10 Steps to Planning the Perfect Wedding

Bride and Groom

The second you get engaged, the questions start: “When and where is the wedding?” “Am I invited?” “Have you shopped for a dress?” Take a deep breath, and know that you can—and should—take some time to just enjoy being engaged. But when you are ready to dive into wedding planning, here’s where to start.

Engagement Ring1. Make a Budget
Money conversations are always hard. But without knowing what you have to spend, you can’t even begin to start planning, says Jes Gordon, creative director and owner of New York City-based properFUN Events. (According to The Knot, couples spent almost $42,000 in Connecticut and more than $57,000 in Westchester on their wedding in 2015.) Talk to your partner about how much the two of you can afford, and if your parents have offered to contribute, get a realistic figure from them.

2. Name the Date
You might have always dreamed of a spring wedding, or decide you want to marry on your anniversary. Or the chosen day could be as practical as wanting to get married within the next six months. Either way, it’s a good idea to talk to your families about any potential conflicts before setting it in stone. Remember, since summer and early fall months are the most popular for weddings, you’ll need to plan ahead to get the best venues—or be flexible on the exact date.

3. Get a Guest Count
Sure, you’d love to invite every friend, cousin and co-worker to watch you tie the knot, but that’s probably not realistic. Talk to your partner and immediate family about who they’d like to invite and put together a preliminary guest count. With a ballpark number, you’ll be ready to start looking at venues.

Wedding Reception Decor4. Book Your Venue
Many locations are booked a year or more in advance so decide what type of setting you want early (outdoor garden, hotel ballroom, country club, farm or gallery space, to name a few). The size of your guest list should help narrow it down. Next, decide what best fits your vision and who will be attending. “If you have many elderly guests, the walk-up loft is probably not the right choice,” says Gordon. Can you deal with the uncertainty that comes with an outdoor wedding? Do you want the more casual vibe, and portable bathrooms, that come with a rustic barn setting? Consider also the additional vendors needed for certain venues. “Hotels are a great location when you want to use what exists,” says Brian Worley, co-owner of YourBash!, a Santa Monica, CA-based wedding and event production company. “A blank space gives you more freedom to be creative, but tends to cost more money.”

5. Consider a pro
Most couples have never hosted a party as big, important and complicated as a wedding. That’s where a full-service wedding planner comes in. “Most brides that initially start off planning their own wedding realize that it can be a full-time job,” says Worley. If you want to show up the day of your wedding with all the details taken care of, a planner is right for you. If it’s a smaller affair and you have the time and energy to address all the details, you might choose to DIY. Most experts say while a planner is an additional cost, he or she can help you stay on budget. “Planners ask the questions you don’t know to ask,” says Gordon. “Many couples run into unexpected expenses because they didn’t have the knowledge to prevent it.” Not to mention, a planner’s relationships in the industry can pay off. “We use many of the same vendors over and over, so we can leverage those relationships to help make a budget go further,” says Worley.

Wedding Place Setting6. Curate Your Style
Decide a color scheme by considering your venue’s existing décor and pick two main colors that you love. If you haven’t already started your wedding Pinterest board, now’s the time. Collect images that work with your venue and speak to you—then narrow them down to recurring themes and ideas. If you’re getting bogged down with details, think about how you want your wedding to feel, rather than how it looks, suggests Gordon. Are you leaning towards a traditional feel, an over-the-top romantic vibe or modern minimalism? Once you settle on a style, deciding the flowers, the cake or the dress will be much easier, and the event will feel cohesive.

Carolina Herrera Gown
Carolina Herrera

7. Buy Your Dress
Unless you find a sample or an off-the-rack gown, wedding dresses are custom made. That’s why experts recommend ordering them nine to 12 months before the wedding, so there’s plenty of time for alterations. How do you choose a style and silhouette? Take the time of year and theme into account—for example, a strapless A-line lace dress is perfect for a romantic summer garden wedding, while an embellished satin ball gown suits a formal fall affair. Look to the runway for inspiration. Top trends for 2017 include everything from capes (Marchesa) to built-in corsets (Oscar de la Renta) and even bridal pants (Elie Saab). In the end, it should come down to what makes you feel your most beautiful and confident.

