Start with imagination

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

Flower, Flow, Flour, Fresh: Great Taste 4 at Room 1520

May 20th, 2013

Recently, Room 1520 hosted the 4th iteration of what’s become one of our favorite events in the industry. Titled “Flower, Flow, Flour, Fresh” the party was both fun & irreverent. That evening, over a hundred couples mixed and mingled with dozens of industry professionals who showcased the very best of all aspects of the wedding industry.

The highlight was of course the nearly a dozen bakeries who were paired with dress-makers, with each station having even more decadent and delicious treats than the last – the most interesting part was having the dresses suspended about the treat stations.

Our role was creating the lounge settings and the atmospheric decor throughout the space – we hung a luxe canopy over the central area in a gold & silver material that matched both the space and the logo for the event. At the very back of the space, we created a beautiful lounge setting with platinum fabric and gold spheres and gold detailing.

Maypole Studios was on hand to take the photos – scroll through and share your thoughts in the comments.

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Art of Imagination owner, Deborah, on the far right, with Leah from Room 1520, Debi Lilly and Joshua, of Pure Kitchen Catering.Room1520-GreatTaste2Room1 520-GreatTaste9 Room 1520-GreatTaste15Room 1520-GreatTaste

Mercury glass was all over – as the light dimmed, it sparkled and glimmered – so very pretty! Below is the lounge setting we created for the event, with the fish-wire suspended gold wire spheres. Room 1520-GreatTaste3  Room 1520-GreatTaste5 Room 1520-GreatTaste6

Larkspur was on-hand to showcase their amazing bouquets.   Room 1520-GreatTaste10

Bethany, from Maypole Studios, goofing around with Mina Lee of Swan Events, Joshua from Pure Kitchen Catering and June, of Room 1520.Room 1520-GreatTaste13Another fun shot – they’re clearly having a blast! Room1520-GreatTaste14Room1520-GreatTaste12Kudos to all the vendors who were a part of event. From the top of our head – here are some of the vendors that participated – be sure to check them out.

Debi Lilly  |  Pure Kitchen  |  Baked  |  St. Germain  |  Room 1520  |  Shutterbooth  |  Maypole Photography  |  Larkspur  | Chicago Earth  |  SpeedPro Chicago

Posted in: Room 1520, Social, Venue Partners

Faithful, Fit & Fabulous: A Room 1520 Birthday Celebration

May 15th, 2013

We were recently a part of a posh birthday celebration at Room 1520, subtitled “Faithful, Fit & Fabulous” – the event was thrown in honor of a very special lady who was celebrating her 50th birthday with all her closest friends and family.

For the event, we washed Room 1520 with a beautiful, light shade of green. We used various shades of gold and brown to create accents throughout the space. We even created VIP lounge areas for her guests to mix and mingle – one right next to the photobooth to the left of the stairs by the entry, and another at the far end of the space, next to the band, with a huge swag of fabric overhead and a dozen of hanging crystal votives, which created a big focal point for the entire space. Over the dance floor, we hung an overhead swag in a matching gold shade and projected moving water overhead, which was a big hit with all the guests.

Scroll through the photos & share your thoughts in the comments.

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Posted in: Event Gallery, Room 1520, Social

Chez Crown 2013 at the Aragon Ballroom

May 13th, 2013

Earlier this year, we were part of the Chez Crown 2013 – the Arie Crown’s Got Talent event at the Aragon Ballroom. The event was a celebration of the Arie Crown Hebrew Day School and we were glad to have been a part of the event.

The famous and historic Aragon ballroom, built in 1926, was originally designed to replicate a Spanish palace courtyard, complete with crystal chandeliers, mosaic tiles, terra-cotta ceilings, balconies and beautiful arches. While the space is most famous for hosting huge concerts of up to 4,500 people, it also plays host to a wide array of events of every size. To accomodate this talent event, we brought in a wide array of light, using some of the tricks we learned from theatrical lighting to welcome the guests and create a stunning setting for the talent portion of the event.

Starts were a theme throughout, an idea we played up on with our light & decor. We used teal and blues matched to the luxe invites sent to each guests and tied it all together in the main ballroom. As part of the event, the restaurant sponsors set up booths in the hallway leading into the main space – in this area we lined the walls with a soft teal color, and projected stars all along the way to match the decor inside the ballroom.

