Last week, while in New York, I stopped by Dining by Design, a benefit and auction organized by DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids) that runs concurrently with the Architectural Digest Home and Design Show every year.  The tables, sponsored by leaders in the world of  design, were conceived by designers to reflect the personality of the company they represented as a way to not only stand up for the fight against AIDS, but also to raise money and make a difference in the lives for those living with AIDS and HIV.  As always, the DIFFA Dining By Design spaces were stunning – some with colorful and elaborate settings and others more pared down to better represent the minimal aesthetic of the sponsor companies.

Below, a handful of my favorites:

DIFFA Dining By Design Tables

Stacy Garcia- DIFFA Dining By Design 2015

Designer Stacy Garcia‘s table for DIFFA Dining By Design 2015 was a combination of theatrical lighting, tonal color, shapes, and pattern that together celebrated her Paper Muse Collection for York Wallcoverings. Layers of wallpaper were cut, sculpted into floral shapes,  and brought to life.

Arteriors- DIFFA Dining By Design 2015

I was pleasantly surprised to see that two items I included in my Fall 2014 Style Report for High Point Market from Arteriors was included in their design for DIFFA’s Dining By Design. The Arteriors space was an ode to the Brutalist movement, a design style that flourished in the 1950s and is currently experiencing a resurgence.  The Brutalist aesthetic is identified by an unfinished and rough texture coupled with abstract organic shapes displayed in repeat.

Anthropologie, under the direction of interior designer Alexis Givens, created a moonlit feast under tree foliage constructed of reclaimed wood and water bottles.   True to the Anthropologie aesthetic, whimsical and vintage inspired dinnerware with a mix of color and pattern were used and displayed in a rustic yet playful setting.

Echo‘s design was a showcase of their Heirloom India collection of fabric and wallpaper.   With every possible 2D and 3D surface covered in print, it was a space where one could easily become “lost in print”.

Roche Bobois‘ space, designed by Stephan Burks, transports us to a far away, tropical place with a make shift dining space with generous proportions, complete with sand and an ocean sunset to help unwind and relax.

Artist Hunt Slonem‘s design for Kravet featured fabric and wallpaper from Slonem’s recently unveiled collection for Lee Jofa for Groundworks.  The space, consisting of two dining tables separated by a common wall not surprisingly featured lots of bunnies.

New York Design Center‘s space, designed by Marks & Frantz, relives the glamour of old Hollywood both onstage and backstage.  In the front of the space and concealed from the diners’ view is the unadorned backstage area and dressing room.  The dining area takes center stage, complete with a filled house of spectators viewing the “stage” from the concert hall.

Moen‘s dining space, designed by Evette Rios, cleverly used faucets and fittings from Moen’s Arris Collection to make a statement. Overhead shower heads illuminated the space with an intoxicating blue light, which acted as pendants, and PVC pipe sections of different sizes were joined together to form the walls that defined the outer boundaries of the space.

Ralph Lauren Home‘s  space for Dining By Design was a departure from last year’s formal space with a grand crystal chandelier dripping with cherry blossom branches.  This year the design team opted to go in the opposite direction and went with an informal space set up in a “working paint studio” that highlighted the Ralph Lauren collection of paint.

Sunbrella‘s Dransfield & Ross designed space was an explosion of vibrant color and texture.  Multicolor shag backed chairs, shimmering paillettes, multi-colored glassware, and eye stopping chandeliers were paired with mirrors on either end of the room to further extend the party of festive color.

Michael C. Fina‘s space, designed Antonio Buzzetta, was a space filled with contemporary opulence. The ongoing theme in the space was optical illusion and the designer used gold faceted walls and optical motif printed wood floor tiles from Mirth Studio to convey that message.

Architectural Digest incorporated classic delft blue and white in a variety of patterns and styles.  A vibrant red floral arrangement along with cobalt blue glassware along with the large pendant light hanging from above brought the eye to the center of the table with a bursting splash of color and form.

Hermès used their gold and jewel toned, ikat patterned dinnerware as a starting point for their table design.  A gold Trojan-like horse placed prominently in the center rear of the space pulled together the colors on the table, and vases filled to the brim with pink hydrangeas completed the look. The aubergine colored table cloth served as the perfect base to highlight the color and pattern on each piece of dinnerware.

Dramatic blue-hued lighting combined with textured foliage and Spanish moss hanging from above and a Greek bust gave Robert Passal Interior & Architectural Design‘s space for The New York Times the feeling of being seated at a bacchanal feast.  The table scape, complete with an exotic array of fruit including cherimoya, dragon fruit, and mango spilled over from the center of the table and were placed among decorative shells, flowers, and a pair of exaggerated animal feet candlesticks.

Last but certainly not least, is the space designed by Corey Damen Jenkins, a person who I absolutely adore, for Beacon Hill.  This year alone, I have had the pleasure of bumping elbows with Corey in LA, High Point, Las Vegas, and this past week in New York when I stopped by his space at DIFFA Dining By Design. Not only is Corey insanely talented, but he’s also the sweetest guy and gives the biggest hugs in town.

Corey’s design, inspired by the color and organic beauty of Rio de Janeiro,  featured beautifully textured fabrics from Beacon Hill as a base upon which he added on layers upon layers to create a vibrant landscape that reflected the sophisticated yet bohemian personality of Rio’s design scene. The table was covered in colors of gold, peacock blue, and shades of green loosely woven in a chevron pattern, and the chairs were an embroidered gold with metallic highlights in a firecracker motif.  To add interest to the space, two teal jacquard chairs were placed on either side of the table.  Handprinted de Gournay wallpaper panels in an opulent metallic silver background with extended branches were placed within the wood paneled rails and stiles, which were painted a vibrant kelly green. The branches seen on the walls also made an appearance were also seen wrapped around the pair of towering gold table lamps from Global Views.

That’s it for today.  There were many more tables to seen at DIFFA’s Dining By Design, along with coverage from the Architectural Digest Home Design Show and I will be sure to post them all once I return home from my trip to the East Coast, so stay tuned!

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