When the bitchy assistant for whatever rich jerk owns this insane mansion called me to handle an extravagant masquerade ball, I strongly considered saying no. But the many zeroes on the huge check Amanda promised I’d get at the end made me reconsider in a heartbeat—and that was on top of the budget they already set for the party. All in all, I was making out like a bandit, which makes it a little easier for me to stomach Amanda’s attitude.
Because she’s absolutely terrible. The woman is your classic snobby blonde bitch with pin-straight hair and a sneer permanently glued to her face. But I won’t let her get to me. Even if she reminds me of all the mean girls back in high school, I’ve moved past that phase of my life. All I need to do is focus on the check I’ll be snatching from her perfectly manicured fingers by the end of this night, and I’ll be fine.
Standing at the mansion’s entrance, I tilt my head to observe the building, trying to see the place as the masked guests will see it. The entryway is a huge circular area with a giant, glittering chandelier hanging in the center of the ceiling, and across from the entrance is a long hallway finished in dark woods and antiques my grandmother would drool over. I can practically see the multimillion-dollar price tag on everything lining the walls. I can’t even imagine what having this much money would be like. I certainly wouldn’t have to skip out on the guacamole at Chipotle anymore.
But the vintage feel of the mansion is actually perfect for a masquerade ball. When I found out the party was being hosted by a rich tech guy with a big wallet and an even bigger reputation, I was a little worried about what I’d have to work with. I’ve put together parties for tech guys before, so I’m familiar with their lifestyles. It’s either utterly lavish with over-the-top crazy gadgets and top-of-the-line everything, or totally spare and Spartan. You’re lucky if you have furniture sometimes. I’ve seen guys living with a mattress on the floor and one chair, despite being worth billions.
So during my first tour of this place a couple weeks ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Fortunately, seeing the actual building took my breath away and eased my worries. The outside walls were ivy-covered and imposing, with literal turrets reaching into the sky. A sweeping driveway circled the front of the house, a perfect setting for the Bentleys and Porsches that were sure to pull up.
Inside was even better. The expansive hallway across the entryway had a few doorways leading to different parts of the house. Right when you enter, you’re greeted by a giant mirror and an old coat rack that’s unnecessary given the number of maids bustling around to take your coat. On either side of the large foyer are two wide, winding staircases. I didn’t get to tour the upstairs rooms because Amanda said those were the bedrooms, which wouldn’t be part of the festivities—I stifled a snort then, because what kind of extravaganza doesn’t end in debauchery and a bit of raunchiness? But then again, this was a sophisticated gathering with lots of important people attending. As much as I wanted to take a peek, based on the rest of the house, I could already formulate a mental picture of the luxurious antique furniture in every nook and cranny. I didn’t need to see it to know what it looked like in my mind’s eye.
Just past the entryway and into the hallway, a doorway on the left leads to a huge library that’s probably worth almost as much as the property itself. When I had the initial tour, I saw at least seven first editions placed carefully throughout the book-filled room.
But the library isn’t going to be the setting for today’s party, per Amanda’s request. After all, this is a masquerade ball, so they’ll be using the grand ballroom with its lofty ceiling and gracious, paneled walls.
Frankly, there isn’t need for much decoration because the house itself is already magnificent and imposing, with its ornate wooden bannisters and gleaming marble floors. But, hey, I have to earn my keep, so I decided to put in some window accents. I used black and white crepe paper, twisted together like for a birthday party, and draped the strands across the windows. In the center, I used expensive, hand-painted masks to accentuate the party theme. The masks and colors match the room’s ambiance, and I think they add to the costume party feel of the entire event.
All the tables are clothed with black and white linen and the table centerpieces are adorned with black and white roses and real peacock feathers imported from India. The feathers were my idea, and Amanda reluctantly admitted they looked nice.