Scroll through the photos below –

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Posted in: All in the Details, Corporate Events, Event Gallery, Social

Art of Imagination: Gown Giveaway Party Details

May 8th, 2013

Our office looked great all set up for the Bridal Gown Giveaway announcement party. All of us at Art of Imagination loved the small, intimate affair for 30 guests. We mingled with the finalists, sipped on champagne and enjoyed sushi by Thalia Spice and sweets by BomBon.

Take a look at the detail shots, especially for the gorgeous floral decor by Juliet Tan.Art of Imagination Bridal Gown GiveawayArt of Imagination Bridal Gown Giveaway Art of Imagination Bridal Gown Giveaway

Jenny Yoo, of course, provided a sample dress for the event. The winner will get to choose any dress from the collection, along with either a pin or sash. Art of Imagination Bridal Gown Giveaway Art of Imagination Bridal Gown Giveaway Art of Imagination Bridal Gown Giveaway

Juliet Tan provided the floral decor for the party and gave each couple a take-home centerpiece to enjoy. Art of Imagination Bridal Gown GiveawayArt of Imagination Bridal Gown Giveaway

We also had fun, luxe goodie bags filled by all the vendor partners as an extra bonus for entering the competition and coming out that night to celebrate.Art of Imagination Bridal Gown Giveaway Art of Imagination Bridal Gown GiveawayArt of Imagination Bridal Gown Giveaway Art of Imagination Bridal Gown Giveaway

Sweets by Bonbon.Art of Imagination Bridal Gown Giveaway

Thank you to all our vendors for helping make the announcement event a success: Fotio, Thalia Spice, Juliet Tan, Left Bank Bridal Finery, Crowne Plaza Hotel, BomBon Bakery and Maypole Photography for taking the photos. And Jenny Yoo for inspiring the giveaway.

Posted in: All in the Details, Event Gallery, News

Fotio Photobooth Photos from the Giveaway Party

May 7th, 2013

We loved having Fotio in our office for the announcement party. The booth-less photo booth was a real blast to have. Fotio took up almost no space, and was ready to take photos within just a few minutes. All night our guests were taking photos with the booth – and seeing the slideshow on the back of the monitor was great too.

Not having to wait for a printout meant we all could take more pictures! Scroll through for some of our favorites, and see the rest of the set on our Facebook page.Fotio Photobooth

Deborah with Juliet Tan.Fotio Photobooth Fotio Photobooth   Fotio Photobooth  Fotio Photobooth Fotio Photobooth Fotio Photobooth

Jeanette, on the right, and her assistant, from Jenny Yoo.Fotio Photobooth

Our lucky winners pose with the big check. They won a $3,300 credit to be used toward any dress from the collection, and either a pin or a sash.Fotio Photobooth

Bethany, a photographer, loved the photo booth too!Fotio PhotoboothFotio PhotoboothThank you, Fotio for a fun & lovely evening.

Posted in: Event Gallery, News

Art of Imagination: Gown Giveaway Party Guests

May 6th, 2013

Just recently, Art of Imagination hosted 30 guests at our creative offices as we announced the winner for our Bridal Gown Giveaway. The promotion ran for 6 weeks, where we let engaged couples nominate themselves to win a luxurious bridal gown from Jenny Yoo – all they had to do was share their creativity and how imagination is to play a role in their big day.

Dozens of couples entered and we then picked a select few, who had to then gather enough votes to decide who would win what prize. In the end, over 4,500 people voted and we had a clear winner. To announce the winners, we invited the couples and their friends to our office – that night our vendor friends lavished the couples with gifts, while sipping champagne and enjoying sushi and snacks.

It was a lovely evening – scroll through for the photos and stay tuned for photos of the details and decor.Art of Imagination Bridal Giveaway

We started the evening off right with a toast of champagne before the couples arrived.Art of Imagination Bridal Giveaway

Jenny Yoo was represented with Chicago store manager, Jeanette and her assistant.Art of Imagination Dress Give-Away (Jenny Yoo Couture) Art of Imagination Dress Give-Away (Jenny Yoo Couture) Art of Imagination Dress Give-Away (Jenny Yoo Couture)Art of Imagination Bridal Giveaway

Our top contestants – each had a lively story to go with their submission that stood out from the rest of the entries. They were easy picks and we weren’t surprised they were getting so many votes!Art of Imagination Dress Give-Away (Jenny Yoo Couture)Art of Imagination Bridal Giveaway

