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The Final Installation - Cake Meets Canvas Part 3

Abbeydale Picture House, photo by @louisajanes

"How on earth will we fill that huge empty urban space?" Wendy asked one chilly Friday morning at the end of March. "Have faith Wendy it will be amazing" I said confidently, but deep down I was thinking the same thing!

This was a massive space to fill, would the wedding cakes and artwork look lost in there? I had been to look at The Fly Tower, which is the imposing four story high, raw room behind the screen in Sheffield's iconic Abbeydale Picture House, at the end of January. I fell in love with it and knew it was the perfect arena for our joint exhibition Cake Meets Canvas. However, that chilly Friday morning in March when I took artist Wendy Carlton and stylist Zoey O'brien to see it, it did seem enormous, cold and very, very empty. Would a cake designer, an artist and a stylist do this grand place justice? .......... Of course we would!!

The Fly Tower @ Abbeydale Picture House

Zoey and I had lunch afterwards and planned how we'd break up the space. The way to make this place have a cosier feel was to have separate zones. We would have a 'garden area' with grass and Wendy's amazing artwork deckchairs, we'd erect a firepit and toast marshmallows and display one of my wedding cakes there.

There would also be a chill out zone so people could relax with a drink and some homebaked 'fully loaded' cake or vegan cake after looking at the exhibition.

A bar area would be essential, where drinks could be served and friends could sit together on bar stools to catch up after viewing the wedding cakes and canvases.

bar area, cake meets canvas, wedding cake designer, sheffield

We planned to have clusters of tables around the room for people to hang out and socialise. We wanted the whole evening to have a party vibe and not just be an exhibition where you looked at the artwork and wedding cakes and then left.

Seating area, cake meets canvas exhibition, sheffield wedding cakes

We decided which other suppliers we'd need and definitely knew we'd need a cool florist so recruited the lovely Emma from Orchis Floral Design. We also thought macrame would be a great addition. Zoey made a bespoke geometric wood and copper pipe frame to hang the macrame from and we also borrowed a macrame arch from Lucy at Little White Attic

macrame arch, by bespoke events and styling.

We agreed that the artwork would look lost on the super tall walls so Zoey had the brilliant idea of hanging some of the artwork on a central frame and displaying the wedding cakes on marble and copper plinths below the canvases.

Cake meets canvas exhibition, wedding cakes and wedding cake designer, sheffield

Where there were bricks missing from the walls we added candles to give the room a warmer cosier atmosphere.

urban cakehouse, wedding cake designer, sheffield

design elements at cake meets canvas exhibition, urban cakehouse, wedding cake designer, sheffield

If there was a feature left in the room, like this original ladder, we used it. As you can see we had hanging plants in macrame holders and foliage decorating this ladder.

One of our favourite areas was the industrial boho wedding cake area which fitted into this urban space so well with the black curtain backdrop for contrast.

industrial boho wedding cake with macrame arch

So the morale of the story is stretch yourself. The prospect of this exhibition was daunting but with a great team of colleagues around me I think we totally pulled it off.

Always set yourself stretch goals.

If you need any help with venue styling or wedding styling contact Zoey O'brien of Bespoke Events and Styling, If you love the artwork then contact Wendy Carlton. For an unconventional but stylish wedding cake or for any birthday cake or celebration cake drop me an email at I'd love to hear from you, designing you a bespoke cake is my passion.

Lisa x

Photo credits

Marni V Photography

Clear Space Photography

Urban Cakehouse


Macrame Lucy at Little White Attic

Flowers Emma at Orchis Floral Design

Macrame plant hanger Refresh Restyle

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