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Celebrate : David Stark's Map-Inspired Party!

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maps table

Celebrated event designer (and my old college pal!) David Stark is known for his use and elevation of everyday materials in creating whimsical, memorable, creative, artful, and innovative events for art museums, foundations, and corporations. For our March issue, we got to peek in on a party he threw at home to see how he celebrates on a small scale. David is a longtime fan of maps and paper, which became the perfect jumping off point to set the visual tone for this party.

maps table

He used vintage tin globe banks found cheaply online on Etsy  as place card holders and party favors.

maps table

Inexpensive and easy-to-find maps and map gift wrap were the perfect material for his paper mountain centerpiece.

maps table

A vintage toy plane (also found on Etsy) soared above pulling a flag reading “Toodle-loo!”. David spray mounted a map to foamcore, framed it, and spelled out “Bon Voyage” with map tacks.

David is one of the sweetest and most creative people that I know. I was so happy that I was able to meet some of the people on his team when we shot this party. Not surprisingly they all seem like they are having a great time doing what they do! His blog David Stark Sketchbook is a must-read for it’s non-stop inspiration and to get a look behind-the-scenes at David Stark Design. (And you can find more of his ideas on our wedding blog The Bride's Guide, where David is a contributing editor).

From David: “So often the elements that we create for large events are made from quite humble materials – things from the supermarket, the hardware store, the craft shop, even the kitchen cupboard --it’s just that we use those materials in profusion, on a really grand scale, and we transform those materials in ways that they were not necessarily meant to be used.  Thus, it’s really a snap for me to turn on a dime and create a party on an intimate scale using materials that are accessible.” Click here to see some of his event designs.

A few of my favorites:

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David used graphics found in the archives of the Metropolitan Opera, blowing them up and cropping them for the decor for their anniversary party. Such an inventive use of inexpensive and accessible materials!

Speaking of accessible and inexpensive, look what he did with Post It Notes for the New Yorkers for Children Gala!


David used miles of hardware store florescent flagging tape for this amazing installation for the American Friends of the Israel Museum gala.


Luckily for us, David’s newest book The Art of the Party, is coming out soon (April 30, 2013) and we can be inspired by more of his ideas. “It’s not so much about how you decorate, but how you create meaning, how you create lasting memories, and honor milestones through entertaining.”


Thank you David!!

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