Festive styling trends for 2016

Spice caught up with the Staging Connections team to find out what the big trends are this silly season.
Enchanted Forest

Spice caught up with the Staging Connections team to find out what the big trends are this silly season.

Festive event styling isn’t just about the odd Christmas decoration here and there. If you want styling that is 101% on-trend, here are our top themes for 2016.

Enchanted Forest
Everyone needs a little magic at Christmas, and this theme offers your guests the opportunity to step into a festive wonderland and delight in something undoubtedly memorable.

This look is created using natural materials to add a sense of realism, whilst delicate centrepiece lighting and tactical up-lighting can turn the blankest of canvases into a scene from Narnia.

Transport your guests to a magical realm with this seriously fun, and on-trend Christmas party theme. Imagine hanging gardens with quirky elements such as hanging furniture, upside down umbrellas, grass rabbits and fresh moss on the tables.


Gin Palace
Warmth, character and hearty measures – the Gin Palace remains one of our most popular themes for Christmas dinner dances. Gin palaces developed in the cities of the early 19th century and their many ‘dens of iniquity’. They gradually became beautiful and bedecked party destinations, hitting their zenith of popularity in the Victorian era. They remain a uniquely British symbol of celebration to this day, with a handful of treasured examples still drawing big crowds.

For this theme to make the best possible impact, you can use a venue with historical charm or an English feel for channelling the style and spirit of this theme. But this isn’t essential; you can capture the look with ornate mirrors and etched glass with long dark drapes. Or take inspiration from Art Deco design and channel the decadence of 1920s-themed sophistication and elegance.

Think brown leather chesterfield sofas, old Persian floor rugs, stacks of books and brown bottles with ambient lighting to set the scene.

The night sky
Star-filled night skies are a wonder of the festive season – and the perfect basis for an enchanting Christmas celebration.

High-ceilinged venues with a sense of history are ideal for crafting this kind of atmosphere – think of Sydney’s Vivid Festival or Melbourne’s White Night Festival for taking your guests to the stars.

To deliver a night sky feel, your options are endless. An ideal option is to use projection to deliver your styled environment. You can use 2D projection onto wall or banners, or isolating gobos delivering your message or brand. Another way to really light up the faces of your guests is to use the latest 3D projection technology to create a wow-factor and channel the Vivid Festival or Melbourne’s White Night’s excitement and atmosphere.

This new take on a starry night is a winner. Think creative lighting, star gobos, starcloth table covers, candle lite centrepieces and you have a perfectly styled event subtle look for any occasion, from black tie to a more casual party.


Digital theme
Create a dynamic festive event experience with powerful digital styling. Digital styling re-imagines the physical space of your event, adds dimensions and takes your guests through an audio-visual journey. Using quality online content and multimedia will really set the scene and position you at the forefront of up-to-date event delivery.

Digital styling brings a stage to life, telling a story through powerful visual imagery, with the power to transform even a dull corporate event into a dramatic gala presentation.

It’s important to give careful thought into how your onscreen content looks; including imagery, graphics, colour palette, layout, shapes, lines and font. Digital styling is all about these aesthetic choices, which all play a part in creating a seamless experience for your guests.
Digital centrepieces such as moving gobos on tables instead of centrepieces create a very modern feel. You can also use digital banners to project an image rather than using physical styling elements.

And don’t forget digital engagement tools like Event Feed that help your audience share their enjoyment of the event with those in the room and via their social media.


Bubbles and bling 
Revel in the glitz and glam at your festive or NYE celebration.

With iconic black and white, plus a touch of Tiffany’s blue, you can give an iconic Audrey Hepburn glamour feel. Throw in some diamond, silver and pearl accents to glam it up for the epitome of bling.

Top the theme off with a Champagne tower – sure to have every guest feeling like a star.

Bright and simple
The temptation when putting together a Christmas party is to throw tinsel here, there and everywhere – ritual over-decoration is a festive habit that can make your styling look muddled and unplanned.

It’s best to avoid the urge to deck the halls with boughs of holly, bells and Santa statues. Using bright, colourful themes deliver a festive theme and memorable celebration.

Deep blues, twinkling light and constellation patterns make for a beautiful and beguiling welcome. With a dark palette, the use of light is all important, whilst pastel shades can be swept through, with accessories and decoration, to echo the shades of the Northern Lights.

The twinkle and glow of Christmas lights is a big part of establishing a festive atmosphere. Drawing focus onto the subtle use of lighting, rather than bunting, tinsel and ornaments, is a wonderfully effective way of fostering a warm and welcoming atmosphere.


Winter wonderland
We may not get the snow and cold in Australia for the festive season, but you can transform your event into a snowy wonderland. You can add a forest themed archway or ice bar to your entrance area to submerge your guests in the theme as they enter the main space, or even use lighting or projection mapping to make it snow. Styled with feature props such as snowflakes, branches straight from the forest and mystical lighting, on a small or large scale this look is seriously cool.

This year’s hot colour: red
Every year, there is a colour that’s in fashion, for 2016 our stylists tip the hip-hue to be red, red and more red. You can achieve this with an infinite number of styling items, furniture, drapes, linen, accessories, decorations and other styling tips to make your event hip-hip-hoo-sleigh. Here’s our insider tips:
• Glossy red apples and berries
• Burgundy red glass (don’t forget the red wine and mulled wine)
• Crimson vases with romantically lit candles
• Clusters of flaming candles bring warmth to the table
• Candy canes
• Ruby linen, chair ribbons and napkins
• Poinsettia plants
• And don’t forget a surprise appearance of the man in red himself

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