April 2011

After the red-carpet runway-like entrance of all the celebrities, socialites, and royal family where I got to do my own Joan Rivers commentary within the confines of my own home, the royal wedding became a bit banal to tell you the truth.  Yes it was exciting to see Kate walk out of her Rolls Royce and finally see her Grace Kelly copycat wedding dress.  But like I posted in my last blog entry, even that was a bit anti-climatic.  She’s a pretty girl.  She could have worn a Glad garbage bag and still have found a way to look beautiful.

The event planner in me wasn’t impressed with Westminster Abbey’s decor.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the majestic cathedral, its architecture and dramatic mile-long aisle.  Those elements are what drew me to my own wedding ceremony venue in NYC.  But it seemed that Kate and William’s wedding planning had more to do with the precision military timing of their orchestration and the security measures behind the event than the decor.  For the best parts of it for me were the before and afters.  The processional, guest and wedding party entrances and then the grand carriage exit.

Plain trees down the aisle with greenery up front?  Really?  That’s it?  That’s what an unlimited budget buys you?  I would have thought there would have been more thought to the lighting design.  More drama at the entrance.  A custom carpet with the royal crest.  Scroll-like programs etched in gold foil.  Nothing?  really?

And the ceremony was so long and drawn out that I couldn’t help but wonder how many Americans had fallen asleep with their TVs on in the wee hours of the morning.  Even Prince William seemed to be getting tired of it at one point.  And did anyone else see that sleeping nun in the background?  hilarious.

Even more hilarious is what was caught on camera after the wedding party left.  Check out this verger.

How I would love if my wedding guests and officiant also did cartwheels down my wedding aisle! lol

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Once upon a time, in a land far far away was a beautiful princess-to-be with a fairly boring but passable fashion sense.  And during the 5month engagement the world was abuzz with predictions, speculations and designer drawings of what the princess bride would wear.  My personal prediction was that she would play it safe with something traditional and classic.  And knowing the grand cathedral that she was to be wed in, I envisioned her in something grand, something with covered shoulders, something with a little lace and definitely something with a long train.  I just prayed it wouldn’t be as ridiculously long as Princess Diana’s train.

So when I got to work this morning, the first thing I did was to anxiously play the video of Kate Middleton taking that famous ride towards Westminster Abbey.  No I wasn’t one of the millions of Americans who set their alarms at 5am or stayed up all night partying at a viewing event.  A girl has got to work!  Excitedly though, I was happy to have been right about the wedding dress predictions and stunned to see the similarities between Kate Middleton’s dress and Grace Kelly.  It immediately brought me back to the day my best friend emailed me that same Grace Kelly photo that has been floating around the web .  She actually suggested to me that I wear something similar to Grace Kelly’s dress for my very own wedding!  What timing!  For it seems Kate already stole the idea with the help of Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen.

For a full slideshow of Kate’s dress click here

Did anyone else find the dress a bit anti-climatic?

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The Architectural Digest Home Design show in NYC this year was connected to Diffa, a tabletop decor design show that I blogged about in 3 of my prior entries.  Yes, I said 3 of my prior blog entries because there simply was so much inspiration that I had to break up the multitude of pictures into more than one entry.   I attended both with my savvy fiancee who found us a great groupon deal.  And now you can see what we saw!

Check out all my favorite seating options.

How cool would this be at your dream poolside patio?

And isn’t this Camelia-printed chair so elegant and so Chanel?

Totally inspired, I couldn’t help but dreaming of my next home makeover.  It seems I’m constantly in makeover mode. And this chandelier totally caught my eye.  What a modern take!  You know I love chandeliers!

Here are few more of my favorite things.

I’m loving this brand Boca Do Lobo.  They have the most interesting mix of modern whimsical.

Below is a shot of my favorite kitchen.  I see my dream kitchen looking similar (without the yellow).

Every kitchen should have a nook this fabulous!

This kitchen picture came straight out of a catalog.  I love the chandeliers in the kitchen.  That is a must.  And you can’t see it well here but it featured a beautiful grey/white damask backsplash.  LOVE!

