Blog

BizBash IdeaFest Done Right in Grey, Gold & White!

Less is MORE! FormDecor exhibited at this year’s BizBash IdeaFest 2012 where we demonstrated the design modern mantra… LESS IS MORE! New to FormDecor, the Chrysalis Screens served as a textural backdrop that made the Florence Knoll Classic Sofa and Gold Finger Lounge Chairs stand out above the rest! The Angel Trumpet Floor Lamps provided….

Read More

Less is MORE! FormDecor exhibited at this year’s BizBash IdeaFest 2012 where we demonstrated the design modern mantra… LESS IS MORE! New to FormDecor, the Chrysalis Screens served as a textural backdrop that made the Florence Knoll Classic Sofa and Gold Finger Lounge Chairs stand out above the rest! The Angel Trumpet Floor Lamps provided the right light while the Eileen Gray Side Tables and Hilton Coffee Table served as clean-lined accents. Retro chic? We think so!

BizBash-Booth

BizBash_Booth_2

BizBash_Booth_3

Read Less

Celebrate the Red, White & Blue!

It’s time to pull out the BBQ’s, visit with family and friends… And don’t forget the fireworks to celebrate the USA’s independence! Inspired by the red, white & blue? FormDecor sure is! Check out our “4th of July” inspiration board below. From our team to yours, we want to wish you a very fun, safe….

Read More

It’s time to pull out the BBQ’s, visit with family and friends… And don’t forget the fireworks to celebrate the USA’s independence! Inspired by the red, white & blue? FormDecor sure is! Check out our “4th of July” inspiration board below.

From our team to yours, we want to wish you a very fun, safe & happy 4th of July!

Read Less

Dear Fritz… May 2012

Dear Fritz, I love Pinterest and I can’t get enough of it.  When I follow FormDecor on Pinterest, should I follow all boards or just a few? What could I expect by following you? Signed, Anita Pinsome Dear Anita: Pinterest enthusiasts, like all of us at FormDecor, are pinning like crazy! From colors and furniture,….

Read More

Dear Fritz,

I love Pinterest and I can’t get enough of it.  When I follow FormDecor on Pinterest, should I follow all boards or just a few? What could I expect by following you?

Signed,

Anita Pinsome

Dear Anita: Pinterest enthusiasts, like all of us at FormDecor, are pinning like crazy! From colors and furniture, to style and art, FormDecor is definitely one to follow.

FormDecor’s pin boards are grouped by color, style, furniture category, events and more… a valuable environment that is different from the comprehensive product catalog on FormDecor.com. You should absolutely follow all of our unique boards as you never know what new furniture designs or collections we’ll come up with next! You can even see what our team members are pinning to their boards! And you won’t want to miss what gets pinned next… It could be the 2nd Quarter Giveaway! {Hint! Hint!}

By following FormDecor on Pinterest, you’ll experience a thematic environment of design, style and color that goes above and beyond the current trends. Like White Hot or Going Green at the Altar… From designing a wedding or event to providing the additional touches to a TV set, movie or exhibit booth, Pinterest has taken designing and inspiring others to a whole new level.

To facilitate your thematic experience, FormDecor has recently enhanced the FormDecor product pages to include the Pinterest “Pin it” button. You can now “pin” any FormDecor furniture design to any of your boards. Simply click the “Pin it” button & you’re done!

What are you waiting for? Start your pin-gines & get to pinning!

Read Less

E3 Queen Freddie Georges Takes You “Behind-the-Scenes”

Meet Freddie Georges, Founder & CEO of Freddie Georges Production Group – FG|PG It’s a very busy time in the Exhibition and Tradeshow Industry, but FormDecor still caught up with Freddie Georges, Founder and CEO of Freddie Georges Production Group (FG|PG) to get a “behind the scenes” interview. Established in 2001, FG|PG is a full….

