You don't have to be matchy-matchy in your event design to create a spectacular look.
I remember my first stab at putting together a holiday party. During my tenure as a coordinator, a Sr. Sales Manager asked for my assistance with a small reception. It was an internal client and I was over the moon with excitement!
The rental equipment budget was very modest, to say the least. I brought in red linens with a silver design, utilized internal illuminated bars (more red), and had the in-house technical operations team wash the walls in red. Looking back, it was terrible, but I was sooo proud of myself. It felt more like a dungeon than a festive gathering. Yikes!
I've learned a lot since then. My aesthetic is very clean and monochromatic. But what works for me isn't always appropriate for a client. I was afraid to use patterns I didn't personally care for. Now, I embrace them as a creative challenge.
Over the years, I've had the opportunity to see the work of some of D.C's brightest and best event producers--drawing great inspiration in the process. They taught me that you can bring polka dots, plaid, and damask together with the right decorative accents.
HAVE A COMMON THREAD
Try selecting three funky contrasting patterns in hues that appear side-by-side on the color wheel. Then, tie it all together with an eye-catching base plate, coordinating napkin, and chair.
Too bold? Choose one tablecloth color and use several different subtly textured varieties. Visually, these linens naturally work together. Now, spice it up with one bright pop of color carried from your napkin, floral centerpiece, seat cushion, etc.
CHOOSE A THEME
Maybe the look and feel for your event is sleek and modern, for example. Combine minimalist clean centerpieces--says succulents--with geometric patterned linens, napkins, and base plates. Be thoughtful about the shape and size of the glassware and flatware you choose. Go for an unexpected stylish dining chair over the standard bamboo reception chair. The color doesn't have to be uniform, but don't forget your common thread!
For this same example, metallics would be a great thread. Imagine rose gold rimmed glassware, rose gold flatware, rose gold candle holders, rose gold terrariums centerpieces...
The possibilities are endless! Don't be afraid to experiment. You'll be amazed at what you can do when you push past your comfort zone.