KATE’S BIRTHDAY, Footscray
Photos: Samara Clifford Photography
It’s rather easy to put off having your own celebrations when you work in events because, well, it can feel like work. And traditional celebration times – weekends – are often spent creating other people’s events so there isn’t much time either. Last year, as my birthday approached, I decided not to put off another birthday celebration, because a) life is short, b) if we don’t celebrate life, then what is the damn point, and c) if you put stuff like this off, you’ll wake up in ten years time feeling regretful that you didn’t put celebrations back on the agenda.
With that in mind, I decided to have a birthday party with all my nearest and dearest, transforming our Footscray backyard into a Middle Eastern x mid-century wonderland. Normally, our backyard houses our car, our bins and a clothes line full of stuff, but not on this day!
I came up with the concept because I love Middle Eastern food and I heart mid-century furniture. Why not combine the two? Our backyard has a very large concrete pad where the car normally lives, as well as a roller door. Concealing them was high on the priority list. And of course, no Middle Eastern-inspired party would be complete without a bunch of Persian rugs.
Thus, I started by covering the concrete with rugs, creating a cosy vibe right away. We combined traditional lounge areas with pouffes and low stools to create our version of a traditional Moroccan seating area. The mix looked lovely and a bit different, and created lots of seating options for the mix of adults and small kiddies. To disguise the roller door, I created a feature using strings of tassles.
Utilising our deck space and opening up our bi-fold doors, we set-up the bar and food table under cover because, summer! It’s also nice to remove the divide between inside and outside, if at all possible, then people can flow more freely, and it creates a comfortable feeling of having the right amount of space.
For both shade and aesthetics, the design included a roof canopy, using mid-century inspired fabrics, vintage amber light fittings filled with candles, festoons and fairy lights. The lights looked super fun once the sun went down.
The other main part of the design was a rad and fun DJ set-up. Myself and a big bunch of friends were lined up do DJ sets at the party, so making the DJ booth attractive (no-one wants to Instagram a plastic trestle table covered with a crap table cloth!) and functional was the aim.
Using our record player as the ‘table’, covering the concrete with more rugs and jazzing up the folded down clothes line with lights, we created a unique and fun space for people to spin some tunes – which is a super important part of any party, according to me and any people who know about good parties, so there.
Artist, Swift + Ctrl V did a paste-up for behind the DJ booth – a rainbow, rock ‘n’ roll Dugong (the mightiest animal of all time), for added colour and fun. DJ Tutu Carmen (me, wearing two tutus) did two sets – one was called ‘Straight Outta Compton (and surrounds)’ – East Coast 90s rap, and ‘Bad Ass Bitches II’ an encore of rad songs by rad ladies, much later in the night.
A super fun day and night was had by all (there was a comprehensive exit survey), with wonderful loved ones, and was most definitely worth the effort of doing some ‘work’!
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