As you can see, the Show covered everything including home furnishings, accessories, art & antiques, kitchen and bath products, flooring, fabric, lighting, outdoor products and more.  Did anything interest you?

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Diane, Von Furstenberg, famous for her printed wrap dresses has finally made her first foray into the home and linens category.  Joining the likes of Calvin Klein, Donna Karen and Vera Wang, she exhibits the transition from fashion to furnishings.  Here you see some of her prints on dishes, lamps, and carpet all from the Diffa 2011 NYC show.

Are any of you readers DVF fans?  Does this new line excite you?  What do you think?

Designer, Tracy Reese also got involved with Diffa 2011.  See the 10’x10′ space she helped design for Effen Vodka’s sponsored area.

You’ll see that the walls came straight off Tracy’s last runway.

Which reminds me, I never posted my picture with Tracy from New York Fashion Week.  This is us right after her fashion show.  Love her!Here’s an architectural take on dining by design.

And here are a few more of my photos from Diffa 2011.

Pastel perfection.

For more on my Diffa coverage, see my previous posts!

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In my last Diffa post, I showed you how different designers created mealtime masterpieces out of the same 10’x10′ space.  I had so many photos that I had to split up the upload into 3 entries.  Here is part 2!

Everyone has seen tree centerpieces but what about an acid green one?  I loved the customized polka-dot rug.

When I stopped by this booth, I was so busy looking at the tulip centerpiece sitting on top of a rose platform and noticing how the cool blue in the plates was echoed above that I didn’t notice the faux cityscape painted faintly onto the sheet backdrop.  Here’s a close-up of the centerpiece.

I found it peculiar how they deliberately untucked the spoon at each place setting.  From here on out, I made it a point to check out the variety in napkin folding and tableware placement and found that just focusing on this one detail could result in a multitude of inspirations and ideas.

The next patterned dining area by Echo knotted their scarf – like napkins, fitting for this company.

Here is the fuller view.  What do you think?

And for a royal wedding viewing party, here is the perfect dining table.  Check out the dinner plates!

This next sunny table design featured asymmetrical linens with tableware laid across the plate.

I loved the scalloped chargers and furry seat cushions.

The video better allows you to appreciate the changing background.

This  next pure white design reminded me of something you might find in a loungey Miami restaurant.  My favorite feature was the upside down tree branch centerpiece with white flowers.  I’ve seen attached flowers to branches but never feathers.  Unique!

Did you notice the cotton-filled clear canister centerpieces?

The Coke sponsored table of course featured red Coke bottles and one red chair amongst the white chairs.  It also echoed the red/white theme with red tipped napkins and bottle-like textured plates and overhead lights.  Centerpieces were clear glass Coke bottles.  Smart!

For more on the Coke concept and details from the design group, check out this video.

Which one was your favorite?

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I always try to make a point of checking out the Design Industry Foundation Fighting Aids tabletop “Dining By Design” showcase.  It’s one of my favorite work-related events to attend.  Basically, you walk into a giant NYC Pier which is taken over by all the most fabulous florists and event planners who have oftentimes partnered with corporate sponsors and/or linen vendors to create the most magnificent tabletop displays.  Think centerpieces.  Think grand floral presentations.  And get ready to be wowed.  Here are some of my much overdue pics from my recent March visit.

I’ll start with one of my favorite displays.  It was a setup sponsored by Benjamin Moore Paint.  David Stark, the event planner credited for this masterpiece, took the challenge of creatively displaying paint colors to a whole new level when he concentrated on a simple, repeated motif..an egg..  an ode to the upcoming Easter holiday perhaps?  Not sure but this lovely little room made me smile as I peeked through the windows and curtains.

I’m a huge fan of repeated, ornate frames on walls as decor as evidenced from my previous blog posts.  So I couldn’t get enough of the fun, faux frame walls.  If you look closer, you’ll see that each egg represents a new Benjamin Moore color, sometimes repeated through the placecards and egg holders at each place setting.