Deborah gets ready to announce the winners by thanking the couples for entering.Art of Imagination Dress Give-Away (Jenny Yoo Couture)Art of Imagination Bridal GiveawayArt of Imagination Bridal Giveaway  Art of Imagination Bridal GiveawayArt of Imagination Bridal GiveawayArt of Imagination Bridal Giveaway

Our second place winner was very happy – her venue will be beautified with a credit towards lighting and decor from Juliet Tan and Art of Imagination.         Art of Imagination Bridal Giveaway

Susan from the Left Bank Bridal Finery was on hand to help announce the winner of the prize from her shop.Art of Imagination Bridal Giveaway Art of Imagination Bridal Giveaway

Deborah and Jeanette about to announce the grand prize winner.Art of Imagination Bridal GiveawayArt of Imagination Bridal GiveawayArt of Imagination Bridal Giveaway Art of Imagination Bridal Giveaway Art of Imagination Bridal GiveawayArt of Imagination owner, Deborah with Thalia Spice owner, Vincent.

A big thank you to Maypole Studios for taking the photos.

Posted in: Event Gallery, Social

Examples of Recent Lounge Settings

April 18th, 2013

More and more, lounge settings are becoming the norm when it comes to weddings and events – scroll through for a sampling of events where we’ve added seating and lounge areas.  AOI-Lounge-1AOI-Lounge-4


Photography by: Amanda Hein, Adrian Nastase and Vitaliy Vladimirov.

Posted in: Event Gallery

Room 1520 Launch Event

April 3rd, 2013

Room 1520, the stunning, modern and minimal wedding and event venue in the West Loop  launched in exquisite style. For the event we partnered with a number of Chicago’s top wedding vendors to create this luscious, luxurious event where 350+ guests mixed and mingled, enjoying the very first look at this venue.

The event included upscale treats from several catering companies, a premium open bar and even coffee from Intelligentsia. To top it off, a group of aerialists performed for the guests throughout the evening.

Our part included creating the overall light ambiance with dozens of cool-blue and pale lavender light. We also hung dozens of our chandelier crystals over the seating areas. For a stunning centerpiece, we created a suspended sheer fabric canopy with a matching wall of fabric behind it for several curved sofa sectionals.

Since then Room 1520 has taken off – hosting dozens of weddings, even being featured on Style Me Pretty multiple times. And even though these photos are two years old, we still get calls about these photos so we know it’s not just us who’s falled in love with the simple elegance and cool, modern vibe.

Scroll through for the amazing photos by Avery House

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Room 1520 Launch - Photos by Avery HouseRoom 1520 Launch Party - Photos by Avery House
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Room 1520 Launch - Photos by Avery HouseRoom 1520 Launch - Photos by Avery House Room 1520 about hosting your wedding, corporate event or social gathering today.

Posted in: Event Gallery, Room 1520, Social, Venue Partners

The Definition of Elegance – a Renaissance Chicago Wedding

January 14th, 2013

A beautiful Renaissance Chicago wedding – full of stunning, elegant details throughout the night. The photogenic bride and groom looked amazing – perfectly complemented by the bridal party – all in matching black and white attire.

The evening was made of sparkling touches – such as the bride’s glittery Jimmy Choo heels. Relying on a simple but elegant palette made of varying shades of white gave the space a definite modern flair. From the flowers, to the cake, even to our crepe-back satin fabric backdrop, everything went together and focused the attention on the bride. We especially love the consistent use of hydrangeas throughout. In the end, the evening’s clean lines and refined, elegant feel earned the wedding a feature on Style Me Pretty. Scroll through the photos and see why – and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments!

Style Me Pretty Featured Wedding  RenaissanceChicagoWedding-2  Renaissance Hotel Wedding  Renaissance Hotel WeddingRenaissanceWedding-OHare1

The bride made a statement in her sparkly Jimmy Choo heels – and her understated use of jewelry offset her jewel-covered designer gown. Stunning!Renaissance Chicago WeddingStunning photography by Miller + Miller Photography – be sure to visit their website. Be sure to see the rest of our Style Me Pretty features here.


