Start with imagination

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

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

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,

Bridal Fete Chicago 2014

April 8th, 2014

We were overjoyed to be a part of Bridal Fete Chicago. The unique event fuses couture wedding fashion with creative and artistic cake designs.  Deborah, Art of Imagination’s creative director, simply adores the architecture and history of the Fainman Lounge located at Roosevelt University. Inspired by Chicago’s own Frank Lloyd Wright, the beautiful ballrooms, stairwell, and even restrooms are filled with architectural intricacies that simply make us swoon.

The event took place among three separate areas, and our designers were in charge of the Congress Lounge ballroom featuring the #BridalBeautyBar.  To highlight this interactive area, Art of Imagination designers wanted to create a clean soft look to the existing low lit room. Our designers at Art of Imagination draped a luxury white crepe fabric throughout the room from floor to ceiling, creating a modern yet romantic setting.

The #BridalBeautyBar offered brides the opportunity to hold various bouquets designed by some of Chicago’s top florists. Surrounding the tablescape, our wedding structure was designed with custom ivory crepe back satin gathered and cuffed with satin & rhinestone cuffs.

See a list of all the sponsors involved in this year’s Bridal Fete Chicago at their website:

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Posted in: Bridal Fashion, Local Events

FORM: Art + Floral

March 20th, 2014

Our creative juices are bubbling over as we think of all the artistic talents that are going to be in one room. Our friends at Natural Beauties Floral and the amazing Reenie Rose are hosting a unique one-of-a-kind event at Room 1520 (in the West Loop) in just a few weeks. By pairing artists and floral designers together, watch as petals meet canvas in this showcase event.


From the Invite:

FORM: ART + Floral

The only event of its kind in the Chicago area, FORM pairs florists with artists to create an inspired arrangement that reflects a collaboration between two distinct and creative fields. Browse the gallery while enjoying hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and music. This year’s fundraising efforts will go to support Snow City Arts, a Chicago non-profit organization that provides arts education to children in hospitals ( A $10 donation is requested. April 9th. 6-9pm. At Room 1520, 301 N. Justine St., 312.846.6297

Posted in: Local Events, Room 1520

Basketball Party Ideas

March 18th, 2014

MARCH MADNESS is here!!! The brackets are announced; let the games begin! …and the party fun! Here are some of our favorite quick snack and party ideas to keep your own team of “players” happy throughout the tourney!

Bite-sized treats are the perfect snack, as you and your friends cheer on your team through the bracket. Mini-Sliders and Wings are the #1 crowd pleasers and hearty option with so much variety, from the meat to the toppings. The spread shown below features grilled chicken, bison, beef, and veggie sliders; the plethora of Wings from Output Lounge in Chicago.

Popcorn is another great option for a snack that packs a big punch! Serve the easy-to-make munchy in individual servings by using cute popcorn props from your local party store. Create your own signature mix or host an entire buffet of flavors, salts, and other great toppings. Chicago loves their popcorn so be sure to grab your favorite local variety at Garretts, Marianos, or Wells Street Popcorn.

Be sure to have some fun with the desserts! These basketball cake pops from  Elysia Root Cakes could feature your team name for a more personalized option! Display them in a unique way, like a handful of everyone’s favorite gummie worms!

The table decor was an easy DIY project, using plywood from Home Depot. Our team placed contact paper on it, and used a white marker to draw the lines of the court. Simple and Easy!!

Special Thanks to Output Lounge for the delicious menu! We’d also like to thank our friends at Elysia Root Cakes for the beautiful desserts. Art of Imagination provided all of the chinaware, glasses, decor and liquor.

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Posted in: All in the Details, DIY Tips, Home Party Tips, March Madness,

IndieWed 2014 :: Lounge Setting

March 13th, 2014

IndieWed 2014 was beautiful. The annual bridal event took place in the vintage Ravenswood Art Center earlier this year. Partnering with Naturally Yours Events and other fabulous Chicago talents, we transformed the 3rd floor space into a vaudeville-inspired carnival with a lounge area.

The theatrical lounge area, appropriately entitled Cirque de L’Amour, wasn’t complete with a sweeping red curtain and performance area. As a creative touch, our designers incorporated floating parasols from Bella Umbrella of different patterns in front of the floor to ceiling industrial windows.

See more great photos from this lounge at Naturally Yours Events blog!

