The idea of the masquerade ball evokes thoughts of mystery, romance and oddities. Masquerade balls originated in Italy in the 1400s, particularly in Venice, where the Venetian Carnival took place. Today, masquerade balls are not held in accordance with any particular festival or holidays, although they are sometimes employed for Mardi Gras festivities and Halloween celebrations.
The Masquerade Ball Color Palette
Masquerade balls lend themselves to the richer, vibrant, more saturated colors. Try to limit yourself to two or three. If your masquerade ball is taking place for Mardi Gras, the colors are obvious—purple, green and gold. For a dramatic twist, try a black and white masquerade ball, or black, white and silver. Other colors to consider are a peacock blue or a royal blue, royal purple, emerald or forest green, a saturated red or burgundy. Metallic colors also work well as a color palette for masquerade balls. When choosing three colors, it's a good idea that one be different from the other two, such as: dark, dark, bright; flat, flat, metallic; or cool, cool, warm. When choosing two, pick colors that are contrasting. A royal blue and a royal purple competes with each other, whereas a light blue, silver or gray allows the purple stand out.
Evaluating your Space
Consider the space you've set aside for your party. If it's your home dining and living rooms, then you will need to adjust your home décor, but you'll have less space to cover. If you've working in a ballroom, the base features, such as chandeliers and high ceilings, more easily lend themselves to the mood, but you'll have a lot of work covering the whole space. If you're somewhere utilitarian, like a school gymnasium or lunchroom, since the room is a blank palette, you have to create a masquerade ball atmosphere from the ground up.
Decorating Ideas on Any Budget
Your budget is going to play a huge role in your decor. A budget of $50 simply buys plates, cups and steamers in the right colors, but won't provide the decor that takes the ball from ho-hum to deluxe.
If you're decorating a large space on a tight budget, balloons make good space fillers. Inflate balloons with helium in colors to match the ball color scheme and float them up to the ceiling to create a ceiling. You can also cordon off dance floors photograph areas using helium-filled balloons. That vertical element can act as a sort of wall, defining the space.
For any masquerade décor, decorate with masquerade masks. Glue feathers, sequins, tissue—anything that looks interesting to the design. Hang them on walls, position them on tables or create centerpieces with the mask as thee focal point. Fill a clear vase with Mardi Gras beads or feathers. Sprinkle glitter and sequins on tables.
If you have a larger budget, use velvet ribbons to create a diamond/harlequin pattern on the walls. Use velvet or silk pillows and drape surfaces with the luxurious material. Attach charms with masks to champagne flutes and wine glasses. Paisley patterns also add to the mood.
If you have a large budget, then you can purchase your way into creating the proper mood. One feature that you can include with a larger budget is lighting. Harsh lighting destroys the romantic feel of a masquerade ball. If you have dimmers, use them. Otherwise, consider purchasing frosted or otherwise diffused light coverings or lamps for your party. Hanging lanterns are a great idea. Although candles sound romantic and add to the mood, be careful to place them somewhere where guests cannot knock them over or drop something on to them. String mini holiday lights in the appropriate colors and turn off any fluorescent lighting to add to the atmosphere.