Interview with “Featured Vendor” Kaleb Norman of Kaleb Norman James Design

November 3, 2014

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What inspired you to create Kaleb Norman James Design? 

I’ve always been creative. When most kids couldn’t wait for baseball practice, I couldn’t wait for it to get over so I could get back to designing or building something. By the time I was finished with high school, I knew I wanted to do something in the design world and signed up for a bunch of architectural design courses. Quickly I realized it wasn’t nearly hands on enough for me and the times I had been most happy creatively was when I was working with flowers and helping friends with their weddings. So I started doing some research and found an incredible school in Manhattan and within a week was signed up and on my way to NY. After about 5 minutes of my first class, I was hooked and no doubt remained that this is exactly what I wanted to do.

What do you love most about your job?

Weddings have this way of being larger than life and over the top. It’s fast paced and chock full of momentum, so every day is different and there’s no monotony. Each client is entirely unique from the next, but the one thing I’ve found in common is that they come to me because they’re passionate about creating a beautiful wedding. So when their passion encounters my own, it’s amazing seeing what we can accomplish together. The process of working with someone so closely for anywhere from 6 months to over a year allows me to build a really special bond with my clients. We got through a lot together, form choosing venues, dealing with family issues that affect the wedding, to the small things, like choosing which shade of white we want the flowers to be. By the time the wedding comes we’ve generally become great friends. There are two moments that I love most on the day of the wedding- just before the first look, I always take a moment to connect with my bride, see how she’s doing and then show her the bridal bouquet for the first time. Getting to see the look on her face and the way her eyes light up is the best…the second is when I get to reveal the reception space to the bride & groom before it’s filled with their guests. We’ve spent months dreaming this up together and when I get to open the doors and show them a perfectly appointed space, created entirely for them, it makes all the late nights and hours of prep work, absolutely worth it!

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Where do you find inspiration?

I have a serious case of Wanderlust. If I’m home for more than two months at a time, I get antsy and have to go somewhere new. Travel for me is the biggest source of inspiration. I love experiencing a culture different than my own. From the street fashion, to the architecture, to the food, it’s all so beautiful to take in. I try to place close attention to the details that surround me, so when I travel I love find boutique hotels and shops. These smaller places never skimp on the details, so I’m inundated by fresh takes on design and style. I love finding the way locals interpret the styling of these places and try hard to pay close attention while in town.

What do you see as the prevailing event design and décor trends for 2015?

So far, I’ve noticed that metallics aren’t going anywhere! Adding in that touch of gold, bronze or silver seems to be the accent everyone going for. Whether it’s changing it up with gold flatware or adding a metallic, sequin linen, I’m constantly being asked to incorporate metallic touches for my weddings. Also, I’m getting lots of requests for “bringing the outdoors, in.” People seem to be loving the idea of really lush, greenery heavy concepts, with flower walls, suspended branches dripping with florals or creating centerpieces that feel more like trees than just flowers, everyone seems to be on the cascading floral/lots of greens concepts.

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Photo by Gabriel Van Wyhe

Falling for Fall & Winter Events: Our Sodo Park Open House

October 20, 2014

Fall events are a favorite for us.  We love the combination of sweet coziness and beautiful natural scenery to create a warmth that washes away even the rainiest of days.  Our Fall/Winter open house events were themed with this in mind and emphasized an “into the woods” experience that brought together earthy elements with ethereal neutrals to bring out the original beauty in everything we showcased during the event.  Vintage pieces play nicely in this theme as does vibrant accent colors like you will see in our Dahlia display below.

Take a peek at a few gorgeous photos from Gabriel Van Wyhe of Van Wyhe Photography.  To see more photos from the open house event, visit our Facebook page.Picture 1

Our Herban Design Studio  carves out a warm corner (above) and showcases inspiring table top settings (below) that exemplify the elegant, outdoor, natural theme of the event.

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A table of Dahlia’s complements the neutral décor with a burst of vibrant color.

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A few featured tastings from our fall and winter menus included our baby spinach salad with grapes, toasted walnuts, gorgonzola crumbles, and pear vinaigrette; our fennel-crusted halibut with olive and fennel caponata, and a sampling of our fall and winter appetizers, including our signature Sweet Potato and Dungeness Crab Cakes with chipotle remoulade and chives.