Read More

Meet Freddie Georges, Founder & CEO of Freddie Georges Production Group – FG|PG

It’s a very busy time in the Exhibition and Tradeshow Industry, but FormDecor still caught up with Freddie Georges, Founder and CEO of Freddie Georges Production Group (FG|PG) to get a “behind the scenes” interview. Established in 2001, FG|PG is a full service exhibit house based out of Southern California with national capabilities. With a long list of prestigious clients, FG|PG creates interactive experiential environments for tradeshow exhibitors, earning the reputation as a leader in exhibit design and execution. As a female business owner with over 20 years of experience in the industry, Freddie Georges has a lot of wisdom to share, and we are delighted to share her insight on the FormDecor Featured Professionals blog.  But we don’t want to give it all away… Get to know Freddie Georges!

FormDecor: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Freddie Georges: Before the age of 21, I wanted to be a designer, any kind of designer. After I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Interior and Environmental Design, I obtained my first professional design position as an Exhibit Designer with a firm called Design and Production (D&P). I knew then that I eventually wanted to own my own business. D & P specialized in museum exhibit design and fabrication with their biggest client being the Smithsonian. From my childhood exposure consisting of visiting museums all over the world, I was fascinated with how museum and interpretive exhibits were conceived, designed and produced.

After pursing my career at D & P for a year, I discovered their tradeshow division and I immediately fell in love. The projects were set at a much
faster pace than the museum exhibits…Twenty-five plus years later, my love of “all things” exhibits has only gotten stronger.

FD:  When clients read your biography on www.FGPG.com, they immediately learn that you were quite the interior decorator at an early age. Where did you find the inspiration to redecorate your childhood home?

FG: As a child of parents in the airline industry, both Air France and Swissair, I benefited from the international travel where a lot of my inspiration came from. I spent many summers throughout my childhood in Paris with my grandparents who took me to places like the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre, and many more. My favorite part of the Palace of Versailles was the Hall of Mirrors, which spawned into a love of mirrors to this day.

A personal favorite interior design project of mine to date is my primary residence in California where I took a non-descript beach house in Huntington Beach and completely transformed it into a Craftsman-style revival. My favorite room is the living room that consists of custom display cases filled with family heirlooms, some over 200 years old!

FD: Starting your own business in a male-dominated industry must have been daunting at first.  What gave you the courage to succeed?  Did you have any particular challenges that you had to overcome?

FG: I never really thought about how daunting it would be before getting into the exhibition and tradeshow industry because I have always been team focused. I had the “all for one and one for all” mentality that everyone gets along for joint success. That was the naiveté of a young woman. Once I got into the business, the challenges were less about gender and more about knowledge, although gender issues did come up in my younger years. Since I did not have a mentor in the industry, I learned a great deal on my own or through occasional team-spirited colleagues.

Genuine LOVE of the work accounted for  80% of my success, and 20% was sheer tenacity… These percentages still apply today.

Regarding difficult challenges, there is nothing more discouraging, demoralizing and exhausting then an unappreciative, disrespectful client. I’ve
had a few that, later in my career, I actually had to “fire” as clients after concluding that they were the type of people who a) cannot be pleased and b) are  too toxic to be able to build a healthy business relationship with. The result is that I have time to pursue and maintain more rewarding client relations.

FD: You have many impressive clients at the Electronic Entertainment Expo every year… Rumor has it, you’re known as the “E3 Queen”!…  Tell us about some of your favorite E3 memories.

FG: My fondest career memories stem from two categories: History and Challenges!

One of my clients in the cable television industry has been a client for 25 years! Wahoo! I can tell you, that is a huge achievement in any industry by any standards.

Other fond memories are all based in the most challenging projects. For example, one of my clients asked me to locate a real vintage (circa 1920) train car to rent or purchase for their tradeshow booth. The idea was that they wanted to use the train car as a display to promote a locomotive-based marketing campaign. Finding the inventory was a fun and exciting project in and of itself, but then working on the logistics of bringing it to the show site was quite a rewarding experience.

FD: What is one of the most memorable exhibits you designed and built for a trade show event? Do you have any photos to share?

FG: That’s a tough one to single out because they are all a labor of love… But if I had to choose, I would have to say one of my most recent, 2K Games at E3 2011, followed by Vivendi for E3 2006 and then King World for NATPE way back in 1998. Below you will see a few photos from my favorite exhibits.

