Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Color Scheme, Reception Decor

With my recent trip out to Oatlands, I’ve had a change of heart, I think, about the colors for the Carriage House reception. Originally, before I'd found Oatlands, I had fallen in love with blue and black and white, having found such a whimsical pleasure in the combination.

However, when I went out to Oatlands during Danielle’s visit last week, and had an opportunity to study the Carriage House more closely, I began to wonder about the aesthetic potential of incorporating blue and black into the wooden interior, as well as into the green baseboard trim that runs around its perimeter and the green floor-to-ceiling shutters on

The difficulty with blue is that it is so fluctuating in color, and in the world of flowers, this becomes even more challenging, particularly as hydrangea is fickle in its hues and shades, ranging from white with blue centers, to a deep blue that is almost purple.

Also, blue and green can be tricky, as they seem to only work together when the underlying hue is a match. The underlying hue of hydrangea can be green, but it can also be purple, depending, whereas the Carriage House green has a teal undertone with an almost brown hue. This does not a match make—at least, not easily.

The solution, of course, is to head out to the House with a series of dried or silk flowers, fabric, and a scraps of ideas, to see how the décor might work with the natural farm-like beauty of the room.

Aside from that, one other option is to reconsider the color scheme altogether, working with the original charm of the Carriage House itself. Some options would be to do the following:


• White flowers to pull together the green and brown—peonies, Queen Anne’s lace?
• Green foliage, almost a sage color—dried hydrangea, hibiscus, pale green roses?
• A combination of the above?


• White linens with black carpet?
• Black and white lines with white carpet?

I think with a more neutral color pallet, we’ll be fighting less against the natural beauty of the Carriage House while still allowing the black typewriter keys and literary aspects of the reception to come to life.

Initial decor options that I've been mulling over for the dining area:
  • Flower vines wrapped around the four central posts
  • Four lanterns (perhaps copper, bronze colored, not sure about black) that would hang off each hook on the the four central posts, lit with electric tea lights, but preferably candlelight, depending on Oatlands fire policy for enclosed flame.
  • Possibly an exquisite carpet runner with a whimsical, vine like design for the central aisle, in between posts and tables, leading to cake display table.
  • Carpet on each green carpeted area--color TBD.
  • Remove all green shades on windows and leave bare--per permission of Katherine at Oatlands.
  • Three tables per side, a total of six. Perhaps seven, guest list depending.
Initial decor ideas on main room, dance hall:
  • Band placed inside white carriage rail
  • Rug/carpet in place of opening front green carpet
  • Fill the two large hanging ceiling lanterns ith flame/candle/electric tea lights, top each one with live flowers (same flowers we wrapped around four posts in adjacent room).
  • Hang a chain of flowers between the two lanterns.
  • If possible, hang an additional flower chain horizontally, in between two lanterns, across entire expanse of room.
  • Place two pots of overflowing flowers on either side of white carriage rail
  • Bartending station to the right--making use of bar already present.
  • Guest book signing with typewriter, perhaps to side of bar, adjacent wall to dining room.
  • Placement of table with assigned seating TBD.
More on this later, and more to come, though whatever we decide here will inform Jen's matron of honor dress potentially, as well as the bridal bouquet, Jen's bouquet, and the men's flowers during the ceremony.


Danielle said...

Ally, it was so wonderful to visit Oatlands with you. The wedding will be stunning!

I had a thought about color: You mention possibly using white and black for the linens and rugs. Your literary theme made me think of black and parchment, rather than white. An abundance of white can be stark in such a rustic setting.
In the Carriage House, I think white accents (candles, flowers, etc) would be lovely, like little stars. But for larger areas a "parchment" color might bring your theme together nicely.

love, Danielle

Ally Armistead said...

hmmm... This parchment concept is fascinating. I will do some research! Thanks for the lovely suggestion!

And I, too, had a lovely time at Oatlands!!!