In our previous post, Gold Glitz and Glamour Invitations, we shared the invitations Lauren sent out to set the tone and give all of the information to the girls for her Sister-in-Law’s bachelorette party. This past weekend, Darci’s bridesmaids gathered in Palm Desert for a weekend of fun. They stayed at the JW Marriott which was the perfect setting for relaxation during the day and enjoyable evenings.

They booked a suite at the hotel with a conjoined room and loved having a dining table for all the girls to gather around. The other tables were set up with food and a full bar.
The Maid of Honor planned a special activity for the Bride. Each girl was to bring a pair of panties and Darci had to guess who brought each one. Lauren hung them with gold glitter clothespins to go with the theme. Who brought the diaper?
Lauren also wrapped up a little something for her Sister-in-Law for her wedding night.
Lindsay (the Maid of Honor) got these cool tumblers from Starbucks for each girl and filled them with saltwater taffy (one of Darci’s favorites). She and Lauren finished them off with these gorgeous tags with each girl’s initials and a little note on the back.
Gold balloons added to the festive feel …
… and a tray of necessities with Darci’s favorite hair ties was placed in the bathroom for all the girls to enjoy.
A “selfie booth” was set up with fun handmade props in the party’s signature color.
Darci got a chance to pose in front of the handmade backdrop before each outing …
… and the props were a huge hit!
During the day, the girls loved spending time at the pool sipping fancy drinks, floating in their neon inner tubes, and working on their tans.
The girls had many opportunities to pose on their evening’s out as well! The first night they ventured out to Palm Springs and enjoyed dinner at Las Casuelas Terraza and then some dancing at a nearby club. The second night they stayed at the hotel and took the gondola to dinner at Mikado followed by a game of I’ve Never in their room and more dancing at Costas Club.
Lauren’s so excited for Darci and Glen and can’t wait for the wedding festivities next month. She had such a great time getting to know her Sister-in-Law’s friends and enjoyed their weekend away. If this trip was any indication of the high standard of glamour Darci sets, Lauren knows the wedding will be spectacular!
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Our little princess turned one on Monday, and although we shared some fun tips on her actual birthday for how to throw a party for your one year old, we have been excited to share the details we put into making Ava’s party extra special. With this weekend marking the start of Summer and the weather here in LA in the mid 80’s, we decided to keep the party outdoors. The grass area at Lauren and Scott’s complex was the perfect location for the butterfly garden themed party Lauren had her heart set on.
We created a small area at the front of the space to welcome our guests. We constructed handmade tissue paper flowers in all of the colors of the party and had them cascade down the side of this large tree for a fun effect. We also included a large framed sign with facts about Ava (such as the words she says and her favorite foods) and a small table to house the party favors (bubble wands for each of the kids).
We rented tables and chairs with umbrellas from Signature Party Rentals to keep our guests out of the sun, and for the babies we created a comfy tent which was the perfect area for them to crawl around and play.
Our menu consisted of sandwiches, salads, and cookies from Lemonade (and of course we had two different flavors of lemonade as well). We also provided chips and other adult beverages. We finished off the food tent with a twelve month photo banner filled with snapshots of Ava’s first year.
In addition, we set up a candy and sweets bar for the adults to enjoy and take home a bagged treat (Let’s be honest, first birthday parties really are more for the adults anyway). We ordered different candy in shades to match the party and stickers which read, “Thank you for making Ava’s first birthday so sweet”, to complete the bags. Our friend Ashlee created amazing vanilla cupcakes to go with the garden look, and we made sure the babies had their share as well by filling some of the jars with Ava’s favorite snacks (string cheese, Puffs, goldfish crackers, and blueberries).
Ava really took the “smash cake” idea literally. She was not quite sure what to make of this sugary goodness at first, but quickly learned the ropes and dug right in! Yum!
We truly can’t say enough how much we love this little girl. During the planning process, we kept Ava in mind the whole time and really tried to incorporate aspects of the year, her nursery, and her personality traits too. As designers and event coordinators, this was a really exciting project for us. We got to bring our vision completely to life and celebrate a special occasion with all of our closest friends and family at the same time. We look forward to planning many more birthday parties for Ava in the future and can’t wait to see what kinds of challenges she throws our way when she’s able to pick her own party theme. We love you Ava. Happy First Birthday!
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06.23.2014



Today, Lauren’s little girl officially turns one year old! We can’t believe it! It has been a year of learning, laughing, and lots of love. Of course, no birthday (especially a first one) is complete without a party and Ava had a really nice one yesterday that we can’t wait to share with all of you (coming this Wednesday). Until then, we have put together a post to wish all of Ava’s Mommy and Me buddies a happy first birthday as well. 

