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.




BLOGFEST 2011 HIGHLIGHT: LEE JOFA DESIGNER VIGNETTES

by Marisa Marcantonio

One of the best parts of Blogfest 2011, the festivus of bloggers arranged by Kravet and Lee Jofa, was the visit to see designer vignettes. Their stable of collection designers, all in one room, used their Lee Jofa fabrics to create vignettes. It was fantastic. A mini showhouse of sorts. Bloggers lined up 30 deep to have Thomas O'Brien, David Easton, Suzanne Rheinstein, Eric Cohler, Diamond and Baratta and Suzanne Kasler sign Inspired Styles, the design book that creatively showcases Lee Jofa and Kravet designer fabric collections. Not only that, they all got their picture with each designer- not an easy feat with over 100 bloggers!

A robust arrangement flowers arranged by Suzanne Rheinstein.

Soft pastel upholstery balanced out the a busy classical print on the walls.

I love the pop of color from the modern painting hanging above the settee.

Thomas O'Brien created multiple floral arrangements for his space. He sells wonderful objects like these in his Soho store Aero.

A modern yet warm office area incorporates mid century modern vintage pieces in light finishes.

His prints for Lee Jofa are artistic with watercolor feel and soft, earthy palette.

David Easton had the best time greeting everyone. I think he got a kick out of a line 30 women long, waiting to meet him.

Beautiful antiques and decorative objects filled his space. He included a round table stacked with books that has become a David Easton signature.

His trusty wise own that sits in his own office is a vignette regular- this same owl was also in his Room with a View vignette in Connecticut.

A place for a drink and good reading light is a must.

Suzanne Kasler created an artists studio, complete with paint brushes and colorful framed prints.

A soft, neutral palette with grey finishes in a seating area was relaxed and cozy.

I imagine her getting creative in this space.

An easel in a grey wash is backed in a pale pink print centered by a floral painting. There is something compelling about the mix of color and pattern.

Bold color and pattern are hallmarks in Diamond and Baratta's work. The words fun, flamboyant and super custom come to mind when thinking of their work. They did not disappoint! A digitally printed wallpaper with giant blooming branches was the perfect backdrop to a sun room seating area.

Wicker and chintz with ferns- hello 80's! Love it.

Eric Cohler's sophisticated dining room space incorporated shades of grey and modern art. A round table is nice for it seems more intimate and warm. The pop of yellow from the vase is the perfect foil for the deep gray painted walls, and a floral print hangs at the window adding a femme touch.

HADLEY ALUMS CAME OUT IN FORCE FOR SOUTHPORT'S ROOMS WITH A VIEW

by Marisa Marcantonio

It was the best year ever! Early in November, Rooms with a View honored Albert Hadley, with 12 designer vignettes created by those that have gone on to great success after being mentored by the design icon. Hints of red, round mirrors, animals and etageres play a role in the spaces, as an homage to Hadley's favorite homey and welcoming design elements. The annual showhouse, located at The Southport Congregational Church, brought out the design cognescenti from near and far, who came to see the exceptional rooms created by leading designers who have gone on to run their own successful firms.

Bunny Williams worked with Mr. Hadley for 22 years since the days of Parish Hadley.

An homage to Hadley's New York apartment, Bunny used a round table from her Beeline Collection and hanging pendant light. Check out the french doors with an image of Mr. Hadley in his Southport garden circa 1990.

Her Bee Line Collection pieces make the small space a relaxing room.

A gorgeous gold gourd made by Christopher Spitzmiller sits next to sentimental photos, and stacks of books.

Bunny's favorite books, a bar and objects fill an etagere surrounded by framed art.

Genius! Bunny made a shelf of an etagere an instant bar.


Pamela Banker worked at Parish Hadley in in 1995, staying for 5 years. She and her team created a red office with a signature etagere, round mirror and workable desk and painted zebra canvas rug.

This antique mirror is fantastic, a round mirror is de regeur for a Hadley interior.

An Albert Hadley designed lamp from Christopher Spitzmiller in silver glaze illuminates the work space.

David Easton strikes a pose. After a year with Hadley he went out on his own. He is in the midst of a twenty stop book tour promoting his new book, Elegant Interiors

David Easton's office setting included a desk from his collection and Safaveih rug he designed. A Moroccan hanging lamp adds an unexpected twist.

Beautifully engineered shelving hold models of homes he has designed.

The back wall is made of a painted cork board displaying architectural renderings.

David brought desk accessories from home and a lamp from his Robert Abbey collection.

Thom Filicia worked for the firm from 1992-1993. Here he is, standing in front of his fantastic electric yellow vignette.

Bold yellow stried walls play off a French blue table and blue ceramic lamp. A bulls - eye canvas makes a great focal point, and the circle motif is carried through in the console below.

