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How to Transform Your Blank Canvas Event Venue

24th October 2018

Why blank canvas venues are a good choice?

If you’re planning your next corporate event or networking function, a blank canvas venue could be just what you’re looking for.

A blank canvas venue allows you to have a free reign and unleash your creativity. With a blank canvas venue, you really do have to think outside the box and use your imagination to fit your event style and purpose into the space.

You can choose whatever sort of set up you want, whether it’s a catwalk or a stage and presentation area or a full dining experience.

You can transform the space to meet your exact needs, which is fantastic if you’re a start-up or even a well-established brand.

A blank canvas venue enables you to create a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere or a specific vibe that matches the needs of your primary audience or end goal of your event.

Important initial steps when hiring a blank canvas event venue:

When putting on an event in a blank canvas venue there are some key areas to consider before you tackle the space itself.

Set a budget 

We know that decorating a venue is extremely exciting. The problem is that it can be all too easy to get carried away. Before you start spending on the event, we really recommend setting yourself a detailed budget and (at least really trying to) stick to it! 

Money saving tips for decorating a blank canvas venue on a budget: 

Find out what comes with the venue first. You don’t want to end up wasting money on things you didn’t need to buy. Once you’ve fallen in love with a specific idea, shop around to find the cheapest place to buy the necessary products. Also, try and think of cheaper alternatives to some of your ideas. For example, instead of spending loads on expensive lights, you can creatively employ fairy or string lights or even candles to add a unique touch without breaking the bank.     

Choose a theme

A themed event may not appeal to everyone, but it can be a very good idea if you are craving structure. It also helps with the flow of your design planning and overall vision and can really bring your space to life.

Some of our theme ideas: 

  • Vintage/shabby chic 
  • Floral/Rustic 
  • Jungle 
  • Carnival 
  • Winter wonderland 
  • Moroccan night
  • Glitz and Glamour 

Find some great inspiration on Pinterest: 

blank canvas venue set up for event

 If themes really aren’t your thing, you could just stick to a simple colour scheme, like black, white and gold. Or if you’re hosting a corporate event perhaps stick to the colours of your company’s branding.

Transforming your blank canvas venue

Once the initial planning is complete, it’s time to get cracking on transforming your blank canvas venue.

Make it easier for yourself by writing a plan and checklist. Split up the individual parts of decorating like we have done below. Tick off items when you have them sorted.


This will be the first thing your guests will see, so make a good first impression. Archways and lights leading up to the entrance can have real impact and also add an element of anticipation that will get guests excited!

Walls and Ceilings: 

With a blank canvas venue, you can add brand creatives and prints to the walls, illustrating your message and adding to the style of the event.

Keep things simple but effective by creating a wall of clipboards, with thought-provoking statements to get people talking and engaging with each other. You could pose a question and with a wall of envelopes, get people to put their thoughts down privately.

Make an artistic and interactive activity, with a coloured light projector enabling a silhouette feature.

ceiling decoration blank canvas venue

                             Lanterns - Paper lanterns are a fabulous, and cheap way of decorating your venue. Having various lanterns that match your theme can add an extra splash of colour to the entirety of the room. Hanging them from the ceiling can add a focal point to a specific area within the space. 

Bunting: Depending on your theme, bunting can be a fantastic and cheap way of decorating a room. Bunting may not suit a theme like glitz and glamour but could be absolutely perfect for a vintage or floral themed event. Bunting can be hung from the ceiling and the walls and can also be used to decorate tables and chairs too! 

Lighting: The quickest and most effective way to alter the look of a venue is through lighting. Subtle mood or colour lighting can be a fantastic way of merging the room with your own brand colours. Lights can also add a certain atmosphere and make the room more inviting. Lights can of course also be used to highlight an area of the room, making it the centre of attention. If you can incorporate lighting into your budget, we assure you it will make a difference. 

mood lighting for a blank canvas venue


                             Table decorations - It’s often the small touches that will be noticed and really make a difference. Changing the table linen to match your company colours or party theme and adding things like candles and personalised seat labels are really cost-effective ways to upgrade your space. 

Add an instant fun touch with some large, branded illuminated balloons. Put some key taglines or brand related words on the balloons to draw people’s attention and get them excited.

Divide your large event space - If your venue is just one big hall, it is a great idea to divide it up for your desired event needs. Perhaps you’d like a dining area and a separate dancing area. Ways you can partition the space, whilst also adding to the aesthetics of the room, include:

  • using decorated boards
  • floral walls
  • lighting drapes 

Senate House – a Blank Canvas Venue in London for Hire

Our flagship venue in central London, Senate House, offers large banquet halls with breakout spaces. Ideal for a Christmas party or glitzy awards ceremony.  

We also offer an in-house events and catering service team, so we can ensure you your event will run smoothly.

We’ve got the food sorted, so you can spend more time focusing on decoration ideas! 

Get in touch with us today, to book your next event at University of London Venues by giving us a call on 020 7862 8127 making an online enquiry or by dropping us an email at: Let us show you how you can tailor our beautiful venue to suit your central London event.

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