Ava (along with Lauren and Scott, of course) have been to many first birthday parties in the past few months. When attending events, we tend to look for new and innovative ideas as well as it gives us an opportunity to show off our gift wrap and card making skills. We have put together some of our favorite photos from some of the parties they have attended to share these ideas with those of you planning to throw a first birthday party in your future. 

The Theme
The first thing to consider when planning your child’s first birthday party is the theme or what is going to set your party apart from all of the others. It could be fun to base the party on their favorite book or character, and no matter how elaborate you go with the theme the small details are what matter.
This pop art party went all out with its Andy Warhol”esque” theme. We especially liked the Campbell’s Soup inspired cake.

When deciding whether to entertain your baby guests or the adults in attendance, be creative! This party mixed Elmo with El Torito.

The park is a great place for a casual affair. A few families got together and threw their babies a joint party during the week, and it was a nice way to spend an afternoon. To make it more special, pick up some sandwiches and cupcakes from your favorite local spot and maybe even some bubbles for the babies.

 

The Gift

Some families may request you to help build their child’s library and some may even ask you to bring something specific for a charity. We asked guests to email Ava a special memory or wish to her personal email address. Whatever’s requested of you don’t forget to wrap it up pretty and make a special card for the birthday boy or girl.

This specific party was donating art supplies to children in need. We love this idea!

Bright patterns and a bit of sparkle make a statement in a sea full of gifts.

When there is more than one birthday boy or girl, a simple tag with a fun initial will set the gifts apart.

We love this printed craft paper, and the baker’s twine really finished off the look.

Festive bags with mini cards are fun too!

 

What Ava Wore

Lucky Ava doesn’t have to worry about much in attending a party for a friend … Her mom buys the gift, wraps it, and RSVP’s to make sure the hosts know they will be in attendance. Ava doesn’t even have to select an outfit to wear. Sounds like the life, huh? Check out some of our favorite outfits Ava wore to her friend’s parties including her signature headbands.
Her headband was upstaged here by this adorable balloon fascinator.
She really dressed the part at this Mexican restaurant event.
A park party calls for a romper in an animal print of course.
A sporty yet girly look for one of her “guy friends”.
Another Summer dress for a day in the park.
Sorry, we just couldn’t resist posting a few pics of the birthday girl, but we hope this post brought you all lots of ideas for how to throw a first birthday party and creative ways to wrap a gift. To all of the babies from Lauren’s Mommy and Me class, may this next year be filled with many more firsts. Happy first birthday to our little love bug, our Ava. May this next year be filled with more learning, laughing, and lots of love! We love you, Ava … Mommy and Aunt Tams.
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On Monday’s post, Before and After: Monochromatic Mediterranean Powder Bathroom, we showed the first completed space from this very special couple’s home. This has been an especially fun project to work on as Lauren and her clients have worked really closely together to get every detail just right. As the dining room is the first thing you see upon stepping foot into their home, Lauren knew she wanted to use this space to truly set the tone for the rest of the house and make a huge statement as well.
 
