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24 hours of design in New York; a grand party and DIFFA's Dining by Design

Last week, on a beautiful sunny, but oh so chilly afternoon I headed into the city to celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of Modenus, to see many of my design friends and to attend press day at The Architectural Digest Home Design Show. 

The first event I attended was the Anniversary Celebration for Modenus which was held at the Press Lounge, described by The Gothamist as "Heaven in Hell's Kitchen," overlooking the magnificent Hudson River. (If you remember I went to London in September of 2013 as a member of BlogTour which was sponsored by Modenus and numerous other companies.) Modenus is a fascinating yet simple notion like no other. It serves as a one-stop shop for all things related to design. It serves to connect clients and designers, manufacturers with consumers, and even bloggers with bloggers. The Modenus website offers a beautifully curated collection of products and brands from around the world, and shares anything that strikes their fancy with the hopes that it will also strike yours.  For more visit them here.

And so, on a cold but spectacular crystal clear evening we set out to celebrate and congratulate Veronika Miller, founder of Modenus, as we sipped prosecco and nibbled on bread and cheeses and charcuterie on and caught up with old friends that we don't get to see nearly often enough. 

The Press Lounge sits atop the 148ink hotel and offers the most spectacular sweeping views of Manhattan. Image property of The Entertaining House.

The Press Lounge sits atop the 148ink hotel and offers the most spectacular sweeping views of Manhattan. Image property of The Entertaining House.

The Press Lounge bar was the perfect setting for a party that celebrates design and designers.  Image property of The Entertaining House.

The Press Lounge bar was the perfect setting for a party that celebrates design and designers.  Image property of The Entertaining House.

The wine and prosecco flowed into glasses and flutes as we celebrated late into the night at the Press Lounge. Image property of The Entertaining House.

The wine and prosecco flowed into glasses and flutes as we celebrated late into the night at the Press Lounge. Image property of The Entertaining House.

Despite the cold and windy temperatures outside, the rooftop bar was warm and inviting as the sun started to set over the Hudson River. Image property of The Entertaining House.

Despite the cold and windy temperatures outside, the rooftop bar was warm and inviting as the sun started to set over the Hudson River. Image property of The Entertaining House.

View from the top of the Press Lounge. Image property of The Entertaining House.

View from the top of the Press Lounge. Image property of The Entertaining House.

"Prosecco and the City" - Atop the ink48 Hotel in the Press Lounge. Image property of The Entertaining House.

"Prosecco and the City" - Atop the ink48 Hotel in the Press Lounge. Image property of The Entertaining House.

Some of the guests admiring the scenic views from The Press Lounge. Image property of The Entertaining House.

Some of the guests admiring the scenic views from The Press Lounge. Image property of The Entertaining House.

Modenus Founder Veronika Miller and Leanne Wood Newman of Flying Camel Advertising, Design & PR.  Image property of The Entertaining House.

Modenus Founder Veronika Miller and Leanne Wood Newman of Flying Camel Advertising, Design & PR.  Image property of The Entertaining House.

Everything about New York, including the Press Lounge, is more magical after dark. Image property of The Entertaining House.

Everything about New York, including the Press Lounge, is more magical after dark. Image property of The Entertaining House.

The following morning Modenus hosted Marys & Mimosas for members of the press and trade to kick off the events at The Architectural Digest Home Show. (Which I shared in Kind Finds from The Architectural Digest Home Show.)  

As much as I look forward to the Architectural Digest show each year,  DIFFA's Dining by Design is my sweet spot. (DIFFA stands for design industry foundation fighting Aids.) Here tables table are created by various top designers and vary from simple and minimalistic to lavish and opulent, outrageous and whimsical - a theatrical backdrop created on a dining room  table. 

This year DIFFA moved out of it's old home in Pier 94 and into its new one right next door at Pier 92. I loved the new location. It was bright and spacial. The tables, for the most-part, didn't wow me this year quite as they had in the past. Although I and many of my peers found it to be a little lackluster, there were a handful of absolutely incredible tables that stood out for their creativity, beauty and presence. Some of my favorites are below. 

Despite the big white flakes that fell all around the harbor, Stacy Garcia's table showed the hope and promise that Spring was just around the corner. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.

Despite the big white flakes that fell all around the harbor, Stacy Garcia's table showed the hope and promise that Spring was just around the corner. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.

Stacy Garcias' whimsical ode to spring is like an invitation to her garden table. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Stacy Garcias' whimsical ode to spring is like an invitation to her garden table. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Whimsical garden creatures artfully set the stage in Stacy Garcia's ode to spring.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Whimsical garden creatures artfully set the stage in Stacy Garcia's ode to spring.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

The new York Design Center's Marks & Frantz pay a tribute to old Hollywood with a touch of drama and glamour. Here we feel as though we've been given a sneak peak behind the curtain. The setting was opulent and magical. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.