8. Ask the Bridal Party
Being in a wedding is a big commitment, so the sooner you give your favorite people a heads up, the better. This is especially true if you have multiple friends getting married in the same year. (Bonus: With your wedding party set, you’ll have more time to start planning that bachelorette weekend!)

Wedding appetizer9. Pick a Caterer
“The first thing you need to focus on is what type of reception you want,” says Jim Kirsch, president and CEO of Abigail Kirsch wedding and event caterers with seven exclusive venues in the tri-state area, including Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown, NY, and The Loading Dock in Stamford, CT. A sit-down meal, buffet or passed hors d’oeuvres all have a different feel—and a different cost. And while you may be dreaming about the food, it’s just as important to find a caterer who caters to you. “Look for one who fits your style, listens to your preferences and is willing to work within your budget,” says Jeffrey Selden, managing partner of Marcia Selden Catering and Event Planning based in Stamford, CT, and NYC. Before you decide, ask your venue if they have a preferred vendor list—there may be a fee if you go with a vendor who isn’t on the list, and the process will likely go more smoothly if you select someone who has a rapport with the venue.

10. Book the Photographer
Like venues, many top photographers can be booked up to a year out, which is why you should start your research early. Use Pinterest, Instagram and magazines. “If a photographer’s style moves you, and you see consistent images from events similar to yours, it’s likely a good fit,” says KT Merry, a Miami, FL-based photographer. Besides reviewing online portfolios, set up a meeting (by phone or in person) to make sure you’re on the same page. After all, “the photographs will become how you relive that day as a couple,” says Merry.

Photographs by: The couple and the ring: KT Merry; Salmon roll: Andre Maier Photography; Table shot with centerpiece: photo by Ready Luck (provided by Jes Gordon); Drinks: Marcia Selden Catering & Events; Place setting: KT Merry

National Margarita Day

National Margarita Day

It’s National Margarita Day! Whether you like them frozen or on the rocks, today’s the day to raise a salted glass—along with some guac and chips, of course. Head on over to Boxcar Cantina in Greenwich, CT, and be sure to Uber home. boxcarcantina.com

5 Things We’re Loving in February!

Capture sweeping views from this Regent Seven Seas vessel’s Observation Lounge.

Grab your copy of Serendipity’s January/February issue, on newsstands now! You’ll find stories on the masterful designs of Frank de Biasi, where to get the best drink on National Margarita Day, who is hosting the largest orchid show in town, as well as insight into the best high-end sea vacations. Plus, if you’re planning a wedding, here are ten steps to make it perfect. 

debiasi_greenwich-terraceAcclaimed interior designer Frank de Biasi reveals some recent, local projects.

cruising-windstarEscape the cold and voyage to sea on high-end cruise vacations.

wedding-Couple These ten tips will ensure that the big day is flawless—for you and your guests. 

Orchid

Tour the New York Botanical Gardens for this year’s dazzling orchid show.

national-margarita-daySip on some delicious drinks at one of our favorite Greenwich locations.

 

 

Australian Beach Shack Reborn as a Bright and Breezy Cottage

copperclad-houzz

A tranquil home with a copper exterior lets in ocean air, sunlight and greenery on a challenging site.

Copper House
Photo by Takt | Studio for Architecture

The owner had lived for years in a 1830s cottage in need of serious repair in a densely populated beachside suburb of Sydney, Australia. Although his cottage was dark, cold in winter and hot in summer and lacked cross-ventilation, he deeply valued its seclusion, serenity and proximity to the beach and city. The original plan was for an extensive renovation, but with the house’s deteriorated condition, this was just not viable. Instead, he and his designers embarked on a philosophical and logistical journey to create a new home on the long, sloping, narrow site. The result, called the Copper House, is a tranquil and open small home that resourcefully welcomes the ocean air, sunlight and greenery.

Copper House
Photo by Takt | Studio for Architecture

Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: The owner leases the Copper House to tenants
Location: Coogee, New South Wales, Australia
Size: 645 square feet (60 square meters); 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom

Architect Brent Dunn of Takt l Studio for Architecture says the concept of “one’s place in time” was central to the Copper House.

