Common Mistakes: Preston’s Bloopers


I am often asked if I have made any mistakes along the way and my answer is that I have made enough to write a book called Preston Bailey Bloopers.

Looking back recently through my archive of work, I have found many I’d like to share with you in hopes that you do not make the same design mistakes. However, as I’ve heard, if you make enough errors you might just eventually become an expert.

So, here are a few of my bloopers:

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My idea for chair covers circa 1988.

I thought I was being so clever by taking all the additional tablecloths and wrapping them around each chair to create my own version of chair covers.
Blooper: They became undone during the party and folks started tripping over them. Oops! Also, is it just me or does this look a little bit like a wake?

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Circa 2002

In this Harry Potter themed event, I used invisible wire to hang all LED candles from the ceiling.
Blooper: There were a few candles that fell around the guest’s heads. (Thank God for my great client who thought it was funny.)

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Circa 1992

This was my first attempt at draping fabric in tent walls. Also my first attempt at decorating with trees.

  • Back wall poorly draped with exposed air conditioning vents.
  • Have you ever seen sadder trees?
  • I was soooo proud of my hand painted ceiling.

Okay, we are being very candid with each other–do you have the guts to tell me a few of your design or service bloopers? And hey, always keep in mind my old mantra, “The best way to improve is by learning from our mistakes.”