Picnic By Design | August 21, 2013 | NYC

One of the summer’s hottest events, DIFFA‘s (Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS) Picnic by Design will be held tomorrow August 21, 2013 at the Scholastic Rooftop Atrium.


This exclusive event invites prominent designers to create an urban picnic setting, with each designer’s custom made picnic basket available for sale to support the charity. As a party stylist, I love going to DIFFA’s Dining by Design series, and have been wanting to attend Picnic by Design, now in its second year. Another reason I miss living in NYC. Le sigh!



This year Robert Allen will be a key participant, joining as a corporate sponsor of Picnic by Design. In addition to their sponsorship of the event, Robert Allen’s textiles will be featured in many of this year’s picnic settings and baskets. Robert Allen will be featured in five designers’ picnic settings, and TWO of them are #blogger19 alumni ( waving hi Michelle and Tyler, congrats you two)

Tyler Wisler, of Tyler Wisler Home, utilizes Robert Allen and Robert Allen Contract fabric in his Native American-themed picnic box, including rich blues, such as Hoara in Night Sky and Until Dawn in Deep Sea Dive, as well as sleek black and whites, like Gosport inIvory and Alchemy Plume trim in Onyx.
Michelle Alfano, MoD Design Guru, creates her basket utilizing the darker shades of two DwellStudio and Robert Allen fabrics,Palmwood in Jet and Mod Reeves in Steel from their new collection, Modern Bungalow.
Clark Gaynor Interiors includes Glimmer Sequin in ChartreuseMalakos in Malachite, and Landsmeer in Ultramarine to add pops of color to their western picnic barrel, complete with blankets made of burlap and cowhide.
Cheryl Umbles, of 
Cheryl Umbles Interior Design, uses Robert Allen Latticesape in Onyx as a blanket to evoke a chic, timelessdesign.
Dee KemperDomoore Designs, will be using Robert Allen’s Alchemy Linen in Copper and Metallic Gems in Brass to set the stage for her jazz themed picnic setting, complete with a rhinestone-encrusted piano.

To check out all the baskets or for more info on the event, visit www.picnicbydesign.org.

Dining by Design Installations and Cocktail party

Those of you who know me know that an event featuring a large number of tabletop installations is literally like my disneyland. Its where I could spend days admiring every little design detail in each installation. So it should come as no surprise that I took 1000s, yes, thousands of pictures, including many video clips, of these absolutely stunning and dramatic designer tablescapes at DIFFA‘s dining by design event at the ADSHOW in NYC.

While I did my best to capture as many looks and details no picture can replace actually being there and seeing the installations (and cocktail party) in person. Well at least not to someone as crazy about event design as me.  Here is the first lot. Lets take a seat shall we?






Architectural Digest


I took most of these pictures during the day and returned later for the “cocktails by design” party. My artist friend Caroline and I had such good fun! We even bumped into Jennifer Powell (Kravet) and Michelle Adams EIC Lonny Mag.

More to come.

images: Manvi Drona-Hidalgo. If you wish to use any of these pictures, kindly send me a note to request permission. thank you.


dining by design -nyc

Some of you know how much I look forward to the spectacular dining installations showcased at DIFFA‘s Dining By Design tour each year. And I know how much you loved seeing these last year.

DIFFA, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, launched the 2009 DINING BY DESIGN tour in New York City, March 26-30, 2009. Dining by Design (DBD) brings together some of the most talented and celebrated individuals in the worlds of fashion, interior design, art, and architecture to create spectacular, over-the-top dining environments. Michael C. Fina outfitted five tables for DBD with exclusive merchandise from their 5th Avenue store.

True, some of the dining installations are a bit much, but I enjoy looking at the details in each of them. Some are not only very inspiring but a good source for party decor ideas. I should create a separate section on Mochatini for those ideas that we can extrapolate from.



Tracy Stern for SOLENTEA hosted by GOURMET




Tracy Reese


Supima & Shop for New York Times



Ralph Lauren Home







Michael Tavano for NYDC



Marc Blackwell for Castello di Gabbiano


Jason Wu for Stolichnaya






Domus Design Collection for New York Times



David Stark for Benjamin Moore



David Beahm for Continental Airlines

DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS is one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the United States. Since being founded in 1984, DIFFA has mobilized the immense resources of the design communities to provide over $38 million to hundreds of AIDS service organizations nationwide.  For more than 23 years, DIFFA has been one of the country’s largest supporters of both direct care for people living with AIDS and preventative education for those at risk.

Stay tuned for DIFFA’s full 2009 DINING BY DESIGN tour.

images Marion Curtis from Starpix