Decorate for a Party by Holly Becker & Leslie Shewring
I received my copy of Decorate for a Party a few weeks ago and I don't think a day has gone by since where I haven't looked through it. Covering everything from what to eat to what to listen to and, of course, how to decorate your setting, the book not only shows you how to throw the photogenic party of your dreams but also explains how you can actually have fun whilst planning it too.
Decor8 is one of my favourite places on the internet and in Decorate for a Party, the blog’s founder Holly Becker - alongside co-author Leslie Shewring - brings her signature cool and collected aesthetic to guide you through planning your next party. The book can be summarised as a collection of “simple and stylish ideas for meaningful gatherings” with meaningful being the operative word. From the very beginning the creative duo prove they have no interest in throwing overly elaborate, lavish parties which make people feel uncomfortable or intimidated but rather look to create a setting where people feel relaxed enough to have fun and make memories.
Decorate for a Party is split into different themed chapters which range from colourful Summer festivities to monochrome Winter wonderlands, collectively covering your celebratory needs for the entire year. Picking from the huge variety of themes is a tricky choice and I am of course immediately drawn to the incredible Christmas chapter (more on that a little later in the year) but a clear favourite for me is the section all about gathering family for a get together in the forest. Food in kraft card take-away boxes, polaroid photos pegged to giant trees, a teepee hang-out zone and a woodland themed cake complete with tiny deer - each aspect of the party is charming, tactile and brilliantly original.
If I were to throw my own version of this party I think I would do it “Teddy Bears Picnic" theme with illustrated bears pegged to the trees and names of famous furry characters instead of guest names written on the nameplates. This idea sparking shows that Decorate for a Party is doing it’s job perfectly; that is, showing the endless potential for creativity in party planning and creating a playground filled with tips and tricks for the readers imagination to run wild on.
I could easily talk all day about the many, many genius ideas in Decorate for a Party but for now I will leave it hear with the books biggest plus - the party-enthusiast mindset it instills. As you read/ view/ explore the book, it’s intoxicating level of inspiration doesn't just gift the odd idea to add to your next party to-do list but completely changes the way you think about planning parties as a whole. It strips back all the unnecessary expense and over-the-top plans and replaces them with simple yet elegant ideas to shift the focus back to what it most important in life - family, friendship and fun.
You can order a copy of Decorate for a Party here.
Photo credits: Cover photos were taken by me and all others are from inside the book and are included with the permission of the book's publisher.