2K Exhibit

2K Exhibit

Vivendi ExhibitE3 2007, Santa MonicaFGPGPadgett and Company Job#2959Image #01

VivendiGames_E3_2007_06

FD: Recently, we read your blog on www.FGPG.com about the custom exhibit you built for Borderlands 2 at PAX East 2012. What were the highlights for you working with The Shop @ Show Ready on this project?

FG: After years of creating scenic environments, overseeing the production of four human-like characters from the video game Borderlands 2 was exciting because I’ve only produced creatures, never human figures. The Shop @ Show Ready had the skill set to bring blocks of foam to life, depicting four very realistic human-like characters. In the world of exhibits, the harder the projects are to produce, the more I enjoy the project because I love to learn new production techniques. I love a new challenge!

Overall, it was a harmonious and collaborative team effort… Always a must for ANY successful business relationship.

FD: You have won a number of awards and you must be particularly proud of your woman-owned business awards. What was the first award you received? Are there any award experiences that stand out in your memory?

FG: My first award that I received was the “Top 500 Business in Southern California” award. I have to laugh out loud when asked what award experiences stand out in my memory… I share the same award experience with Warren Buffet, as he has the same award hanging on his wall… The ‘Dale Carnegie Sales Course’ award which I earned back in 1986!

FD: Being a woman and a strong leader in the exhibit and events design industry, what wisdom would you impart for a young
woman just entering this profession?

FG: TALK LESS, LISTEN MORE… but only to qualified mentors because there are a lot of “know-it-alls” in our industry who won’t necessarily always give you the best leadership guidance.

FD: We’re especially proud that FG|PG incorporates FormDecor modern furniture into its award winning designs… If you could choose one design from the FormDecor inventory for your office or home, what would it be?

FG: Wow… That’s especially tough because of course, all the inventory is absolutely to die for… But if I had to choose, it would be the Red Warren Platner chair. This chair matches my personality… Elegantly simple yet sophisticated. I love the Red Warren Platner chair!

Read Less

Hip & Fashionable by Destination Concepts Inc

Funky & Psychedelic… We Love it! Destination Concepts, Inc created a hip and fashionable lounge space at the Hard Rock Hotel in beautiful San Diego, CA for the PCMA event earlier this year! Color was definitely poppin’ with the Pink Dunbar Sofa, Genoa Lounge Chair, and Pucci Pillows! Add in the Probber Chrome Coffee Table….

Read More

Funky & Psychedelic… We Love it! Destination Concepts, Inc created a hip and fashionable lounge space at the Hard Rock Hotel in beautiful San Diego, CA for the PCMA event earlier this year! Color was definitely poppin’ with the Pink Dunbar Sofa, Genoa Lounge Chair, and Pucci Pillows! Add in the Probber Chrome Coffee Table and who wouldn’t want to enjoy this lounge setting?!

purple_genoa_chair_pink_dunbar_sofa

hard-rock-hotel-3906

hard-rock-hotel-3935

Read Less

Rouge Fainting Couch makes its Debut on TV

The Rouge Fainting Couch isn’t a “One Hit Wonder”… It’s ever so fabulous!!! This luscious Rouge Fainting Couch is all over the TV scene these days… First, used to cradle Roshon on Dancing with the Stars… Now, ABC Family’s, Pretty Little Liars! It’s the perfect addition to any set. ABC is in love with it!….

Read More

The Rouge Fainting Couch isn’t a “One Hit Wonder”… It’s ever so fabulous!!! This luscious Rouge Fainting Couch is all over the TV scene these days… First, used to cradle Roshon on Dancing with the Stars… Now, ABC Family’s, Pretty Little Liars! It’s the perfect addition to any set. ABC is in love with it! We’re in love with it! Are you?!

