A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family
A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family

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It’s wonderful to bring the Friday Guest Interview series back after a break from the busy holidays (today is our first holiday-free Friday in a while!).

I’m so excited to introduce you to today’s very talented blogger and have been waiting oh-so patiently to share The Party Dress and Kelly’s wonderful interview! (And inspiration, because she has MUCH of itjust take a gander at the wonderful eye candy she sent over!)

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The Party Dress is an entertaining inspiration site full of ideas that cover the gamut from hostessing, home decor, dressing in style and even an entire gallery on NAPKIN ideas (genius!).

Kelly founded The Party Dress ~ Inspirations from the Well-Heeled Hostess in 2009; she is also a regular contributor to Project Nursery, has a newly-opened shop on OpenSky, and just recently started a social stationary shop on etsy.com called WH Hostess (the neatest shop – adorably designed invitations and the like).

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Splitting her time between the fashion industry and her love for party planning, Kelly shares her wonderful ideas on a very user-friendly site; posts are divided by categories so you can easily search for the latest and greatest by topic.

Be sure to check out more pictures and Kelly’s answers to PDB’s favorite four questions (love her dine-in answer to current favorite trends!) after the jump!

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{PDB Interview with Kelly of The Party Dress}

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What inspires your design style?

If I had to define my style, I would classify it as “updated classic”. I find this is consistent in all aspects of my life….my wardrobe, how I decorate my home, and how I style a party. I like classic white dishes paired with bold, patterned napkins and salad plates. I love pairing a cashmere cardigan, and my pearls with a pair of trendy heels. I like taking a traditional idea, and then add in an unexpected, modern element. To me, that looks fresh, new, and it’s a way to add your own personal style to any event.

I take the most inspiration from my environment. Anything from a darling invitation, to a beautiful flower, to a Barefoot Contessa cookbook. A beautiful piece of fabric can inspire a whole party! I can walk into a beautiful restaurant on vacation, and instantly get inspired for a week’s worth of posts. Inspiration can be anywhere and everywhere…you just have to be aware of your surroundings and remember to file those ideas away for a rainy day.

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What do you love most about what you do?

I love that every day brings something new! The Party Dress serves as a creative outlet for me, and it surprises me every single day. The best part of the last year is the response that I have received. Positive comments, e-mails asking advice or looking for ideas….. People invite me into their lives. They ask me for ideas and inspiration for some of the most important days of their lives. That’s a great feeling! I also love the connections I have made. There are some incredibly talented party-bloggers out there – they inspire me everyday – I hope I do the same for them!

The search – new ideas, new vendors, new product lines – is probably the most thrilling part of my job. Some people may call me silly, but I love the thrill when I come across a new idea. I can’t get it up on the website fast enough….I just can’t wait to share it with all of my readers!

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What are your favorite design trends?

I am a huge fan of the “Palm Beach Preppy” thing that has been going on lately. Tory Burch, Jonathan Adler, Dabney Lee…..bright colors, bold patterns…those are the makings for a festive party! I am also IN LOVE with all of the feathers I am seeing lately! Used in bridal bouquets, wreaths for your front door, stuck in a napkin ring for a dinner party….feathers add a touch of drama, a feeling of luxe….and I am loving them this season!

My absolute favorite trend right now is seeing more people entertain at home. Part of it is probably due to the current economic situation, but I think people are realizing how intimate entertaining at home is, and how creative they can get with a party. More and more people are feeling a sense of accomplishment when they cook a fabulous meal for 12, or arrange their own centerpiece for a bridal shower. I love seeing everyone channel their creative side!

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What are three design suggestions that you would like to offer our readers?

{1} The Art of Mixing High & Low: Don’t be afraid to mix the high and the low….and I’m talking price points here, not centerpiece heights! It’s trendy today to set your table using your fine china, and cloth napkins you found in the dollar section at Target. Mix it up! You will end up with a unique look that is all yours.

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{2.} The “WOW!” Factor: Don’t go over the top with everything when it comes to planning a party, but make sure you always have one ‘wow’ factor. Whether it be one large sunflower head sitting on a white plate, or a simple dinner menu with a spectacular dessert….always have one surprise up your sleeve that has your guests leaving saying “WOW!”

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{3} The Four Seasons: Use the season as your guide….for everything! Food will be more delicious, centerpieces more beautiful, the atmosphere a touch more perfect.

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Thank you, Kelly!
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A placecard designed by Kelly and available for sale on etsy at WH Hostess – isn’t the lollipop stick a terrific idea?

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Credits for Images:

WH Hostess Napkin
Image: WH Hostess via Etsy.com
Art Deco Bridal Shower

Images: little girl (amorologyweddings.com), invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com), table setting (brides.com), monogram cookies (sweetandsaucyshop.com), orange and turquoise dessert images (amyatlas.com), drink station (elegantbride.com)
Fall Birthday Dinner Party

Images: girl (jcrew.com), placecard (myhomeideas.com), invitation (minted.com), candle centerpiece (bhg.com), table setting (dwellstudio.com)
Green Wedding

Images: wedding feet (katebesonphotography.com), cake (projectwedding.com), centerpiece (partyspot.com), bouquet (patricialyonphotography.com), silhouette programs, favors and cookies (theknot.com), chandelier (toddevents.com)
Harvest Wine & Cheese Party

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), centerpiece (stylemepretty.com), dipping oil (brides.com), cheese plates (napastyle.com), wine (potterybarn.com)
Holiday Bridal Shower

Images: invitation (minted.com), dress (jcrew.com), table setting (thelennoxx.zymichost.com), champagne glasses (theknot.com), raspberry whoopie pies (bhg.com), ornament centerpiece and napkin (inmagine.com)
Kid’s Modern Garden Party

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), ribbon centerpiece (rachaelraymag.com), flower-making kit (landofnod.com), daisy cake pan (birthdayinabox.com), felt goodie bags (beau-coup.com), flower wall decal (mycurlycue.com), flower place cards (theknot.com)
Kid’s Owl Birthday Party

Images: owl invitation (tinyprints.com), kids (ba-reps.com), cupcakes (realsimple.com), dishes (save-on-crafts.com)
Purple Centerpieces

Images: candles (bhg.com), picture frame (theknot.com), mums (parents.com)

Sip & See Baby Shower

Images: yellow centerpiece (toddevents.com), baby announcement/invitation (tinyprints.com), champagne and baby (inmagine.com), floral wreath (brides.com), table (karljuengel.com), scrapbook (papersource.com)
Sips & Dips Cocktail Party

Images: martini’s (socialdesign.com), outdoor patio (cocomale.com), orange tulips (aboutdetailsdetails.com), appetizers (brides.com)
Tomato Fest

Images: tomato centerpiece (bhg.com), little girl (ba-reps.com), napkin (realsimple.com), tomatoes (inmagine.com)

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