An ebony hexagonal mirror ties the seating area together.

The coffee table holds two things Mr. Hadley always included-- a bowl of quarters and a pair of dogs.

Michael Whaley, who began his career at the firm, created a serene spot in taupe and cream. Elegant sconces frame the settee, covered in satin.

A slipper chair -- always present in a Hadley room.

Libby Cameron created an office with tried and true Hadley touches. covered walls in "Desmond", a black and white Sister Parish Design. In a nod to a favorite animal of Hadley's, wise owls dot the vignette. Libby filled me in on her time there. "I got a month long internship in the fall of 1982, I was then hired full time shortly thereafter in 1983 to be Albert's assistant. I first started working with him on the restoration of Gracie Mansion. I had the most wonderful, magical experience at Parish-Hadley during my fourteen years there-I learned so much and saw so much, I am eternally grateful. I left Parish-Hadley in the fall of 1995 after my daughter Clara was born, and put out my own shingle. Albert taught me the importance of details, and always stressed that everything had to be finished properly and have a finished edge, that welts could not be big, that everything had to be subtle and made to look like it was done by a dressmaker. Albert always referred to rooms having skylines, which is an image I always carry with me. One's eye should be able to travel around a room, up and down, and not have everything be at one level. Objects, furniture and paintings all at different levels create interest and intrigue-which is what makes a room work."

A bright glazed Christopher Spitzmiller lamp sits on a green desk. A clipboard holding a notepad with drawings and Do Not Forget notepad were ever present on Hadley's own desk.

A charming bookcase with bone inlay holds books featuring Parish Hadley work.

Rarely seen without a pencil in hand, Hadley was constantly sketching. Seventeen drawings done by him are hanging from Libby's personal collection.

David Kleinberg got his start at Parish Hadley in 1981. His area incorporated neutrals. Stripes carried over from the walls, to table skirt and floor design.

A Swedish L-shaped bench tucks in perfectly behind a round table, making the most of the allotted space.

The etagere again!

A glam floor of gold and white stripes.

Harry Heissmann, in his fantastic space. Harry was with Hadley from 2000-2009. He shared, "Albert taught me not to be afraid to think outside the box. Every detail matters, if you're using pairs of something - don't put them next to each other. The ceiling is a "fifth wall", don't forget it. I have "Mr. Hadley moments" all the time, where I think about what he would do. That could be editing or taking away or trying to find the most simple and effective solution to a "design problem" without overthinking it. On job sites or in workrooms when he didn't like something, he would say: "just make good". That meant: do it, solve it and don't talk about it - and believe me, it got you thinking! And then he teaches you to be humble. It's decorating and designing,not surgery..."

Harry Heissmann created a black space filled with graphic 70's elements.

All set for breakfast in bed with a side of Flair.

There is a tres Truman Capote feeling here.

Suzanne Earls Carr worked in a cream palette with touches of blue. There is a serene simplicity in her space. Topiary trees frame the entrance, adding their shapes to a linear space.

Cocktail time! A white textured Gourd Lamp (another great Spitzmiller piece) sits next to sentimental photos.

Thomas Jayne used Rorschach inkblot test- like brightly painted panels from Chuck Hettinger Studio to tie an antique filled space together. He worked at Parrish Hadley from 1986-87. He recalled, "He never discounted or overlooked any period of style for inspiration. He is as assured with Left Bank Parisian 1930's design as he is with Chippendale and Louis XV. I honor Albert because he advocates a personal connection with a room’s decoration. In an Albert rooms, you almost always get a sense of who lives there – they are never generic."

A clean lined settee with tapered legs fits neatly in the corner, covered with pastel pillows.

A happy faced pillow adds a touch of whimsy.

A narrow secretary would make a nice desk in a small New York apartment.

Great books like Happy Times and his newest tome, "The Finest Rooms in America" make the space personal.

Brian Murphy used amazing art that worked well with "Fireworks" wallpaper from Hadley's Hinson collection. When asked about his time working with the firm he said, "I worked for Albert from 1987 until 2000. My favorite quote from Albert is "Give em what they never knew they always wanted", which I think is a paraphrase of Diana Vreeland." The furniture in his booth is all 19th Century American.

A high backed garden bench and demilune plant stand and gothic hall chair and folk art coat rack.The bright and uplifting paintings that tie the space together are by Melissa Richard.

An American hooked rug from Rahmanan adds a nice graphic element against the painted furniture.


Brian McCarthy, who joined Parish Hadley in 1983 as Hadley's assistant, created a sitting area with neutral creams and dark browns. An amazing wavy wall surface out of plaster are juxtaposed against round mirrors from Line Vautrin grouped, a la Hadley. A comfortable chair, furry stool and ethnic rug tie the scheme together.

Every designer that has worked with The Dean knows and loves the folding ruler.