ORCHID MANIA: NYBG'S ORCHID DINNER

by Marisa Marcantonio

Every winter, exotic orchids provide the tablesetting magic for The New York Botanical Garden's Orchid Dinner. The glorious event, generously underwritten by Veranda, BNY Mellon and Tiffany and Co, is a way to celebrate and support one of New York's best loved horticultural treasures, The New York Botanical Garden. “We were thrilled to sponsor the Orchid Dinner for our 5th consecutive year,” said Veranda editor in chief Dara Caponigro. “The evening supports the New York Botanical Garden’s vital work in conservation and education and we are pleased to have helped the Garden attract so much creative talent in support of its mission. This event is always a showcase for some of the most extraordinary design.” If you have not been to the gardens, go! The stunning Orchid Show that opens March 3rd draws quite a crowd from far and wide, as does their beautifully-edited gift shop.
For the table designs, interior and floral designers start with the delicate looking blooms, and build their design story around the flower-- sometimes using masses upon masses of them. This year, the tables were as divine as ever, with orchid arrangements created out of every possible variety and hue soaring heavenward. Here is a sampling of several tablescapes, with more to follow tomorrow.
You may get orchid fever, watch out:

Stephen Elrod for Brunschwig & Fils created a global fantasy land using the newest bold Brunschwig prints. Notice the giraffe centerpiece holding a lantern in its mouth. Stephen always outdoes himself.


Reds yellows and pinks step up to the splendid giraffe.

David Easton created a low lying arrangement with Maidenhair ferns and tall Phaelenopsis.


Laura Vinroot Poole with John Lupton, Andrew Thomas and Leontine Linens had a blast of brights and a giant red urn filled with chartreuse and red orchids.



Connie of Plaza Flowers had a true piece de resistance, pairing a large spray of deep red orchids with brushed metals.


Philip Gorrivan for Lalique went for white and clear.

Flower School New York's Felipe Sastre created a palm tree out of Phaelenopsis.


LMD Lewis Miller Design combined clear glass, a metallic table skirt and crisp white orchids.


Bowman Dahl Floral & Event Design worked with gray and mercury glass to go along with the fanciful puff of orchids atop a long stemmed vase.


Baccarat by Rafael de Cardenas/Architecture at Large used intricately intertwined orchids in vibrant tones for a rain forest effect.


Michael Walter for Lexington Gardens created a gorgeous towering waterfall of garden tools and potted orchids that was spectacular.


Robert Marinelli, RMID Enterprises, Inc. mixed a matte burlap cloth with hits of fuchsia and a glittery low centerpiece of a log with orchids sprouting from it, pure woodlands fantasy.


Campion Platt rang in the Chinese New Year with low orchids and a fanciful multi-hued paper dragon.



MagnaFlora Design | Events had a showstopping low centerpiece of just purple orchids.



Guests got to take home a mini orchid.

Roric Tobin for Geoffrey Bradfield Inc. went on safari.




HERE ARE THE 2011 KIPS BAY SHOWHOUSE DESIGNERS

by Marisa Marcantonio

Photo courtesy of the New York Times
The house the way it looks today at the left, and the way it originally looked in 1924 when built by architect Frederick Sterner, on the right.

Two of this year's designers, Brad Ford and Harry Heissmann

The entrance and the first of four staircases in the house

There is Chinese painted silk on the walls in the dining room Matthew Patrick Smyth is doing

The dressing room was assigned to Cayley Barrett. I love these doors, they are so 60's

With four stories, 16 rooms and 10,000 square feet, this year's Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse, being held in a neo-Federalist style town house located at 163 East 63rd Street, is going to be a transformation to behold. The former brick home of New Yorkers Maurice Brill and John Hay Whitney was built in 1919 by Fredrick Sterner. The house seems to have been divided for two families, so their is a vastly different look as you work your way up the floors. Back on track for April, this year the showhouse will begin April 28, 2011 and run until May 26, 2011. I cannot wait to see the amazing work that is generated by this group, where industry veterans and a new, up and coming generation of designers come together.

