December 19, 2016
AnnBritt Newey Designs a Table for the American Cancer Society's Annual Hope Lodge Bash
AnnBritt Newey of ABN Design creates a 'Spring Tea at Versailles'-themed table for the annual Hope Lodge Bash.
by New York Spaces
NYS: Why did you decide to participate in the benefit for Hope Lodge?
AnnBritt Newey of ABN Design: The American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge is an incredible organization that offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay during their treatment. There are 32 lodges across the country and they have served over 14,000 cancer patients. The Holiday Bash is a wonderful opportunity to support the Hope Lodge and their guests. It was an honor to participate and design a table.
NYS: What are the benefits of design for someone who is away from home and might need some
AnnBritt Newey: It is so important that patients and their loved ones have a comfortable refuge during treatment. There is probably no better place than home. However, for those who are not able to stay home during treatment, a carefully designed, nurturing environment can provide some comfort and sense of calm during such a frightful time.
NYS: What was the theme of your table? How did you capture the essence of that subject?
AnnBritt Newey: Each designer was given a season based on this year's theme "Season of Hope." I had Spring! I immediately thought about the beautiful, lavish Versailles Gardens in Spring time. I have always dreamed of sipping Champagne and eating exquisite French pastries in amongst these Royal gardens. Visions of grandeur—I know! This vision inspired me to create an opulent Spring Tea at Versailles overflowing with roses, tulips and pastries!
NYS: What elements did you incorporate into your table that helped set the mood?
AnnBritt Newey: I asked Christopher Hyland if he would let me use his silk, damask fabric as it was originally designed for Marie Antoinette's sister. He generously agreed! The blush, gold fabric paired beautifully with my own (and my family's) antique Limoge porcelain, etched crystal coupe champagne glasses and solid Silver tea sets. The story evolved as we added fresh greenery, fruit, beautiful flowers, French pastries and champagne to further create this lavish tea-time setting!
NYS: What was one of your favorite aspects about the event?
AnnBritt Newey: There were so many wonderful aspects about this event. The hosts and co-chairs Guillaume Gentet and David Carpenter did a fantastic job with every detail—from organizing the silent auction to coordinating the incredibly inspiring speakers. So aside from this, and being surrounded by such incredibly talented designers, my favorite aspect about this event was working with my Mother, Darlene Newey, to create my table. My mother, who is also a designer, is an incredibly inspiring, sophisticated woman who always pushes design to its absolute limit! It was such a pleasure to be able to collaborate and design with her!
NYS: Is there another table you were completely blown away by?
AnnBritt Newey: All the designers did a great job creating unique tables representing their Season! It would be way too difficult to pick just one favorite! I definitely encourage readers to check out the images of all the tables! So many good ideas.
NYS: You put your table together in less than two weeks, and in the middle of the Thanksgiving break I might add. How did it come together so quickly?
AnnBritt Newey: Having a clear vision helped! I knew that I wanted an opulent, Versailles setting in the Spring time. I wanted to create an escape! Luckily, I was working with Christopher Hyland on another project and familiar with his beautiful fabrics. I spotted the exquisite gold, blush damask fabric that happened to also fit into my table's story perfectly! Gathering all the beautiful antiques was a little more complicated! Luckily, with the help of family and friends, I was able to pull all of it together in such a short time!
NYS: Would you consider participating again next year? If so, what would an ideal theme be for you and
how would you carry it out?
AnnBritt Newey: Absolutely! It is such an amazing cause. The theme is a tough question! Maybe bring in some comedy and have tables based on different Bob Hope movies? Just kidding! Doing tables inspired by the Wonders of the World could be beautiful and allow for a lot of creative interpretation from the designers. The table based on the Great Pyramid of Giza, for example, could have a large center piece pyramid made out of an array of succulents and flowers, Egyptian inspired textiles and tableware with gold coin trims and carved colorful glasses that evoke an ancient escape!
NYS: What are you working on now?
AnnBritt Newey: ABN Design has a few very exciting projects going on right now. I am currently working on an early 20th-century Charles Bowman house in New Jersey. The goal has been to update the house (all new windows, bathrooms, kitchen) while preserving all the original architectural details. In one of my favorite rooms we layered silk velvets, mohair and luxurious wools with an amazing antique Persian Dorasht carpet - all while keeping the original, aged mahogany paneling and gorgeous fireplace! I am also working on two great apartments in the Financial District. One is in an old building where we are updating the apartment with modern baths and kitchen, new finishes and millwork for storage. The other project is in a new high-rise building with the most spectacular views! The owners appreciate very fine modern furniture and artwork - it's been such a pleasure working with them. Also, in the middle of a total renovation of a maisonette on the Upper East side for a young, vibrant family who is not afraid to push the boundaries on materials, pattern and color! All a lot of fun! I feel lucky to have my job!
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