The owner, Dunn and co-designer Katharina Hendel were friends and had talked informally about the practical considerations of transforming the home. They also had spoken about subtler themes, Dunn says, such as “patterns and rituals of living, dialogue between longevity and decay, and quality of space and place: how spaces shape people as much as the other way around.”

Designs for a new build got underway, working to the challenges of a long narrow sloping site (183 feet long and 20 feet wide) with limited access.

The initial plan was for a two-bedroom vacation home with bathroom, laundry and combined kitchen-living area, access to views and a sense of the original cottage’s calm and tranquility.

It sounds simple, but “a lot of historical research was undertaken to explore the history of the unique old cottage, to help us find an appropriate contemporary expression,” Dunn says.

Declutter Your Home with These Simple Tips

Clutter. We all have it. We all want less of it. Getting and staying organized tops the list of so many people’s New Year’s resolutions. To make your resolution a reality, we’ve turned to several local organizing pros to help you whip your home into shape. Here are their mess-tackling tips.

Ask the Right Questions
Rob Mizrahi, of Chaos Commandos in White Plains, NY, (nycorganizers.com), suggests clients weed through all of their things by asking two important questions of each item: “Do we still use it?” And “Does it belong here?” Get rid of anything that fails the first question and relocate anything that doesn’t pass the second. Then get ready to organize what remains.

Involve Everyone Who Lives
With You Mizrahi recommends buying cardboard boxes or plastic bins at the beginning of a dedicated organizing weekend. Give one to each household member to fill with old clothing, games, puzzles and other junk. Each person seals their box and places it in the trunk of the car to be delivered to a donation site at the end of the weekend.

Focus on the Garage
Garages tend to have big items that can be easily discarded and donated. Once those are cleared, the space opens up for other uses like a home gym, a workshop, or more efficient storage space, says Matt Baier of Matt Baier Organizing in Stamford, CT, (mattbaier.com).

Tackle the Paper
Baier suggests a four stage attack with paper accumulation: Running files are items you need to act on. Sitting files are files that you need to be able to find easily. Sleeping files (ones kept just in case) may be the most important stage to recognize, because they can be stored remotely. Dead files have no value. Discard immediately.

Set Up a Donation Depot
Next to the recyclables and trash in the garage set up a donation depot. “Dedicate a shelf or some bins to items to donate, so that when they fill up they are as close to the car as possible,” says Baier. His favorite donation spots include Vietnam Veterans of America and Habitat for Humanity.

Take Your Time
Baier suggests not being too aggressive ridding yourself of keepsakes because it is important to avoid regrets. “Store like with like, because after a while, if you have saved 100 unicorn drawings it will be easier to choose favorites.”

bedroom1
Bedroom BEFORE
bedroom2
AFTER Lisa Hynes of Stage to Show transformed this dated bedroom into a show-ready modern space.

SELL YOUR HOME: SMALL TWEAKS THAT MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE

Send Your Junk to a Storage Space
“Consider packing up and taking some of your items off-site to a storage unit, giving the impression that the house has more than enough storage space,” says Christine Saxe of William Raveis Real Estate in New Canaan, CT.

Change Out the Light Fixtures
“Change the fixtures to something current and you’ll have a whole new look,” says Lisa Hynes, of home staging company Stage to Show in Stamford, CT, (stagetoshow.com). “The old, shiny federal style is not in fashion and can make a home look dated.”

Depersonalize Your Home
Get rid of bric-a-brac. Put family photos in only one place in the house—either an office or bedroom. Clear out personal items from the bathroom and vanity. “Buyers don’t want to see your stuff. They only want to think about themselves living there,” says Hynes.

Focus On the Floors
Rip out old-fashioned shag rugs. Remove carpets with bold heavy colors and replace them with something simple and fresh that will appeal to a large audience. “Floors can be re-done and re-stained and it makes a huge difference,” says Hynes.

Want to hire a professional organizer or home stager?
Matt Baier Matt Baier Organizing 203-428-6294 matt@mattbaier.com
Lisa Hynes Stage to Show 203-921-6628 lisa@stagetoshow.com
Robert Mizrahi Chaos Commandos 914-949-9742 robert@chaoscommandos.com

Photo by all about space/Shutterstock.com (Closet)

Translating Your Favorite Meals Into the Perfect Meatloaf

Meatloaf in every oven

New York Times reporter and former chief restaurant critic Frank Bruni recently released a new book, A Meatloaf in Every Oven, co-written with New York Times journalist Jennifer Steinhauer. Here, the White Plains, NY native explains his love of the nostalgic dish. 

