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Dallas-Based Blue Print Joins the Country’s Best Designers to Decorate an Over-the-Top New York Dinner

The Friends and Designers Help Translate Their Dreamy Orchid Dinner Tablescape for At-Home Entertaining

BY // 02.21.20

Each year, the New York Botanical Garden gathers some of the best designers in the country for the Orchid Dinner at The Plaza, which serves as both a phenomenal fundraising event and a dramatic, towering showcase of florals, textiles, and the art of truly over-the-top table setting. The pictures, though beautiful, can hardly do it justice.

This year, the Garden tapped Dallas designers Jean Liu and the women of Blue Print to design a table in honor of the year’s Guest Designer, floral design icon and the artistic director of The Four Season Hotel George V in Paris, Jeff Leatham. (Chad Dorsey and Cathy Kincaid represented our city in last year’s illustrious designer lineup.)

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Dallas-based Blue Print’s display at the New York Botanical Garden’s 2020 Orchid Dinner at The Plaza.

For their part, Lucy Ward, Carrie Jane Pogoloff, Leslie Jenkins, and Cynthia Collins blended vintage lavender and white china from the Hotel Meurice in Paris, colorful Manuel Canovas fabric, chinoiserie accents, and emerald-hued monogrammed napkins for an impressive display that maintained Blue Print’s warm and elegant signature touch. Naturally, everything was displayed beneath towering pink orchids.

Unless your dining room resembles The Plaza, the drama of the Orchid Dinner displays would probably overwhelm a typical table. Fortunately, the women of Blue Print have graciously offered some tips for how to translate their tablescape for at-home entertaining.


Blue Print designers Lucy Ward, Cynthia Collins, Carrie Jane Pogoloff, and Leslie Jenkins preparing for the Orchid Dinner at The Plaza.

Lucy Ward

One of my favorite things to do is have a “Sunday Supper” with friends and family. My husband and I tend to serve casual food, but dress it up by using my favorite blue monogrammed china from Paris mixed with my everyday Vietri. Cynthia and I were in Paris for a buying trip in 2013 and stumbled upon the most beautiful complete set of antique blue china with a gold band. We about fainted when we realized it had my initials! Needless to say, it is my favorite purchase.

Elizabeth Anthony

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I love using my purple and blue Leontine linens with an appliqued monogram, Megan Adams fabric placemats, and sterling flatware. We typically serve buffet-style on our island and then sit at our dining table that seats 14. It is the perfect place to linger and laugh. I use vases from Blue Print down the center of my table and add in small votives. Music is a must and we have a festive bar with all types of drinks and garnishes, where everyone can help themselves! Our finishing touch is to make sure fireplaces are lit and all outdoor lighting is on – it creates a calm glow inside of our home.

Carrie Jane Pogoloff

Few people’s dining rooms are as vast as the New York Plaza hotel’s ballroom with all its grandeur. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a lovely dinner party down south in your very own dining room.

Just as we transformed the colorful Manuel Canovas fabric into a tablecloth for the New York Botanical Garden Orchid Dinner, you too can start with a beautiful tablecloth. If you’re looking for something ready-made, Matouk makes a variety of beautiful ones with interesting details. From a pale pink quilted cloth with a scallop edge (which I use often for one of my six granddaughter’s birthday dinner and even dinner parties) to a white option with elegant detailed banding.

We needed height for our round table at the Orchid Dinner, so we used one large vase. At home, I often use an extra long glass vase from Blue Print that fits the scale of my ten-foot long dining table. It works beautifully to layer in the season’s finest blooms in a color that complements the tablecloth, china, and drapes.

Dim the lights and dig out those vintage sterling candlestick holders your parents received for a wedding gift. Add extra tall tapers and place them on each end of the long vase. We also have some great glass clear and colored candlesticks in clear at Blue Print that are fun to mix in. Dinners always feel more special in candle light.

Another tip for elevating your table’s look is to use antique silver napkin rings. They make quite a statement when paired with a beautiful monogrammed napkin. They are a fun item to have engraved and gift to your children and grandchildren for those special occasions. When not in use on the table,they look great setting out in an antique compote or a Murano bowl.

Blue Print designers Leslie Jenkins and Cynthia Collins at the Orchid Dinner

Cynthia Collins

I love to entertain! One of my favorite things to do is cook for others and have them to over to my house, whether it be a casual or formal setup. I have a wonderful closet full of vases, candlesticks, candles, wine coolers, and table linens. I try to keep them ironed and ready for use to make entertaining easy.

I have been collecting glassware and china for 30 years and there is nothing more fun than creating an interesting, collected tablescape. I love mixing patterns and materials, such as a wine glass from Paris with a new modern water glass from Blue Print.

Dallas designer Leslie Jenkins preparing for the Orchid Dinner, benefiting the New York Botanical Garden.

Leslie Jenkins

I love china and use it for everyday. My favorite is a simple lavender and white set from the Hotel Meurice in Paris. It was one of our finds on a Paris buying trip and I was fortunate enough to get numerous place settings. We used this on our table at the Orchid Dinner in New York City as well. On the same Paris buying trip, I purchased bold patterned tablecloths that are emerald green, lavender and white to work with the china. I also collect monogrammed napkins and like to pick color combos that mix with my different tablecloths.

I love to mix and match and seldom set my table the same as the time before.

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