Start with imagination

Wedding & Event Inspiration

[VIDEO] Nazanin & Farzad’s Wedding

September 28th, 2014

Wedding video:

Vendors: Kai-Duc Luong | KDL Productions // Greg Stephen Reigh // Marcin Tomaszczyk // Heather Stone Photography// Kristina Taheri // Juliet Tan Floral Design //  Art of Imagination // Crizen Hasewaga // Peninsula Hotel

Posted in: All in the Details, Peninsula Hotel, Real AOI Weddings, Wedding, Wedding Design

Katie & Greg, Ignite Studios Wedding

September 22nd, 2014

Katie and Greg have such an illuminating love! And, our job was to resinate that illumination and love with their guests for their late summer wedding this year.

In preparation, we visited Ignite Studios in Chicago’s West Loop with the couple and their wedding coordinator, Joan from Five Grain Events. The cool palette in the main room, the natural setting outdoors, the stunning rooftop view, the venue was the perfect choice accented by the most exquisite array of colorful blown glass artwork.

For the day-of design, Deborah and her team of creatives started by adding luminous strands of Italian globe lights angling down from the roof. To complete the enchanting look, the lights were set on dimmers for a romantic feel way into the evening.

The soft illumination of globe lighting continued inside, to add that extra softness and to lower the ceiling throughout the main room. White asian lanterns of various sizes were hung at different heights to give a whimsical and playful look.

As the guests entered the venue, they felt that illuminating love as they looked across the yard and saw the continuity of lights through the venue’s large window walls.

Vendors: Ignite Studios // Art of Imagination // Five Grain Events // Katie Kett Photography

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Posted in: All in the Details, Ignite Glass Studios, Real AOI Weddings, Wedding

Emily & Joel, Room 1520

September 2nd, 2014

Emily and Joel were married this past August at Room 1520 in Chicago’s West Loop. The bride’s style was organic, yet clean and minimal. For them, we created a unique, simple, yet rustic ambiance. A natural branch arch created with birch trees and curly willows was centered against our white sheer voile, perfectly positioned in front of large glass windows to naturally illuminate the setting. As the evening sun set, the two diffused lighting units behind the fabric allowed the etherial setting to glow far into the night. Asian lanterns and small candles hung from above, adding an additional touch of sparkle as the evening progressed.

It was a beautiful wedding and the bride and groom could not have been more gracious. After the event, we received this sweet note from Emily:

“Thank you for creating the perfect ambiance for our wedding at Room 1520 last week. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome of all the details. Thank you for seeing our vision and for adding all your special touches. It was a night we will never forget and our pictures turned out beautifully!”

Emily & Joel

Art of Imagination // Room 1520 // Katie Kett Photography // D’Absolute Catering // Toast & Jam DJs // Elysia Root Cakes

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Posted in: All in the Details, Real AOI Weddings, Room 1520, Wedding

Origami Wedding Details at Chicago’s Chez

August 11th, 2014

Our favorite brides are those that incorporate their own personal creativity into their special day. From the origami place cards to the several hundreds of paper cranes hanging at the altar, this wedding had all types of personal touches.

After a last-minute venue change, our bride and groom hosted their special day at the beautiful new Chez.Our team at Art of Imagination used floor-to-ceiling drapery to guide guests through the open floor plan and lighting accents to illuminate a soft sky blue on to the white-washed walls.

Citygirl Weddings // Art of Imagination // AFR furniture rental (bars) // Chez // David Turner Photography // Floral was her Aunt from Wisconsin // D’absolute Catering

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Posted in: All in the Details, Chez, Real AOI Weddings, Wedding, Wedding Design

Payal’s Fusion Wedding at Harold Washington Library

August 4th, 2014

Payal and Justin’s special day included many intricate details that the bride had hands on with all the selections. Payal worked with Deborah directly on the design with her majestic color palette of deep purples and metallic silvers seen below.  (Click here to read more about Deborah and Payal’s trip to the fabric store).

The focal point of the ceremony also acted as the prefect setting for their sweetheart table during the reception. Payal and Justin were such a fun and vibrant couples, much like their color palette and decor suggest. Justin even planned a surprise dance routine for Payal, click here to view the video! All in all it was a beautiful day and these images coulndn’t be more spectacular; big thank you to Payal, Justin, and Cathy and David Photography for sharing these images with us.