What makes you passionate about meatloaf? From a cook’s perspective, it’s one of the least intimidating main courses you can make, and yet it’s a vessel for limitless creativity. When Jennifer, my co-author, and I were doing the book, almost every dish we loved—Buffalo chicken wings, Peking duck—could be translated into meatloaf with scrumptious results.

Of all the recipes in the book, do you have a favorite? I’m crazy for the cheesy chorizo loaf, because it has such bold flavors and it’s easy to make. The steamed rice in place of breadcrumbs gives it a terrifically cushiony texture.

Are you a ketchup or no-ketchup guy? I am ambidextrous. Or is that ambi-ketchup-ous? You will find that with food, there is little on my “don’t” list. I’m all “do”—and I have the love handles to prove it.

What do you say to meatloaf skeptics or people who sneer at the thought of eating meatloaf? I say you haven’t been using good meatloaf recipes or eating good meatloaf. There are meatloaves in this book—Mike Solomonov’s merguez-style lamb loaf comes quickly to mind—that require great skill and fancy ingredients, and flatter any cook. There are meatloaves of fish and of veggies. If you’re crossing off the whole genre of it, you’re only hurting yourself. Which is fine. More for me to eat! Click here to buy this book.

High-sea Adventures Awaits on These Luxury Cruises

Capture sweeping views from this Regent Seven Seas vessel’s Observation Lounge.

High-end sea vacations offer the ease of an all-in-one multi-destination experience
plus upscale suites, unique cultural programs, fine dining, pampering spa treatments and
fabulous vacation photos. Whether you want a short voyage or are ready
to embark on an around-the-globe sail, these vessels—ranging from intimate yachts
to ocean liners—are a great place to start.

Boutique cruise line Windstar Cruises has two types of yachts in its six-vessel fleet — including three all-suite power yachts and three motorized sailing yachts.
Boutique cruise line Windstar Cruises has two types of yachts in its six-vessel fleet — including three all-suite power yachts and three motorized sailing yachts.

Windstar Cruises
Adventure seekers will love this fleet’s six yachts that offer transport to such popular destinations as Iceland, Tahiti and Asia. Each ship has less than 300 passengers on board and docks at trendsetting ports like Reykjavik (on the company’s “Around Iceland” tour that visits the nation’s waterfalls and fjords), or Borneo, Brunei and the Philippines (on the coming year’s Asian cruises aboard the luxury yacht Star Legend). Foodies will enjoy Windstar’s partnership with the epicurean James Beard Foundation and sample dishes the on-board chefs create from ingredients sourced at the local markets (you can even tag along on shopping excursions).
From $979/person, windstarcruises.com

Relax poolside on one of 10 decks of the intimate 225-suite Seabourn Quest during your days at sea.
Relax poolside on one of 10 decks of the intimate 225-suite Seabourn Quest during your days at sea.

cruising-seabourn-dining

Seabourn
The Seabourn Encore will ferry up to 600 passengers on intimate luxury trips around the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean to such breathtaking and exotic ports like Athens, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai and Singapore. The creation of iconic hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, the Encore also offers The Grill by Thomas Keller, wellness programs courtesy of a new partnership with wellness guru Dr. Andrew Weil and Great White Way-worthy productions. Enjoy top-tier programs like Caviar in the Surf (which is exactly that—caviar and Champagne service on the beach) as well as white-glove afternoon tea as you enjoy all the perks of large-ship cruising.
From $3,999/person, seabourn.com

cruising-cunard-stairway

Unwind in unparalleled comfort in the Duplex Suites onboard the Queen Mary 2.
Unwind in unparalleled comfort in the Duplex Suites onboard the Queen Mary 2.

