Last week, we attended Blogfest 2011, a tour of the New York interior design scene hosted by Kravet and Lee Jofa. The schedule was jam packed with panels, tours and events which all lived up to our very high expectations.
The first day started in the private dining room of Hearst Tower where Beth Greene of Kravet told us about how this conference started as a twinkle in her and her team's eyes and, seven months later, had become a reality -- truly an amazing feat of social media! After an overview of the Hearst corporation, we were treated to several panel discussions with editors from House Beautiful, Veranda and Town & Country. They shared with us their stories, processes and a few words of wisdom. In particular, their top advice to bloggers: "Edit and credit." We had a quick cocktail hour with the folks from Town & Country and then it was off to a super sneak peek at the Elle Decor Modern Life Concept House.
Elle Decor Modern Life Concept House
Day two started at the Lee Jofa showroom in the Decoration & Design Building for a preview of the previously unseen Lilly Pulitzer line. It was a much needed blast of color and sunshine on a very grey day! This was followed by a presentation by Barbara Barry introducing Indochine for Kravet, a line inspired by her own travels to Asia. Barbara shared with us her inspiration in the form of her personal photographs and discussed the development of the line. She was such an inspirational speaker and resounded strongly with this crowd. Our favorite quote: "Life can be hard but I believe you can balance it with beauty and gentleness." Following the presentation, New York Spaces magazine and Barbara Barry hosted a tea in the Kravet showroom where we were able to sample her new herbal tea, Citrine.
Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa Preview and
Indochine for Kravet by Barbara Barry
The evening festivities began with a presentation of Lee Jofa's Heritage collection presented by Traditional Home. Set designs featuring the collection's fabrics were created by six interior designers who were on hand to mingle with us. Each attendee was given a copy of the book, Inspired Styles, which we were invited to have each of the designers sign. Afterwards we headed to the Sub-Zero and Wolf showroom for the Wine Down Art Live party where two artists created paintings on site.
Wine Down Art Live party
at the Sub-Zero and Wolf Showroom
For our final day, we began with Architectural Digest. As one attendee tweeted at the time, "Margaret Russell [editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest] is the only person who could silence a room of design bloggers just by walking in." She shared some thoughts on the direction of the magazine and shared numerous inspirational images from the recent issue. Her advice to us bloggers? "Have a mission statement, a point of view, a mantra. Know what sets you apart from others." She also advised caution in our writing: "What you write never goes away. Be kind and truthful. If you wouldn't say something to someone's face, don't write it."
Lastly, we headed off for a tour of the design studios of Kravet, Lee Jofa and Brunschwig & Fils. What a wonderful experience to see the artists and business people in action in their own spaces. Then we visited the New York Design Center to take a peek at some of their gorgeous showrooms. The event ended with a dessert party at the 1stdibs pop-up shop at the NYDC after which, we went on our merry way home.
Design Studio Tour of
Kravet, Lee Jofa and Brunschwig & Fils
Blogfest was a great bringing together of bloggers, brands, magazines and retailers. Enormous thanks go to the Kravet and Lee Jofa teams for bringing us together and to all the many presenters and hosts along the way. Where do we sign up for next year?!
[Having difficulties with the slideshows? All the photos from this event can also be seen on Mae's Blogfest Flickr photostream]