Max Gill Design
Floral designer Max Gill does the opposite of keeping it simple. Instead, the designer embraces the complexity of wild plants by adapting them to interior environments. Gill favors foraged blooms, along with rare botanicals from local Berkeley growers. These are no ordinary arrangements, and Gill’s unique eye lends an earthy seasonality to every space he and his team touch. Next time you pass through Chez Panisse or Zuni Café and find yourself wanting to scoop up the floral arrangements and take them home, ask after the designer—it’s probably Gill.
The Plant Library
702 Harrison St Suite A, Berkeley
There are few rooms more soothing than one packed with plants. Abundant greenery is the niftiest tactic to summon nature, induce calm, or warm up a scant tablescape or too-roomy room. But buying enough plants to echo the garden of Eden is costly, never mind the time involved in finding the perfect royal fern or tallest fiddle-leaf fig. Then we discovered the Plant Library. With both an East (NYC) and West (SF) Coast presence, this smart start-up has been a godsend—and best of all, it’s sustainable. The process couldn’t be more straightforward: Pick a bevy of plants or tabletop arrangements—thriving potted cacti, evergreens, or desert greens—to pack a space as big or small as your needs demand. The Plant Library will deliver them for your event, and when you’re done, these short-term party guests are collected and rented again.
1563 Solano Ave., Berkeley
Zephyr likes to think of its tented canopies as sails—billowing, crisp, and made to last. This is appropriate given the tent type: The “Sperry” was initially crafted by New England sailmaker Steve Sperry. These canopies are as beautiful inside as they are outside, with many of the panels hand-sewn and the support poles carved out of wood. Most importantly, the entire structure is waterproof. Tents come in a variety of sizes to cater to events of all sizes, and the crew is top-notch. Conveniently, Zephyr also provides beautiful furniture, much of it made from reclaimed wood, hardwood flooring, and incredible lighting (we love the paper lanterns strung from the tent roof, which is as beautiful as it sounds).
Brown Paper Design
702 Harrison St., Berkeley
Since its inception back in 2007, the focus at this event design company has been on florals. That said, founder Danielle Rowe and her talented team can lend their signature romantic aesthetic to each and every event aspect. Brown Paper Design also operates in Los Angeles.