Setting a Gala-Worthy Table

This post was written by guest contributor Michael Devine, a New York–based textile designer whose book, An Invitation to the Garden: Entertaining, Cultivating, and Cooking through the Four Seasons, will be published by Rizzoli in the spring of 2014.
Yellow flowers add a note of spring to the table.Spring in New York not only means warmer days, it’s also gala benefit season. This year, Thomas Burak and I had the pleasure to be chosen as one of 14 of New York’s top design talents to create a knockout table for the gala fundraiser for the wonderful charity Partnership with Children. The 104-year-old organization provides support to more than 5,000 of New York’s highest-need children each year. The contribution of tables designed by James Huniford, Matthew Patrick Smyth, Roderick Shade, Gail Green, Michael Tavano, and Thomas Burek and me, among others, helped raise more than $750,000. 
Fast and easy: ribbon used as napkin rings.A table like this is a fun challenge—an opportunity to stretch the imagination. Our goal was to create a design that had the freshness of a spring walk in the woods. What better combination than yellow and green and a bit of blue? We wanted the scale to be larger than life to create drama and a clear focal point. 
The beautiful Haviland dinnerware from Mottahedeh.For this table for 10, we used a tall plant stand covered in moss as the main structure, then filled it with yellow flowers and an assortment of greens. To add a formal note, I used a gold-and-aqua mosaic Haviland dinnerware that coordinated with the tablecloth made from my fabric, Orangerie.
The Orangerie fabric in Wave.
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