This past weekend HeeJai & I attended the Chicago Chapter of DIFFA's (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) Table Hop & Taste event. Some of Chicago's best restaurants were on hand to create tasty appetizers while attendees browsed 11 x 11 dining installations with a focus on exceptional table-top design. I was so impressed! My favorite was centered around the book, Inspired Styles. (Click on collage to enlarge)

What a great idea to create off-beat and whimsical centerpieces using cylinders filled with everyday objects that lend color and funk - crayons, colored sugar crystals, spools of yarn, mini gold safety pins, etc.

Sweets are always on my mind and I found this Mad Hatter's installation inspiring for a future winter-sweets party.

The Benjamin Moore room was exceptional - the entire house-like room was lined with paint samples!

Can you imagine the riot this room would create for kids? The small details in the room - like the party horns and placecards - were also created from paint chips.

Doug Wilson for Design Within Reach featured a cover from the New York Times magazine as the room backdrop, which I found also makes a fun photo backdrop (another future party idea).