Rouge-Fainting-Couch-DWTS-8

Roshon on Dancing with the Stars

Read Less

E3 Expo 2012 – Los Angeles, CA

E3 Expo 2012 June 5-7, 2012 Los Angeles Convention Center 1201 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90015

Read More

E3 Expo 2012

June 5-7, 2012

Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Read Less

BizBash IdeaFest 2012 – Los Angeles, CA

BizBash IdeaFest 2012 June 13, 2012 Los Angeles Convention Center 1201 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90015 Look for FormDecor in Booth #P512!

Read More

BizBash IdeaFest 2012

June 13, 2012

Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Look for FormDecor in Booth #P512!

Read Less

Licensing International Expo 2012 – Las Vegas, NV

Licensing International Expo June 12-14, 2012 Mandalay Bay Convention Center 3950 South Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89119

Read More

Licensing International Expo

June 12-14, 2012

Mandalay Bay Convention Center
3950 South Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89119

Read Less

ComiCon 2012 – San Diego, CA

Comic-Con 2012 July 12-15, 2012 San Diego Convention Center 111 West Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101

Read More

Comic-Con 2012

July 12-15, 2012

San Diego Convention Center
111 West Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

Read Less

Aqua & Coral is SO 2012

FormDecor constantly strives to evolve ahead of rental style trends to give their clients fresh, practical options with exciting design details.  If you follow the FormDecor blog, you know that Coral is a fashion-forward furniture color which pairs beautifully with Turquoise or Aqua.  Just look at the beautiful inspiration board above! To fulfill that trend,….

Read More

FormDecor constantly strives to evolve ahead of rental style trends to give their clients fresh, practical options with exciting design details.  If you follow the FormDecor blog, you know that Coral is a fashion-forward furniture color which pairs beautifully with Turquoise or Aqua.  Just look at the beautiful inspiration board above! To fulfill that trend, FormDecor recently added the Coral Victoria Chair to their Victoria furniture family.  FormDecor gives wedding planners fresh and unique inventory to satisfy even the most particular clients with loads of color to make any wedding or event pop!

Read Less

James Pearse Connelly has The Voice for Set Decor!

FormDecor sat down with James Pearse Connelly, Set Decorator Extraordinaire, who brings personalities alive through his design. From concept and creation to the final product, he provides something extraordinary! Just recently, you may have seen his work on NBC’s “The Voice” where he designed the off-stage set and what a phenomenal stage it was. In….

Read More

FormDecor sat down with James Pearse Connelly, Set Decorator Extraordinaire, who brings personalities alive through his design. From concept and creation to the final product, he provides something extraordinary! Just recently, you may have seen his work on NBC’s “The Voice” where he designed the off-stage set and what a phenomenal stage it was. In addition, he has worked on the MTV Video Music Awards, on Spike TV and more… But we don’t want to give it all away in the introduction! Get to know James Pearse Connelly!

FormDecor: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

James Pearse Connelly: The earliest I can remember, is I wanted to be a TAXI DRIVER.  And then I remember saying in middle school that some day, I wanted to be a PSYCHOLOGIST.  In Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts, I fell in love with Theater Set Design.   Now, all I do is drive around in LA trying to balance personalities while managing a design.

FD: You’ve become quite a well-known and up and coming Art Director / Production Designer!… When did you decide that this was what you wanted to do?

JPC: I just kept following what felt right.  My mother was an art teacher turned computer education specialist, and my father was an architect.  Design, computer skills, and judgment on aesthetic surrounded me.  For a period of time, I even remember somewhat branching out from it.  Taking classes in math, psychology… even typing skills.  It wasn’t until I was in drama club in high school, that I reconnected back with what felt right, thinking through shapes and forms to construct a set.

FD: What was one of the most memorable sets you’ve worked on? Do you have photos to share?

JPC: Aren’t they all special?  2007 VMAS!  I art directed that for Scott Storey and being a part of Britney Spears’ disaster of a performance was an unforgettable moment.  When it was finished everyone in the audience didn’t know whether to say it was horrible or not.  I was so proud to be a part of such a huge production and work on a number for Britney Spears, that my pride out shined the fact that it was truly AWFUL.