Cunard
This opulent fleet has been sailing across the Atlantic since the 1800s, even ferrying members of the British royal family. Today, transatlantic sails are available on the Queen Mary2—which recently underwent a $132 million refurbishment—as well as the fleet’s Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. Cruise from Southampton, UK, to New York and on voyages throughout the Caribbean, Europe and Canada. In addition, specialty cruises cater to a variety of interests such as the 2017 World Space Week transatlantic crossing with astronauts and scientists on board, or the Festival of Flowers, which offers jaunts to Madeira and the Canary Islands’ flower markets and gardens.
From $1,047/person, cunard.com

Viking Ocean Cruises’ two ships, Viking Star and Viking Sea met for the first time in Santorini. The ships will spend the spring and summer sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean and Scandinavia.
Viking Ocean Cruises’ two ships, Viking Star and Viking Sea met for the first time in Santorini. The
ships will spend the spring and summer sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean and Scandinavia.

Viking River Cruises
Cruising doesn’t just mean ocean voyages; Viking has carved its own niche offering luxe travel packages along some of the world’s most noteworthy rivers, such as the Danube, Seine, Rhine and Nile. Along the way, guests can enjoy culturally rich programming,
such as guided tours of Cairo by Egyptologists, baroque music and Viennese coffee culture in Budapest, and lessons on fondant au chocolat and Burgundian wines in Burgundy and Provence. Also, the company recently branched out with its newest vessel, the Viking Star, which makes its home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and for the first time will offer cruises of North America and the Caribbean, including Cuba.
From $1,699/person, vikingrivercruises.com

The Oceania fleet offers culinary tours to a number of European ports, including Portofino, Italy.
The Oceania fleet offers culinary tours to a number of European ports, including Portofino, Italy.

Oceania
Gourmands are the target audience for Oceania’s Sirena, the company’s newest ship that includes two exceptional dining experiences courtesy of Claudine Pepin, under the direction of Executive Culinary Director Jacques Pepin. Fleet wide, there are cruises to destinations that tantalize the taste buds—Casablanca, Antibes, Palamos—as well as excursions and hands-on cooking classes: Focaccia, biscotti and pizza in Florence, Pisa and Tuscany; tapas in Barcelona; or Cretan food and wine in Greece.
From $1,499/person,oceaniacruises.com

Capture sweeping views from this Regent Seven Seas vessel’s Observation Lounge.
Capture sweeping views from this Regent Seven Seas vessel’s Observation Lounge.

Regent Seven Seas
In July, the company launched the Seven Seas Explorer. Billed as the “most luxurious ship ever built,” the all-suite, all-balcony vessel carried only 750 guests, but 2,148 bottles of champagne for its maiden voyage. Expect exquisite details like Versace place settings and a $90,000 mattress in the 4,443-square-foot Regent Suite master bedroom as well as the utmost in pampering, including spa treatments at the on-board Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Monte Carlo-style gaming, a 694-seat theater with original Broadway-worthy performances, three specialty restaurants and the Culinary Arts Kitchen cooking school round out the upscale amenities. For its first trip, the ship ferried passengers around Europe; in 2017
the Explorer sets off for Miami in a series of Caribbean voyages.
From $499/person, rssc.com

A Look Inside Interior Designer Frank de Biasi’s Around-the-World Projects

The kitchen in this Aspen ski house has rustic oak cabinets and a bleached oak kitchen island. The ceiling lamps by Woka and the Harry Bertoia stools by Knoll add a modern touch.

Manhattan-based interior designer Frank de Biasi is not bound to any specific look. His style is a masterful mix of the humble and the rich, the extravagant and the simple. In the hands of someone less experienced this might come off as simply “eclectic,” but de Biasi’s extensive training and background assures that each of his interiors is unique and well-rounded.

A view from the water shows the main house and boathouse, which is built into the surrounding rock wall.
A view from the water shows the main house and boathouse, which is built into the surrounding rock wall.

The designer began his career at Christie’s New York acquiring a deep knowledge of art history, and afterwards spent 12 years as director of interiors for internationally acclaimed architect Peter Marino (best known for designing boutiques for Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton, among others).

debiasi-portraitIn 2006, de Biasi founded his own firm, which employs a team of 16 people and operates out of a bustling midtown office. His work has been featured in every shelter publication of note, and he was recently named to the 2017 AD100, Architectural Digest’s prestigious list of the top 100 architects and interior designers internationally.

