NYBG 2017 Orchid Show

NYBG 2017 Orchid Show

This spring, the 2017 Orchid Show celebrates its 15th year at the New York Botanical Garden with a focus on the the culture, history and of course orchids of Thailand. This southeast Asian country is home to more than 1,200 orchid species, one of the largest and most diverse in the world.

With its warm and humid climate spanning many ecological zones, a wide variety of orchids have evolved to survive in each region, although most prolific in the cool mountain forests in the north.

The center dome of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory features the crowning element of the exhibition, a large arched Thai style pavilion covered with hundreds of cascading orchids, shown from front and back above.…

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The Orchid Show – Thailand

The Orchid Show – Thailand

I’ve just returned from a marvelous evening at the NYBG Orchid Show – Thailand. I’ll be back with more about the show and additional photos, but in the meantime, enjoy a peek at the lush and exotic splendor of this annual event.

photos by Stacey Bewkes for Quintessence

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DIFFA Dining by Design 2017

DIFFA Dining by Design 2017

On Monday evening Dining by Design 2017 marked the 20th anniversary of DIFFA‘s (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) landmark event, bringing together brands and designers to help raise awareness, support and funds for the fight against HIV/AIDS. It’s always inspiring to see the inventive installations created for this special evening. Ralph Lauren is one of this year’s sponsors who has supported Dining by Design almost from its inception in 1984, along with Crate and Barrel, Benjamin Moore, The New York Design Center and the Rockwell Group.

Inspired by their Spring 2017 Grand Plage collection, Ralph Lauren Home’s installation recalled the retro chic of classic French resorts.…

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The Stickwork of Patrick Dougherty

The Stickwork of Patrick Dougherty

Travel always yields delightful discoveries and my trip last week was no exception. An unseasonable cold spell in Virginia and North Carolina made our spring-like last day even more enjoyable. Inspired to take a brief walk after arriving early on the beautiful Duke University campus, I ambled across the bridge overlooking the South Lawn. There in the meadow of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, I was instantly mesmerized by a group of enormous structures, resembling a Stonehenge-like statement in woven twigs. I’m not sure how the amazing work of sculptor Patrick Dougherty had escaped me until then, but happily, a volunteer gardener who was weeding nearby enlightened me.…

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Thought for the Day

Thought for the Day

After a spring break week of college touring with my youngest (hence my absence here), I returned home, as we all do from travels near and far, with a somewhat refreshed and inspired eye (somewhat in that my daily sites were primarily academic institutions). In catching up here at home, I had many ideas that didn’t necessarily merit in-depth posts so I am thinking I may institute a short new weekly piece, Thought for the Day. This is not intended to be profound or radically thought provoking, rather merely a notion I feel captures the essence of something in the air.…

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Architectural Digest Gets a New Look

Architectural Digest Gets a New Look

It’s not often that I write about recently published magazines or share new stories (unless I am lucky enough to be offered a sneak peek), but the fresh new redesign of Architectural Digest appearing in the April issue is worthy to note.

The past several months have seen a fresh breeze sweep through the pages, with the introduction of stylish new fonts and airy layouts. But this month Architectural Digest takes on a new face with the  launch of AD as the official moniker.

 photo: Douglas Friedman

The cover, like many of the stories in this issue traditionally filled with designers’ own homes, is fresh and unapologetically idiosyncratic.…

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Signature Spaces by Paolo Moschino & Philip Vergeylen

Signature Spaces by Paolo Moschino & Philip Vergeylen

“Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.” Jean Cocteau’s perceptive aphorism opens Signature Spaces with a taste of what it is to come. Among the beautiful images of Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen‘s work and inspiration, the designers/authors have let the wit and wisdom of past luminaries shed light on their concepts, ideals and process of beauty, interiors and the well lived life.

The subtitle, “Well-Traveled Interiors” refers not only to their projects around the globe with a “United Nations” client list, but their international backgrounds (Paolo is Italian and Philip, Belgian), love of travel and how it all comes together in their varied and sophisticated spaces.…

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Sneak Peek – Soane Spring 2017 Launch

Sneak Peek – Soane Spring 2017 Launch

As we all avidly anticipate the arrival of spring, we can also look forward to the hatching of new collections. It’s always a good day when Soane writes with news and I have been eagerly waiting to share a sneak peek at their spring 2017 launch. What could say spring more than the wonderful garden vignette below featuring the romantic Seaweed Lace fabric now in the popular Azure colorway – it just might be cause for celebration!

Seen as wallpaper and on the charming Lily Armchair below, it’s a perfect pattern and colorway to remember as we start thinking about summer holidays.…

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The Circle Game

The Circle Game

I get email pitches for a wide variety of products, many of which have no relevance to subjects that I cover here. And normally this would have been one of them but as soon as I saw it, it was a deja vu moment back to childhood when I had a similar Sting Ray model on which I spent much of my time riding around our hilly neighborhood. The banana seat and high handlebars also allowed for all sorts of bike tricks (standing on the seat, riding backwards etc) that I experimented with on a football field track near our house (although my real expertise was tree climbing).…

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At Home with Susanna Salk and Sara Ruffin Costello

At Home with Susanna Salk and Sara Ruffin Costello

As the founding Creative Director of the original beloved Domino magazine, Sara Ruffin Costello proved she knew a thing or two about style. Since then her talents have been well served writing for everyone from T Magazine and the Wall Street Journal to Vogue and Architectural Digest, authoring design books, such as The Domino Book of Decorating and Jeffrey Bilhuber American Master, consulting, decorating and recently designing a capsule collection of dresses, jewelry and homewares. And since Sara’s and husband, photographer Paul Costello’s move to New Orleans with their three children, her efforts have notably included putting her signature eclectic touch on their historic family home. …

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