We’ve been getting to know Belinda Brett! Belinda plans, curates and personalises weddings held at Regatta Rose Bay. Her brand of design focuses on harnessing the small things to create big experiences. We were so inspired by her work that we wanted to go a little deeper into her creative muscle and draw out a few tips and tricks for how to entertain over the silly season.
Note taking not essential but encouraged. BYO pen and paper!
So tell us Belinda, where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everywhere, but mainly great interiors – I have a bit of an obsession! I love to travel and visit beautiful hotels for inspiration. I was in Positano earlier this year and Villa Treville was an endless source of inspiration. I love the white on white look so I was in heaven there.
In what ways does season or time of the day affect how you style an event?
It affects it immensely, particularly when it comes to lighting and candles. I love a lot of candles in a room but they do give off extra heat so it’s not something I would recommend for the middle of Summer. Seasons also have a huge impact on the flowers that are available which of course affects the style and look of the event too.
Which parts of your creative brain do you have to switch on/off when it comes to styling something 2D (ie. an Instagram page or website etc.) as opposed to something physical (a wedding, a party, an event, a buffet)?
It’s funny, I think I only have a creative ability when it comes to the physical! I can’t take a photo to save my life and I don’t have the skills when it comes to online design or websites. I’m a very visual person and can see everything in my mind but I’m not great at converting that onto a screen.
For those that want to throw a simple bash at their house, elegant and classy but inexpensive, what are you top 5 tips for pulling it off?
Get the lighting right: Everyone feels better in good lighting. Dim the lights and if you don’t have a dimmer switch, turn off the overhead lights and use lamps and candles to create the mood. This is a really cost effective way to transform a space.
Bring in some additional styling elements so your home feels a little different to how guests normally see it. Fairy or festoon lighting looks as great in-doors as it does outdoors. Creating a drinks station or a dessert cart are all little ways to add interest to a space.
Pre-plan your playlist: Music really helps create the mood, start off with more relaxed, welcoming background tunes then build up to the party classics that guests will enjoy after a few drinks. If you do create it all beforehand all you’ve got to do is press play.
Invest in one or two things that add wow factor: You don’t have to spend a lot; it could be as simple as a Gin station with a selection of Gin’s, various tonics and garnishes. Guests can then get creative and make their own personalised cocktails and it adds an element of entertainment.
Pay for cleaning help: If you can set aside some budget for cleaning help on the night, it’s well worth it. Just one or two people who can clear dead glasses and empty plates then help clean up at the end of a night too. There’s nothing worse than waking up to a messy house the morning after a great party. With apps like Airtasker it’s super easy to get in some help with-out incurring a huge cost.
Can you describe your own creative space / house and what it looks like?
My house is basically all white. I have white painted walls and floors and a lot of white furnishings but I add colour through plants, art and cushions. I live by the water in Double Bay so it’s very peaceful and I like to keep that feeling through the furnishings. , so it feels very calming when I walk through the door. There’s always a candle burning and lots of flowers.
Okay last one, but we have to ask... you work with a lot of brides... have you had any bad Bridezilla encounters? How do you calm these personalities down when things go awry?
Actually no, I’ve been lucky with no Bridezillas to date! I think because my style is very pared back and I don’t really do big, over the top weddings I attract a type of bride who is calmer. They tend not to stress over the small stuff, as they trust I’m there to look after them.