The New York Botanical Garden’s annual Orchid Dinner, February 24, 2014, at the Mandarin Oriental’s Grand Ballroom. Photograph: New York Social Diary
I was delighted to be among the 25 designers asked to create a table for The New York Botanical Garden’s annual Orchid Dinner, which took place on Monday, February 24, 2014 at the Mandarin Oriental’s Grand Ballroom. Sponsored by Veranda magazine, it serves as a fundraising prelude to the annual Orchid Show and is one of the season’s most glamorous events. As always, the room looked fantastic. This year’s theme was “Key West Contemporary,” and I enlisted the help of bunch of first-rate vendors to collaborate with Laura Bohn Design Associates in creating a table setting with a gorgeous orchid centerpiece that expressed the evening’s tropical spirit.
Laura Bohn Design Associates’ table at the Orchid Dinner
The talented Loni Ludlow conjured the centerpiece with blooms fresh from Chelsea’s 28th Street flower market. The vases and atmospheric hurricane candles came from Seasons: A Floral Design Studio. Duralee supplied the tropical print fabric for the table cloth, Kenny Flam of K. Flam Associates did the custom upholstery, and DENY Designs provided the colorful coasters.
Loni Ludlow and Laura Bohn in front of their table at the Orchid Dinner. Photograph: New York Social Diary
The 29th annual Interior Design Hall of Fame was held on December 4 at a black-tie event in the Waldorf Astoria hosted by the magazine’s editor in chief Cindy Allen and president Mark Strauss. This year’s inductees were Paul Masi and Harry Bates of Bates Masi + Architects, Collin Burry of Gensler, Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu of Neri&Hu, and Kenneth Wampler of The Alpha Workshops. Among the 1,300 guests were 16 former inductees, including Designers Collaborative members Bruce Bierman, Laura Bohn, and Scott Bromley, who gathered for a group photo.
Former inductees at the 2013 Interior Design Hall of Fame: 1. Kevin Walz. 2. Robert Kleinschmidt. 3. Juan Montoya. 4. Paul Siskin. 5. George Beylerian. 6. David Kleinberg. 7. Bruce Bierman. 8. Scott Bromley. 9. Arthur Gensler. 10. Laura Bohn. 11. Robert Siegel. 12. Lee Mindel. 13. David Rockwell. 14. Margo Grant Walsh. 15. Ronette King. 16. Ruth Lynford.
“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame and included among so many design industry icons I’ve always admired was a great honor,” says Bruce Bierman, who received the award in 2000. “It was even better than my bar mitzvah,” he jokes. “My husband, William Secord, said he’d take me to any restaurant I wanted for a celebration dinner. I said any restaurant would do, as long as it was in Paris. So the morning after the awards we flew there for a long weekend, including dinner.”
Laura Bohn and her partner Joseph Lembo were inducted in 1998–two years after they had disbanded their firm. “Everyone who had worked with us came,” Laura says. “It was thrilling and terrifying–my first time public speaking and I was nauseous for six months before. Joseph lost 25 pounds and hired a speech writer, but we didn’t use any of it. To be acknowledged by your peers is the greatest thing, and the event itself is so much fun–a party I never want to miss. All your friends are there, people you know and love are around, and it’s always great to see deserving people like Ken Wampler from the Alpha Workshops get honored.”
Scott Bromley was inducted in 1991. “It was the middle of the AIDS crisis,” he says. “At the end of my acceptance speech I thanked all the people who were there and then went on to thank those who could not be there (some of them previous Hall of Fame inductees) and started naming friends lost to AIDS. I continued as I left the stage and walked all the way back to where I was seated–still naming names. There was a standing ovation.”
Treatment Action Group, an invaluable AIDS research and policy think tank fighting for a vaccine and a cure for the disease, is holding its annual Research in Action Awards event in the early evening of Sunday, December 15. Honorees this year are Anderson Cooper, Olympia Dukakis, and Dr. Joseph Sonnabend. I’ll be there in full support of this important and inspiring organization and I hope you’ll consider attending too. For full details, click here.