Design Experts
Jul 4, 2011

Inside Design: Amy Atlas

By: Sara Cation

Inside Design: Amy Atlas Author: Style At Home

Design Experts
Jul 4, 2011

Inside Design: Amy Atlas

By: Sara Cation
Amy Atlas, dessert stylist to the stars and event planner extraordinaire, has redefined the dessert table into something decadently delicious in both taste and style.

amy-atlas-buffet.jpg
STYLE AT HOME: Tell us about your baking background.
AMY ATLAS: I’ve always had a soft spot for sweets. I grew up watching my grandmother bake, and my fondest memory from childhood is sitting in her sunny kitchen, watching her pull homemade rocky road cake out of the oven.

S@H: What kind of birthday parties did you have as a kid and throw as a teenager?
AA: From a very young age, I was entertaining friends and family. I was known for my perfectly executed dinner parties that culminated in beautiful, creative dessert bars. amy-atlas-candy.jpg
S@H: But you pursued a career in politics and law. How did you make the jump into event planning?
AA: I tapped into my creative side after taking a break from my career while I raised my kids. I don't have a background in design, but I’ve always had a good eye for style and have grown as a designer through the trial and error of creating.

S@H: How did you earn the name The Sweets Stylist?
AA:
I was really the first to bring fashion and design to sweets. Since dessert is the final vestige of a lovely gathering, it should be the most memorable course. There isn’t a lot of fanfare around dessert, but it’s the perfect canvas for beautiful design.

S@H: How would you describe your style?
AA:
I pair fabrics, crafts and beautiful vessels with sugary confections to make gorgeous displays for my clients. I love mixing what’s traditional and expected with what’s bold and unexpected, especially when it comes to pattern and colour. My favourite part of the creative process is inventing the palette. amy-atlas-pink-table.jpg
S@H: How do you tailor events to an individual’s personality?
AA:
Take one or two elements that are personal to the host – a favourite colour, theme or sweet treat – and make sure they shine throughout the table.

S@H: From cupcakes to macarons, what treats are trending this year?
AA:
I get a lot of requests for doughnuts, and pies are making a big comeback, too! Also trending right now is a boho-chic look – I’m doing a lot with candy in interesting containers, like vintage coloured bottles.

S@H: What about refreshments? What should a host serve?
AA:
Serve up a signature drink that works with the colour scheme. At a recent orange-themed bridal shower, for example, we served mimosas.

S@H: What other projects do you have in the oven right now?
AA:
My first book, called Sweet Designs, will debut in spring 2012. It’s all about dressing up delicious desserts. 1 Create the dessert table around something that inspires you. It can be as personal as a family heirloom or as simple as the pattern on your invitations. Let the dessert table tell a story.

2 Sample the dessert vendors before hiring them. A beautiful cake isn’t always the best-tasting cake! The key is to find the right balance.

3 Get as much done in advance of the party as possible so you can troubleshoot any problems.

4 Select desserts that not only look good together but also provide a balance for your guests’ palates.

5 Complete the look of your dessert table with a beautiful backdrop and other decor elements.

6 Linens and vessels should have a coordinated, tailored look since the sweets will be the star of the dessert table.

7 Personalize the table with unique signage and tags made by your local stationer.

8 Keep location and weather in mind. A chocolate buffet, for example, is not the best option for an outdoor summer party.

9 Try to position the table close to the kitchen and in a spacious room for easy traffic flow.

10 Give guests something to remind them of how sweet the day was – provide goodie bags full of take-home desserts
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Design Experts

Inside Design: Amy Atlas