Posted in: Event Fabric, Event Gallery, Real AOI Weddings, Style Me Pretty

Another Glessner House Museum Wedding

January 10th, 2013

This Glessner House Museum wedding was a beautiful summer soiree at this historic and unique wedding venue. Seeing these pictures when it’s so cold outside really makes us wish for the warm, long summer nights.  You’ll see that the bride wore a simple, vintage-infused dress with a lot of fun details – even wearing a black sash and heels to match her groom’s black and white suit ensemble. They both looking sharp! The couple were smart in keeping their decor simple. Even the florals were a bit restrained – letting the bride’s glowing smile radiate and fill the space with warmth. Doing so really let the lush museum setting provide the perfect setting for the evening.

The couple opted to cover the dance floor with a tent – so to bring a bit of organic whimsy to the dancing area, we project many overlapping branch patterns, creating a lush setting to match the beautiful garden setting of the museum’s Courtyard in a color that picked up the blues and greens from the bride’s bouquet. We loved designing this event!

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We are the exclusive vendor for light, fabric and event production at this venue. Inquire about hosting your wedding at the Glessner House. Joe Gallo Photography generously provided the photos – be sure to visit his website and see the full range of his work.

Posted in: Event Gallery, Glessner House Museum

Stan Mansion NYE Event Decor

January 3rd, 2013

The Stan Mansion is one of Chicago’s many weddding and event venues, where we are the exclusive vendor for all event production, decor and design. While we most often work with couples in producing their weddings and receptions,  for this NYE event decor, we kept in line with the Parisian elegance of the event.

The sold-out party was one of the most exclusive parties in the city. With delicious Hors D ‘Oeuvres and dinner served by D’Absolute Catering, the party featured multiple live performances and a premium top shelf open bar. Running late into the morning, the black tie affair drew hundreds of stylish attendees who filled the historic venue, taking in our NYE Event Decor and stunning feather centerpieces by Cattleya Bridal.Stan Mansion NYE Event Decor

Part of the NYE event decor included upgraded, custom 20-foot panels of luxurious crepe-back satin fabric that formed the VIP settings to both sides of the main room. To add more flair to the look, we projected soft swirls over the fabric.Stan Mansion NYE Event Decor Stan Mansion NYE Event Decor

The place settings were elaborate and crystal-laden – going with the elaborate, Parisian-flair of the overall event.Stan Mansion NYE Party Decor Stan Mansion NYE Party Decor

Be sure to visit venue’s website & book your event there today. Photos courtesy of D’Absolute Catering.

Posted in: Corporate Events, Event Gallery, Holiday Decor, Holiday Events, Stan Mansion, Venue Partners, Venue Spotlight

Real Wedding: Happy and Colorful Galleria Marchetti Wedding

December 20th, 2012

Earlier this year we were part of yet another Galleria Marchetti wedding. The beautiful & unique wedding venue played host to this couple’s gorgeous summer soiree. Featuring gorgeous and thoughtful touches throughout, it was a memorable evening.

While it’s hard to pick just one favorite detail, it could easily have been the champagne bar which served the guests a number of lively and fresh cocktails during cocktail hour. The couple included sweet touches, such as colorful bunting and menus for the bar, matching signs for their sweetheart table and simple but elegant decor that let the setting really shine and make a statement.

The definite centerpiece of this West Loop reception was the up-lighting of the permanent tent structure that transformed the already beautiful space into something even more elegant with our summer branch gobos in soft shades of purples, pinks and lavenders.  The couple even had their initials projected on the dance floor in a matching tone.

We’ve worked with the photographer, Steve Koo, a number of times and know him to be talented & creative, but we can’t help but be a little proud of how our light & attention to detail comes through in so many of the pictures. Be sure to visit his website sometime, but meanwhile, scroll through the gallery and be inspired by this real Chicago wedding!

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Photos by Steve Koo Photography. Venue: Galleria Marchetti. Event Planning by Sweetchic Events.

Posted in: Event Gallery, Real AOI Weddings, Venue Partners

Real Chicago Wedding: Modern & Elegant Reception at Room 1520

As you saw in Part 1 of this real Chicago wedding, the couple warmed the clean and elegant aesthetic of the Room 1520 with our amber and pink lighting.

For the rest of the evening, the couple continued to glow, as if still lit. You can see from the photos how they reused the ceremony draping as a backdrop for their sweetheart table. For the dancing and the reception, we continued the same lighting palette as in their ceremony, using soft blues, purples and pinks to tie the light & decor to the centerpieces and the many romantic details throughout the event.

