Wrapping up our coverage of our End of Summer Rooftop Party, today we wanted to highlight the decor gurus of Patina. Based in Brooklyn and run by Corrin Arasa, a self-proclaimed “design addicted furniture junkie,” Patina provided the beautiful long table, mismatched vintage chairs, and wood bars that made the decor at our event so unique and special. Read on to learn more about Corrin, who shares some of her expert advice on decorating and infusing an event with character and above all else, love.
Side note: Corrin, if your dream event comes together, I want to be there!
What inspired you to start Patina Rentals? Have you always been interested in décor and event design?
You could say I was bit by the bug ever since my mom took my sisters and I to flea markets when we were young. When I got my first apartment in the city, flea markets and vintage shops were the obvious go-to and became a weekly ritual for me. I devoured every interior design magazine and design book I could find, decorated and redecorated my apartment a million times. When I started working in marketing I was naturally drawn to the event aspect of the work. I felt that bringing people together and creating a great shared experience achieved something more powerful and memorable than any other type of marketing could. That’s when I decided to focus on Experience Marketing and Experience Design. When I realized that I was turning to the same vintage resources I used for my home, and even using some of my own personal pieces, for my event clients, it clicked that I could combine the two and that’s when I started Patina!
Where do you find all of your amazing vintage pieces?
I love going antiquing and scouring flea markets like Brimfield. You’ll find me at the front of the line at estate sales and I’m an auction junkie, it’s such a thrill to bid and where I’ve found some of the coolest pieces for Patina. However, it’s really easy to fall in love at first sight and get carried away so I have to keep my competitive side in check and not overbid!
What is it about vintage pieces that you find so special?
There are so many things I love about vintage! “Patina” refers to a surface or appearance that grows more beautiful over time. When a piece tells a story with its patina or its imperfections, and gives you clues to its previous life, I really get into that. I love to imagine where these pieces have been and who has used them- sometimes when I’m buying I get the back story. I love that.
Can you give 3 basic décor tips for someone who is new to event planning?
1. Experience trumps details. It’s really easy to get caught up with the cool details, especially because they look great in our Instagram feed! But start with the mood, the environment, and the goal of your event first. People remember the feeling that the experience brings so plan your event to evoke those feelings throughout the total experience, location, sound, smell, taste, touch, and colors. And keep that mood and feeling consistent through everything your guest encounters – do your pinboard last, not first!
2. Let your guests discover something to share together. Is there an off-the-menu specialty drink? Is there a food truck in the secret garden? Let word of mouth work for you. We created a real live tattoo parlor at our last roller skating party, tucked away in a room off the main hall, and it was the talk of the party.
3. Small spaces can make a big impact. At a lot of events people tend to focus on the larger main area but sometimes breaking that area into smaller areas, or focusing on some small, but very rich moments will create a major impact. Think about the elevators, the bathrooms, even a closet that begs to be opened. There will always be someone curious enough to explore and that will be what makes the lasting impression.
Your home is probably amazing – how would you describe your personal home décor?
It’s constantly changing, I’m always experimenting and switching things up a bit. When I find a cool piece of vintage furniture or something, I often have a hard time deciding if it should go to Patina or come home with me. I have a mix of vintage decor including a taxidermy peacock, lots of old portraits and paintings, midcentury vintage barware and decanters. The furniture is a mix of Victorian elements combined with some great mid-century pieces. My favorite piece right now is a new ottoman that we re-covered with a vintage Kilim rug. I also love anything brass and will use it everywhere I can – light fixtures, candlesticks, knobs, tables. It’s sounds like a crazy fun house but really it’s all pretty laid back, not styled or precious, but all things that I love and work together.
What would your dream event look like?
I’ve been looking for an excuse to do an intimate dinner party in this old building from the 1800’s I’ve come across near our studio. I want to create a kind of surreal evening that feels like you’ve just discovered a hauntingly beautiful secret lush and overgrown indoor world with secret passageways.
What was your favorite element from the décor at our FP Me Rooftop event?
What a beautiful event! Brooklyn Grange is one of my favorite places in the whole city – it’s really special and makes such a great setting. Aside from the location I am in love with the table setting- that indigo cloth and the hand painted stones – it totally was the centerpiece of the evening, over candle light, glow even more perfect.