Event Decor | Fire & Ice

May 13, 2014 Joe Luft

Event Decor | Fire & Ice

Trends important to popular culture often find their way in an array of creative expression including the arts, fashion and event design. With the fantastical, imaginative environments of smash hits like “Game of Thrones” and “Frozen,” it isn’t surprising that we see these themes recur in many forms of contemporary design. In event decor, given the extreme nature of both fire and ice, much drama can be infused in focusing on just one or presenting them as a strong, forceful duo. Today, we share how the creative minds at Kehoe Designs have translated these themes within the magical world of event design.

A Duo of Fire & Ice

For the recent 2014 Christ Medical Center Salute, an annual gala hosting 900 guests, the committee chose a “Fire & Ice” theme. Moving away from traditional gala floral, Designer John Beran came up with two frozen and two flaming table concepts for the Downtown Chicago Marriott ballroom. “For our frozen designs, we selected dramatic, tall clear glass vessels made to look as if they were filled with ice. Placed atop mirrored light boxes, the centerpieces gave the effect of light-filled icicles, studding the room with a glinted glow,” explains John. For the fire-inspired table decor, illuminated pilsner vases with streaks of red produced the look of climbing fiery embers while a second design offered a more sculptural version of suspended flames.

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*Credits: Event Decor by Kehoe Designs, Photos by Soleil Media

Flaming Floral Ignites the Night

For last year’s American Heart Association‘s annual gala, the theme “Ignite Hope” came to life with a combination of decor elements that played off the intrinsic characteristics of fire. The most stunning of which was a magnificent array of “flaming” blooms in gorgeous red-orange-yellow hues. “Gold twig bowls mimicked the spray of sparks and were filled with yellow-orange Free Spirit Roses and fire-red Amaryllis. To create the look of tall narrow flames, twisted glass shards were suspended beneath gold risers and rose vertically from the table tops,” explains Event Producer, Timot McGonagle. Pulling the concept together, iridescent sheer overlays from BBJ Linen shimmered in a fiery blaze of color and multiple large scale patterns from intelligent light fixtures washed the backstage wall with flickering flames.

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 *Credits: Event Decor by Kehoe Designs, Photos by Soleil Media, Planning by Deseo Events

Frozen Wedding Decor

Well before the debut of Disney’s smash hit “Frozen,” Kehoe Designs was given the opportunity to design a wedding for a real life ice princess. U.S. figure skating champion, Judy Sargent, and her husband had met on the ice and her dream was to bring the wonder of pure winter whites to her wedding day. “It was one of the most glamorous all-white wedding we’d ever created,” explains Tom Kehoe. “Ice-like mirrored surfaces, countless sparkling crystals, airy sheer white chiffon, and grand profusions of snow white floral gave the impression of being in a true ice palace,” describes Tom.

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*Credits: Event Decor & Photos by Kehoe Designs, Planning by Frank Andonoplas

Duality of Heaven & Hell

Similar to the juxtaposition of fire & ice, the “Heaven & Hell” theme for Peak 6 Investment’s annual party combined celestial whites with hot flaming reds. For the occasion, Park West was transformed with large scale, art driven decor including custom crafted pearly gates and life-sized suspended angles. Grand focals of dramatic white plumes designed with red Matsomato branches mimicked fiery flames. Ten foot tall torches, placed around the perimeter of the room, added intrigue and dimension while a crisp white dance floor completed the look of the all-white lounge areas.


*Credits: Event Decor by Kehoe Designs, Photos by  Chris Erbach


As our photo stories show, there are many ways to play off themes whether its through floral textures, colors and shapes or by using a more artistic and sculptural approach – without necessarily being too literal. “What is most important in achieving a cohesive themed event environment is layering the look – adding dimension with decor elements that have height, creating mood with interesting lighting, using fabrics with complimentary textures and finishing the look with fabulous, eye-catching accessories,” says Creative Director, Bridget Frizzie. “Choosing a venue that is consistent with your vision, as seen in all our events above,  is also incredibly key,” she concludes.

If you have questions on any of today’s featured looks, please feel free to leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!