This weekend I was reminded of how amazing a good focal point can be. I'd been called in to create the floral decorations for a church dinner that was being held Sunday morning in our building's gymnasium. It's a huge space and very very gym-ish. Basketball hoops, court lines on the floor, and banners on all 4 walls. Impossible to disguise any of it. So instead of trying to disguise it I used a trick I'd learned as a wedding and events floral designer. I used the concept of a focal point. In event design this would usually be somewhere that was immediately visible to the eye upon entering the room. It would be big and glorious and immediately set the mood in the mind of the attendee that this was an occasion. By drawing the eye and creating that first impression I kept the attendees from noticing the room en large- at least until after that first impression was made. Secondly, they would notice the tables set with matching arrangements. I like to have two or three different styles of varying heights to add interest.
I also placed the arrangement on a round table sitting on top of a beautiful golden rug. The round shape contrasted nicely with squares and rectangles of all the satellite tables. Again, adding to the visual weight of the focal arrangement.
When I was doing weddings I would always visit the sites with the bride prior to creating a design. This way I was able to walk through and take notice of the places that the guests would linger. This might be the entrance, or an alcove, the dining table, or a staircase. Placing flowers in these places enhanced their value to my mind because they would register longer in the mind of the guest. Thus, they would make a bigger impression. It was also much more elegant than throwing money at everything because if you followed that tact the guest would tune out almost immediately because of the visual overload. As in a painting, the eye needs a chance to rest, and if you don't give it that rest it becomes fatigued quite easily.
Recently, a friend mentioned that a good party planner would plan their evening so it included high and low moments over the course of the night. If you constantly strive to keep the evening strung high the guest can feel overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted.
But now I'm thinking. I guess this might be true of life as well. If not for the depressions we might not appreciate as acutely the high moments. I guess we need both.