FD: Congratulations on winning an Emmy for Art Direction for Variety, Music or Nonfiction programming: “2008 MTV Video Music Awards”…  Will you share with us what that experience was like for you?

JPC:  I would only guess it was similar to being called on stage for the PRICE IS RIGHT.  It was such a shocking surprise, that when we were called – my astonishment and my adrenaline mixed and exploded to a total frenzy as I bolted, shook and grinned down the aisle.  My mother and sister were too excited to even notice that I turned into a raging spaz.  And to be honest, I can barely remember it.

FD: We loved your design for the Scream Awards greenroom on SpikeTV, so much that it’s displayed in our Showcase on FormDecor.com!  Was there any particular inspiration that made you choose our Hollywood Regency Style for this striking lounge?

JPC: With that project, we always talked about it being a stylized version of a backstage (or back tent) of a vintage carnival.  I drowned myself in carnival and circus research from all points of history to see what I could learn. We built the custom tent from fabric we got from INDIA because we wanted a particular color for the ceiling.  I picked through turn-of-the-century research to see what styles married well with FormDecor’s vast contemporary selection.

SpikeTV-Awards

SpikeTV-Awards1

FD: Season 2 of The Voice just aired on NBC after the Superbowl. Your design for the offstage presence was “harmonizing”! What were the highlights for you in working on this project?

JPC:  This was a crazy project that landed on my doorstep very late in the process.  I designed this over a weekend since the next day was an expected day of build.  The idea was to create a showroom of stylish furniture that incorporated the Voice brand.  I used color for the brand harmony and FormDecor for the style.  FormDecor has such great stuff, that I thought without even knowing what to choose yet, that I would get 80% of the furnishings there, and then fill in with what was needed for added interest.  I guess it takes a quick turnaround of a schedule to harmonize.

Grand-Banquette

Iman-Lounge

FD: The work you do with FormDecor furnishings is FABULOUS…If you could choose one design of FormDecor’s for your home, what would it be?

JPC:  Right before we were about to go live on air at the Grammy’s this year, of course while the crew was on a dinner break, I took a nap on the IMAN sectional.  Fabulous, comfortable and… Perfect.

FD: What is your greatest source of inspiration?

JPC:  I’m obsessed with Pinterest!!  Honestly, I find inspiration in new architecture and decoration.  And usually, in garish places with big economies where money is no object; Las Vegas, United Arab Emirates, corporate projects, sports arenas, shopping malls and retail wonderlands, and illustrative make-believe.

FD: What is your dream project and why? 

JPC: I think it’s time the Oval office had a new desk, don’t you?

FD: What haven’t you checked off on your “Bucket List”?   

JPC: Making out with Justin Bieber

FD: Where do you see yourself five years from now?

JPC:  In a bigger house with 2 bathrooms.

Read Less

James Pearse Connelly + FormDecor = The Voice

Lights… Microphone… SING! James Pearse Connelly eased pre-performance jitters with his harmonizing off-stage set design for NBC’s “The Voice”. The Grand Banquette, Iman Modular Series, and Sasha Sofa combined beautifully with the Judy Lounge Chair and Noguchi Coffee Table…  comfort and style suitable for Carson Daly’s back-story interviews with America’s next superstars.  Congratulations to ALL….

Read More

Lights… Microphone… SING! James Pearse Connelly eased pre-performance jitters with his harmonizing off-stage set design for NBC’s “The Voice”. The Grand Banquette, Iman Modular Series, and Sasha Sofa combined beautifully with the Judy Lounge Chair and Noguchi Coffee Table…  comfort and style suitable for Carson Daly’s back-story interviews with America’s next superstars.  Congratulations to ALL the contestants!… Well done!

Iman-Lounge

Grand-Banquette

The-Voice-1

Read Less

Loving this “Sweet” image from Dolce Designs

I Do! Do you?! Don’t you just LOVE this exquisite bride on the stunning Victoria Sofa? Marisa Leigh Photography collaborated with Dolce Designs for a sophisticated, wedding-inspired photo shoot. What an elegant setting!

