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How To: Take Charge!

POSTED BY carizza

Whilst enjoying good company (and good food!) at Chick-fil-a last week, I excitedly gave my vision for an upcoming event. A perfect venue, cute tablecloths, fantastic chargers…wait. What?

Chargers? My waffle-fry eating friends didn’t understand what I was referring to. The San Diego Chargers? Phone chargers? A Dodge charger?

My dearest friends of ITN, please explore with me the tabletop-transforming, aesthetically pleasing, pop of fantastic that is a plate charger.

Traditionally, plate chargers are considered placeholders, so that a setting does not seem empty all by its lonesome before food is served. Though the men in your life might consider it just a larger plate for a more generous portion, food actually is never served on the plate, but rather, functions as a base for other plates (i.e. salad, soup, main, etc).

Not only does it serve a practical use, but it truly brings to your tabletop a design element that will make you think, “there we go – that’s exactly what we needed.”

A wonderful example of this was our bridal inspiration shoot with Jasmine Star‘s lovely sister Bianca Juarez.

A charger allows you to add texture. Glam. Glitz. It really aids in setting the mood of the table.

Of course you’re so enamored by the endless possibilities of a charger that you’re not even thinking of the cost. But allow me to deliver the wonderful news that this great addition to your table usually costs anywhere from $2 – $10 a setting.

Bianca’s charger above falls in the middle of that price range, even though it looks like a million. Settling into the same price range is this celebratory gold charger from a St. Patrick’s day shoot done last year.

Those classic clean lines and the Oscar gold make me stare at it for an unreasonable amount of time. Do you see what I mean when I say it adds just the right touch?

I think the part that makes me, you, everyone really fall in love with chargers, is seeing the whole thing come together. Not just one measly (but still awesome!) charger, but the total reveal of a complete setting. So behold. Our creative DIY bride Emily rocked the charger.

Simple red chargers turned this Smog Shoppe wedding into something that we gush over regularly at the studio.

Chargers can be made up of anything from china, to plastic, to even non-traditional materials, like the onyx ones we used at the Serra Plaza event where I met Amanda and the ITN team!

But! Before you totally discard the idea of classic white plates and go out to buy all things bright and shiny, please appreciate this latest design element that we’ve been encouraging many of our beloved clients to do.

What’s this? A white plate as a base charger? Don’t mind if I do. It’s just a proper complement. A simple, low budget, setting enhancer. It’s just proof that you can take charge now.

A charger can be flashy. It can be dazzling. It can be basic. But it will always add depth, heartfelt thought, and effortless wonder to your table.

And when the day is done, you don’t even need to wash it.

With love,

Happy New Year!


As you’re ringing it in- remember to be safe, take it easy, soak in the season, and keep making memories that you’ll talk about for years to come.

[Image above from our New Year’s Eve Party table design, circa 2009/2010 NYE]

Cheers to a new year, and all that comes with it!


Hi all! Rachel here to finish out the design recap of the year. It’s been a whirlwind for sure [but doesn’t every year seem like it passed by in a flash?] so I’m glad we’re revisiting it. Especially because I feel like I get to relive all the great experiences. Now let’s get to it!

Once we had models, it seemed we never turned back. After the Coco Chanel Inspired shoot we moved onto quite an adventure, building an outdoor cafe in the middle of nowhere at 3 a.m. The lovely Amanda over at the Ruffled blog asked us to produce this for her site [which you can see HERE and HERE] and I don’t think we dissappointed, if I do say so myself. The rich and bright color of Yanessa’s sweater sealed the deal for me…and that delicious lemon cake. Yum.

Moving right along, the awesome readers of The Wedding Chicks blog voted us the stylists for their next StyleLab [an honor to say the least]. We envisioned the bride being the modern bohemian daughter of well-to-do parents in Nantucket. Bringing a balance of traditional [a FULL place setting. Like, FULL full.] and modern [a snazzy cardigan for the bride] was our aim. We were lucky enough to get this on The Wedding Chicks blog as a two-parter HERE and HERE.

We rounded out the year with a Spanish Soiree inspired shoot, which landed us yet ANOTHER feature on Style Me Pretty. This shoot was especially fun since fellow Nowie Sharon and her hubby Steve served as our hotter-than-hot models.

Seriously, isn’t she just the cutest?

