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WH Hostess

Settled near Chicago, IL, Kelly founded The Party Dress in 2009 while in desperate search of a creative outlet. Her social stationery company, WH Hostess, soon followed. Whether it's for the perfect place card or a modern theme for your next party, Kelly is the go-to girl for party planning ideas.

Daniel’s Big Boy Room | Cars, Cars + Cars

My sweet boy, Daniel, is three and a half and recently became a big brother!  As we were decorating the baby’s nursery, we decided to update his nursery to make it a big boy room….and included him in *some* of the decisions.  His pool blue + lime green nursery was featured on Project Nursery three years ago – it was a preppy, fun room centered around my love of graphic patterns – so I thought it would be fun to share the “big boy” update!
We left the shell of the room the same – the fabulous Thibaut wallpaper feature wall, blue walls, striped rug.  When he outgrew his crib/toddler bed and it moved into his baby brother’s nursery, we replaced it with a twin size bed from Pottery Barn Kids.  I purposely decided to order both boys furniture from Pottery Barn Kids all in the same finish (white), so that the pieces could be swapped out between them in the future, or even placed in the same room as they get older.
Like most three year old little boys, Daniel has a love for all things CARS!  So when he got to weigh in on his decor update, he wanted cars, cars and more cars.  I decided to oblige and we infused cars into a few key places: the oversized print over his bed, the artwork over his dresser, and we added a little table corner for playing games and added two ledge shelves to house a few of his matchbox cars to play with up there.

Patrick’s Nursery | Buffalo Check Pattern with Lucite Nursery

As a graphic designer for the stationery brand, WH Hostess, I love bold prints, patterns and colors.  But when it came time to decorate my son’s nursery, I wanted it to be calm and serene.  A place to escape the chaos of the rest of the house (with an active three year old!), incorporating a lot of neutrals that would allow me to alter the look of it as he grows up.
We painted the walls navajo white, and beefed up the architectural interest in the very basic, square room, with crown molding and wider baseboards. I wanted the nursery to have a very updated classic feel – so I combined a bold, yet classic buffalo check pattern with lucite and brushed gold accents with our Pottery Barn Kids white furniture.  I’ve always loved the classic tales of Peter Rabbit, so I infused a few bunny accents in the artwork, table lamp and mobile above the crib.  To add warmth, I used a sisal rug and woven basket accents for storage.
There are two pieces in the nursery that are extra special: the gold trinket box that was my grandmother’s and the “Old Mother Hubbard” art hanging above the crib.  This piece has been in my family since 1915, and has hung in every baby’s nursery in my family since.  Starting with my grandfather, my mother and aunt, my nursery, my siblings and cousins, and now my niece and nephew, and my own children’s nurseries.  It’s such a special family heirloom and each child cherishes it as they grow up!

Girly Elmo Birthday Party

You know me, when it comes to creating ‘character‘ parties, I prefer to focus on great patterns and colors, and accent with the character! While putting together the original party plan, I decided to incorporate a child-friendly color palette of ‘Elmo’ red, pink, yellow, green and turquoise, but use three modern patterns to appeal to the adult’s design aesthetic.  A bold chevron pattern and two-tone clover pattern mingled beautifully with colorful polka dots and served as the basis for all of the paper goods designs.  I created my own “furry friend” that resembled Elmo to use on the paper goods – note how he has her age on his party hat!A personalized street sign was included in the return address label and we used Sesame Street sayings on the invitation and throughout the party goods (‘brought to you by the letter ‘A’ and number ’2′, ‘Alexandra’s World’, etc.).  You will see coordinating party goods throughout the party, including custom fabric used for pillows and the dessert table backdrop.Guests were greeted in true Sesame Street style at the front door with green street sign for ‘Alexandra’s Street’.  When they entered into the house, there was a large ‘A’ made out of yellow roses along with colorful decorations leading guests through the house into the official party space.  The adult tables were inside and out, and were dressed with bold, solid-color tablecloths and gorgeous flower arrangements.  There was a combination of high and low arrangements, and some also included jars of candy, and ribbon pomander balls.The kids table was set with a bold pink, satin tablecloth and the mini white chairs were wrapped in turquoise satin bows.  Each placesetting had a polka dot plate, a party hat with an Elmo sticker on it, and a cello bag full of crayons with a chevron topper.  (there were also coloring pages to keep the kids busy)  There were three monochromatic centerpieces lining the table – each filled with a different color of gerber daisies. Jars of candy with custom centerpiece sticks sat between the flowers.The self-serve bar was set up with rainbow striped glassware, paper cups for the kids dressed up with stickers, and water bottles with coordinating labels (big ones for the adults….mini ones for the kids!).  The food was served as a buffet in the dining room, and the table was set with three tall monochromatic flower arrangements to create a whimsical touch of drama.  Coordinating food tent cards labeled yummy eats such as mini sliders, sweet potato fries in paper cones, rainbow fruit kabobs and goldfish for the kiddos.  Pink silverware was tied in our coordinating napkin rings.The kids were entertained with face painting, a huge Sesame Street bounce house, and a visit from Elmo, himself!  A Sesame Street bounce house was flanked by colorful balloons and the outdoor living room was dressed with throw pillows made out of our custom fabric in the chevron and polka dot patterns.As usual, the dessert table STOLE THE SHOW!  Bright and colorful, it literally makes my heart happy to see how this came together!  A fabric-covered backdrop (made with our custom chevron fabric) defined the space and an amazing cake from Cakes by Gina held center court. (Don’t you love how she incorporated all of our colorful patterns into each tier?!)  Jars of candy were embellished with coordinating candy jar tags, and we used cupcake toppers to brand the candy in the tilt bowls.  Brownies held fondant toppers by Two Sugar Babies in our coordinating patterns, and The Cookie Jar created cookies in the letter ‘A’ and number ’2′.  Elmo cake pops received rave reviews from the little ones and cupcakes were a hit as always.There were small polka dot and striped boxes for people to fill up with candy (dressed up with a coordinating sticker, of course) and there was signage all around the party helping brand it.  Guests went home not only with their box of candy, but also with a cello bag with two containers of play dough (each wearing an ‘A’ and a ’2′ sticker on top) and a large Elmo cookie, tied with a polka dot gift tag saying ‘Thanks for partying at Alexandra’s World’.”