The Senses Of Styling

Event Styling can be quite an intricate passion and career, and when guests feast their eyes and marvel on a beautifully decorated party and talk incessantly about how wonderful it all looks than you know that you have done your job right – but there is more that goes into decorating a party than just googling party inspiration and letting your credit card do the talking on Etsy. You have to think about it as a feast for not just the eyes, but for all the senses as well and work on involving all of the five basic human senses into your designs and decorations.

Confused? Let me break it down for you. There are five basic senses that all humans have, as defined by the famous philosopher Aristotle. You can argue that there are more, and you can start quoting the movie The Sixth Sense to me (“I see dead people!”) but today we are going to focus on the five main ones: sight, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting.

Now that we’ve got that straightened out, I am going to introduce to you ways that you can appease all five senses with your party decorations and create a party that all of your senses will remember, using some pretty awesome Steam punk and Masquerade photos that I found!

Qsimple Steampunk

Photo by Qsimple


This is the rudimentary element when it comes to creating a party, and can be the most fun. This is where you select an overall theme for the party, choose a base colour or neutral colours to compliment it, and go nuts in utilising it every way you can. The general colour pallet that goes with your theme needs to overflow into every aspect of the party – starting with invitations that reflect the feel and theme of an event, the kind of style and shaped cake that is served, and the colour and style of the decorations used.

Make sure that you have those one or two neutral tones to compliment your base colour, and then it will provide a breathtaking splendour that your guests will feast their eyes on all night.

GasmaskPhoto by Frederic Garneau


It may seem strange, but smell is one of the main senses that will have a guest remembering a party. As an example, my wedding was themed lime and coconut and we provided lime and coconut scented candles to our guests in way of a save the date. Because of this beautiful, and somewhat original, fragrance, all our guests instantly think back to our wedding whenever the catch a whiff.

Now your party or event doesn’t have to be limited to candles. You could provide bouquets and vases of fresh blooms that will send guests into a springtime frenzy, or you can even use your friendly neighbourhood BBQ to provide a sizzling recall for your guests. Whatever the smell, own it and your guests will think of your celebration fondly whenever they smell it in the future. veronica-varlow

Photo by Veronica Varlow


Another important aspect of a celebration is the food that is served. Whether you are providing Mexican street corn at your Day of the Dead fiesta, sampling delicious chocolate cupcakes, or enjoying a robust red wine accompanying your BBQ, you need to make sure that your food matches with the celebration you are having. There are tons of recipes, caterers and ideas out there in the world, and having a fabulous meal to share with friends can really make an enjoyable party, so make sure the taste factor is high at your next gathering!

Bubbles by Daniel Zedda

Photo by Daniel Zedda


Music is a wonderful thing, and there are so many different types out there it would be impossible not to find something suitable for whatever kind of party you are throwing. Whether it is The Wiggles playing at your child’s birthday party, funky beats like “The Monster Mash” at your Halloween shindig, or even what is just popular on the radio right now (I couldn’t name you a song – I don’t listen to general radio anymore!) music will help set the tone and the atmosphere for your party. It will also help get your guests up and dancing and having fun, so it makes for a good ice-breaker too! Mark SebastianPhoto by Mark Sebastian


Ah, the ability to touch is interesting sense indeed and one that can be quite overlooked when planning a party. While you can incorporate this sense into some fun party games (touch a scary object blindfolded and try and guess what it is comes to mind) it can also mean the overall space and feel of the event – not the literal sense. This can be making sure that the lighting has been dimmed just so to create the right ambiance, or that all the seats are the right size for children to sit on at the table. You can get creative with this, so create the right mood to touch the hearts of all of your guests!

Once you have put an aspect of each of these five senses into your party, you will come to find that the effects will simply blow your guests away and give them a feast for all of the senses. A great last “sense” in a way, is love, and putting your time, effort and heart into planning your party will greatly show this to all of your guests and make a memorable event that everybody will be talking about for years to come.

If you have any great ideas for how to put the five senses in an event, or if you did it yourself, I would love to hear from you! Email me at or drop your hints in the comment section below. In the meantime, I hope your New Years Resolutions are still going strong and I welcome you to 2015!

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