Material gains

Speciality Linens creative design director Jonathan David says it is essential to dress tables and chairs because they are on full view as guests enter a party

Many, if not most of our clients, are looking for a strong visual impact at their parties. Good lighting is vital as it sets the visual tone to the room. However, I believe props, flowers and linens are what really bring the room to life. It's definitely worth spending the time getting to know which products are available in the linen rental market and how to use them. Remember that your choice of colours, fabrics and styles can make all the difference between a visually stunning room and a visual disaster.

Low budget
Having a small budget needn't mean poor-quality linens. Single-layer, coloured floor-length cloths are the ideal way to improve a room's image on a shoestring. The difference in price between white and coloured cloths is minimal if you use a bit of creative thought. By doing this you can really add effect without any increase in costs. For instance, chair covers can make the greatest improvement to any setting.

One key point to bear in mind is presentation. Chair covers, like clothes, are not a one-size-fits-all. It is essential to spend the time to ensure the cover you are offered fits your furniture and any respectable linen company should be able to offer various sizes and also send samples to confirm the fit.

Medium budget
For those with a little more financial freedom the options increase significantly, and layering tablecloths is a popular option for those on a medium budget. Adding round organza over-lays will give the table surfaces lift and flair. Alternatively, if your event is using rectangular trestle tables, try placing a runner along the centre to define the serving space.

Where chair covers are concerned, try adding tassels or bows to set off the back of the chair. If you have a strong corporate colour, bows are the ideal way to include it, especially if you are looking for a more subtle colour approach.

High budget
When you have a large budget, the opportunities can be endless. Many clients aim to create something totally unique, which can be achieved in a variety of ways. For example, at the launch of The Incredibles movie last year we printed the film's logo on to the rear of every chair cover to create a truly bespoke scene. On previous occasions clients have had their fabric dyed by us to their colour preference.

One such client asked us to source and dye a pure silk to his specification, and to ensure the uniqueness of this we were instructed to burn all the chair covers and cloths after the event. If you want to create a memorable event without the cost of buying bespoke, why not take advantage of our new Couture Collection. Here you will find a wide choice of styles, from the trendy RAW collection based around designer jeans wear, to the chic Art Collection with its oriental aura. Alternatively, you could choose the rich and vibrant Opulence range, which cannot fail to add a distinctive air of glamour and sophistication to any room setting.

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