Part One: The Presentors           

 “Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.” Danny Kaye

….last weekend in NYC, as part of the WITHIT (Women in the Home Furnishings Industry Today) group, of which I’m a member, I was priviledged to be up close and personal with more than a handful of people that do just that…throw “paint” on their life canvas.

The kick off for the weekend was a Salon Performance/Cocktail party/Cooking Demonstration by Hollywood Music Awards Best New Country Artist Cooper Boone.  Cooper espouses that he has two

Nothing like having a private concert in Cooper's Kitchen.

passions; music and food, which he merged together seamlessly….preparing in front of us, a couple of his favorite party fares and offering a selection of songs as dessert. Before each song we were given the story behind the song (all of which he wrote) which simply added more depth to the already enthralling evening. His personablness, energy and passion simply set the stage for so much more of the same in days to follow. And if you’d like to see some photos of said event, click here. Yes, we did have fun!

NOTE: For those in NY this week, Cooper is performing at The Bitter End, with all proceeds from the concert going towards Nashville Flood Relief. Click here for more info/to get tickets.

Sunday morning our first order of business was to enjoy a

Can you guess what she's holding? Yes, a rug sample, made of recycled biycycle tires.

brunch at the HK Restaurant…which we dutifully did, prior to meandering through the Hells Kitchen Flea Market on our way to the Javits Center for the ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) Show. Special tours with the British European Design Group and Interiors from Spain Group, again, adding depth as we learned the stories behind many of the exhibitors showcasing their product with respective groups. Did grab a few photos, which you can see here.

For dinner Sunday night the Green Table restaurant in Chelsea Market was closed to the public as our WITHIT/Inside Design tour attendees held a private dinner party. Although I chose not to attend (opted to spend evening with my husband at his Long Island apartment) I understand it was a wonderful night.

Monday….talk about it being “A Day!” 

Artspace was where we all convened at 8:45 Monday morning. Located between 6th and 7th Avenues, in what appears to be an obscure place, a ride up a rather primitive elevator  (one of 3 such elevators we would experience during the weekend) to the 5th floor, would take you to the work home of 3 very special and talented artists. 

Laura Loving kicked off the morning, sharing with us her love for all things joyful (says her clients are creative happy

Enthralled audience listens to Laura share...

people…I like that) which she illustrates so clearly in her vibrant and lively artwork. Yes, color and more color, with NYC offering her much inspiration. Isabelle Higgins then took us to the land of textiles and the depth and warmness  of her personality which she expresses in the texture of fabrics. And from there we were delighted by Russian born artist Michael Glickman, the power and personality behind Fabrika.

Lunch was a double delight…venue of the City Winery serving well as stage for the 2011 Color Trend Presentation by Doty Horn of Benjamin Moore, and hosted by Country Living Magazine.

The weather continued to co operate for us and we were able to wend our way by foot to the Franklin St. location of Urban Archeology, where were given a most delightful and informative private Studio Tour. For photos of lunch and Urban Archeology, click here.

And yet there was more for us….

Roberto Dutesco, the energy/life behind the Wild Horse of Sable Island Gallery was up close and personal as he shared

Roberto Dutesco sharing the philosophy of his photography.

with us how his photography is simply an outlet for his life philosophy. He expressed unparalleled enthusiasm for a new project in the works, of a “Mobile Musuem” exhibiting his Wild Horses, with proceeds going towards the building of kindergartens in Indonesia.

And to anchor the day we found our way to the Broadway location of Safaviah, the host for Cocktails, followed by a Green Design Conversation with Thom Filicia, who is serving as spokesperson for the Sustainable Furnishings Council. With the popularity of his public persona (appearances on Oprah, Ellen and the View, just to name a few) he serves the Council well….not to mention his status as one of House Beautiful’s top 10 designers etc etc etc., adding punch/power to his name. Click here for photos of our time at Sable Island Horse Gallery and Safaviah/Thom Filicia event.

Was Thom's birthday on Monday. We "released" him after some photo ops.

Just writing this out reminds me of the amazing program we were so priviledged to experience in the grand city of New York.  The common thread of each event/presentation was a personablness (realness if you will), sense of passion and depth (yes, I know I’ve used that word extensively here, but it works), which was nothing less than inspirational.

And all of this came to be under the fine planning and direction of Betty Lyn Eller, the chairman of the planning committee.

Thank you Betty Lyn and WITHIT for giving such a window on Design. I had high expectations and they were met and more.


P.S. In the interest of sharing the wealth of this weekend with my audience I will be offering a number of giveaways…just wanted to set the stage here by giving a synopsis, one which I’ll refer to going forward in subsequent blog giveaways.

But first, Part 2: The Participants of this Event, by way of introducing you to some of my fellow WITHIT members….look for this next week.