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Posted in: All in the Details, Indie Wed, Local Events, Lounge Decor, Ravenswood Event Center

Oscar Party Ideas with FOX Chicago

February 28th, 2014

This morning we joined the fabulous ladies and gents at Fox Chicago to showcase fun ideas and party tips for hosting your own Oscars viewing party at home. Inspired by Deborah’s favorite Best Picture nominee, American Hustle, we featured glitz, glam and all things retro! From swedish meatballs to long island ice teas, you guests will crossing their fingers along with Deborah and making American Hustle their favorite pick to win!

Special Thanks to The Caterist in Evanston and Juliet Tan Floral Design

Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Pics from Deborah’s Instagram:

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Posted in: Awards Party, Home Party Tips, On TV, Oscars Party, Press Mention

Oscar Party Ideas with WCIU’s You & Me in the Morning

February 27th, 2014

Deborah loves the lovely ladies at WCIU’s You & Me In the Morning, Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow! We were so excited to join them this morning to talk about all things Oscars!!! For this home-party idea, we were inspired by three of this year’s Best Picture nominees: Gravity, American Hustle and Wolf of Wall Street. We let our inspiration guide us in decor, menu items and even at the bar.

Special thanks to The Caterist in Evanston!
Check out more of the cocktail recipes inspired by this year’s top movies here!

From Behind The Scenes:

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From Deborah’s Instagram:

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Posted in: Awards Party, DIY Tips, Home Party Tips, On TV, Oscars Party

Filming with Andrea Metcalf

January 14th, 2014

It was such a thrill and an honor to film some special segments yesterday at Loft on Lake with Andrea Metcalf. Creativity was surely in the air as we discussed party trends and tips for this winter’s major events: the Super Bowl (February 2nd), Sochi Olympics (Opening Ceremony on February 6th) and, of course, Award Season including the Oscars (March 2nd)!

From table top decor to photo opp fun, we talked about it all. We even had a special appearance by personal chef, Markus Ford, who showed us how to liven up the typical party fare to sophisticated and creative new dishes that will have all your guests begging for more!

Stay tuned to for these segments with Andrea and Deborah Weisenhaus, our lead designer at Art of Imagination in the next few weeks. We’ll be sure to post lots of photos from these segments as well. Here’s just a glimpse of the behind-the scenes fun we had!

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Posted in: Media & Press Events, Press Mention

{Style Me Pretty} Wedding at The Ivy Room

August 18th, 2013

We are so grateful to have another beautiful bride featured on Style Me Pretty this week. The lovely images of the wedding were submitted by Robyn Rachel Photography and took place at The Ivy Room in Chicago, IL. Here’s a snippet from Style Me Pretty‘s post, these words come from the bride herself:

Whenever my husband and I get asked how we met we always laugh and respond “it’s a long story.” The story is we met 8 years ago on a college spring break trip with our friends and knew right away our spring break fling was something more and that we had found the one. Our friends to this day do not let us live the story down that “what happened on spring break didn’t stay on spring break” which made for fun reminiscent rehearsal dinner toasts! I was lucky that 8 years after we met on a beach in Florida, my husband proposed to me in Chicago using my grandmother’s diamond which made it all the more special.

The feeling of our wedding that our family and friends kept describing to us was “understated elegance” and that is exactly what we were going for! We wanted a wedding that would best reflect our relationship of being timeless and traditional, but also fun loving, romantic, and something fresh. We chose to get married at the Ivy Room Chicago as it was important to both of us to have the ceremony outside, but also be located in the heart of our favorite city and home near all of the action. Our officiant was from my church in the suburbs where I have gone my whole life so even though we were not in that particular space it was nice to have a piece of it there with us that day. We absolutely loved all that the Ivy Room had to offer and tried to compliment it with soft pinks (using peonies my favorite flower) and champagne colors and focus on candles and lighting. We wanted to make sure every detail was perfect, yet at the same time did not want to get carried away with too many little things and lose sight of what we were there for. This was especially evident in our guestbook which was done by our photographer to be a book of all of our engagement photos as the pages and our guests could write messages on top of the photos. We really loved how she wanted to capture and show our personality as a couple in both our engagement and wedding photos for our love for each other, Chicago, and our friends and family.

One thing that brought my husband and I together is the importance of the people in our life. We are close with our families, but also consider our friends to be family, as you can see by our large bridal party! We didn’t want to leave out anyone out in sharing in our day, even my niece as the flower girl who had to be carried down the aisle at just 9 months old!

We were so happy when the Chicago weather cooperated and allowed us to have the perfect day! It was really meaningful to us to have so many family and friends who had come to know our relationship so well over the past 8 years be there to support and celebrate and not leave our side on the dance floor for the entire evening! Everything was absolutely perfect and we wish we could relive the weekend all over again.

