Friday Fifteen with Friends: Rachel De Marte

Published: July 8th, 2016

One of my secret passions is event-planning. Okay, I may not be the greatest cook, but I can set a beautiful table and make our home feel inviting and special. So I’m always impressed by people like Rachel De Marte, event planner extraordinaire! She does it so well, from the big stuff like weddings and corporate events to more intimate affairs, all of them high-styled. She’s a trendsetter with a definite opinion about style, which makes me happy to feature her as this week’s subject of Friday 15 with Friends.

Rachel De Marte

Name:  Rachel De Marte

Occupation:  Event Planner (Rachel De Marte Events)

Best known for:  Luxury weddings and events around town…and food. Married to Chef James De Marte and we team up on some events as planner/chef duo. Kind of ideal, right?

1. Antique or modern?

Both! Although I like to take old pieces and have them modernized so you get both the feel of old and new. But I always go for glam over mid century or vintage.

2. What has inspired or informed your interior style?

My clients!  I work with amazing people –  that are amazing with interiors – like Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.  Or stylish Chicagoan Whitney Lasky.  Her home has been featured tons –  and you can feel style before you even walk in.  We love doing parties in her home.  Love.

3. Which colors do you use most?

Greys for sure, shocking I know.  A fav of mine is Behr Cracked Pepper.  I also love COLOR (commit people!), think Behr Emerald Lake – an amazing shade of Kelly green.

4. Favorite materials or textures?

Anything waxed or plaster looking. Pattern for days. Mixing patterns is a fav of mine.  I’m no minimalist.  I love black walls, but avoid wearing the color….gasp!  New Yorkers are fainting as we speak.

5. How do you make your home double as a work space?

I created an office that I want to be in.  Like all the time. (but not too much).  It’s a Kelly green – technically Emerald Lake by Behr –  bold and enticing.  Giant windows, great desk chair, black/white stripe curtains…COLOR, PATTERN, TEXTURE, FIXTURES!

6.  What household item could you not live without?

Spray paint.  Does that count?

Rachel De Marte

7. What household items are a necessity to host a great party?

Cake stands!  Cocktail Napkins!  Demi forks and spoons!  It’s imperative to style out your food and beverage – and never allow food to sit all on one level – hello lame, bad catering!  It’s all about height, texture and variety.   Mix in florals, plants and candles.  Every guest is there to eat and drink, so you better make it count.  And remember, anyone can BBQ chicken.  You’re better than that – so show it off (and if you’re not, call us.)

8. Tips for hosting at home?

See above.  Add prep ahead of time (like days before) so you aren’t stuck in kitchen all eve – or better yet, hire a proper caterer.  Or event planner/private chef combo – like us!  (shameless plug!) James and I do tons of private dinner parties in our clients homes as they simply want it to all magically appear and disappear.  Wouldn’t you?  Also, ICE.  People constantly underestimate this.  Get more than you think due to meltage.  Who wants to leave the party to run out for ice?  No one.

9. Which design website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?

I’m a big fan of Lonny, Rue, Goop, and local gem The Chicago Life Blog.

10. Design rule you love to break?

What rules?  LOL.  If I had to pick one, avoid colors that make a room feel like a courthouse, jail cell, or attorneys office.  This means bad versions of BEIGE.  Sorry Beige, it’s true.  Even your name isn’t good.

11. What is your favorite room in you home?

It’s a tie.  My office for it’s bold colors, my living room for it’s chic comfort and giant TV (I love TV!….hello crime drama) and my bedroom for it’s styled coziness (dark walls, brass accents, Greek key patterns, nailheads).

12. What is your most treasured possession?

My husband?  Bahahha!  Since we team up often, he’s key in work and play.  I also have this old bar cart (doesn’t look like a cart) that I got from Meg Made – she kept it’s wood finish and glossed it up – and it’s so great against the green paint.  I adore.

Rachel De Marte

13. What is your favorite thing about Chicago—design-related or otherwise?

Food scene!  We have amazing options.  Something for everyone and then some.  I have very high expectations and I can happily report my list isn’t short.

14. To which city or country would you move for the design?

Toronto is amazing!   Everything is so well done.  Interiors of shops, restaurants, everything.  They even have a butcher that is what I call a meat boutique.  It’s a stunning storefront with a glass dry-aging wall.  Chicago needs this.   If we can have a ridiculous number of steakhouses why not this? Otherwise, I do a number of destination weddings – and they mostly end up being in Mexico.  I adore Tulum – and the stylish Hotel Esencia.  And Mexico City!  It’s got some serious style and food going on. Go there.

15. How would you describe your style?

Modern Glam Eclectic.  I love a good mix, but stay on the more clean and polished side of things.