What's the major event design trend for 2013? It's whatever the client says it is. Special Events interviewed six savvy event designers to divine what decor will be a hit in the new year. And the overwhelming response is that designers are making client-centric decisions on how they spend their event budgets. Here, eight decor trends to watch:

1. Double-duty decor

T. Michael (Mike) Day, creative director and general manager for Max King Events in Orlando, Fla., says wise designers are using decor pieces for more than just one part of an event. For example, it's cost-effective to grab elements from the welcome reception and move them to a luncheon or even a general session or awards environment, he explains.

2. Cocooning environments

“It's how the decor wraps the space in layers, focusing on moods and creating a multi-sensual environment,” explains Timot McGonagle, event producer for Kehoe Designs in Chicago. For example, the welcome reception for one client's event featured four “pocket” environments: Babylon, Mod London, Contemporary Modern Chic and Shogun Japan — a rich mix for attendees to immerse themselves in.

And environments are all about lounges, according to Susie Perelman, owner of Mosaic in Pittsburgh. “Almost every wedding and mitzvah now has an area designated for lounging,” she says. She notes that Mosaic uses pillows, ottomans and suspended lamps to add warmth.

And in those lounges, branding rules. There is no end to what can be branded, and clients are doing it all, says Chris Esposito, CMP, vice president for Totally Mod event furnishings, with offices in Orlando, Fla., and Las Vegas. “They are able to brand the actual furniture pieces with their logo or message very affordably — under $100.”

Perelman's company Mosaic creates custom logo pillowcases to be used in lounges, which are then taken home by the bride and groom or guest of honor as a keepsake.

See the full story in the January/February 2013 issue of Special Events, available only to ISES members and subscribers. Not a subscriber? We can fix that—just click here.