The living room features a custom wool silk rug from Studio Four and a bold painting by Alex Ross. The Lapis Lazuli table is by Ado Chale.
The living room features a custom wool silk rug from Studio Four and a bold painting by Alex Ross. The Lapis Lazuli table is by Ado Chale.

De Biasi is also an ardent, tireless traveler, and his excursions to destinations such as Corsica, Paris, Thailand and Cuba serve not only as inspiration, but also as an opportunity to establish new sources and relationships with vendors. This global network of artisans brings an authenticity to each of his projects.

debiasi_greenwich-family-room
The relaxed family room features a variety of blue tones, including an Eames lounge chair and ottoman by Herman Miller in custom leather, Indian indigo throw pillows and gouache on paper artworks by William Wood.

We sat down with the designer to glean some insight into what makes him tick:

What projects are you working on currently?
We’re working on a large townhouse in London, a traditional shingle style home in Connecticut, a cliffside house in the South of France, and several New York City residences, including a pre-war co-op on the Upper East Side and a contemporary downtown high-rise.

The dining room is casual yet refined with sisal carpeting, a vintage Murano chandelier and a custom oak plank table by KWH Furniture in Brooklyn. The sunset artwork is by Catherine Opie.
The dining room is casual yet refined with sisal carpeting, a vintage Murano chandelier and a custom oak plank table by KWH Furniture in Brooklyn. The sunset artwork is by Catherine Opie.

Tell us a little bit about your recent Fairfield County waterfront project.
It was such a fun, casual project. The client wanted an easy and happy house, whether it was just the two of them at home or the whole extended family. They requested lots of flexibility for this project and wanted multiple entertaining spaces, especially for outdoor living on the water.

The guest house living room includes a loveseat covered in a Ralph Lauren stripe fabric, a pair of 1930s French leather armchairs, and playful art by Donald Baechler. The vintage teak slab table is from Jalan Jalan in Miami.
The guest house living room includes a loveseat covered in a Ralph Lauren stripe fabric, a pair of 1930s French leather armchairs,and playful art by Donald Baechler. The vintage teak slab table is from Jalan Jalan in Miami.

What did you learn by working for architect Peter Marino and Christie’s New York?
Both were immersive educations where I got the opportunity to handle the finest pieces and work with the best craftsmen. Peter taught me how to achieve the perfect proportion of furniture and objects in a room and also about practicality and function—things must work for the family!

The master bath includes reindeer hide rugs by Pologeorgis Furs, a teak chair and ottoman covered in Ralph Lauren white terrycloth and contemporary sconces by Jean Perzel.
The master bath includes reindeer hide rugs by Pologeorgis Furs, a teak chair and ottoman
covered in Ralph Lauren white terrycloth and contemporary sconces by Jean Perzel.

What is your design process like?
First we nail down the floor plan and then clients get to see lots of samples. We plan field trips to art fairs and European dealers, where we shop and discover new things. I especially love the Paris flea markets!

debiasi_greenwich-terrace
A terrace overlooking the Long Island Sound is anchored by rattan bistro chairs by TK Collections and oil lanterns by Robins Dockside Shop.

What role does travel play in your work?
Travel is a huge inspiration, especially authentic places. Recent trips to Havana, Cuba and Shanghai, China provided lots of visuals and new sources. I have an upcoming trip to India planned as well.

(right) This Palm Beach bedroom is an exotic getaway with mirror mosaic bedding by Shyam Ahuja, Moroccan poufs by Jalan Jalan and drapery fabric by Le Manach. The Indian tiger painting is from Galerie Blanchetti in France. (left) The breakfast room is grounded by a vintage green stripe carpet from Marrakech.
This Palm Beach bedroom is an exotic getaway with mirror mosaic bedding by Shyam Ahuja, Moroccan poufs by Jalan Jalan and drapery fabric by Le Manach. The Indian tiger painting is
from Galerie Blanchetti in France.

Your designs are delightfully versatile. What philosophy would you say distinguishes you? Versatile is the key word here. My work always employs varied materials—some luxe and some more rustic. I use lots of contrast, and I always try to put in an antique or vintage piece as well as a contemporary piece. A good furniture plan and layout is so important as well.