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We are grateful to our team and partners who made our Sodo Park Open House intimate, inspiring and beautiful.

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Spring/Summer Showcase Open House

May 28, 2014

Seasonal Catering and Stunning Seattle Venues Showcased at Spring/Summer Open House Events

Thanks to our vendors, attendees and team for making our spring/summer showcase open house events at Sodo Park and The Foundry an incredible success!

A special shout out to ABC Special Event Rentals, Blue Danube Productions, August Wine Group, Prop Gallery Events, Butler Valet & Transportation, The Paper Paramour, Vintage Ambiance, Choice Linens, Celeste Cooning Artist, and Bruce Pavitt :: DJ!

And, John Parker (Jmidland Parker) for these beautiful photographs!

Our Herban Design Studio brought together a variety of textures with warm neutral colors for an elegantly stunning décor.

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Hello Orchid – the pantone color of the year!

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Delicious bites reflecting the best of the season and our signature Sweet Potato and Dungeness Crab Cakes garnished with chipotle remoulade and chives.

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Topping off the evening with our assorted soda float parfaits – an open house favorite!

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Visit us on Facebook for inspiration, events and special invites.  Planning a summer event? contact us at 206-932-4717.

Top Wedding Design and Decor Trends for 2014: An interview with Nicole Haynes at the Herban Design Studio

January 8, 2014


What overarching design themes do you think will dominate 2014?

I see people moving away from Vintage tea parties and towards sophisticated and glamorous Downton Abbey, Great Gatsby trends with all of the glitz, glam and excitement of those periods. One theme that will never go away is pure, opulent romance, from candlelit, dreamlike ceremonies, to lush, layered floral, to receptions enhanced with draping and saturated in color.

What do you anticipate being the dominant colors, and how will they be used?

The Pantone of the year is Radiant Orchid, a color offering warmth and joy. This along with beautiful lush, exotic tropical colors, like deep blue and a strong rich turquoise, remind me of Hawaii, Cuba, Thailand, and Brazil. These colors are bold and expressive, and they exude confidence.


Nudes, neutrals, blush and soft pinks, romantic wedding tones are always in style and with lavish details like crystals and metals they are elevated to another level.


Please share fun centerpiece or decorative ideas you will be trying out in the New Year

I’m constantly inspired by fashion, architecture, nature, and artistic expression.  I think anything fun, inspiring, original, and over the top. That which will surprise you, transport you or make you fall in love again are key to any design.

What are you anticipating as a popular floral arrangement or flower for the year?

Phalaenopsis orchid really is Radiant Orchid. Delicate, exotic, and strong as a flower and as a color.

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What are you most excited for in the New Year – event décor wise?

Out with the old! Color, playing with draping and lighting and accent décor. Metals and monochromatic floral. Bold, expressive, emotive.

What is the number one tip you would give anyone hosting an event in 2014?

Choose intimate details to personalize your event, such as a handwritten letter to each guest. Don’t get caught up in what is trendy or get lost in what the day is really about. Each other.

Happy 2014 friends!

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As Seen on King 5: Wedding DIY Tips!

June 13, 2013

Our Herban Design Studio Creative Director, Nicole Haynes, was invited to join King 5’s Christie Johnson for a special DIY segment. Here are a few favorite takeaways!

Check Grandma’s House, Antique Stores and Thrift Shops

These are great places to find china, crystal glasses, chandelier prisms and strands, vintage mirrors, and delicate lace.  Select several pieces and cluster them together. Selectively incorporate a single bloom or two in a bud vase and you’ll have a beautiful centerpiece.

Visit the Beach!

Beachcombing is amazing for finding interesting natural pieces like driftwood, nautilus shells, and sand washed rocks.  Add these elements to your vintage finds for warmth and visual interest. Beautiful when paired with orchids.

The Gem Store + A Glue Gun = Inexpensive Details

Bring on that bling! Add a simple but dramatic detail to an inexpensive votive or vase, by adding gem stones or vintage broaches with a glue gun. Choose a single palette for monochromatic simplicity or go bold with a multitude of bright colors and shapes. Adding a vintage broach to ribbon can be used to wrap a glass vase, or create a gorgeous detail to a napkin fold.

For more ideas or to schedule your own DIY class with Nicole when she’s not busy creating wedding flowers seattle drools over, please contact us at 206-932-4717.