What do you get when you are blessed with the incredible talent of Veranda Magazine, floral decor in honor of The New York Botanical Garden, a bevy of exclusive design houses and creative entrepreneurs at the top of their game?


The Star of the Party

Being a part of the Veranda New York Botanical Garden Orchid Dinner is always a thrill. It is an exciting opportunity to don my soirée hat and partner with genius design resources to produce a breathtaking tableau that you really won’t see anywhere else. I enjoy the opportunity to reach out to some of my favorite design heroes to help bring my vision to life. It’s an intriguing process – table design – oftentimes I will be inspired by a color way or the movement of a pattern on a cloth. In this case, I must firstly admit to an absolute obsession I have with Ralph Lauren Paint and the rich depth of their Reservoir Blue. I envisioned this paint hue perfectly complementing the gorgeous botanical Mottahedeh Sacred Bird & Butterfly Dessert plate in it’s persimmon hue. I began to build my design from there. Mottahedeh with it’s incredible selection of porcelain was such a wonderful partner, providing so many of the delicate touches that my design required.


Dinner is served! Mottahedeh Lace Service Plate and Merian Dinner Plate

Brunschwig & Fils a legend in the textile and design world, graciously came on board with one of their striking plays on an ikat, Samarkand for the essential overlay. I absolutely fell in love with the bold pattern and rich colors. I loved how it played off and complemented the other items I was putting together for my table. A note on pattern here: do not be afraid to juxtapose designs! It is one of my signatures and will work for you too! If you are unsure, send me a picture and I will advise.

The amazing artist Ginna Dunlap Emmet of GDE Calligraphy is to be praised for the gorgeous cards adorning the table. She was able to create this unique design inspired by the Koi fish adorning the Mottahedeh cachepot that housed the bounty of orchids I procured. She also made a divine coaster featuring the playful Koi as a gift for all of my guests.


You can see how the Ralph Lauren Paint in Reservoir Blue anchors the design without feeling heavy. I was beyond thrilled to find the cheerful monkey bookends at Mottahedeh. They brighten the table and add an unexpected element of whimsy. Quite a conversation starter! Don’t be afraid to dip into your shelves to find inspiration for your table.


Diptyque Candle in Verveine

Diptique graciously provided the scented table candles in one of my favorite scents: Verveine and the rich ruby pillar candles are courtesy of Creative Candles, a wonderful source for all of your candle needs. Candlelight is my favorite source for illumination in the most flattering of ways for most any evening occasion. You can never have too many if tastefully arranged.


Linens are the one item that is absolutely paramount to rendering a heartstopping visage for your guests. I am so grateful to SFERRA who graciously provided the navy linen foundational to my design.  Their Festival line comes in a vast array of bold hues. Woven in Europe and sewn with an elegant hand thread-drawn hemstitched hem they are unrivaled in the linen world. My go to for most any occasion. I was able to dream up a delightful combination using Brunschwig & Fils for the divine overlay and Samuel & Sons for the trim details.  Samuel & Sons is the crème de la crème when it comes to trim! (Did I really just say that?  It’s true!) Their incredibly successful family owned business is a testament to hard work and determination combining to produce the very finest passementerie available in the world. I combined two navy fringes for the base table skirt, Aquitaine Fine Bullion and Harbour Barrel Knot,  utilized a Greek Key on the border of the overlay and a bevy of fabulous Harbour Linen Key Tassels in complementary tones to adorn the classic ballroom chairs. Voilà!


Custom monogrammed linens are the perfect finishing touch – like putting a bow on your dining tableau. In this case the uber-talented (and very patient!) girls of Number Four Eleven in Savannah worked closely with me to ensure my vision was completed while offering their invaluable input. I love the modern feel of this design and how it pops on the navy SFERRA linen. Like putting lipstick on before you walk out the door. Perfection!

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It’s not all glamour all the time!

Necessity is the mother of invention and I am not afraid to get my feet wet in the name of design. This is the night before the dinner in the hotel getting my arrangements ready.


A designing girl isn’t afraid to climb up on a chair in her thigh high boots to get the perfect look! Putting the final touches on the table before I head up to my room to get in a bubble bath and soak for the big night. Whew!