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produced and styled by Carrie Waller
photographs by Sincerely Liz, Inc.
florals by Petal Flower Co.
hosted at Glencliff Manor

Color and brilliant pattern go hand in hand this spring and summer season, and what better way to exploit the pairing than with an extra bold outdoor soirée? Blogger and stylist Carrie Waller shows us how to blend style and sophistication with a kaleidoscope of seasonal color in a birthday party fit for her last year as a 20-something gal about town.

As a crafter by day and writer by night, Carrie Waller is hardly stranger to the idea of a last minute creative challenge. Working under pressure has become something of the norm for this multi-tasking DIYer, and so when her 29th birthday came barreling around the corner—along with the realization that it was to be her final year as a 20-something—it was all hands on deck to bring her visions of a bold and color-filled fete to life.

The first item on Carrie’s to-do list? DIY decor. Armed with bright fuscia, teal, pink and gray felt, she crafted a series of DIY potted felt flowers, which doubled as placesetting decor and guest favors. Handcut floral fabric chargers sat beneath white dishes, while custom printed paper straw flags, gift boxes and drink glasses from Kate Aspen brought home the focus of the celebration. Finally, lit cafe bulbs swinging from the trees overhead succeeded in setting the mood. “The party was the perfect combination of all my very favorite indulgences—bright colors, romantic patterns and textures, candlelight,” Carrie reminisces. “Really, that’s what birthdays are for! They’re the ideal excuse to bring all of your favorite things and people together for a night to remember.”

to do list

A quick breakdown of the details every great party should have.

  • flower

     a thoughtful floral centerpiece in your color scheme is an easy way to make a lasting (and Instagram-worthy!) statement

  • ambiance

    your venue and lighting are everything when it comes to setting the mood, so choose wisely

  • placesettings

    whether you go with plastic, ceramic, or metallic, make sure the selection matches your menu’s needs

  • linens

    keep it simple, but functional—let the decor, food, and guests do all the talking

  • decor

    pretty details that make your color palette feel intentional (ex. patterned placemats, brass candleholders, golden votives, etc.)

  • seating

    comfort is key—that’s all there is to it!)

  • favors

    sweet tokens to keep the memories alive well after the candles are blown out

strawberry lemonade


  • 6 to 8 fresh strawberries, trimmed and halved
  • 2 25 oz. bottles sparkling water
  • 1 12 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • zest of one lemon

Pour the lemonade concentrate into a pitcher and mix according to directions, replacing the plain water called for with sparkling. Puree the strawberries in a blender until smooth, and force through a fine sieve into the pitcher to remove seeds. Add the lemon zest and stir to combine.

small scale, high impact

By keeping the gathering small (invites went out to just six friends), Carrie was able to keep her costs low and her stress level even lower. To make your own party budget count, she suggests splurging on the show stopping details (think: flowers and food) and saving on the functional pieces, things like cutlery and candles. No one will notice that the plates came from your own kitchen cabinet when they’re topped with decadent fresh pasta salad and marinated grilled chicken!

For more details and DIY ideas, click through to Carrie’s blog, Dream Green DIY.