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Celebration at Elevation: A New Year's Eve Soiree

C+A Interiors explain how to host an intimate, stylish party

Photos by Emily Minton Redfield

It’s always swell to attend a party where your hosts embrace the event. We can’t think of a duo that does it better. Here, Conni Newsome and Ashley Larson Eitemiller of C+A Interiors explain their process.


Conni was at Gitano, a bar in Tulum, Mexico, that had a massive disco ball hanging above the tree-covered dance floor. “I loved the sexy, rock-and-roll vibe it added to the otherwise Mexican boho atmosphere,” she says. “I couldn’t get it out of my head, and I knew I wanted to bring that exact vibe back to Colorado with me for my own New Year’s party.”

She shared this inspiration with her design partner, who immediately approved, and the duo kicked off plans with a seasonal color palette of jewel tones paired with black and white, along with a pile of silver disco balls that gave the boho-glam interiors the perfect pop of “sexy Tulum.”


Conni and Ashley took their invitation inspiration from the wonderful Pret-a-Party book by Lela Rose. They wanted something that was homemade and indicated the spirit of the party. So the ladies created a tableau and photographed it. Then they sent the image via text message. Everyone is always on their phones these days; why not get an instant message and possibly a quicker RSVP?


Conni and Ashley created the party to work organically with the space. They added theme elements to glam up the existing design. Magnolia leaves frame the adobe-style fireplace, which is covered with handmade black-and-white tile from Waterworks. “I have a thing for black-and-white,” says Conni. Party macarons and flowers blend with the bespoke sofa by Hempts Furniture with Romo fabric and Classic Cloth pillow fabric; the Joseph Jeup and Jean de Merry chairs are both from John Brooks Inc.


Parties have much in common with yoga poses: It’s almost all in the preparation. Once the girls agreed on their theme, they started making a to-do list and worked on the fine details of hosting a fun party. The next step was amassing images that would portray the vision, which would in turn a) help them figure out what else they would need and b) be shared with their catering and floral teams.


“We know how important it is to hire professionals whose work you love and then talk about what you’re hoping to achieve and then trust their creativity,” says Conni. “That’s why we asked Keegan Gerhard and Lisa Bailey, chef/owners of D Bar in Denver, to help us with the menu and The Perfect Petal to create flower arrangements for the table, the room and the guest room.” 

“They gave us great direction,” says Keegan. “They came to the table with a vision and rich color palette of deep reds, burgundy and golds. (See Keegan and Lisa’s menu below.)


Even grown-ups like goodies to go. The team filled cellophane bags with chocolate and labeled them “Midnight Kisses” as a sweet New Year's send-off.


Because the two are consummate planners, they had everything—drinks, food, dessert—ready 30 minutes before guests arrived so all they needed to do was get dolled up, turn on the music and share a toast.


Much like they did with the holiday décor on the previous pages, Conni and Ashley chose colors for the season—including jewel tones of burgundy, emerald and saffron—to match the focal point, a Dirk De Bruycker painting from Robischon Gallery. Then the pair set up two mini DIY Champagne bars, one on a rustic Asian buffet from DecorAsian; the other, by the fireplace seating area. No Champagne bar is complete without sweet treats (macarons, gumdrops and chocolates) for snacking and abundant bouquets of flowers.


It’s always good to have the guest room ready in case one of your friends ends up in need of an overnight. They readied the room with flowers, a bottle of water, towels and a much-needed toothbrush for the next day. It just so happens that the art above the bed reads “New Beginnings” in Spanish. 

By Keegan Gerhard and Lisa Bailey, D Bar

  • Winter Green Salad with Meyer Lemon Citronette
  • Kobe Beef Sliders with Aged White Cheddar and Drunken Onions
  • Tomato Soup Shooters with Shaved Parmigiano
  • Grilled Ciabatta
  • Lavash with Thyme and Garlic
  • Salumi and Cheese Platter
  • Ratatouille Tartlets
  • Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Marcona Almonds
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey-Sriracha Glaze and
  • Toasted Hazelnuts
  • Pomegranate and Coffee
  • French Macarons
  • Red Velvet Mini Cupcakes with Edible Year-of-Rooster Decoration
  • Stacked Cream Puffs with Red Fruit Jam and Vanilla Cream
  • Madagascar Chocolate Cake Pops in Party Colors
  • Strawberry Gumdrops


DESIGN by Conni Newsome and Ashley Larson Eitemiller, C+A Interiors  FOOD by Keegan Gerhard and Lisa Bailey, D Bar, Denver FLOWERS by The Perfect Petal, Denver  ART provided by Robischon Gallery, Denver

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