It’s been a great year and I can’t even imagine what 2011 has in store for us. But whatever it is, we’re more than ready to tackle it!

See you in the New Year!


We did a lot of designing this past year. Mainly because we love it. But more than that- because we really wanted to put ourselves out there. Collaborate. Learn. Grow. Mess up. Make it right. Make it better. Fail. Succeed. Get huge opportunities. Jump through hoops. Pull rabbits from hats. And keep a smile on our faces. So it’s only right that in this last week of the year, we take some time to pat ourselves on the back for contributing to the wedding world in 2010. And thank the people who took a moment to give us opportunity beyond measure. We loved each and every shoot we were a part of!

We started the year off right, capturing this tabletop in January that was featured on Junebug Weddings:

Our modern plexi-glass fireplace turned heads [the challenge was an industrial-focused centerpiece in lieu of floral] and our hot cocoa with marshmallows warmed hearts!

Moving right into the heart of the matter, we shot this quaint little table in our studio, which was featured with the table cuff as a simple Do It Yourself on Style Me Pretty [a must read for all nearly-weds out there!!]. The vivid colors against the grey walls make it one of my favorite shoots to-date. I love lush, saturated colors!!

We then moved right into full styling mode- meaning we stepped it up, started including real life couples as our muse/model figures, and made most of our shoots into actual, produced events that could have easily ran flawlessly on their own as weddings, showers, celebrations of many kinds! We started with a huge undertaking: an upscale bridal shower soiree with a delicious Coco Chanel vibe updated for the modern gal:

With about 7 stationed areas and 8 models to shoot, we definitely gave Jasmine a run for her money on this shoot [but it began a beautiful and real lifelong friendship that I couldn’t be more thankful for- and plus, she loves our aesthetic, so… it’s a win/win]

*Not only did this killer chic shoot get us featured again on the fabulous Style Me Pretty Blog, it also inspired a real life bridal shower that we had the honor of designing in August as well as another photo shoot feature that will debut here shortly!

This is just the tip of the iceberg, so I truly hope you’re loving it as much as I am- taking the time to reflect back on the year. Where we’ve started and where we are now are two totally different places am I’m so thrilled that I love my job today even more than I imagined I could this time last year!

Stay tuned…



Holy YAY and WOW! I’m so thrilled about the sheer volume of images on this post! I’m flattered and honored that people are loving the designs we’re a part of so much. It’s so great to look back and remember the blood and tears [’cause you know, girls don’t sweat] that went into each and every one of these details. I wouldn’t change a lick of it! Go here and holla at me and our designs!

And thanks to Jeffra @ WeddingWire for being so super awesome and believing in the styling that I do.





Just a couple of little placements that I’ve found [or been told about- thanks Carrie!!] lately…

The Party Dress recently used images from our adorable Orange and Yellow Summer Tabletop in an inspiration board:

The Wed Bug featured Alicia’s gorgeous Valentine’s Day Wedding shot by Adrienne Gunde:

The Wedding Yentas also featured a wedding of Alicia’s from last season… Emilie and Ross!

And lastly, the blog Marry You Me gave us a sweet little hollar on the Stylelab Workshop Wedding Chicks featured last week!




Y’all ready yet or WHAT?? I know I am. While I’m scurrying around, trying my darndest to pull together some absolutely killer modern details for this April tabletop, I’ve got a smile on my face and a spring in my step! I am LOVING this California spring-time weather, the pre-wedding-season bustle, and the joy that is encompassing everything and everyone in my life!

I know that after I show you this, you will not be able to STAND it another second- but you’ll have to! I need just a few more days to really whip up something special, so hang in there! I promise to try my hardest not to disappoint. Think fun, fresh, funky, modern… April!

Hopefully this April is blessing you from the inside out!



In the words of Sally Field… “You like me! You really like me!!”- wowza, y’all! We couldn’t be more thrilled at the action this little tabletop has been getting. It’s always so terribly overwhelming when you’re appreciated for something you feel confident in. Rachel and I both truly loved putting this table together from start to finish- detail after laborious detail. But the result was just sheer perfection, and for that, we’re elated!

So when we saw that Elizabeth Anne Designs featured the images from our shoot, I about jumped out of my skin! YAY for it all! YAY! If you missed all the images that we posted, here’s a chance to click around, visit the EAD site, and leave pretty pretty comments about our out-of-the-box industrial work!



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