She was so amazing to work with and the leaf pattern on the wall added such texture and elegance to the entire reception. Here’s just a sneak peek of these great images.

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You can find the entire article from Style Me Pretty here!
You can find out more about the Ivy Room here!
You can also view our Pinterest Board from The Ivy Room here for inspirations!

Photography: Robyn Rachel Photography | Venue: The Ivy Room Chicago | Floral Design: Kathie’s Flowers | Catering: George Jewell Catering | Lighting: Art of Imagination | Band: Nick Kitsos Band | Cake:Amy Beck Cake Design | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier


Posted in: All in the Details, Real AOI Weddings, Style Me Pretty, The Ivy Room, Wedding

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!

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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

An Intimate, DIY Kitchen Chicago Wedding

January 10th, 2013

We loved being part of this beautiful Kitchen Chicago wedding. We helped this couple transform fun and unique wedding venue in the artsy West Loop neighborhood into a warm and intimate affair perfect for their DIY-chic style.

To create that perfect setting for their ceremony, we created a wall of fabric in our trademark ivory crepe-back satin, with a simple and elegant wedding structure in a matching fabric, using our lovely hanging crystals to add a touch of sparkle to the ceremony.

For the reception, we created soft swags of sheer fabrics to help lower the venue’s sweeping ceilings and create more of an intimate setting for the party below. The reception was where the bride’s creativity really shone – using simple but meaningful touches throughout the party allowed the couple to cut costs while still having fun.

Scroll through for details and lots of warm touches. Do you like this Kitchen Chicago wedding? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Style Me Pretty Featured Wedding

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Beautiful photos by Agnes Malorny. Visit Kitchen Chicago’s website and learn more about this West Loop alternative wedding venue. See more about this wedding right here on Style Me Pretty.

Posted in: Real AOI Weddings, Style Me Pretty, Venue Partners

Real Chicago Wedding: Modern & Elegant Reception at Room 1520

December 20th, 2012

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.

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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

Real Chicago Wedding: Modern Elegance at Room 1520

December 19th, 2012

This real Chicago wedding was really something. Combining the clean, modern and elegant aesthetic of the West Loop’s Room 1520 with the warm personality of the bride and groom was a perfect match.

For their ceremony, we brought in a wide panel of our beloved crepe-back satin, in a pretty, satin-like platinum,  which we up-lit in a warm shade of pink. The light filtered from the windows and through the fabric, creating a beautiful sort of glow on the ceremony stage. The aisle was lit with a golden amber light, giving the bride a stunning halo-like look as she walked down the aisle, with her father at her side. She literally glowed!

Scroll through the ceremony pictures and stay tuned for part two – the dancing, the speeches and the fun & energetic, after dark reception that is not to be missed!

Style Me Pretty Featured Wedding

Room 1520 Wedding
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Don’t miss the second half of this stunning wedding – check out the reception and dancing 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: Press Mention, Real AOI Weddings

Architectural Artifacts Wedding on Style Me Pretty

December 13th, 2012

As a Style Me Pretty “Little Black Book” member, we love seeing our name come up on weddings we have been a part of. Especially when the featured weddings are of a couple as laid back and wonderful to work with as these two.

For this cool, urban event at Architectural Artifacts, we were asked to make the expansive atrium more intimate by stringing Italian globe lights and adding warm, amber ambiant lighting to create a lively and inviting space for the guests to dance in and celebrate.

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Be sure to see the other weddings featured on Style Me Pretty that include our work.

Posted in: Press Mention

Press Mention: Art of Imagination in People Magazine

October 8th, 2012

We have been the exclusive light & decor vendor at the amazing Rookery building since 1996 and although for us, every wedding we create and design is very special, it’s not every day that the bride and groom also happen to be “Amazing Race” winners! And since we’re so used to working at the Rookery, we sometimes don’t meet the brides until the day of their event – and so, we almost missed this tidbit!

 It’s a good thing they clued us in, as People Magazine featured the stunning, romantic, ceremony both in print and online. Cindy Chiang was walked in by her father from the front hallways -for the ceremony, the couple opted for the basic ivory linen draping all along the perimeter, along with an upgraded panel at the top of the stairs – perfect for taking formal portraits with the bridal party & family. After the ceremony, the party moved just a few blocks away to the amazing & historic Chicago Cultural Center.
We are glad to have been a part of Cindy and Ernie’s Special Day – and are excited to celebrate many more such moments with our 2012 and 2013 Rookery brides!
Posted in: Press Mention, Rookery Wedding