Art of Imagination // Cathy and David Photography // Harold Washington Library

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Posted in: All in the Details, Fusion Weddings, Harold Washington Library, Indian Weddings, Real AOI Weddings

Fleurotica 2014

July 21st, 2014

Fleurotica is an annual event at Garfield Park Conservatory benefitting the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance  to provide nature education programs, school group visits, arts, culture and early childhood programming for their visitors and groups.  Each year they ask designers and artists to participate in the fashion show to create fashionable outfit made entirely of natural products, such as flowers, plants, leaves, and natural fibers.

Deborah’s inspiration was taken from current trends in fashion with an emphases on movement. We selected our model, Jocelyn and created the dress on how it would flow and move down the runway.  The bodice was made of natural bark to create the elongated waistline, with the top portion in moss and hand-glued floral buttons, creating a polka dot effect. We also brought the same pattern down to the shoes! The skirt bounced with each step the model took; peek-a-boo white flowers were layered at the bottom for a soft lacy look.

For brides, the back of the dress is equally as important as the front. Deborah designed the low-cut back with a peacock tail, creating a train, accenting the model’s natural beauty and body type. These features accentuated her elegance with each step.

Deborah also created a blusher hat with fully-open garden roses and bear grass that tilted on the side of Jocelyn’s head, expressing her confidence.


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Posted in: #EcoWed, Bridal Fashion, Fashion Show Decor, Local Events

Joel & Ashley, Loft on Lake

July 16th, 2014

Our team creates many events at Loft on Lake, but it was a true honor to be asked by the owner of the venue to take the lead on their son’s wedding. As personal friends of Deborah she offered her guidance with the planning process throughout. Joel and Ashley chose a very chic yet romantic feel with the style of the design. Their color palette was a minimal white, diffused soft amber, and an enchanting magenta purple hue that was introduced during the reception.

The team at Art of Imagination brought in romantic chandeliers, hung with more than 1,500 crystals beads. An extensive use of custom luxury draping adorned the walls to soften the space, creating a more minimal and delicate look to the urban loft setting.

The ceremony had a etherial glow especially with the existing overhead skylight for Ashley and Joel to exchange their vows. As the room changed over for the reception the energy emerged from the magenta lighting and the 100 hanging candles floating over the dance floor. It was such a pleasure to create for them and to have the bride express her happiness with such love touched my heart…to have shared such a special moment meant so much to myself and our entire team!

Loft on Lake //  Art of Imagination //  Lofty Wedding Photography // J&L Catering // Juliet Tan Floral Design // Luscious Layers // Style Matters // KGA Garrett Associates

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Posted in: All in the Details, Loft on Lake, Real AOI Weddings

Indian Fusion Wedding at Rookery in Chicago

July 7th, 2014

A stunning Indian Fusion Wedding was created at the historical Rookery building in the old financial district. The bride, Dena and the groom,Tanuj wanted to incorporate the traditions of a Western and Hindu ceremony.

The light court offer an amazing palette of the gold and ivory within the architectural design that would accented their selection of bold colors they brought in with the bridal attire and flowers with harmony.

Our design team meticulously draped the entire space covering the existing store front windows to soften the interiors and making it more intimate and added soft amber lighting for a warm glow.


Adrian Nastase Photography—-  George Jewell – Forget me Knodt

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Posted in: All in the Details

Celebrate Love!

July 1st, 2014

This past weekend was the Gay Pride Parade in Chicago, a world-famous celebration along Halsted Avenue. The colorful celebration means so much to so many. Their website denotes the 45th Annual event’s history as:

The annual Pride Celebration commemorates the rebellion of LGBT patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village in response to a routine police raid on June 27, 1969. The following year, a “Gay-In” that took place on June 27, 1970 that was the early progenitor of the current Pride Celebration. Since 1972, the event has been held every year, Since its modest beginnings, Chicago Pride has grown to be one the largest and most well-known Pride events in the world. Pride has come to symbolize several things: the long history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer dignity, the freedom of all people to meaningfully and proudly express their sexual and gender identities, and the commitment of LGBT people to combating oppression. 

At Art of Imagination, we are especially proud to celebrate with the LGBTQ community this year in particular. This year marks the first where everyone, no matter gender, race, or any other quality that makes us all unique, is able to get married and enjoy the celebration of love to their chosen partner. Love is Love… and it should be celebrated no matter what!!!





Posted in: Civil Union

50th Birthday at the Circus

June 23rd, 2014

After hosting so many home parties, Joe and Margaret wanted to have some fun and do things a little differently. With his big 50th birthday coming up it had to be something unique. They sat down with Deborah and brought a circus themed event to all new heights.

