Lake Forest Native Ellie Nottoli is the founder and mastermind behind elliestyled, a modern-luxe lifestyling company specializing in parties and events. Known for seamlessly incorporating clients’ visions and décor into her dreamy tablescapes: Ellie’s work is a valuable commodity for those seeking a standout celebration. Here she shares with Forest & Bluff her styling secrets, entertaining ethos, and a brand-new concept perfect for these unique times.
My summer entertaining style focuses on seasonally appropriate details. I prefer to gather outdoors, and perhaps that means in an unexpected setting. A table in the grass or garden, for example, has a tablescape incorporating color and elements of the season; sometimes that means using fresh produce on the tables along with florals as a centerpiece. A beach setting could include objects such as shells and rocks, referencing the location. The menu is carefully chosen to complement the decor.
I have always loved hosting gatherings and found the need for an elevated experience in entertaining. My adoration of art and design translated into styling events, and I started elliestyled to help clients think out of the box while planning parties. A cocktail party, for example, shouldn’t always have to be rinse and repeat. We are experiencing a movement of entertaining at home … bringing back the dinner party. A comfortable, approachable style to entertaining is best … not fussy, but unexpected, chic, and beautiful, and always plenty of candlelight.
From intimate weddings to birthday parties, showers, and dinner parties, I strive to create experiences through art and design, incorporating them in every event’s aesthetic. Layers of texture and embellishment add to the experience and unpredictable visual. My personal style includes juxtaposing chosen materials—mixing fine china and vintage glassware with organic materials, and incorporating beautiful linens and handmade parting gifts. A signature of mine has become a beautifully styled bar with accessorized back bar shelves. Every single person approaches a bar at a party, so I create an experience through design and interaction with the bartender using beautiful glassware, a lovely presentation of ingredients (such as decanting all the liquor and syrups out of unsightly bottles), and the perfect seasonal garnish.
My favorite things about work are manifesting joy, witnessing one’s special celebrations, and working with clients to create experiences for their guests, such as incorporating personal touches and sentimentality. I welcome the challenge of creating unique and exclusive events for every client. I adore working with other creatives in the industry to bring details to life, and collaborating with other artists. I curate a team through relationships with high quality, tried and true vendor partners, often using boutique rental companies and small flower farms.
Working out of Scott Street Studio in Lake Forest, I produce my events using elliestyled inventory I have collected over the years. Rental items are available as an add-on to any gathering, as well as an a la carte service. Cheese and charcuterie grazing boards have become a signature at events where I offer them in sizes ranging from 2 to 10 feet on black walnut or lucite boards. I also teach an elliestyled charcuterie class showing guests how to style their own grazing boards at home.
Newest offerings include curated celebration packages. In this time of social distancing, there is still a need for honoring certain celebrations, including birthdays, Father’s Day, and graduations. I have partnered with several local women-owned businesses to create a hand-delivered package, which includes all the party essentials—designer paper products, décor, confetti, playful straws, oversized balloons, tassel garlands, a decorated cake, and a flower bouquet. Everything you need to set up a small-scale fête at home. The packages are colorful, vibrant and playful … precisely the kiss of happiness we crave in this moment!
Vendors for Ellie’s Celebration Package include The Bent Fork Bakery, The Flower House, Sparkle and Twine Party Design, and Bash Party Goods. For more information on elliestyled, visit elliestyled.com.