I was delighted to be invited to design a tablescape for the Hope Lodge Birthday Bash. Hope Lodge is a wonderful organization that provides housing for cancer patients receiving treatment in New York. Celebrating its 10th year, Hope Lodge has accommodated more than 17,000 patients and caregivers from around the world. I was honored to be included in the group of designers selected for this year's event, and more than happy to lend my time to such a worthwhile cause. I lost my dear childhood friend, Kathy Ann, to breast cancer, and I dedicated my table to her.
In scheming my design, my first order of business was to identify some vendor partners willing and able to donate or loan their products or creative talent. I love Manuel Canovas and the saturated color ways of their fabrics, so my first stop was the Cowtan & Tout showroom in New York's D&D Building. It didn't take me long to identify a fabulous fabric, Alegranza. It is colorful, happy and hopeful. Although cancer patients and their families are often on a painful, difficult journey, I wanted my table to be cheerful and full of hope.
To finish off the round tablecloth, I used a grosgrain trim as well as a fringe from Samuel & Sons. I turned to Sidotti Decor to create the tablecloth and add the trim. Sidotti is a pleasure to work with and skillfully handles all of the upholstery for my shops and decorating projects.
With the tablecloth designed, I then needed to focus on the items to be placed on the table! I spotted some stunning bone china chargers in the showroom of William Yeoward that complemented beautifully the floral tablecloth. William Yeoward generously offered to loan the chargers (Avignon Charger in Apple Green) as well as his exquisite Athena crystal wine and water goblets.
For table linens, we turned to Leontine Linens. The white linen hemstitch square napkins with the metallic gold monogram was the perfect finishing touch!
Next up--Flowers! I turned to the talented Anthony Ortiz who generously donated his services to my effort. Anthony found these dazzling vases, and together, we designed our centerpiece. My vision was to do a monochromatic mix of flowers at varying heights in the tall vases, surrounded by several small vases at the base of the tall vases. We chose a combination of hydrangeas, orchids, calla lilies and tulips, all in bright pinks and purples, to pick up the pinks in the tablecloth.
To add a bit of ambience to our table, I used these striking glass hurricanes with gold design at the base. What dinner table is complete without candlelight?
And for a little party favor, we added some of our signature candles. For this event, instead of our standard navy ribbons, and in a nod to breast cancer, we opted for pink.
Two months prior to the event, all the participating designers met at the venue, Gustavino's in New York City, to present our design concepts. What a fabulous, talented group! Guillaume Gentet and David Carpenter led this effort and they welcomed the group. It was great to see how different every designer's vision is.
I am so grateful for the help of the super talented artist Jane Gianarelli. Jane interpreted my vision so beautifully in this rendering of my table.
The Kick Off Party for the event was held at Hope Lodge. It was a great opportunity to meet others involved in this worthy event and to tour Hope Lodge. We were treated with delicious hors d'oeuvres prepared by the chef David Burke, as well as a demonstration by David in the kitchen. What a thrill to see a master at work!
This special place provides such comfort to patients and caregivers by letting them know that they are not alone, and that they will have support every step of the way. Below is an example of the accommodations provided at Hope Lodge.
The invitations went out and the big day finally arrived. We headed to Gustavino's for the set up. With 30 designers arriving at around the same time, it was a bit of a chaotic scene.
Somehow, everyone completed their tasks and the space was transformed.
I was thrilled to be there with my friend Toni Maurizi, the sister of my childhood friend Kathy Ann. We raised a glass to Kathy Ann and know she would have been happy that we were together.
I was honored to be one of the designers chosen for this special event. I could never have accomplished it without the help of Sidotti Decor, Design by Anthony, Cowtan & Tout, Samuel & Sons, William Yeoward Crystal, Thibaut, Leontine Linens and The Workroom.
In attendance at the gala were many former patients and caregivers who benefitted from Hope Lodge. Hearing their stories gave special meaning to the evening. By all accounts, the event was a big success and raised more than $500,000 in support of Hope Lodge, and I was happy to play a small part in this success.