Holiday Party Pro Inspo by Laura Schwandt of Serendipity Events

December 18, 2020

Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes and from influences all over our world. As a designer I try my hardest not to limit my inspiration and keep an open mind throughout my day to be on the lookout everywhere. I believe inspiration cannot be forced and in my experience the harder you search for something, the trickier it is to find. Often times if I’m feeling creatively blocked I take a break completely. I turn off the computer, start a task that is more business related, or do some self care to clear my mind and restart completely. 

Being a homebody, interior design and home decor has always served as an influence in my event design style. It helps me keep my clients designs personal and representative of them, all the while giving them a classy and beautiful wedding day.

While I love a big family gathering and miss large events (both in the home and out), I am choosing to stay positive through this holiday season and embrace the special opportunity we have to be home for the holidays. With the stresses and emotional ups and downs hitting our world hard this holiday season, it was important to me to design and produce a scene to inspire others to simplify and personalize without losing out on details.

The design process for this project started off slow, but once I found the inspiration the flood gates opened. Knowing our theme would be “Home for the Holidays” (and with my love for interior design), I knew I wanted it to be in my home and focus on a comfortable, warm, inviting, and realistic theme. I started by searching some key words in Pinterest for holiday home decor. As I was scrolling I came across an image that sparked everything for me. I immediately captured the image and closed my tabs. I try to limit my time on Pinterest when I’m in the creative process because I feel often times it can limit me or disrupt my design being inundated with images and concepts. 

Oddly enough, the image that influenced this shoot came from Project Nursery and is intended for wall art in a child’s nursery. 



From there, my mind took me to Scandinavian home decor and a Scandinavian holiday. I researched both of these extensively and fell onto “hygge” and the rest was history. I knew the theme, I knew the feeling I was trying to produce, and I knew the team that could help me get there. Together with the help of a few of my favorite industry professionals we were able to execute a simple, yet beautifully curated, warm, and cozy space to enjoy the holidays and host an intimate meal.

Things I needed to consider throughout the design process:

  1. In order to exemplify hygge we needed to create a cozy, comfortable environment that invokes a sense of contentment and well-being. 
  2. To show the beauty of a Scandinavian design we needed to have as much natural light as possible. It was important to keep the colors neutral and incorporate natural wood and green elements. There needed to be clean lines, sharp/ contrasting accents, and we needed to keep the “less is more” mentality. 
  3. It needed to feel inviting and functional.
  4. It needed to be relatable. My hope was that people could look at this design and produce it in their own homes, in their own way.
  5. Keep it small. Often times with styled shoots it’s easy to go completely over the top. While there is a time and place for that design style, this shoot was not aiming for that. I wanted to use real items from as many small businesses as possible and find things that looked purposeful and beautiful without spending a fortune. 
  6. It needed to be inspiring. My hope was to provide not only a direction for design inspiration, but a feeling that people would long for. 

Every holiday is special in its own way. There is no doubt that the season is naturally filled with joy, magic and tradition. While this year some traditions may be on hold, and we might have to reach a little farther to find the magic, the joy is within us and we can embrace it and honor it in a beautiful way right in the comfort of our own homes.












Style Page (This is what I built as my inspiration and  to lay out pieces that I was pulling together):





Planning/ Design
Serendipity Events

Leetal Elmaleh

Soil and Soul

To Be Designed

To Be Decorated

Hostess Haven

Calligraphy and Watercolor
Lavender and Sea

Decor Finds
Gnome - Etsy
Giftwrap - Etsy
Fabric (used for gift wrap) - Spoonflower
Wood/ Metal Houses - Target (dollar section!)


About the Author

Laura Schwandt
Laura Schwandt
Founder, Serendipity Events
I love a good celebration and have spent my life finding reasons to fancy up a tablescape or host a party. I have my BA in Communication and my MA in Communication and Leadership with a certificate in meeting and event planning. I've been planning special events for 13 years and love what I do! When I'm not planning you can find me spending time with my husband, our 19-month-old daughter, and our Shiba Inu pup, Kaya! ...