The breakfast room is grounded by a vintage green stripe carpet from Marrakech.
The breakfast room is grounded by a vintage green stripe carpet from Marrakech.

Speed round
Frank de Biasi
One word that describes you: Curious
Your top design tip: You only live once, go for it.
What you’d be, if not in the design world: A chef
Your next trip will be: Paris and Tangier
Favorite restaurant in the area: The National in Greenwich, CT
Favorite cocktail: Hendricks gin and Fever Tree tonic
People would be surprised to know: My most difficult client is my mother!
Favorite color: Green, almost any green
A home should be filled with: Art and pattern and lots of plants
Your guilty pleasure: Instagram
Your style icon: Bunny Mellon
Favorite room in your home: Dining room/library combination
Best design book: The Givenchy Style

 Photographs by Stephen Johnson 

The Orchid Show is Here: Get the Latest From the New York Botanical Gardens

Orchid

February 18 thru April 9
The New York Botanical Garden conservatory is filled with thousands of orchids in a dazzling variety of colors, shapes and sizes for this year’s orchid show, which celebrates orchids of Thailand and feature tours, demonstrations and expert Q&As. New York Botanical Gardens, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY, visit  nybg.org for pricing.

The Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich Youth of the Year

“Access to opportunities”—it’s a phrase that Bobby Walker, Jr. CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich (BGCG) says frequently when talking about the organization, which, for more than 100 years, has been providing children of all socioeconomic backgrounds “a safe, productive, caring place for kids in the after-school hours.” Yet, the Boys & Girls Club is substantially more than that. In addition to providing kids with after-school homework help, art and computer classes, sports teams and aquatics and educational programming including STEM classes (even a Lego robotics team!), all for just $50 a year, it’s a source of mentorship and encouragement for kids ages 6 to 18. Scholarships are also available for those for whom even $50 a year is a stretch and for summer camps.

Currently, the BGCG operates with a handful of full-time staff, part-time youth development professionals, and about 300 volunteers ranging from local students to retired educators. Bruna da Cunha, a BGCG member since 2006, became a student leader at BGCG and is now a student at the University of Connecticut. She says her role as a leader for the younger children has contributed to her achievements today.

“To me, these individual stories are the most powerful thing that anyone who is considering getting involved can hear,” says Greg Martinez, event co-chair (with Nick Graziano) and BGCG board member.

Youth of the Year
It is part of the reason for the first time this year, the 49th Annual Youth of the Year award ceremony will be held as a public ceremony and fundraiser at the organization’s Greenwich clubhouse on February 9. The award winner is determined by a series of essays and interviews about how the club has influenced each young person’s life.

“They talk about how ‘its my home away from home,’ ‘it taught me how to be a man,’ ‘it taught me responsibility,’” says Walker of past Youth of the Year winners, including one young man from Chile who found his male role model at the club after his own father abandoned the family following their immigration to this country.

“The Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich has always felt like home to me,” attests da Cunha. “The club has an interesting way of leaving an imprint on those who have walked its hallways.”

Better Together
This year, the club embarks on a mission of outreach to inspire the local community to remain connected to the BGCG on a long-term basis and hear these stories firsthand. “I want the community to know that we are invested in Greenwich, invested in the youth of Greenwich,” says Walker. “Our club is a living example that these kids are the future, and a future that we should all be proud of.”

giving-back-bgbg
Mike Gerald, Fred Camillo, Mike Bocchino, Diego Tardio, Scott Frantz, and Bobby Walker, Jr.

HOW TO HELP
Attend
The First Annual Youth of the Year dinner will take place Thursday, February 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich, 4 Horseneck Lane, Greenwich, CT. Tickets start at $250 and can be purchased at
bgcg.org/youthoftheyeardinner.

Volunteer
Volunteers are needed for homework help, tutoring and sports facilitators as well as other behind-the-scenes events and administrative duties.

Recruit Your Office
Local corporate partnerships help make the BGCG a success. Get your office involved through the club’s Day of Service program and lend a hand for an upcoming project or event.

CONTACT
Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich, 203-869-3224, 4 Horseneck Lane, Greenwich, CT, bgcg.org

 

 

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