Style Me Pretty Featured WeddingRoom 1520 Wedding Real Chicago Wedding Real Chicago Wedding Room 1520 Wedding Room 1520 Wedding

In case you missed it, the previous post featured this wedding’s soft and elegant ceremony – view those photos here.

We are Your PhotogsThank you to Jason & Anna Photography for so beautifully capturing our work and for sharing the images with us. Be sure to visit their portfolio.

Posted in: Event Gallery, Real AOI Weddings, Room 1520, Style Me Pretty, Venue Spotlight

Gorgeous & Elegant: Wedding Decor at the Elysian Hotel

December 19th, 2012

The wedding decor at this event at downtown’s Elysian Hotel was truly stunning. Featuring only our best wedding decor, the setup included a wide wall of our platinum crepe-back satin and a stunning, show-stopping platinum, crystal-laden fabric structure with elegant detailing on the ties and a soft & sheer canopy overhead.

The dramatic displays were up-lit in soft pinks to play off of the warm amber and golden tones throughout the space. Juliet, of Cattleya Bridal matched the glitz and glamor of the space by bringing in tall crystal displays that sparkled with candlelight. Later, as the space was reset for reception-style seating, a sweetheart table was placed under the fabric structure.

Wedding Decor Elysian HotelElysianHotelWedding1Elysian Hotel Wedding-Wedding DecorWedding Decor Elysian Hotel ElysianHotelWedding2

We loved seeing the fabric structure stay up throughout the evening, creating a perfect focal point. A sweetheart table with a sparkly linen was added underneath and the aisle decor were repurposed as centerpieces.  ElysianHotelWedding3

All guests were greeted by this dramatic entry – using matching platinum fabric and crystals, it created a stunning display that set the mood of the whole event. Photos by Adrian Nastase.

Posted in: Event Gallery, Real AOI Weddings

Loft on Lake Chicago Civil Union Decor

December 13th, 2012

Loft on Lake in Chicago’s artsy West Loop neighborhood is such a unique, urban venue, that it only makes sense that it would host a civil union just within months of the law’s passing in Illinois. The owners, Cher and Steve Garrett have always been proud marriage equality supporters, even helping found the Stand Up project recently. For this civil union, the couple opted for a 40′ wall of fabric that ran the length of the entire space.

After the short but touching ceremony, the two grooms performed a Unity Candle ceremony and while the guests cockailed in the front space, took pictures all around the West Loop. For their reception, the pair had us transform the space using dark blues to match the look of their union. To bring warmth back into the open loft venue, we used GOBO projections of leaves and branches in an ambre shade of orange to add texture to the space.

We had a lot of fun working with this lovely couple and we were thrilled to be part of their Special Day!


Photos by Lofty Weddings Photography. Courtesy of Loft on Lake. Catered by Hearty Boys.

Posted in: Event Fabric, Event Gallery, Loft on Lake, Venue Partners

Trump Tower Events: Corporate Holiday Party

December 11th, 2012

We recently were brought on by Guggenheim Partners to produce their annual holiday party at the Trump International Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. This was the company’s first time at the Trump International Hotel and the client was nervous about the change of venue. Impressed by Deborah’s event production and event design experience, they asked Deborah to personally oversee every element of the production of their event. Because of another event in the same space, the Art of Imagination team had only a three hour window to transform the space into a chilly winter-scape – which included five glow bars, GOBOS and dozens of LED lights throughout the ballroom and a second area which played host to the silent auction during the event.
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Trump Tower Events
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Juliet Tan, of Cattleya Bridal, was responsible for the centerpieces – using crystals, mirrors and winter greens to continue the event’s theme. Photos by Vitaliy Vladimirov.

Posted in: Event Gallery, Holiday Events, Trump Chicago

Real Chicago Weddings: Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural Center Wedding Ceremony

We love featuring real Chicago weddings – such as this stunning event, hosted at the Chicago Cultural Center. We worked closely with the bride in realizing the vision for her Special Day – bringing in the branch GOBOs for a touch of organic whimsy to this elegant affair.

Chicago Cultural Center Wedding Chuppah

Details of the romantic Chuppah wedding structure we constructed in partnership with Cattleya Bridal.

Chicago Cultural Center Oprah BrideChicago Cultural Center Oprah BrideChicago Cultural Center Lounge Seating

We created a chic lounge setting for the reception which offset the rest of the event decor wonderfully.

Posted in: Event Gallery, Real AOI Weddings, Venue Spotlight