Look at the 10 Things Event Planner Tom Kehoe Really Loves

The founder and president of Kehoe Designs also enjoys a good party.

Tom Kehoe

Photography: (chocolates, tray, brown tote) courtesy of vendors; (all others) Anna Knott
 

Tom Kehoe makes a living thinking big. For clients that include museums and betrothed couples and for events as big as Lollapalooza, he—with help from a staff of 226 at his event-planning firm, Kehoe Designs—regularly produces epic flower arrangements and settings that range from enchanted forests to ballparks.

And he doesn’t exactly leave his work at the office.

Recently, Kehoe, 45, who is single, threw a Great Gatsby–themed soiree at his Lincoln Park brownstone that could have rivaled Jay’s. The uber-host insists, however, that “a party is a gift for the guests, not a time to show off.”

To spoil friends at his own dinner table, Kehoe has hired a fashion illustrator to draw them on place cards. To mere mortals, he suggests naming drinks after attendees. “Everybody likes to see their name as a cocktail,” he says.

Kehoe’s home is an elaborately styled affair unto itself, filled with pieces both elegant and slightly eccentric (read: lots of taxidermy). Look below to see his favorites.

 

10 Things He Loves

ASIAN RIVER BOULDERS

ASIAN RIVER BOULDERS (Starting at $380, Pagoda Red, 1714 N. Damen Ave.)
“You can look at them forever and not get bored.”

 

 

1970S VINTAGE LIGHTERS

1970S VINTAGE LIGHTERS ($475 for similar set, Revival, 2016 W. Armitage Ave.)
“I don’t even smoke—I just like the shapes and colors.”

 

 

PRADA JEANS

PRADA JEANS ($350, Prada, 30 E. Oak St.)
“Jeans are my staple, and these fit me best.”

 

 

1930S FRENCH BAR CART

1930S FRENCH BAR CART ($5,300 for similar piece, The Golden Triangle, 330 N. Clark St.)
“The lines are so cool, masculine, and stately.”

 

 

JURLIQUE EYE CREAM

JURLIQUE EYE CREAM ($40, Whole Foods, 1550 N. Kingsbury St.)
“I don’t use a lot of products, but this one really works after a long night.”

 

 

FANNIE MAY PIXIES

FANNIE MAY PIXIES ($10 for a box of 10, Fannie May, 343 N. Michigan Ave.)
“My mom used to serve them on simple white plates when I was a kid, and I do the same.”

 

 

OSTRICH-EMBOSSED LEATHER BELT

OSTRICH-EMBOSSED LEATHER BELT
“It has no logos. A friend gave it to me. And the shade of yellow is perfect.”

 

 

MADELINE WEINRIB TRAY

MADELINE WEINRIB TRAY ($795 for similar style, Barneys New York, barneys.com)
“I like an accent piece that adds pattern without being overbearing.”

 

 

GAIA & GINO CANDLESTICK

GAIA & GINO CANDLESTICK ($135 for similar style, I.D., 3337 N. Halsted St.)
“It is so simple and elegant—a way to make a statement without trying too hard.”

 

 

TOM FORD TOTE

TOM FORD TOTE ($2,910, neimanmarcus.com)
“Even when I’m wearing a suit, this relaxed suede bag fits right in.”
 

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comments
10 months ago
Posted by BIGChefOnline

Tom has exceptional taste, of course we know that not by the things he loves but more so by the clients who love him. They love him for his eye for sophistication, mood making and much more! Even in Florida we have heard of Tom Kehoe!

thanks,

Rosana Santos Calambichis, President
BIGChefOnline.com

ps I love the lighters too and have never smoked. They each tell a story... and I have to show them to my mother who will appreciate their flair

9 months ago
Posted by Joel L. Goldman

Nice writing Heiji Choy Black !. Tom Kehoe is certainly an inspiration for all who ‘thinks big’.But most of us wont usually try adopt his kind of passion for perfection.Its his passion for excellence made him a successful event planner.

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