Tabletop Tuesday: Palm Limes

Tabletop Tuesday takes you to your favorite palm lined beach with this white and emerald green setting with brass candlestick holders and napkin ring anchored by a green goblet. Cut up the limes and put them in water, spritzer, vodka treat or a little something something extra that makes the summer sun more enjoyable.


Modern Monday: Velvet Daydreams

Modern Monday is a romantic interlude with dreamy green velvet sofas, ceiling to floor windows dressed in white pleated fabric, global artifacts and sculpture, a range of natural substrates and topped off with a dynamic geometric gold chandelier. I particularly like the green glass vases, wood box, concrete vase of grass on the side wood console and the frame art above it. The bar cart in the front left-hand side of the photograph repeats the metal and adds luminosity with the mirrors that echo the sunlight flowing through the windows.

Doesn’t this room make you want to lounge all afternoon with a stack of fashion magazines and juicy book? How would you use this space?

Tabletop Tuesday: Blue Ground

Tabletop Tuesday sets your place at the table with a harmonious connection of earth and sky. Brown and sky blue are two colors that timeless balance each other. Perhaps the brown reminds us of the ground and the blue the sky. Somewhere in between we exist.

The foundation of linens is laid with navy blue material with a vintage scarf, filled with fun geometric shapes and the brown and blue color story, as the runner. I chose organic shapes of dishware for this setting. The bottom blue plate is a perfect circle but the middle brown plate and blue bowl are not exact circles which makes them visually and texturally interesting. I chose a navy, pinstripe napkin with a brass napkin ring. The setting is finished with brown vintage glassware and vintage rosewood and brass utensils from Thailand.

Bon appétit with flair and style!

Modern Monday: Mid-Century Velvet Dining

Modern Monday begins the week dining at this Mid-century modern walnut table with curvaceous brown velvet chairs with brass frame and legs. The vintage chandelier repeats the metal color and shapes of the chairs and table.

Brown and blues are a complementary color combination that grounds and soothes your energy. The blue textured wallpaper adds more visual interest to the room. The silent rumbling of the framed, ocean photography offset by the abstract art in the hallway add to the story. The vintage, ethnic area rug repeats the blue and white in the wallpaper, baseboard, frame and opposite wall.

Repeat patterns, colors and shapes as you scale your furniture and art to your space. Although this area is small, it is big on style. Photo: Catherine Kwong.

Tabletop Tuesday – Grey, White + Purple

Tabletop Tuesday is a crowning achievement of grey and white with a splash of purple and yellow. This plate set alternates a series of materials and patterns on top of a fun quail and crown runner with stainless steel Mid-century modern salt and pepper shakers and a vintage plum glass.

Idea…wrap a ribbon around your silverware to add more patterns and to create something fun.

Let Yvette Craddock Designs decorate your tabletops. Click here.

Modern Monday – Bedroom

Modern Monday seduces us with a glamorous master bedroom that combines transitional elements with Midcentury modern pieces with lots of stylish lines and luscious textiles. Of course the grandiose + elegant chandelier takes center stage, but give that sculpture in the left-hand corner its due too. Light, lines and bursts of subdued color make this room unforgettable. Via Architectural Digest.

Exclusive Million Dollar Listing Lifestyle Experience

Million dollar listings seem to be far more frequent in today’s national real estate marketplace. Each listing, especially in certain parts of the country, requires a unique approach to market the listing to the industry and affluent buyers. It is essential to differientiate it from the other multi-million dollar listings vying for buyers.

Establishing this competitive advantage is where Yvette Craddock Designs excels.

The real estate market typically hosts exclusive Broker’s Opens that brokers, agents and other influential industry affiliates attend. Some times as few as five people show up. An open that attracts about 50 guests is considered very successful. On April 5, 2017, over 300 brokers, agents and industry affiliate partners attended the invitation-only Paradise Valley lifestyle experience.

As we see in the retail environment, what worked before no longer is sustainable for any industry. In order to reach today’s busy and fragmented target customer, new approaches to reaching their minds and hearts are necessary.  The manner in which people buy homes, furniture, source financing as well as other products and services is more word-of-mouth, by referral and in unexpected places. That is exactly what this experience accomplished.


Design is always a creative advantage. We designed collateral that marketed both the house and the event. We carried this aesthetic throughout all visual and written communication. We designed a series of evites, social media banners, a web site, posters, programs and brochures. I also designed and implemented a pre- and post-event social media campaign. A targeted public relations campaign garnered the two interviews below.