Fun Fact: Their house actually has an integral part in the Barnum and Bailey circus history!

After doing a walk through within the entire house and grounds she decided that it would be great to have the energy start immediately outside with the visuals and entertainment while also helping out with traffic flow. The guests usually enter from the front door but Deborah decided to have them enter from the side leading into a large tent on the back patio.  Her team enhanced the tent with red, white and back satin fabric panels with ambiance lighting with Led lights and cafe globe lights creating the energy from the moment they step inside.

From the tent, guests entered the home to find that each room was created with it’s own style and decor, featuring a fortune teller, concession stand, sweet buffet with novelty candies,  custom glow bars, highboy tables that lit up, and a food menu to match by the amazing culinary team at Boutique Bites. Some of our favorite decor pieces include the chandelier with ribbon streaming from all directions, and the room that hosted the famed fortuneteller.  Joe, his family, and guests had a great time celebrating this Ringmaster’s 50th Birthday!

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Posted in: Birthday Party, Circus Theme

Felipe & Lindsay, Room 1520 Wedding Ceremony

May 21st, 2014

This beautiful couple hosted their wedding at the chic Room 1520 in the West Loop. The classic, elegant, minimal yet romantic style was perfectly set among the white washed walls. Our team softened the white of the room with a romantic hue of amber, uplighting the walls, fabric drapings and structural columns found throughout the space. As guests walked in, the were greeted with a flowing crepe fabric that functionally hid the coat check and aesthetically added a touch of elegance and height to the space. The crisp, white ceremony backdrop created a focal point in the room for all of the guests to witness the exchanging of vows between Felipe an Lindsay.  The beautiful, early-Spring wedding was a truly elegant event with a showing of baby’s breathe throughout the ceremony, provided by our friends at Fleur. Thank you Katie Kett Photography for these beautiful images of such a beautiful couple!

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Posted in: All in the Details

Rachael & Jason, Stan Mansion

May 14th, 2014

Rachael is probably one of our favorite wedding clients, to date, at Art of Imagination. She was completely enamored by the elegance of fabric, and understood why certain design choices are made, to enhance the already intricate space at Stan Mansion, as opposed to covering it up. For her wedding, we created a stunning, overhead swoop that came out over the dancefloor, extending the stage’s backdrop into the room. The ivory Japanese crystal fabric had a beautiful shimmer that sparkled in the lights as the night went on.

Rachael and Jason’s wedding ceremony took place on the stage among candlelight, soft amber lighting, and magical twinkle lights set behind a sheer white voile. During their reception, we added the bride’s favorite color, magenta purple, to the room with uplighting and pinspotting techniques, enhancing the VIP bridal area and bar located in the outer platforms of the ballroom.  Rachael and Jason also opted for the center feasting table as a head table, which is our favorite floorplan option for this historic venue.

Thank you to George Street Photography for the gorgeous photos!

Stan Mansion // Art of Imagination // George Street Photography

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Posted in: Real AOI Weddings, Stan Mansion, Wedding, Wedding Design

Valane & LaTrina’s Wedding Trailer Video

The photos aren’t ready just yet, but we wanted to share with you this beautiful video from Valane + LaTrina’s wedding from Styler’s Studio.  We can’t say enough how truly amazing this wedding couple was to work with. LaTrina is such a beautiful bride inside and out!

Valane + LaTrina’s Wedding Trailer from Styler’s.Studio on Vimeo.

Posted in: All in the Details

Sarah & Sam, Loft on Lake

May 7th, 2014

Sarah & Sam’s wedding at Loft on Lake was an elegant mix of urban chic and natural enchantment. The couple was very inspired by nature. In fact, when they met at our design studio for the first time, Sam completely fell in love with our birch tree branches. It was love at first sight! The mid-winter wedding lent itself to the season decor of LED, twinkle lights among the tree arch and swags of ivory fabric overhead during the ceremony. Being eco-conscious, we repurposed the tree arch along the brick wall to create a focal point for the sweet heart table during their reception. It was a magical night!

Vendors: Loft on Lake // SQN Events // Art of Imagination // Hearty Boys

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Posted in: All in the Details, Loft on Lake, Real AOI Weddings, Wedding, Wedding Design

Jamie & John, Chicago Wedding

May 3rd, 2014

This beautiful wedding was held at a newer Chicagoland venue located in the West Loop area of the city. Both the wedding ceremony and wedding reception took place at Open Secrets Studio.The blank canvas was the perfect backdrop for our design team to execute Jamie and John’s vision. Jamie really wanted to see a hanging structure overhead; our team in collaborations with the designers at Fleur created a wooden structure featuring lush flowers of sage, pink and burgundy colors.

