ELK Print's Seasonal Report is full of Summer Inspiration; I share some beautiful tropical parties and tips on planning a sophisticated summer party. 
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Welcome to the Summer Seasonal Report by ELK Prints. Summer is a season for parties & gathering together with friends to celebrate. Summer in Australia is Christmas, New Year, Australia Day & Chinese New Year. There are lots of festivals on across the country and the warm weather is ideal for hosting outdoor events so its a great time to enjoy a party.

Tropical Toucan Party

This tropical party styled by ELK Prints was inspired by the colourful drama of the toucan. Rich yellows, oranges and reds are balanced with white, black and the lush greens of the jungle. Touches of gold completed the look I created for Confetti Fair's Summer Issue featuring the combined talents from the Lifes Little Celebrations Group. 

Desserts from The Pumpkin Carriage & mango and monstera leaf decorations by ELK Prints.
A bold tropical palette will always look amazing for a summer party and its a look that is relatively easy to create. If you start with some beautiful deep bright greens contrasted with rich bright colours you're already halfway there. Add in plenty of tropical fruits for decorating, drinks and food and the party will come together easily. 

If you get the overall look right then you don't even have to use tropical flowers flown in from South America to nail the style – Justine from Fiddlesticks Floral Designs created the look using Australian natives and orchids. The key is a mix of large broad leafed greenery to create the lushness. I also used some potted house-plants which you can then keep, plant in the garden or give as presents to guests afterwards.

The Toucan Party photoshoot is styled by ELK Prints and photographed by Captured by Kirri.  

Click here to read more about the Toucan Party

Finding your Inspiration

When I started planning Toucan I put together this inspiration board. It summarised the style and look that I wanted to achieve for the party. It helped keep me focused when making decisions and was a clear reference point for the suppliers who I was working with. It doesn't matter if you create a single flatlay as I have or a pinterest board with multiple images - as long as you have your reference guide with you during the planning stages. 

In my early research for this party I came across some inspiring designs that whilst I didn't end up following directly did influence some of my decisions. In particular there are two wallpaper designs featuring banana leaves. 'Brazilliance' by Dorothy Draper (below left) and 'Martinique' by Don Loper (below right). Both of these wallpaper designs have a strong history and have resurfaced many times as inspiration for summer designs. Both of these designs have a strong sophisticated tropical feel to them. 
Many contemporary stylists and designers are influenced by these designs and its also quite easy to source items if you want to create this look. The party above featured in Lonny Magazine was created by Lauren McGrath and Robert Leieux, photographed by Patrick Cline uses Dorothy Draper's Brazilliance as the central design element. The beautiful bold emerald pattern simply paired with white, gold and a touch of pink creates a classy party setting. 
For the Toucan Party I included my own small touch of Draper/Loper with this round beach towel by St Hamilton & Co that I used as a floor rug in front of the lemonade stand. Don't be afraid to use something like a beautiful beach towel for your summer party either - after all the texture of the towel just adds another layer of summer style to the setup. 

Other Summer Party Inspirations

Rhythmic Palms colour theme from the Haymes 2015 Colour Forecast.
Styling by Ruth Welsby and Photography by Martina Gemmola.
Tropical styling can be matched with a dark colour palette as seen in the Haymes 2015 Forecast that is perfect for a hot summer's night or for a big evening celebration such as a 40th Birthday party.
A Cuban Summer Party
Styled by The Venue Report
Photography by Jose Villa Photography
You don't have to pick a bright strong coloured tropical look to achieve a lush refreshing summer party. A softer colour palette of peachy pink, greens and whites is also really beautiful. The key element is to create that sense of dense lushness - plenty of layers of textures and loads of flowers and leaves are great for creating a summer atmosphere. Capturing lightness and brightness in your design is also important.
Palm Fronds party by Kelly from Studio DIY and Beautilitarian. Photography by Mary Costa
Tropicals look equally good matched with a light palette, here the palms and pineapples are the hero of a simple clean white table punctuated with small touches of pink and gold - perfect for a lunchtime event and big occasions such as a Bridal Shower. 
A Summer Nights Soiree. Styled by Amelia Marie Design and The Lovely Ave. Photography by Molly Whitmore Photography
This summer party uses a colour palette predicted to be very on trend in 2016. Pantone has named serenity blue and rose quartz as their colour combination of the year. The ranunculus used in the central bouquet are a great summer flower that look lush, loaded with textures and they are available in a variety of summer colours so are a great choice for your summer party. 
Copyright © 2016 ELK Prints, All rights reserved.

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