A curated list of sponsors were approached about participating in the event to showcase their products and services to the influential invitation-only list. Sponsors were able to provide drawing items in addition to adding marketing inserts in swag bags that attendees received at the end of the evening.


Everything I design has a multi-sensory element. This philosophy carried over to the event with the perfect mood music, food prepared by a chef on-site (a first in the market), lighting, furniture and overall ambiance. The environment was upscale yet warm, approachable and facilitated  valuable networking between the guests.

Here are some of the highlights from the event:


YvetteCraddockDesigns-PVEvite-1      YvetteCraddockDesigns-PVEvite-2   PVBrochure_11x17.indd    PVBrochure_11x17.indd

PV_Poster_2.indd    YvetteCraddockDesigns-PVEventPoster    PV_Drawing_!.indd

NBC12 interview can be watched here.

If you would like an award-winning experience for your listing, business or social event, contact us today!

Photography compliments of Simon Photographic.

Don’t Call it a Gala if it is a Picnic

Recently a former client demanded that I label their inaugural event a gala. I wouldn’t.

The event that they sought out my expertise to design was an introduction to their non-profit. A celebration of their one-year anniversary that coincided with the upcoming launch of their new performance season. The event’s purpose was to enrich existing fan relationships, establish connections with new audiences and to facilitate intimate dialogue with all attendees. At the eleventh hour, they demanded that I label their inaugural event a gala when it was an early evening introductory showcase with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. That demand ended the relationship. Let me inform you of why it did so that you do not repeat the same mistake.

A gala is typically reserved for the black-tie circuit. The type of grandiose fundraising balls held at five-star resorts with ticket prices ranging from several hundred to a few thousand per person and purchases by table. The type of affair that society’s upper echelon attend in their finest gowns, tuxedos and jewels.

Ironically, this demographic group comprises the organization’s target audience of desired patrons. These society members would probably scoff at the idea that a gathering was marketed as a gala especially given the unknown brand, leadership, location and ticket price. The improper event description diminishes the organization’s credibility as well as mine. By the way, people will not attend a misrepresented event.

This lesson is one to heed along with these other event description pointers:

  • An event goal and budget will determine the type of event. The type of event will establish a theme and structure. The structure will generate a timeline. All of these elements are packaged to present the event and its intended purpose.
  • If it is first-time event, it is an inaugural affair and should not contain first annual in its description. This detail applies to galas, awards programs and events intended to become annual traditions.
  • If it is a gathering the set-up is more informal. This includes happy hours, potlucks, picnics and spontaneous social meet-ups.
  • A fundraiser is expected to benefit a legitimate 501(c)(3) organization or serves the purpose of political pursuits. If you are invited to a fundraiser, please expect to make an investment and dress according to the stated code.
  • Festivals, retreats, showcases and screenings are events that generally are as transparent as they sound and provide detailed instructions pertaining to attendance and participation.
  • Celebrations generally implies contributing some type of gift. Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and graduations all fit in this category. An emerging trend is to hold celebration of life events over funerals.

Ideas of grandeur can taint our vision from time to time. However, when it comes to events, it is wise to remember that they are an increasingly essential brand extension. An appropriate description of your event is appropriate and necessary; especially if you want to gain or increase your organization’s credibility.

Arizona Cocktail Week, CCAP and Nine Degrees North Hospitality

It was a blast! The 2017 Arizona Cocktail Week nestled in a hip, mid-century modern boutique hotel shrouded in pal trees, grass and flowers in Scottsdale, AZ. This was my first time at the event, now in its sixth year, enjoying new friendships, learning about new liquors and hearing stories from people in the libations and food industry from around the world.

My involvement was primarily to serve as a Careers in Culinary Arts Program (C~CAP)  volunteer.  Richard Grausman founded this national non-profit organization in New York in 1990. It provides disadvantaged youth job training programs in the culinary industry. The Phoenix Chapter encompasses the entire state of Arizona. In 2017, they awarded over $400,000 in scholarships to qualifying students. The youth learn valuable life and job skills such as time management, personal accountability, team work and critical thinking skills.

C-CAP Arizona’s official training kitchen is housed in Chef Billy Sims’ Nine Degrees North Catering location.

Learn more about Arizona Cocktail Week and C-CAP through the links above. In the meantime, enjoy some of the event highlights.




