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.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Interior designers Harry Heissmann, Eileen Kathryn Boyd, and Philip Gorrivan showcased their ability to mix and match antiques with new pieces in their modern day room vignettes at this year's inaugural Designing With Antiques at the Winter Antique Show. Featuring an eclectic mix of hand picked antique furniture, decorative arts and modern pieces from the show, they combined these select items from exhibitors with pieces from their own collections. The result ended up being a serenity - filled bedroom, quietly sophisticated living room and festive dining area. The installations were on view in a period room, the Board of Officers room at Park Avenue Armory. The backdrop provided a dramatic contrast and perfect foil to the vignettes. Sponsored by The Magazine Antiques, the spaces were a wonderful way to show how to work with and embrace all period styles. Living with antiques and enjoying their history and special details is what its all about.

Harry Heissmann shared his take on classic serene white bedroom. Saying, "The George III tester bed from 1790 is from Kentshire, all bedding and the silver pillows, as well as the throws on the bench are from Nancy Koltes, she was a dream to work with! Smurf chess set on Dansk tray, blue gourd ceramic and 'Blessing' alarm clock are from my collection. Most importantly: flower arrangements by my all time favorite florist Emily Thompson in Dumbo. She is the new Constance Spry..."

The elaborate bench at the foot of the bed is a cast iron Morning Glory settee is from Barbara Israel.

"I selected the Intarsia cowhide rug with Ashley Stark at Stark carpet.
They had just gotten it and I fell in love with the vibrant blue... The rug
set the tone for the entire vignette, as I wanted it to pop. Pair of fine & early fruitwood Art Deco side chairs are by Leon Jallot from Maison Gerard, the chest is by Grosfeld House and Cornucopia plaster lamps are from Liz O'Brien. The blue tall case clock, Maine, circa 1810-1830 is from Olde Hope Antiques."

Nothing says fun like a table set with multiple eye-popping hues. Exceptional with color, designer Eileen Kathryn Boyd blended modern and traditional elements with bright, joyful bursts of orange and pink. She began planning around an incredibly colorful Oushak Rug she found at Peter Pap's Oriental Rugs. A Karl Springer Table from Liz O'Brien and Frances Elkins Loop Chairs were the neutral pieces that grounded the color.

Two candlestick lamps with huge drum shades added a modern element and draw the eye upwards. She used Clarke & Clarke fabrics for pillows and to tie the orange and hot pink scheme together. A Liverant and Son Antiques sideboard in the background added a traditional dark wood piece to the assortment, and Harry Bertoia sculptures modernized it.

Philip Gorrivan had the largest space of the three and used it as a launching pad to showcase his newest fabric collection for Duralee's Highland Court called Gorrivan II. The space was filled with creams, dusty lavender and hints of brass and shiny surfaces. The majority of the accessories were from Maison Gerard and Lost City Arts, adding to the sophisticated mix. He covered the sofas in his Terrazzo fabric, and a pair of stunning Regency chairs from Clinton Howell Antiques were made modern covered in plum cut velvet seats. A pair of 19th c. giltwood klismos chairs with ebonized owls and Asian sculpture were from Kentshire. Spill Cast Sculpture by Bertoia (left of the fireplace) and the collection of Danish seashore rocks were from Lost City Arts.

A bench was covered in Articus a white faux fur that contrasted the sculptural metal legs. An array of pillows were in a variety of his fabrics: Ruskin, Voltaire, Concerto, Newgrange, and Julian. The Coffee table used between the sofas is a wakapu, lacquer and gilt bronze table by Jean-Berenger de Nattes from Maison Gerard.

A large folding screen made the large space appear more intimate. It was covered in London Plane with the trim taken from the fabric Homer. Centered in front of them were two mirrored tables from Liz O’Brien that add sexy glamour.

