Top event designer to share his secrets in Rhinebeck

(photo by Monica Buck)

(photo by Monica Buck)

Ever consider that resolutions of the sort that people make at the turning of the year might be more achievable if they consisted less of abstemious messages like “Eat fewer desserts” or “Give up smoking” and more of committing to regular self-treats that do no harm? One that occasionally occurs to me is “Buy fresh flowers monthly.” It’s doable even on a fairly tight budget, and it brings a flush of joy even into a starving artist’s dusty garret.

The trick, of course, is remembering to make it happen, making it a priority, amidst life’s myriad more pressing demands. Designer DeJuan Stroud is all about encouraging “everyone to bring flowers and beauty into their lives in an effortless way.” The “effortless” part sounds enticing, doesn’t it?  I mean, some of us have full-time jobs and can’t be doing rustic crafts projects all day long like Martha Stewart.

An Alabama native who now lives in Highland with his wife/business manager Debra Stroud and their four children, Stroud is one of the most successful event designers in New York City, with a formidably celebrity-studded client list. One of them is rocker Jon Bon Jovi, who wrote the foreword to Stroud’s new book, Designing Life’s Celebrations (Rizzoli New York, April 2016). The book “demystifies the art of the tabletop” with instructions for creating everything from “spectacular tabletops” and “glorious centerpieces” to “simple how-to floral projects” for a variety of at-home celebrations. The decorative arrangements were photographed in the Hudson Valley by another talented local, Monica Buck.

As part of the book launch tour, Stroud will appear this Saturday afternoon at bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy, where he will unveil a rose-laden tabletop installation that will remain on view for the rest of the month. Buck, the photographer, will join him for the celebration. The event goes on from 3 to 6 p.m. on May 28 at bluecashew, which is located at 6423 Montgomery Street in Rhinebeck. Admission is free (though you might be sorely tempted to buy the book). For more info, call (845) 876-1117 or visit

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