April 6, 2012 – by Katherine Hurley
It wasn’t just that the MADS dining room at DIFFA’s Dining by Design event stopped traffic as visitors stood taking pictures of its bioluminescent theme. It wasn’t just that the walls shined like that night on the Cartegena sea that inspired Marie Aiello’s design of a room that shimmered with details like Swarovski crystal chandeliers and Maya Romanoff wallpaper of glass beads.
What made the biggest impact of Marie Aiello’s room was the sparkle in the eyes of the people who saw it, the ones who said, “Wow,” as they looked into the dining room that shimmered back out at them and transformed their afternoon to a starry night at sea.
“People kept coming up to us and saying, ‘You guys are the ones that everyone keeps saying you’ve got to go see!’” Aiello said following the event sponsored by Architectural Digest that brought thousands to Pier 94 in Manhattan in late March to see, in part, dozens of designers’ concepts for dining rooms.
But it was Aiello’s bioluminescent themed-room that really shone.
“It was extraordinary,” