An Elegant Birthday

Text by Lesley Harris Colvett




Angela Mazanti creates a picture-perfect birthday soiree for Karen Johnston and her close friends to celebrate in style!





The Theme

The theme for this party was ”Embracing 50 With Style.” ”Fifty is the new forty for today’s beautiful and savvy ladies!” Mazanti says.






The Inspiration

Mazanti says that the inspiration for this celebration was Karen Johnston herself. “She embodies style, beauty and is such a savvy lady. I wanted to design a party for her that would reflect her as well as complement the incredible estate home where we held the party.” According to Mazanti, the house is one of the oldest in the East Memphis area and is named ”Walnut Grove.”The home will be featured
in an upcoming special documentary on WKNO.


An Elegant Birthday Party




Set the Scene

The gorgeous pool area served as the backdrop. Mazanti brought in luxurious linen-covered lounge furniture and pillows, along with bistro tables with blush sequin
linens. Guests lounged around the pool and listened to the fun sounds of Motown provided by the deejay,who was positioned in the pool house.


The Menu

The menu was a group effort from Johnston’s friends. A trained CIA chef, she is fortunate enough to have other ”foodies” and restaurateurs as friends. They all chipped in and brought their favorite dishes. Among the gourmet selections were lamb lollipops, side of smoked salmon, a cheese display, veggie bundles, mini BLT’s, Ahi tuna on cucumber and Greek seven layer dip. “We created a self-serve raspberry martini and prosecco display in the foyer so that guests could grab a cocktail on their way to the pool. Red and white wines were served at the bar. We did a dessert display with petit fours, Whimsy cookies,
gluten-free mini bundt cakes and French macaroons,” Mazanti says.



An Elegant Birthday Party


Decor/Style elements

creation-studios-0086According to Mazanti, the style and decor for this party was chic and beautiful with lots of blush-toned florals. “We used a charcoal, sequin linen on the martini and prosecco display with a large, beautiful floral arrangement accented with raspberry hydrangeas to complement the raspberry martinis,” she says.


As guests stepped out of the house onto the patio they were met with the food station that was topped off with a large trough arrangement of lush ivory and blush blooms.


Julia O’Keefe, one of the party’s hostesses and the homeowner, says that she loves her pool area but sometimes finds it challenging to get guests to go there during a party because there is a step-down from the backyard. Putting the deejay in the pool house along with bistro tables and the dessert display table on the pool deck to drew guests to the area. “Julia was such a good sport that she let us fill her pool with gorgeous floating flowers,” Mazanti shares. The entrance to the pool was flanked with two large, lush, blush-toned floral arrangements in stately silver urns.


An Elegant Birthday Party


creation-studios-0087The party started in the late afternoon, so by the time the sun was setting the theatrical lighting that had been installed for the event on the front and back of the house and along the pool house really started to come alive. Mazanti and her team used lighting to project a mosaic pattern on the front of the house in a beautiful teal color. On the back of the house lights cast a wide chain-link pattern in an amber color, and deep purple illumination set off the textured plaster walls of the pool house beautifully. Mazanti says the setting truly looked like an upscale party in Miami or Los Angeles.


Color Theme

The color theme for the party was blush, ivory and green pastels with pops of raspberry, a nod to the honoree’s favorite cocktail, raspberry martinis.


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