Read More

I Do! Do you?! Don’t you just LOVE this exquisite bride on the stunning Victoria SofaMarisa Leigh Photography collaborated with Dolce Designs for a sophisticated, wedding-inspired photo shoot. What an elegant setting!

Read Less

Victoria’s Secret Electrifying Lounge Atmosphere

SEXY…VIBRANT…TRENDY… Joe Lewis Company rolled out the carpet for the Victoria’s Secret Angels and guests at the 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Viewing Party! Video fashion shows are so NOW! White Hot London Sofas, Bauhaus Chairs and Vanilla Ice Coffee Tables & Side Tables were a willing canvas for vibrating pink lights. With lines of Bravo Tables….

Read More

SEXY…VIBRANT…TRENDY… Joe Lewis Company rolled out the carpet for the Victoria’s Secret Angels and guests at the 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Viewing Party! Video fashion shows are so NOW! White Hot London Sofas, Bauhaus Chairs and Vanilla Ice Coffee Tables & Side Tables were a willing canvas for vibrating pink lights. With lines of Bravo Tables evoking thoughts of runways past, this evening was definitely a step forward in style AND technology!

vs_viewing_party_1_blog-450x298

Read Less

Diann Valentine decks out her ‘I Do Over’ office in FormDecor style

OH MY GOSH! That’s what EVERYONE exclaims when they lay eyes on our delectable Pink Dunbar Style Sofa!  And we expected no less from Diann Valentine and her crew on WeTv’s popular new reality show, I Do Over.  Don’t believe us?Check out this short video clip!  Diann’s designs are both refined and vibrant, and we just LOVE to see her finished….

Read More

OH MY GOSH! That’s what EVERYONE exclaims when they lay eyes on our delectable Pink Dunbar Style Sofa!  And we expected no less from Diann Valentine and her crew on WeTv’s popular new reality show, I Do Over.  Don’t believe us?Check out this short video clip!  Diann’s designs are both refined and vibrant, and we just LOVE to see her finished stylings. Who else would have thought to group together the Pink Dunbar, Argus Tables, Baroque Mirrors, Aqua Blue Sir Henry Chairs and the fabulous turquoise blue and avocado green 70’s Table Lamp?

dv_i_do_over_4_blog-450x270

Not only was Diann’s office decked with fabulous furnishings from FormDecor, but the seating lounge she designed for the first episode of I Do Over definitely had a Hollywood Regency flair.  When Dana & Mike got married, there were no pictures to capture their special day, so Diann Valentine styled a space where photos could be taken and shared for a lifetime!

SAMSUNG

SAMSUNG

Read Less

Diann Valentine – Making dreams come true Fairy Godmother Style

Finally…FormDecor caught up with Diann Valentine, one of the most sought after Wedding Designers and an acclaimed expert in the industry. Just recently, she was the Host, Designer and Executive Producer of I Do Over, WEtv’s newest wedding show. Decorating her office with eclectic and modern FormDecor furnishings was just the start as she worked….

Read More

Finally…FormDecor caught up with Diann Valentine, one of the most sought after Wedding Designers and an acclaimed expert in the industry. Just recently, she was the Host, Designer and Executive Producer of I Do Over, WEtv’s newest wedding show. Decorating her office with eclectic and modern FormDecor furnishings was just the start as she worked closely with FormDecor to make her clients’ wedding dreams come true… The second time around! To quote this talented Diva “FormDecor has the best inventory in all of LA!”

FormDecor: You began your calling as a wedding producer during high school when your cousin asked for help in planning her wedding day. . . It’s obvious with the way your business bloomed that you found your passion at a very young age. As a young adult, where did you find the inspiration to visualize the event and the ability to bring it to life?

Diann Valentine: I have been a dreamer all of my life – meaning that I have always seen the impossible as possible and within my reach. My dreaming certainly helped me bring events to life. I have never believed that any idea or any concept or any creative expression was not within my reach. In fact, budgets have been more of my enemy than anything else.

FD: I’m sure with your career you have seen many changes in wedding trends over the years. Can you name your favorite and most timeless wedding trend?