We hung the structure to be used and repurposed throughout the event. First, we created a focal point for the couple’s nuptials, and then, during the reception, the structure was perfectly placed over the head table for a dramatic flair. Just behind the structure on the open wall, we placed a summer foliage light pattern to create a natural look, coordinated with the farmwood table, place settings, centerpieces, and other design elements. Matching that aesthetic, we added Italian globe lights above the 2nd floor terrace area, where guests were greeted with cocktail tables, a bar area, and food stations.

Photography: Becca Heuer Photography | Floral Design: Fleur | Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s | Catering:Entertaining Company | Event Planning: City Girl Weddings (Kerrie Gallagher) | Event Design: Art Of Imagination | DJ: Okyne Media Lab | Officiant: Meghan Kennedy | Guitarist: Neil Dixon Smith | Letterpress Printer: Steracle Press | Open Secrets Studio: Open Secrets Studio | Party Rental: Table Scapes | Photography – Assistance: Gina Deconti

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Posted in: All in the Details, Green Weddings, Open Secret Studio, Real AOI Weddings, Wedding, Wedding Design

Glessner House Wedding on BeSpoke-Bride

April 26th, 2014

We could not be more excited to see our lovely couple, Katie & Evan, on They are such a fun and vibrant couple, and this colorful wedding blog is a perfect platform to show off their fun and creative wedding that they hosted at the Glessner House. It was a thrill to work with them, creating their vision and setting the mood for their guests. Our staff created the lighting for this beautiful wedding, with over head lamps  and vintage globe lighting.

Venue: Glessner House//  Officiant: Rev for Whatev// Photographer: Brian Morrison// Catering:D’Absolute// Lighting: Art of Imagination// Music: Cary Kanno, Zach Coulter and Rusty Bass-Ehler// Bride’s dress, groom’s suit and bridesmaids dresses: JCrew// Favors: Chicago Honey Co-Op//


Posted in: All in the Details, Glessner House Museum

Brides Choice Event, Room 1520

April 22nd, 2014

The Brides’s Choice Event hosted by Room 1520 invited designers, paired with planners, to create unique and inspirational settings, ultimately voted upon by the brides themselves. Our design team at Art of Imagination was paired with our dear friend Anthony Navarro of Liven It Up Events. Our space to create was the bridal Head Table. Since Room 1520 is a clean, white canvas, we created an urban outdoor setting bringing nature indoors, with the added essences of chic enchantment.

Birch trees that Art of Imagination often uses, framed the couple and brought in a Spring-like color when we added the cherry blossoms and other pink flowers. The elegant, white voile fabric added an airy lightness, while the diffused white light behind provided the sunny happiness.  The essence of enchantment was a subtle touch, accomplished using a projection of crystal white water waves. The magical ambiance could be felt immediately. To ground this etherial setting, we incorporated one of our grandiose chandeliers with hanging crystals.

In collaboration with Liven It Up Events, Windy City Linen, and Tablescapes our designers personally selected the glassware, flatware, tableware, and other couture rentals that brought the whole tablescape together. Deborah customized the fold on the luxury napkins to include tiny details inspired by the glassware, china, and florals. She tied each with fresh greenery and accented with a galax formed flower nestled inside. Speaking of flowers, Deborah and Anthony both ventured to the wholesale florist to choose the Spring favorites that completed the look. From magnolia tips to seeded eucalyptus, galax leaves were selected, as well as the lovely and vividly fuchsia agonis. Fresh greenery was displayed throughout, from the accents in the small black basket at each place setting (repurposed from Deborah‘s Flower and Garden Show set-up) to the bountiful garland edging the table, beautifully placed and fluffed by Anthony.

The vintage farmwood table is a repurposed piece of furniture from Art of Imagination‘s personal collection, as well as the damask dining chairs. The gorgeous, charcoal studded bench was on loan from Platinum Events and give a unique options to our newlyweds for their sweetheart table seating.

All in all, the challenge was enjoyed by our entire team and it was so much fun collaborating with our fellow industry friends to create this whimsical outdoor/indoor setting. And, as the cherry on top, our beautiful head-table setting won the event’s competition! We are blessed and so grateful to be designated as the Bride’s Choice! Thank you to everyone involved in the makings of this luxurious setting, the event itself and everyone on our Art of Imagination staff. Can’t wait to see what next year will bring!

