Kehoe Designs Event Producer Mathew Lahey set out to create an in-house showcase for “Knees Deep,” the company’s latest design series, which challenged the Kehoe team to take a deep dive into forecasted style trends, he found a unique opportunity to take risks and push boundaries.

“Collaborating with a designer can be a very personal journey and this was a way to show who we are as designers, to reflect our individual style and personality,” says Lahey. “It’s not often you get to do a project like this, so I wanted to try something unexpected and work with elements you might not traditionally think to pair together to find a surprising harmony.”

Working from a “Poetic Muse” trend board, Lahey pulled the residential concept together with a strong focus on color, shape, texture and pattern as well as a nod to vintage, avant-garde Bauhaus design.

A color palette of chalky blues, dusty pinks, burgundy, brown, black and ecru helped set a moody, yet earthy and organic tone, while layered elements—from custom fringe chandeliers and mirrored décor to geometric furniture and exotic greenery—added tangible texture to the scene.

Florals included striking king proteas, robellini palms, monstera leaves and viburnum. “I was a florist in a past life so my design style is pretty floral and greenery-heavy,” notes Lahey. “We picked these fun, fresh blooms for another unexpected touch, while the table was set with elements that felt sophisticated, but strategic.” Black and white statement place mats mimicked the scene’s pat- terned floor as well as the table’s triangular base frame, while mirrors and vases in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors added depth and reflection to the table’s statement design.

"By far our biggest statement pieces were our three-tiered custom-designed fringe chandeliers," says Lahey. "The fringe brought out a bit of that Bauhaus flair and personality, but it also adds this soft, feminine touch in constrast to some of those bold geometric shapes." 

The design, which Lahey notes features plenty of adaptable elements, offers inspiration to guests of Kehoe Designs' Studio where the installation is on full display. "The fringe chandeliers would be perfect for a plush lounge space and there's so much possibility in details like the graphic place mats and floors that planners can apply to so many events," he says. "People walk in and they immediately want to touch and feel and experience the design. They're intrigued and excited to engage and that's the whole goal." 


Technical Support: BlackOak Technical Productions  
Place Mats: Lola Valentina Designs 


Whether dabbling with an augmented reality app, getting up to speed on the complexities of 5G service or employing cocktail-mixing robots, planners are no strangers to emerging technology. As meetings and events become increasingly tech-driven affairs, we’ve checked in with top event production pros for their takes on the latest event tech trends and what’s to come in the year ahead. 


A new trend is sweeping across the Chicago event industry, unifying the people that take part in producing live experiences with the places that host them. Established event production and catering companies have ventured into opening their own well-equipped spaces, designed for planners, by planners. We took a look at three trailblazers—Kehoe Designs, Paramount Events and The Revel Group—that are making events feel right at home.

The Geraghty from Kehoe Designs


Hello readers,

Chicago’s been on a culinary roll the last few years, and now it’s easier than ever to pass on the fine dining experiences to your attendees and guests.

For the world travelers: Carnivale Food Truck