Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Taking the Fear Factor out of Organic Decor - Top Tips from Three Industry Experts!

Does the thought of creating an organic style balloon installation give you sleepless nights and fill you with dread? 

Fear no more - I have instilled the help of three amazing organic balloon art designers to share with us their top tips that will steer you through those worrying and confusing times!

The fabulous Caity Byrne, CBA of All About balloons in Washington, D.C., USA, has some truly great advice to share!

Caity Byrne of All About Balloons
"Don't be afraid to play! So many times, I have pulled out the color I think is just right for an organic piece, only to realize I'm completely wrong. I've pulled out other colors I'm dubious will look good together, and I end up with my new favorite palette. The cost to experiment is so minimal compared to the potential return on investment.
The principles and elements of design are of paramount importance in organic decor. Whether it's balance, scale, whatever- they should all be kept in mind when designing, planning, and constructing a piece. A 3-footer is completely out of proportion when nestled in with a bunch of 5" balloons, for example. An 8' swag behind a 25' stage is going to look completely underwhelming and out of place. A 25' swag on an 8' stage can be done well, provided there is balance (but not symmetry- gross!).
When it comes to actual hands-on construction of a piece, the most important thing I cannot stress enough is to keep balloons round! In my opinion, there is no place for anything other than round balloons in most decor (excepting helium balloons on a string, of course). Round balloons stack much more nicely and give movement to the piece. How many times have you seen an organic piece while strolling through Instagram only to have your eye stop abruptly on a pear-shaped balloon (or a bad color or size)?
The best business advice I have is particularly true in organics: don't be cheap and don't be lazy. Use Cloud Busters if the piece warrants it! Grab those foils and add them in for flair! Use SuperAgates- they're worth it! Take the time to make the confetti balloons and make your piece over the top. Your clients will be thrilled and your future clients will be calling!" 

Want to know how Caity makes her fabulous organic decor? She has two educational downloads available to purchase from

Here are some of Caity's favourite organic installations

This was the first organic piece that Caity ever did. It was in the East Room of the White House for the Obama’s final Halloween party.

"The rainbow ceiling is a close second for favorite pieces ever! I may have used literally every Qualatex solid/agate balloon in existence. It was such a happy piece and an extraordinary challenge in terms of color placement and rigging."

"The ombré wall was so elegant, in such a beautiful venue, and for a celebrity - which never hurts!"

Tina Giunta of Shivoo Balloons.

We all see and admire the stunning work of Tina Giunta, CBA, of Shivoo Balloons in Melbourne, Australia. Tina has created so many fabulous organic designs. I knew that she would be the perfect person to ask for top tips!

  1. One of the most important rules when making organic design work is to make sure that the balloons are round. Round balloons just want to snuggle together and leave less gaps than if they were inflated to the usual oval balloon shape.
  2. Don’t over-fill the gaps. It is important to leave some negative space in the design so that it doesn’t look stuffy and overdone.
  3. When making the Garland, attach the clusters to the line loosely. This allows you to shape the Garland with ease when attaching it to a wall or frame. It also allows room for the balloons to position themselves in the spaces they want to go naturally.
  4. If your Garland starts from the ground, ensure that the bottom balloons all touch the floor. This gives the design visual stability.
  5. Because this style of decor is so free-form, it’s very easy to get caught up in the finer detail! When you are close up you see gaps and feel the need to keep adding and adding, until you realize that it’s too busy or the overall shape is not working with its surrounding space. For this reason, it’s very important to walk away from your piece every so often and come back with fresh eyes. 

"This design was just so dreamy! I love working with pure white balloons. When I finished it, I sat on the floor and just took it all in for a while. It definitely helped that the venue was beautiful…I think it was the contrast from the Red brick and all the wood in the room. The glass ceiling let in so much light, everything just worked together perfectly."

Our final expert is, of course, the truly awesome Chris Adamo, CBA, of Balloons Online in Sydney, Australia.

Chris Adamo, Balloons Online
"My top tip for organic decor is related to the WBC story. Organically textured garland in and of itself is like paint. Once you know the basics of how to use different brushes (textures) and colours (the balloons), anyone can start painting. The real artistry comes to life when you can use that paint to tell a story. This differentiates the same old organics with something beautiful and memorable.
Story telling relies on integration with the environment, not the room or the space but the event as a whole. You need to understand all aspects of the event and the elements at play before you make your first brush stroke."
"After much consideration, my favourite organic installation would have to be the piece we did in the trees at WBC. It was a huge honour to teach the basics on creating organics, but when we unexpectedly at the spur of the moment wove the garland through those trees, we gave the balloons life."

Thank you so much Caity, Tina, and Chris. Your top tips are all fantastic, and I will certainly be putting much of what you say into practice when I next work on an organic installation! I cannot express enough how kind and generous our industry is when it comes to sharing and helping others to grow their businesses. It's is truly appreciated! 

Happy 'organic' ballooning!

Follow me on Instagram @suebowler
Sue Bowler


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Avneet said...

This is the great post. I like this post. Many many thanks for this post. Really this post is so helpful.


Unknown said...

I wish someone would address the issue of pricing and how to determine a correct price when given a specific project. It seems like everyone fears what others are charging... a blog on pricing organic decor would be very helpful.

Unknown said...

I think many times the issue is that there are so many variables with organic decor (type of balloons being used, sizing, how they are being installed, what your financial demographic is like etc...) I don’t think the lack of the information you are seeking is out of fear but moreso because It’s hard to give basic pricing because each circumstance is so different.