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Posted in: All in the Details, Local Events, Room 1520, Wedding Design

Flower & Garden Show 2014

April 15th, 2014

This year, our Art of Imagination team was invited to partake in the Chicago Flower and Garden Show at Navy Pier. We were elated. if you have followed our brand, you know that we love finding and sharing inspiration. Whether it is in fashion, home decor, color trends, patterns or cultures of the world, our designers find inspiration everywhere. And we love to share our inspirations and inspire others.

For this particular vignette, we were inspired by nature and the appeal of greenery sprouting in the gardens. While it may seem that Spring will never truly come… or has possibly already passed us by, our designers embrace the au natural color palette and brought in Earthy textures like wood, moss and stone to complete the overall look.

We hope this table setting inspires you to bring in natural textures and plants to your dining room decor. If outside is looking bleak and white with snow, browse through these details and be inspired to put your green thumb to work indoors! The overall theme of the show was “Do Green. Do Good” and along those lines we incorporated many recyclable and repurposed details. This tablescape is created tapping into inspiration derived from nature and Deborah’s love of being “green.” Sustainability is the future for our society and using our “imagination” for innovative designs. From the fabric backdrop being 100% organic cotton to the table and floor designed from recycled and refurbished wood. The beautiful chinaware is an heirloom collection from her grandmother and the green plants and herbs are edible.

Special Thanks to Tuan Bui Photography for these darling photos.

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Posted in: All in the Details

Moroccan Tea Party

April 11th, 2014

It was absolutely wonderful partnering up with Debi Lilly and her team at A Perfect Event for an afternoon tea with Pure Kitchen Catering, M&M Special Events, Private Label Linens and Angela Eve dancers at Chicago’s newest hot spot event venue, City View Loft in the West Loop. With a Moroccan theme, our designers at Art of Imagination created the custom luxury draping and light patterns to reflect the mood and color palette of the event.

We created an entrance with stripes of white, platinum and gold fabrics, swaged open with gold tassels accented with fringe.  Fit for royalty, we hung a burnished gold sheer fabric over the dining area and hung globe lights underneath the fabric to create the intimate feel.

The light pattern design was inspired from Moroccan architecture. We custom created special lighting frames to display the patterns along the entire wall. Each table and vignette was accented with an array of colorful flowers and linens, the use of custom lanterns and paper patterns complimented the theme. The variety of food items on the menu, provided by Pure Kitchen Catering, added an ethnic flair bringing the whole event together. They even poured Moroccan gunpowder green tea infused with mint as a welcoming beverage in authentic and colorful glassware.

A Perfect Event – Florals, Event Design, Lanterns, Teacups, Favors
Art of Imagination – Custom Drapery & Ambient Lighting Design
City View Loft – Venue
M&M Special Events – Rentals, Lounge Seating
Private Label Linens – Tablecloths
Pure Kitchen Catering – Menu and Beverages
Angela Eve – Dancers

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Posted in: All in the Details, Fusion Weddings, Wedding, Wedding Design

Easter Table Settings & Decor Ideas

April 9th, 2014

While the Spring season should be filling our days with sunshine, and blooming color… sometimes mother nature throws us a curve ball. This winter has been brutal and never-ending, but the Easter weekend and so many other Spring festivities are coming fast. So, we welcome bright color palettes, pastel trends, and the beginning of wedding season.

To get into the Spring spirit, our creative design team at Art of Imagination decided to let the light shine into Room 1520 and break out the china. The vintage china, of course. Similar to Friendsgiving, our team built an entire tablescape around the idea of hosting multiple friends for an Easter weekend dinner. We introduced a Spring color palette featuring a soft purple tablecloth with lavender, pink, soft butter yellow, and sage green details. The beautiful chinaware from Tablescapes resembles a pattern from the French Royalty, and compliments the beautiful colored glassware.

Our event planners  also came up with a few kid-like traditions that are sure to make your adult guests smile. Guests can dye eggs during the cocktail hour, to later be used as place cards on the table. A colorful candy buffet is not only a trend that’s booming, but also a great reason for guests to make up their own Easter baskets.

Special Thanks to our friends at Tablescapes and Private Label Linens for the beautiful tablecloths and napkins. Art of Imagination provided all chinaware, glasses, decor and liquor. And, a special thanks for these amazing photos by Room 1520’s own Stephen Hamilton for the photos!

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Posted in: All in the Details, DIY Tips, Easter,
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