It's all in the details. A detail I have been spotting a lot lately is painted rugs. A painted Seagrass rug border is a detail Bunny Williams employed at last years Kips Bay Showhouse. Here, a Chinese key design is an effective way to bring in pattern and graphic impact to an otherwise neutral surface.


by Marisa Marcantonio

The Avenue Show of Art and Antiques at The Armory recently had its run at 643 Park Avenue. On Friday, author and interior aficionado Susanna Salk moderated a panel of design luminaries including Richard Mishaan, Milly de Cabrol, Philip Gorrivan on the topic of living with antiques. The conversation kicked off with what is antique and what is vintage. The eras of the 1940's- 1970's were considered modern, and anything over 100 years old, antique. The group encouraged sharing the "story" of pieces with a clients, since if you know the provenance and period, you build a connection, in addition to an appreciation for the craft. Never forget that quality will last.

The panel: Nicki Field from Sotheby's International Realty, Richard Mishaan, Jennifer Post who is designing a room at this year's Kips Bay Showhouse, Susanna Salk, Milly de Cabrol, Philip Gorrivan, and Nina Morton of NVM Interiors

All designers agreed you have to love what you buy, and advise your client's to do the same. Thanks to the Internet we have become more educated, developing an eye and particular tastes along the way. Client's understand the language better, and know their Murano glass from their Baccarat. They also noted to the antiques and mix needs to best reflect a person's lifestyle. How do you know a piece is right? As Richard Mishaan stated, " Furniture and antiques have an energy, you get a vibe." How true.

The group pondered questions ranging from getting antiques restored or not, to creating a mix of old and new pieces to provide a sense of history. When mixing periods and styles, the panelists all agreed, it is about the scale, line and proportions of the pieces you are combining. For it to all work together, the diversity in pieces must balance their placement in a room. If one is working with an inherited piece or collection they cannot part with, either make it the focal point or diminish its importance in placement.

So what is this group looking towards-- what style is inspiring them now?
Nina Morton is looking to 18th Century Furniture and Karl Springer pieces, Philip Gorrivan is moved by the soft - edged Art Deco pieces of Leleu and Belgian design and Richard Mishaan is focused on his new collection for Bolier and Company which debuts at upcoming High Point Market.

In case you missed the show, I picked out some special pieces to show you. Fine estate jewelry from Camilla Dietz Bergeron, botanical paintings from Dinan and Chighine, antique silver from London's N. and I. Frankin, period pieces from Yew Tree House Antiques, and mid-century modern selects from Mantiques Modern were just some of the special vendors there. Here are some standouts:

Photographer and global get about Miguel Flores Vianna introduced me to Douglas and Rebecca of London-based French Country Living UK Ltd. Their selection of period 18th and 19th Century Swedish, Italian and French pieces with original painted finishes are quite something.

The knockout: A French tree of life screen depicting Theseus and Ariadne circa 1750 in the most beautiful colors.

A zinc planter sits on a farm table with parchment covered antique books

For something from a more current century, this piece from Gary Rubenstein Antiques stole my heart. A Rare Multifaceted Mahogany Bar Cabinet attributed Ico Parisi from Italy made in the 1950's is one of three created. Bill Blass had one, why shouldn't you? His was sold along with his impeccably edited collection at Sotheby's. This one is still available...

Three hinged doors reveal space for glasses in a circular layout.

Il Segno del Tempo from Milan displayed utilitarian goods in the "rough luxe" vein. Functional and fantastic, the pieces are industrial and aged.

Scientific instruments sit amongst canes, miniatures, industrial light fixtures and globes.

Connecticut's Dawn Hill Antiques displayed Gustavian and Swedish painted pieces.

The cool calm of light woods and white finishes make Gustavian a very livable choice.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Check out today's Tastemaker Tagsale with goods from New York interior designer Phillip Gorrivan and Charles De Lisle. Ready, set, dash to your computer at 11am est to snap it up.

Some of the furniture and accessories you will have to choose from are:

Alhambra Embroidered Pillow of fabric from his Highland Court Collection

Photos courtesy of OKL
A pair of Klismos Chairs