DV: That is an interesting question because I really do not believe in wedding trends and I certainly have never followed them. And here is what I mean by that statement. Celebrities are often credited as starting trends, but in my experience, whereas they certainly have their own talents and gifts – when it comes to their personal style and particularly their weddings – it’s us, the creative professionals that work behind the scenes in their lives, who help them set the trends. For example, I suggested that Toni Braxton use ‘tiffany blue’ as the color for her wedding, and actress Lela Rochon allowed me to create an all-white wedding for her special day long before it became a design trend. And when Shawn Stockman of NBC’s The Sing-Off and his wife Sharhonda came to me for their wedding, I came up with the concept of the fish tank dance floor that Jennifer Lopez then re-created for her wedding that didn’t happen to Ben Affleck. When a bride comes to me to help her interpret her love story, it is my personal responsibility to help her define it in a way that her wedding does not become a carbon copy of something beautiful that one of my esteemed colleagues has already created. She deserves the best of me and that requires an immense amount of time and work, but anything less would be a disgrace to who I am and what I have built my brand to represent.

FD: I’ve recently started referring to you as a Fairy Godmother – by giving deserving couples a wedding beyond their wildest imagination, you truly ARE a Fairy Godmother. I Do Over premiered on November 13th . . . and in the premiere episode you asked Dana and Mike, “What is the perfect wedding for YOU?” How much direction comes from the wedding couple and how much comes from you, the experienced event producer?

DV: 100% of the direction always comes from my couples. Most women already have an idea of what the perfect wedding means and looks like to them, so I always ask them to share their vision with me. However, my vast experience and creative strengths allow me to listen to all of the descriptions and adjectives that they use as well as the words that are unspoken. What I know for sure is that what the mouth cannot speak, the heart always tells. So I know that there are some feelings deep in a woman’s heart that she doesn’t know how to communicate but she shares this with me by the way she reacts to different words or stories or the way she looks at her fiancé when he walks into the room. If my focus is only on getting through the next job, I will certainly miss all of those important cues and miss the opportunity to perfectly interpret her love story. When a client says things like ‘How did you know that was so important’ or ‘How did you know I would love that’ – my answer is always simple…I listen!

FD: You love to travel to Europe and in fact just returned from a trip last month, what one city could you return to over and over again?

DV: Florence, Italy is probably my favorite European city. It boasts the perfect mix of old-world charm and modern glamour.

FD: When you wake up each morning what’s the first thought that comes to mind?

DV: As soon as my eyes open, I immediately think about making time to pray. Sometimes life can be so busy. Whenever I start my day running and don’t take time to enjoy my quiet time with God, something usually happens throughout the day that throws it off. My prayer time is my time to get grounded, to understand my purpose for the day, to pray for wisdom, discernment and clarity in my decision making. This has been a stressful year with the shooting of I Do Over and prayer has been such a necessary component of my sanity!

FD: Describe your ideal event . . . .

DV: An exquisite and intimate dinner for two people in love where I can create an environment from scratch. LOVE is my biggest source of inspiration…other than Tom Ford. I treasure the opportunities when I can assist a couple with interpreting that love which is so intimate and personal. My intimate parties are never filled with all of the usual components of rose petals, flowing fabric and champagne, but they are always filled with L-O-V-E! And my experience is that love looks different to every woman in love. Most people expect me to look forward to the big ‘over the top’ wedding but I prefer the quiet moments that sometimes only two people know exist.

FD: We love that you are a fan of FormDecor’s furnishings… What is it about working with FormDecor that keeps you coming back for more?

DV: There are so many furniture and décor rental resources in our industry, but many of them offer a collection of items that have been designed by the owner of the company with an endless amount of matching pieces. FormDecor’s inventory allows me to exercise my own design skills by choosing an eclectic mix of unique furnishings that collectively tell a cohesive story. I’m always able to use one or two elements to anchor a room and then build upon it with other elements. The days of white modern lounge furnishings bore me! I can always count on you to keep adding new pieces to the footprint of my design projects. The stories that I have created using FormDecor furnishings are not contrived but rather stem from my own heart and the vision that I bring into a project. I’ve often said that FormDecor is a resource that true designers lust over!

