Aesthetic inspiration can come from nearly anywhere— even from a single chair. Ralph Bellisario, owner of Bellisario Florist in Eastpointe, used a Chameleon chair as the starting point for designing a vignette for Ballroom Bliss at the Royal Park Hotel. The silver-toned metal chair with a satin cushion is new and on trend, and can be adapted to a variety of concepts.

“I usually start with the chair and then think how I’d like to see the whole rest of the look,” Bellisario says. “Here I was going for more of a transitional kind of look—not super-modern but not traditional, either. It could be used for any kind of event.”

Blues and grays carry the color scheme, with crystal accents and lush flowers throughout. The table’s silver-grey pintuck linen was chosen to complement the chairs. Place settings comprised white square chargers and plates, frosted-white goblets, rustic hammered silverware and rolled napkins in the same color as the linen, held by a crystal band with fresh hydrangeas.

Votive candles, mixed glassware and a floral hedge completed the tabletop, but the full look incorporated hanging pieces. Bellisario used chains and cables to suspend a flower trough above the table, along with bubble candles and crystal prisms. The hanging trough included calla lilies, blue delphinium, champagne and cream roses, and blue and white hydrangeas.

Adjacent to the table was a lounge area with cocktail tables draped in linens the same color as the main table, gathered in a tie, then covered with a sheer white organza. White lounge furniture complemented the organza and the table’s goblets and plates.

Along the vignette wall was a large white frame— filled with paper flowers and hundreds of hydrangeas and roses and surrounded by boxwood greenery hedges—that was intended as a space for photos.

“People were going crazy that night taking pictures by the frame,” Bellisario says. “The frame pulled the room together.

“The whole room was a creation of blue and silver,” he adds. “A lot of people don’t use blues, but it’s a beautiful mix with this kind of concept. I started with the chair—thought of the chair—then did blues and whites and the greenery. It created an enchanted outside look with the greenery, as well as an inside look.”

Special treatments reinforce this Bar Mitzvah’s theme from the moment guests arrive.


Riesling, meet bourbon. This refreshing pairing found in the Royal Park Bourbon Sangria is served at the PARK 600 bar + kitchen at Rochester’s Royal Park Hotel. Bartender and server Megan Seeley concocted this citrusy sweet drink while planning the summer menu. “We typically go through 24-30 gallons a week,” says Richard Ragainis, the hotel’s food and beverage director. With such positive buzz from customers, it’s apropos that the drink is made in a sizable jar shaped like a beehive.


The hotel industry’s performance during 2016 was solid in most Michigan markets and the year ended on a positive note, reports Charles Skelton of Hospitality Partners in Ann Arbor. The firm has tracked the state’s lodging sector performance for years.