Lifestyle Projects

Floral Photo Lounge…

February 1, 2016

Last week I had the privilege of setting up the Floral Photo Lounge at the Calgary Home + Garden Show Media and Blogger’s Preview Party!… I must admit that I was a little nervous at first – as always with a healthy dose of “is this right for Feathering My Nest and your current workload!?”… I am busy with segment prep for Season 3 of Kim’s Kitchen but answered that internal question with a “HELL YEAH!”… I love creating a space from scratch, curating the items and creating a sweet cohesive and relevant space for the event… Here’s how it all came together:

I knew that I would use a wide backdrop to enable event attendees to shoot a full photo without having to worry about running out of a clean backdrop – and catching the wall behind the edge of the setup – ew… really if I’m creating a photo area it is going to be fully self contained and great for photos!… so I went with the Savage Studio Grey #12 nine foot wide backdrop…

My whole life I’ve been a collector/curator… this became incredibly obvious throughout my work during my BFA in Visual Arts studies, so putting together the Floral Photo Lounge was right up my alley… I started the setup knowing I wanted a couch or a chair for attendees to sit on for photos… I don’t’ have usable vintage seating in my current collection of treasures so I started scouring local vintage rental company inventories and came across the most handsome green velvet chair… then the set came together in my head… I had the perfect vintage trunk to use alongside this chair!… click!… with chair and trunk I knew what the whole set was going to be composed of, right down to the tiniest details! I put together a mood board for the event PR rep she was stoked about the direction in which I wanted to go so I knew I was on the right track… I wanted lux and lush… deep rich greens, warm browns, glittering gold, shining silver and clear glass, with items that hint at the idea and feeling of “home”… I brought this in with keys and birds nests… the garden aspect I brought in using lush green moss and some darling little plants…


Okay I got a little ahead of myself there… I have to share the details about the vintage rental company who is the keeper of this green velvet beauty!… If you are located in or around Calgary and require some vintage goodness for an event then be sure to checkout Orange Trunk. Heather is an incredible girl boss and the most darling person to work with!

I knew I didn’t want to create typical photo booth setup with props that event attendees put on… I wanted to create a beautiful space for people to be surrounded in… with the option to hold up a vintage silver tray with a cheeky saying for their photo, if they were feeling sassy.  You might have seen my silver chalkboard platters on the various Feathering My Nest social media accounts and even the tutorial right here on the blog!  The event PR Rep recommended the gardening puns which fit perfectly with the event. I usually work in chalk but found an incredible chalk ink pen from S’well that I picked up at Chapters. This pen is fairly fine tipped, dries quickly, is smudge proof and wipes away with water… no scrubbing or chemicals required to get your chalkboards clean!… and with an event such at this, old school chalk would have gotten smudged and everyone would have been covered in chalk dust from handling the trays… Additionally I love the contrast of the stark white on the black chalkboard… it worked well for photos over the dusty greyed surface of my regular chalkboards.

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Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing shots of the various chalkboards that I created for the event on the Feathering My Nest Instagram account so stay tuned for some total dad joke garden puns over there!

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Plants… I knew there had to be lots of plants as this was for the Home + Garden show… and with the lush look of kokedama, for which I shared a tutorial here, I knew they would fit the look that I wanted to achieve in this photo lounge. Blue Grass Nursery & Garden Centre donated the plants and moss that I needed to create the kokedama that I placed into the space!… Representatives from Blue Grass ran a great terrarium workshop at the event for event attendees during the event… everyone loved their hanging rope terrariums they created! Myself included!

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I created 12ish planted moss balls… some to hang and some to place into a large collection of apothecary and bell jars… I made these lush little wonders in my kitchen!… dirt and moss everywhere, and the house smelled like a forest! It was great!

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To bring in elements of luxury I chose to work with gold leaf… this was an event being held at the beautiful Last Best Brewing and Distilling so there would be drinks involved… the setup needed a coaster, and what better than a natural slice of agate trimmed in liquid leaf…

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For the other small detail items I used the traditional gold leaf as it produces a more luxurious gold finish than the liquid leaf on these smooth eggs and key… here they are before I brushed away the excess leafing.

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I do also have a collection of birds nests… real and fake that I placed in the setup to represent home, along with three vintage silver keys – also representing the idea of home – and both silver and gold keys fit well with the overall colouring of the setup – silvery trays, and gold hardware on the vintage trunk.

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Recently while picking out my items for the Calgary Home + Garden Show Upcycle Challenge with RustOleum I found this already painted gold bird cage at the ReStore!… and a recent book I’d folded for an upcoming episode of Kim’s Kitchen fit perfectly inside of it!… It was a match made in heaven and it fit in with the setup perfectly!

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To bring a little warmth to the grey backdrop I brought in a band of brown paper… I love the warmth of brown paper and using a wide roll of brown paint drop paper from Home Depot I created a strip that would hang on the backdrop with the Calgary Home + Garden Show logo on it… in gold… sharpie…

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I burned through four gold sharpies at midnight Monday… and my setup time was Tuesday late afternoon… so Tuesday morning I hightailed it out to get more sharpies… to find out that two of the packages I’d purchased were dry!… EEEEK! so back out I went again to exchange them!… The gold shapes turned up amazingly on the brown paper – I burned up about 8 gold sharpies on this logo. With the logo finished it was time to pack up and head downtown to setup… and I was oh so very lucky to have the Pickle off work for the afternoon just to give me a hand to  setup for the event!

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I started the setup with the backdrop, chair and trunk… then I began arranging all of the various elements in the space…

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The set filled in nicely and it was just how I’d imagined… I felt so relieved when it was all together and it was just how I imagined it would be…

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Here are two pulled back shots so that you can see what the full setup looked like – the large backdrop worked perfectly for being able to get a full frame photo without having the stands, floor or space walls in the shot…

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The Home Show Crew provided a sign with my logo on it, making note that I’d created the Floral Photo Lounge!… honestly I didn’t know that was going to be there – and it made me smile the biggest fattest smile when I saw it  🙂

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It was really exciting to see people using the photo set and having a great time with it.

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The event was a great success… attendees loved the photo lounge, made the most darling flower crowns with Amborella Floral Studio , and also created hanging terrariums with Blue Grass Nursery!

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Of course I got a shot in the set wearing a darling flower crown, holding my favourite tray of the bunch!  Also… I want to wear a floral crown every. single. day.

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The Amborella beauties were whipping up flower crowns all evening, and instructing those who wanted to try their hand at making their own… these girls are incredible!

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A collection built up quickly of attendees’ hanging terrariums… waiting to be taken home…

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I couldn’t convince the Pickle to go for a fancy shot in the Floral Photo Lounge but we took a couple of selfies… 🙂

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I pulled together the Calgary Home + Garden Show Media and Blogger Preview Party Floral Photo Lounge and that it sparked some ideas for you for decor for your own home!… If you have any questions about anything that I made or put together please feel free ask in the comments below! 🙂




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