog. Anything on a tray adds to the beauty. I love a tray of empty glasses just waiting for their prospective drink to be poured.
    Something about being served and loved by a hostess!

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  40. Ooohhh, I love anything Pottery Barn and anything wedding, so this post was awesome! So many great tips, but my favorite was to not always use a vase and go for something more unexpected like a soup bowl or champagne bucket! So clever! And all those flowers are so beautiful. drpredhead@yahoo.com

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  41. I love the idea to wrap the vases with the paper from the Paper Source. I've seen that done and never knew how they did it.

    queenoftheclick at yahoo.com

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  42. Hey! I absolutely love the idea about putting flowers in the champagne bucket. We always just rush for a glass vase to put flowers in. This is such a great idea and makes a much more dramatic statement!

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  43. Forgot to include my email!

    amynwaller@gmail.com

    :)

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  44. I love the paper wrapped around the clear vases, how clever, casue we all have too many clear vases!

    kimberlylhogan@gmail.com

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  45. I loved the tip to use small bud vases with votive candles. So simple, but it looks amazing!
    linseymh@gmail.com

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  46. I love the idea of using paper to wrap vases in coordinating colors! So chic- plus I love hydrangeas :)

    kmclean08@gmail.com

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  47. My favorite tip was the take away bouquets!
    C.Evans5@gmail.com

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  48. I love Nathan's tip about putting flowers in containers other than your typical vase. I'm already dreaming up great uses for my trifle bowl and some of my pretty pitchers.

    soalaurable at gmail

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  49. I'm going to wrap jars in decorative paper! That was a great tip!

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  50. I think blogger ate my comment...

    My favorite tip is to use small bud vases and votives on longer tables. I did this at my wedding and loved the look!

    ashley.whitmore at gmail.com

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  51. I'm a follower of you and I love the idea that you can put flower arrangements in other places than just a vase. the tea cup was so cute!!!

    Jessica

    busse(dot)jessica(at)gmail(dot)com

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  52. My favorite is the tip about the candy buffet! I created one of these for my friend's wedding. Tips- I used, in addition to glass bowl, glass vases from craft stores. They are cheap and come in tons of sizes. Also, check out the bathroom section of stores because they usually have cute but cheap apothecary inspired jars. Finally, in the kitchen section there are glass jars with a lid that pulls up to dispense straws. These are perfect for chocolate covered pretzels and licorice! dhennan@gmail.com

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  53. I love the food service ideas of using a theme of colors.

    I will definitley be using fake flowers to tie my napkins, as well.

    gayleromanelli@gmail.com

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  54. Nice Post....
    Flowers are perfect for any occasion. Today number of local florists is available who make special arrangements for the great occasions like weddings, birthday's parties, and all other miscellaneous occasions.
    Thanks..

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