BBJ Linen and HMR Designs have been partners in the event industry for more than 36 years, so when it came time to pick our next #linenfluencer, it was a no brainer to choose their CEO, Rishi Patel. Rishi is a design extraordinaire who’s always pushing the envelope on creative direction and he’s taken BBJ along for the ride. Whether curating an event around one of our spectacular linens or partnering with us to create custom pieces, Rishi always produces with BBJ in mind. He is what we like to call a true event partner. Take a few moments to learn more about Rishi and his thoughts on the future of event design.
Instagram: @rishithedesigner + @hmrdesigns
Q: What is your background?
A: “In high school I worked part-time in a local floral shop which allowed me my first foray into the event world. Any design aspirations, though, were put on hold when I went to Indiana University to earn my MBA studying Finance and Accounting. At the time I thought that I wanted to be an investment banker… I soon realized banking wasn’t my calling and it drove me to look for a creative outlet. Eventually event design popped up on my radar which is when my design career began. I’ve now progressed into the role of CEO at HMR Designs and I’m involved in the strategic direction of the company from both an operational and sales and design perspective.”
Planning & Design: Birch Design Studio, Floral & Decor: HMR Designs, Linen: BBJ Linen + Atelier, Rentals: Theoni Collection, Photography: Eric Kelley Photography
Q: What does HMR do best?
A: “Floral is our backbone but we’ve grown tremendously since the day we opened as a small flower shop in 1979. We’re now housed in a 110,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility full of talented artisans and buzzing production space. We have an in-house woodshop, a warehouse stocked with props, a full-service floral studio and so much more. Though it’s working with our partners, like BBJ Linen, that has allowed us to provide the best possible service. Utilizing the contributions of our vendors gives us the ability to focus on our own capabilities as a decor company. As our footprint continues to grow, so does our ability to produce and design a party anywhere in the world.”
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: “Everywhere. From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, I’m absorbing inspiration from everything. I actually have a pad of paper on my nightstand to write down any crazy ideas I might have had in my sleep! Flipping through magazines, chatting with designers in our studio, nearly anything holds potential to set off innovation. Even taking a walk on the street can spark a concept. And I’d be remiss to forgo fashion as a huge driving trend. Fashion sets off interior design which sets off events. But as a designer, we aren’t going after trends – we’re creating them”
“We can’t be artistic without being inspired”
Floral & Decor: HMR Designs, Linen: BBJ Linen Rentals: The Festive Frog, Tablescapes Event Rentals, Photography: Kent Drake Photography
Q: What are some trends you are seeing now?
A: “We’re seeing a lot of residential influences in events right now. Designs are more collective versus rented, which allows for a more intimate setting. Accent chairs, for example, might be upholstered in a variety of fabrics as opposed to just one. Those are the kind of details you’ll see in someone’s home. It’s all about the touch and feel or the interest a piece brings while also having a “WOW” moment with big focal points.
From a floral perspective, there seems to be an interesting foray into pattern mixing at the moment. Maybe it’s arranging traditional romantic pieces with tropical plants for a striking centerpiece. Or soft, garden greens with bold-hued blossoms. Pairing unexpected elements with each other permits for compelling color palettes.”
Q: What trends are you focusing on moving forward?
A: “Millennials, and even Gen Z’ers, are wanting smaller events. Guest counts will continue to drop. Weddings of 300 to 400 still happen, but they’re no longer as common. Now weddings of 250, or even 150, are the norm while the spend has remained consistent. It’s allowed us even more room to create because while the number of guests has decreased the dollar per guest has increased.”
Instagram: @rishithedesigner + @hmrdesigns
Q: What projects are you working on now and what’s coming in the future?
A: “Most of our work is one year out or even eighteen months ahead, so we’re focusing on 2020 with some very exciting corporate jobs on the horizon. There are a handful of big conventions happening in the Midwest which we can’t wait to tap into, and of course, we’re always working on something progressive with all of our private and social celebrations, like weddings and mitzvahs. As for the immediate future, we’re having fun playing with beautiful BBJ linens for an upcoming autumnal wedding, stay tuned to see how we use them!”
Q: Do you have any special tips or tricks?
A: “Yes, when creating a space there has to be harmony, and harmony is only created by balance. If you have a rich, velvet linen that is solid, for example, pairing it with a lighter, printed fabric is a nice way to achieve that. If you have a heavy, striped linen, you may want to go very subtle with the napkin detail. Or use a quiet tone-on-tone embossed charger versus adding another color or another layer of interest. Think outside of the box in a tasteful way. There should always be a touch of extravagance at parties, it’s just a matter of how it gets evoked. Adding something unexpected at any party, event, or wedding always goes a very long way.”
From small celebrations to large, extravagant affairs, Rishi and the HMR Designs team create tailored experiences with polished execution. See more of Rishi and the HMR team’s work on their Instagram page and be sure to follow @BBJLinen and @hmrdesigns for more design inspiration.