FD: What’s your technique in bringing the visual to reality when planning/designing an event . . . what are your favorite tools?

DV: Most clients are very visual and struggle with understanding the overall vision of a project. Many of the projects that I design have a number of elements that do not exist but are elements that I am proposing. It is impossible to effectively tell a client my vision. I always have to show. The following tools have assisted me in doing this incredibly successfully:
1. Auto-CAD
2. 3-D Renderings
3. Sketches
4. Color Environment Drawings
5. 3-D Modeling
6. And of course all of the usual suspects such as fabric, mood boards, flowers, table set-ups and props

FD: WHO planned your wedding!? Any fun Diann Valentine wedding pics in the vault that you’d care to share?

DV: I planned my own wedding which was very challenging. The logistics were easy but the design was tough. I think because I am aware of the vast array of possibilities that can be achieved, it is always tough for me to settle on one specific design direction for myself. In the end, it was a great eclectic mix of all of the things I loved at the time, which included several pieces from FormDecor. Also, I planned a surprise wedding! My desire was not to plan a wedding but to get married in a simple ceremony alone in Italy. My family was so disappointed and thought I was behaving selfishly. So we decided to host an engagement party in the Royal Penthouse at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel. In the middle of our party, we surprised our families and were married right there in the middle of the dance floor! The next day we left for Italy where we married again alone in a private castle on Lake Maggiore. I have kept my wedding personal and stored in our family archives, but here are two images that I have shared:

dv_wed_photo_1

Mike Colon shot our wedding and I didn’t even tell him that the engagement party was a wedding!

This is outside of the castle where we married again on Lake Maggiore, Italy!

This is outside of the castle where we married again on Lake Maggiore, Italy!

FD: Weddings… Events… Interiors… Invitations… Author… TV Host… Mother… Wife…Fairy Godmother… Can you possibly name one thing you absolutely cannot do and laugh at yourself for even trying?

DV: I am the worst cook in the world. My daughter is a much better cook than me and my husband handles all of the cooking in our home. I always tell people that success will cost you something and in my case, it was time in the kitchen. And I was so focused on my career for so many years, I no longer have any desire to cook or learn any wonderful new skills. Thank God for Whole Foods…they have catered many of my social gatherings at my home!

About Diann Valentine

From humble beginnings to soaring above and beyond achieving her wildest dreams, internationally acclaimed wedding, event and interior designer Diann Valentine continues to turn fantasy into reality as this vivacious innovative mastermind gives couples around the world the wedding of their dreams. The incredibly sought after and admired Valentine is the creative genius behind the jaw dropping weddings of Usher, Martin Lawrence, Toni Braxton, Kelis and Nas, Lela Rochon, and Boyz II Men crooner Shawn Stockman, just to name a few. Valentine is also the author of Weddings Valentine Style: Rich Inspiration For Every Woman’s Dream Day. As if being a renowned event producer and designer sought after by top celebrities and publishing a book wasn’t enough, Valentine has also added invitation designer to her plethora of pet projects with her new collection from Wedding Paper Divas. Valentine is also the Host, Designer and Executive Producer of I Do Over, WEtv’s newest wedding show that premiered on Sunday, November 13th at 10pm while she was juggling the demands of the celebrity wedding for Evelyn Lozada (Basketball Wives) and Chad Ochocinco. In the event world, Valentine is a genius. In wedding design, Valentine is one of the most sought after experts in the business. As an author, Valentine is mixing traditions and modern trends to be truly unique. As the host of “I Do Over” Valentine is a dream fulfiller. As an invitation designer, Valentine gives brides with a love of color a new voice. And as a proud African American woman, Valentine is a pioneer. With many titles above her head, Valentine is just getting started.

Diann Valentine lives in Los Angeles with her husband Damon Haley. For more information, please visit www.diannvalentine.com.

Checkout FormDecor’s Youtube Channel for more Diann Valentine video clips.

Read Less