Here is the incredible designer line up for this year:

Amanda Nisbet Design
Aurelien Gallet
Barbara Ostrom Associates
Bilotta Kitchens of New York
Brad Ford ID Inc.
Campion Platt
Cayley Barrett Associates, Ltd.
Fanuka Inc.
Greener by Design Richard Heller
Gunn Landscapes
Harry Heissmann Inc.
Jamie Herzlinger Interior Design
Jeff Lincoln, Inc.
Celerie Kemble for Kemble Interiors
Mary McDonald Interiors
Matthew Patrick Smyth Inc.
Richard Mishaan Design
Robert Stilin LLC

Congratulations all!

THE WEEK THAT WAS: FROM FABRIC LAUNCHES TO ONLINE AND PRINT MAG LAUNCHES

by Marisa Marcantonio

After all this running around this week, I need a tea break and personal reflexologist at my beck and call.

My schedule entailed the following:

Bungalow 5 party in full swing
Monday night I attended the opening of my friends Luca Rensi and John Roudabush's brand spanking new Bungalow 5 showroom.

Photo courtesy of Rue Mag
Then worked my way to Soho and toasted Rue Mag's launch of their 3rd issue at The New Traditionalists where a good party, fun crowd and strong cocktail are guaranteed.

Tuesday night I dined alongside the "Young 20" designers with Traditional Home. They are launching a Trad Home and Lonny hybrid online mag that showcases the work of those they deem to be the best and brightest. The intimate Freemans dinner was hosted by Beth Brenner of Traditional Home and Michelle Adams & Patrick Cline of Lonny
. The young traditionals issue of their first ever digital edition hits this April and I am really excited about seeing these new designers projects in detail.

The group was a design obsessed bunch:

Lonny's top dog Michelle Adams, the wry humored fantastic writer Sarah Firshein of Curbed, and the super nice interior designer Ron Marvin

Nina Freudenberger of Haus Interiors, interior designer and Design Therapy blogger Brad Ford with pr gal Stacy McLaughlin

Callie Jenschke and Nicki Clendening of Scout Designs. Callie worked at Met Home and both have Southern roots. These girls get it done.

Designer and art expert Tom Delavan and PR maven Elizabeth Blitzer

Interior designer Robert Passal with a colleague, and fellow design blogger Nicole of So Haute

And two gals I feel like I have been meant to meet forever: Suysel dePedro Cunningham and Anne Maxwell Foster of Tilton Fenwick. Suysel used to work for Markam Roberts and Anne worked for Brockschmidt and Coleman and Ashley Whittaker.

Williams Sonoma Wednesday:

Wednesday night I previewed the Spring launch of Williams Sonoma brands including Pottery Barn, PB Kids, West Elm, and Williams Sonoma at The Garden Room in the hipper - than - thou Standard Hotel

A punchy patterned printed dhurrie from Williams Sonoma Home

The best brownies you have ever had are from the new Baked brownie mixes being offered at Williams Sonoma

A neutral, tonal palette of wares from West Elm

Another creative bunch gathers for an online mag launch:

Photo courtesy of Matchbook
From there I jetted to Soho's Coach store where The Neo Traditionalist blogger Katie Armour feted her new online magazine/field guide/preppy manifesto Matchbook.

An iconic print mag steeped in tradition gets a sunny makeover:

Courtesy of Architectural Digest Photography by Pieter Estersohn
And Thursday I was wowed by the gorgeous luxe, worldly new Architectural Digest as new EIC Margaret Russell , hosted a luncheon of media and bloggers to preview the new issue. With a fully revamped staff of 30 new editors, a content rich resource section in the back of the book, photography and projects by design world luminaries like Michael Smith (who also decorated her office) and Daniel Romauldez, the new AD is worth buzzing about.

The crisp all white centerpiece at the AD luncheon at 4 Times Square

Thursday the fun continued with fabrics and books:

In the evening, I joined a small group of old media (!) friends/editors and interior designers at Pierre Frey's super cool Nolita apartment to see the newest lush bohemian inspired fabric collection that was launched in Paris at Maison Objet the week before.

Home and showplace, Pierre Frey's Nolita digs embody the brand and its latest global glam collection

A cozy fire added to the welcome ambiance

A book launch:

Photo courtesy of Campion Platt
From there Malcolm Kutner and I headed over to The New Traditionalists again (yes, they do throw a good party so I cannot seem to stay away) to see Campion Platt and have him sign his beautiful new book, Made to Order.

The week's festivities are finally winding down, after hitting so many great events and seeing so many new things I need to decompress. But it was all worth it. Who knew February was going to be so busy?