The new York Design Center's Marks & Frantz pay a tribute to old Hollywood with a touch of drama and glamour. Here we feel as though we've been given a sneak peak behind the curtain. The setting was opulent and magical. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.

I loved this festive table by Hunt Slonem for Kravet. Slonem is known for Neo-expressionist paintings of exotic animals and tropical plant life. Here art is beautifully translated into into a collection of fun and whimsical fabrics, papers and carpets.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

I loved this festive table by Hunt Slonem for Kravet. Slonem is known for Neo-expressionist paintings of exotic animals and tropical plant life. Here art is beautifully translated into into a collection of fun and whimsical fabrics, papers and carpets.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

These wonderful plates by Slonem for Kravet would look lovely on my Easter table!  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

These wonderful plates by Slonem for Kravet would look lovely on my Easter table!  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Slonem for Kravet. Plate detail.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Slonem for Kravet. Plate detail.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Kravet had two tables this year. This one, bright and happy, brings us from the soft, cool springtime colors to the warmer, bolder colors of the tropics and nature in full bloom in this inviting table setting.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Kravet had two tables this year. This one, bright and happy, brings us from the soft, cool springtime colors to the warmer, bolder colors of the tropics and nature in full bloom in this inviting table setting.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Detail of the Kravet table.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Detail of the Kravet table.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Corey Damen Jenkins "Branches Out" with Beacon Hill Designs. Inspired by the organic beauty of Rio de Janeiro this table's careful and intricate setting plays homage to the city's sophisticated and edgy design combined with that of the bohemian.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Corey Damen Jenkins "Branches Out" with Beacon Hill Designs. Inspired by the organic beauty of Rio de Janeiro this table's careful and intricate setting plays homage to the city's sophisticated and edgy design combined with that of the bohemian.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Intricate texture and color create a sophisticated and elaborate setting in Jenkins's design for Beacon Hill.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Intricate texture and color create a sophisticated and elaborate setting in Jenkins's design for Beacon Hill.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Detail of a lamp used in "Branching Out" by Jenkins that celebrates the natural influences inspired by Rio de Janeiro.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Detail of a lamp used in "Branching Out" by Jenkins that celebrates the natural influences inspired by Rio de Janeiro.  Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Always sublime, always elegant, the Hermès’s table, under an ornate equine decoration, featured the brand’s new tableware line, Voyage en Ikat. Image via Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Always sublime, always elegant, the Hermès’s table, under an ornate equine decoration, featured the brand’s new tableware line, Voyage en Ikat. Image via Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Hermes DIFFA table Detail. Image via Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Hermes DIFFA table Detail. Image via Jessica Gordon Ryan.

The folks at Ralph Lauren never disappoint. This year the brand celebrates its new line of paints in with bright, cheery and colorful florals. Image via Architectural Digest.

The folks at Ralph Lauren never disappoint. This year the brand celebrates its new line of paints in with bright, cheery and colorful florals. Image via Architectural Digest.

Details of the Ralph Lauren table. Photo credit Linda Holt, Linda Holt Interiors.

Details of the Ralph Lauren table. Photo credit Linda Holt, Linda Holt Interiors.

Detail of the Ralph Lauren DIFFA table. Photo credit Linda Holt. Linda Holt Interiors.

Detail of the Ralph Lauren DIFFA table. Photo credit Linda Holt. Linda Holt Interiors.

This spectacular table created by the folks at Architectural Digest takes homage to the  Château de Groussay which was built in 1815 but underwent an expansion in 1952 that included the addition of several follies on the grounds. The Tartar Tent, constructed in 1960 resembles a 1781 structure at Drottningholm Palace in Sweden. Image via Architectural Digest. 

This spectacular table created by the folks at Architectural Digest takes homage to the  Château de Groussay which was built in 1815 but underwent an expansion in 1952 that included the addition of several follies on the grounds. The Tartar Tent, constructed in 1960 resembles a 1781 structure at Drottningholm Palace in Sweden. Image via Architectural Digest. 

Detail of The Architectural Digest table for DIFFA's Dining by Design. Image via Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Detail of The Architectural Digest table for DIFFA's Dining by Design. Image via Jessica Gordon Ryan.

I hope you enjoyed this brief sneak peak into the wonderful world of DIFFA's Dining by Design. I hope you will consider attending next year. The event's dates will be March 17-20, 2016.

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