Does anyone else love the trompe d’oeil chandelier, frames, birds and window?   It looks like David had a lot of fun designing this room.   This room is simply EGGcellent!

This next display looked like a cozy, fashionable restaurant booth – one that I wouldn’t mind dining at. This is by Kravet Inc.

They say that purple and yellow are complimentary colors because they are opposite each other on the color wheel…er that is what I learned in my high school art class at least.  I guess this picture sort of proves it.   Don’t the custom linens look rich?

Notice the table has holes… not the most practical table but it makes for a great conversation starter I guess.

And here’s the perfect table for your next romantic Valentine’s date.

I’ve heard of a bed of roses but a table?

I once rented a water wall similar to the one shown at this next dining table.  It was back in the day when I worked with David Tutera and was playing around with enormous event budgets.  $15,000 for a water wall?  Yea sure, why not?  Ahhh those were the days…

This dining area had a similar streaming effect but with ribbons – a far less expensive decor option 🙂Celebrity event planner, Preston Bailey actually mentored a group from the Fashion Institute of Technology to help create this mushroom themed table.I didn’t get a close-up of the mushroom and ribbon exterior but found one on another blogger’s site.  Thanks Heather Clawson from Habitually Chic

The rest of the photos are mine shot with my Canon s90 a slr -35mm hybrid that I just love.

I guess everyone is eating mushrooms (and grass) for dinner.  Hmmm think I’ll dine somewhere else.

Fresh and fruity is how I’d describe this next set by Todd Moore.

Notice the little umbrellas on each plate mimicing the umbrella centerpiece?

Modern environmentalists will love this next one.  How about re-using cardboard as decor?

The simple color palette allows for texture to really be the star here.  Let’s hope that all this cardboard goes to the recycle bin once the traveling exhibit finishes.

In contrast to this subdued creamy palette, this next room popped with shades of pink offering a mod/modern almost game or music video like scene.  I just wished the event planner had chosen pure white ottomon cube covers rather than using those off-white canvas slipcovers. Do you agree?

The Terra Morehouse for Velvet Antler design is another of my favorites but I’m afraid the pictures just don’t do it enough justice.  I found it to be quirky, calm and modern all at once.  And I’m in love with the furry pillows.  Plus if I had to vote on the most unique centerpiece this one would win!

Speaking of new and interesting centerpieces, check out this table with the frame cluster!

Can you see how the silverware and butterflies both look like they were dipped in yellow paint?  What about the glasses stacked on top of each other?  Quirky details like this throughout the day amde the close-up all that much more rewarding!

I’ll continue the pictures and post another time.  For now,if you like what you saw here, check out the listed cities for this is a traveling showcase.  It may be coming to a city near you!

Kansas City April 30-May 1, 2010
Detroit August 12-14, 2010
Chicago November 4-6, 2010
San Francisco November 17-18, 2010
New York March 17-21, 2011

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If you want your clothes to work overtime, you’ve got to figure out ways to wear it now and wear it later.  It’s all about styling for various weather conditions and styling for different occasions.  Once you get the hang of it, you can get the most out of your wardrobe.

I bought this satin blue dress while on a trip to Shanghai.  I fell in love with the pockets and easy style.  The material makes it seem fancy but the style is quite casual and you know I loved the mix in contradictions.

In the summer, I wore it with bright pops of color that first started with this funky sequin clutch and ended with an equally rainbow-like chunky necklace.  The pink scarf was a freebie from fashion week and the shoes were jewel-encrusted Ann Taylor shoes I bought on sale.  The entire outfit was only around $200.

This winter, I wore the same dress with wooly color-speckled tights, suede fringe ankle boots and a fur cropped jacket.   I also had on a fitted black cardigan which is not pictured here.  See, blue and black CAN go together!

I’ve been so caught up with work and wedding planning that I’ve sort of been ignoring this blog!  So much so that I hadn’t even had time to promote my last goody bag giveaway.  Because only 1 person entered, I’m extending the deadline to April 14, 2011.  Click here to enter to win a NYC goody bag from fashion week!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already!


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