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A delicious dinner, endless decor inspo, and a way to raise money for a good cause? That’s the philosophy behind DIFFA’s Dining by Design event, hosted annually in March in New York City. This year it celebrated its 20th Anniversary, and over the course of the five-day event, it raised approximately $800,000 to fund HIV/AIDS education and preventative services across the country. Talk about a successful dinner party, right?

While the philanthropy is obviously at the forefront of an event like this, we wanted to pay homage to the several incredible design exhibits featured at Dining by Design. Every year, DIFFA invites local and international designers to transform a space into over-the-top dining rooms as part of the fundraiser, giving them a chance to go all out and showcase their signature styles. Take a peek at the table settings that are giving us major decor envy.

Benjamin Moore

It came to no surprise that color was the dominant motif at Benjamin Moore’s table. The mix-and-match colorful table setting is playful yet elegant, thanks to more sophisticated features of the setup.


Here’s a dining room that will really make your brunch photo pop. The sleek all-white look is obviously eye-catching, but a closer look reveals a mashup of assorted items on the wall as well as a mélange of chairs.

Crate and Barrel

This is one dining room that definitely brings the drama, courtesy of the deep, moody colors and medley of modern-looking pendant lights.

Design Within Reach & Language Department

If it’s still too cold to eat al fresco, why not bring the outdoors to you? The moss-covered table and hanging ivy drive home the nature motif, but for a more subtle approach you can recreate a similar look by adding a few hanging planters and potted plants around the room.

Ralph Lauren

Everything, from the beachy mural to the detailing on the curtains, is nautical perfection. Would you expect anything less from Ralph Lauren?

Blue Ocean Design & Charleston Lime

The two companies paired up to produce an overall stunning spot. The nautical-inspired seating balanced with more industrial elements, like the hanging table and ultra-modern lighting, are united by subdued, neutral tones.

Rockwell Group with Ovando

From the mirrored plates to the succulents adorning the walls in lieu of paint or wallpaper, this is definitely one show-stopping dining room. The matching cacti sprouting from the middle of the table make for fun finishing touches.


Here’s some inspo to use when decorating your own space: if you want to make a statement, the easiest route to go about doing that is by painting (or wallpapering) your walls with a striking color. Keep the rest of the room simple so as to not pull focus from the bold decor move.

Interior Design

Nothing screams modern like bold, geometric shapes in vibrant colors. We love how the same shapes make their way from the cube stools to the cylindrical table toppers to the floor pattern.

New York Design Center, Designed by Brad Ford and FAIR

This dining space is a rustic dream. The wood floor and wall coupled with the hanging string lights lend a casual, cozy feel we’d like to replicate at home.