Before
As you can see, this space was already beautiful with its detailed fireplace, stone wall enclosed wine cellar, and the over-sized table and chairs. Our plan was to enhance the existing features in such a way as to give them some sort of formality and to give the space a polished look. Lauren knew that there were certain key elements she could add or change within the space to really complete it and bring it to life.
After
To begin, we selected a beautiful cut velvet silk for the draperies which tied in the different chair fabrics and framed the view amazingly. When selecting a paint color for this room, we wanted something that would make the room dramatic yet cozy and would also coordinate nicely with the drapery fabric. We couldn’t find the exact right shade of taupe, so we collaborated with our painter and mixed two shades to create this gorgeous hue. We are so happy with the result and the huge transformation it gave to the space.
The ceiling soffit originally looked slightly awkward and unfinished. We added a large crown molding to the frame of it and installed paintable wallpaper panels inside that are reminiscent of a tin ceiling. We then had it painted in the same paint color as the walls but with a metallic wash for an interesting effect.
Selecting a chandelier for this space was a huge challenge. When this family entertains, they have a large group and thus wanted to have the flexibility to move the two tables apart so as to be able to fit more people. Due to this fact, we wanted to find a light fixture that didn’t hang down too far but was substantial enough to fit the space. This Restoration Hardware fixture fit the bill and looks great too.
The back niches had simple wood consoles made to fit inside, and the statues (found by the clients themselves) were the perfect objects to complete the space. Once the room was complete, we noticed there was one last thing that just didn’t look right. If you look closely, you will see that the fireplace is actually a different color than that in the original photos. It’s amazing how one coat of paint could not only brighten it up but it also makes it look even more like real stone as well.
The end result for this beautiful dining room turned out even better than we could have hoped. The clients’ wish to take one step at a time in regards to the design of each space has reminded Lauren that even the smallest of details require attention and the proper planning. It is fun to see how each clients’ approach to design dictates the end result. Which is what keeps us on our toes and ready for each new challenge. Lauren is particularly excited to complete more of this home (as there is still a lot to do) because each time she truly gets to see her vision come to life. For more information on our design services email us at sidebyside.design@yahoo.com or leave a comment below.
All photographs taken by the amazingly talented Hannah Lux Davis and her photo assist Gabe Jonathan Ulloa. We also want to thank Kayla of  House of Magnolias for the beautiful florals that brought life to this room. 
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As we mentioned in our previous post, Photo Shoot Preparations, we recently organized a photo shoot to show some of our work as well as ourselves and to use on our new website that we will be launching this Summer. We have been anxiously waiting to get the photos back from our friend and photographer, Hannah Lux Davis, and we can honestly say, now that we have seen them, that they have way beyond exceeded every expectation we may have set. One of the best parts of this photo shoot is that it truly showcases our business model and the way we have envisioned it with regards to how Interior Design and Event Planning work Side by Side.
As an Interior Designer, Lauren is extremely proud of her work and the effort she puts into every room she designs for each of her clients. When it came time to choose a location for our photo shoot, we knew it would be much more personal for it to take place in one of the homes Lauren worked on herself. This particular client graciously offered her home and we couldn’t be more happy. In fact, it proved to be the most perfect backdrop for our photos, and we have to admit, getting amazing photos of the completed spaces in the house was an extra bonus. So without further ado, we present to you what we call our “Monochromatic Mediterranean Powder Bathroom”.
Before
This formal powder bathroom really had nothing formal about it to start. The only completed design detail in this space was the stone sink which was interesting yet a bit rustic. We knew that we would need to glam up the space and complete it in such a way that the sink made sense and complimented the other features nicely.
The water closet within the powder bathroom is small but contains a window looking out to the front of the house. We wanted to tie this space into the rest of the bathroom and give it a nice shade for privacy as well.
After
From the very beginning, Lauren had her heart set on some sort of navy blue-ish / gray grass cloth wallpaper. She knew it would be the perfect way to meld the earthiness of the sink and counter top with the formality they were trying to accomplish. Although there were several hurdles (like you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find the perfect gray blue color to go with the veins in the stone), this choice proved to be the perfect backdrop for the gorgeous bathroom. To dress up this space even more, Lauren selected an etched glass antiqued mirror from Restoration Hardware and these beautiful crystal sconces from Fine Art Lamp.
Every small detail in this bathroom was handpicked down to the gorgeous mirrored tray the client found herself and the soap dispensers, tissue boxes, frames, etc.
Sometimes the tiniest of rooms can prove to be a huge challenge. It took us an incredibly long time to source just the right wallpaper and the same day it was hung there was a small leak which caused a bit of water damage to the newly installed paper. Unfortunately, there was no quick fix for this, but we feel that the addition of the custom finished faucet back plate masked the damaged area pretty well and we were able to get the wallpaper treated so as to not have this same problem again.
As this was the first room that was completed in this amazing home, it sets the stage for the level of design we strive for in completing each remaining space. It also sets the tone for a monochromatic color palette consisting of taupe, navy, and different shades of brown and white we plan to use throughout the home. We are currently completing the kitchen and can’t wait to make our way through the rest of the house one step at a time. We do have another finished space though that we can’t wait to share with all of you this Wednesday and of course more from this beautiful photo shoot coming soon as well.
All photographs taken by the amazingly talented Hannah Lux Davis and her photo assist Gabe Jonathan Ulloa. We also want to thank Kayla of House of Magnolias for the beautiful florals that brought life to this room.
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