Several weeks ago I was asked if I was available to create a vignette for the Open House and Blessing for the Steeple House in Kapalua. As a preferred vendor it was a great opportunity to showcase this unique venue and increase exposure for Little Details, LLC. The inspiration frame provided by the venue team was to think Mid- Century Modern Aloha, Vintage Hawaii and, or Bohemian Maui. Before, I could think about my theme, I had to go back to the basics. The fundamental component of making any design work is to focus on the location, purpose and intended audience. The Steeple House is a very unique venue that offers both indoor and outdoor entertainment options. The Steeple House is located in a luxury resort area on the west side of Maui. My goal was to create a design that had a big wow factor.
The first step was to visit the venue to look at the space. Having a first hand account of the look of the venue allows a designer to know what décor will enhance the space. The Steeple House is a very unique venue space that has the duality of hosting in-door and outdoor events. There is a very classic yet historic feel with modern elements. It is classic due to the clean lines throughout. It is historic as the integrity of the original chapel was maintained. The rustic elements are highlighted with the wood bead-board ceiling. There is also an accent wall with a barn door to separate the bridal suite. As a designer, I had to select a theme that would compliment the existing venue and create a desire for the potential guests to want to take a closer look at the design vignette.
The purpose of the Open House and Blessing was to introduce the venue to the local business and event industry community. There was an added purpose for me to generate more exposure for Little Details, LLC. Thus, after my venue tour, I kept thinking about combining a Hollywood vibe with whiskey. I was envisioning a whisky lounge in Hollywood’s hey day. More importantly what would a 21st century whiskey lounge look like? I wanted to ensure that the furniture I used enhanced the vibe of the venue, thus my color palate was grey, white with gold accents. I also wanted to play with texture to create a luxury feel. I decided to use two grey opened-arm low mount velvet chairs. For another seating option, I selected a single white chair with a somewhat Victorian wood design at the top with wood legs. The chair also had a white faux fur ottoman from my business inventory. To connect the wood elements, I added a dark wood open shelf where I would have gold accents with pops of color using floral bud vases. The open wood shelf was the feature piece that anchored the entire design. In addition to this wood, I added a grey credenza that had a vintage look. There were two different end tables incorporated. One end table was a clear crystal pedestal. The other end table was a copper martini table.
After addressing the purpose of the open house and incorporating the appropriate furniture pieces it was time to think about the audience. The guests were not only perspective clients, but people within the event industry and business sector. With a local market, I had to communicate an overall Maui vibe. I used several elements to accomplish this. The first was incorporating a non-traditional rug. The rug mimicked the look of a bamboo floor with a leather trim to bring in more texture and dimension to the floor. The second element was the wood shelving. I hung monstera leaves from the back to create the look of a feature wall. These leaves are quintessential to Maui. The third element was an accent color within the bud vases. I incorporated the Pantone color of the year: Ultra Violet 18-3838 2018. I also incorporated this color within the throw pillows and lush blanket that I draped over a furniture piece. This was sure to get the attention of those within the event industry. Whenever possible designers always highlight the feature color of the year. A fourth element was the whiskey aspect of the lounge. I had to find something unique that the guests would fall in love with. I found the coolest looking whiskey decanter that was in the shape of a world globe. The global was made out of glass and the base had wood and gold accents; perfect! In my opinion, if you have whiskey you have to have a cigar, so I added this as well. The fifth element was the additional décor pieces that included real pineapples, gold globes and vases that had a copper top. One unique decor piece was the copper finish sunray with a mirror in the center. I used this piece to have our calligrapher write all of the vendor names. I hung it in the center of the wooden shelf, to add color, dimension and for practical purpose to give credit to all of the vendors in a very creative and out of the box way. Now that I had the right furniture, color and overall Maui vibe, the final component was lighting. Lighting created that wow factor that I was going for. I decided to light the focal point that was the wooden open shelf with monstera leaves. I also wanted to highlight the whiskey decanter. As the evening progressed, the fact that I placed the whiskey decanter on a glass table, the lighting made this glisten like true crystal. Additional lighting featured the pineapple and additional flowers.
My goal was to create a space that paid tribute to old Hollywood with a Maui twist. I also wanted a design that had wow factor, unique, fun and inviting to those that attended the open house. I think this was achieved by the guests’ reaction. People where taking pictures and selfies all night. Some even used the whiskey and cigars as props in their photos. I could not have made this happen without my vendor partners: lighting by Lighting Hawaii, furniture by Hawaiian Event Rentals, flowers by Cveta design and calligraphy by Sara Verduzco. Teamwork makes the DESIGN work!!!