10 Ways to Remix Your Boring Event

The new year celebrations are long gone, but there is a full year of other events to come. Much like an annual celebration of New Year’s Eve, other annual events can become boring quickly. If you plan or manage an annual event, you might be taken aback to discover that more than likely your event has become boring.

Boring events happen by choosing the same routine year-end and year-out including the venue, set up, color scheme, food and the same ol’ everything. The first year was good, but years two, three and four could have been cancelled. When something is perceived as a success, oftentimes the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality governs the day. This formulaic mindset is ideal for repetitive business functions, however; it is not so fabulous for social, professional association and corporate occasions. When it “ain’t broke” is the perfect time to remix it.

Four tangible signs of an event losing its beat include 1) a decline in guest R.S.V.P.’s, 2) reduction in time spent, 3) deviations from the dress code (usually more casual than previous times) and 4) decreasing enthusiasm during the festivities.

We all appreciate the predictability of routine. However, when it comes time to learn, network or celebrate; diverging from the norm is an ideal platform for a new experience. The world evolves. Dynamics change. Styles shift. Let your event, even one steeped in tradition, breathe in new ideas and perspectives that synthesize a rhythm that is alluring to guests. Humans love surprise and delight with glittering sounds and mesmerizing lights.

Here is my 10-point list of considerations to facilitate the creation of something new, fun and meaningful:

  1. Are you really ready for a change? Be honest with yourself and any participating team members. Even those with the best intentions can easily revert to the same routine out of fear or lack of imagination. Those are temporary moments. If you work through the trepidation and embrace the opportunity with positive energy and enthusiasm, you will experience a creative adventure.
  2. Is your timetable realistic? Time is an event planner’s friend. It avails you the chance to brainstorm or daydream with freedom and affords you the convenience of clarity. The amount of time devoted to an event reveals itself in the presence or absence of difference-making details that show up in the final performance. If the event involves numerous logistical details and hundreds to thousands of people, a solid nine months to one year is ideal.
  3. Is the budget realistic? Last year’s line item isn’t necessarily this year’s number. Every year, it seems like everything we buy has an upward price adjustment. If your guest list and event goals expand, then is it realistic for your budget to reflect those expansions. Establish a realistic budget with these two pointers in mind and add a 20% buffer to that number.
  4. This again? Sometimes tradition may need to hold sway to a needed update. Open up to some new ways to accomplish the celebration of job performances, build teams, launch new products/services/processes, announce mergers or acquisitions, roll out a new location or coronate new alliances. People love the thrill of the surprise so be the one to give it to them.
  5. Are you reheating the food? Most households fall into a meal trap, i.e. the same meals served weekly. Resist the temptation to transfer home habits to event planning. Events are an ideal environment in which to explore new tastes. Let the experts imagine some new menu mashups for your group.
  6. Is the venue programmed in the GPS? We can all attest to how comforting familiar locations and even seating arrangements are especially in group settings. Nonetheless, if the same space is on replay, it is time to stretch the boundaries. Sure, there are limitations to the number of venues that can accommodate certain group sizes, room arrangements and food and beverage. Even if you have no other choice but the same location, try a new room configuration. Room configurations are silent partners in setting the flow of the experience. You can create the feeling of a new venue by selecting new surfaces, table styles (round versus rectangle), and configuration flows (continuous U’s versus individual rounds).
  7. Is the plastic still on the furniture? Room décor is a visual trap that, when corrected, is instrumental in transforming an event’s energy. Imagine people walking in to the space gasping for air with excitement. Rental companies have many new furniture and accessory options available that will literally rock a room.
  8. Are the same resources contracted? Resources include music playlists, presenters, performers, themes, topics and timelines. It is natural to gravitate toward favorite and reliable resources. However, it is completely acceptable and becomes necessary to seek out and vet new sources of expertise. The key is to keep an open mind and have fun meeting new people who can help you produce an original event.
  9. Does the event happen at the same time? Perhaps you can put a twist on an event by changing the time of day and even the season. Turn dinner into breakfast or bring breakfast to dinner. Spring into fall or bring summer to winter. Shifting speeds can generate fresh experiences.
  10. Are we engaging the senses? An event with food and high-top tables in a large empty hall leaves plenty of room for lots of creativity and sensory engagement. The most successful events engage all the senses. If you want a memorable gathering, include an element that touches each sense to mix magic.

Once you evaluate these considerations, you and any team members are on your way to remixing an event of any genre.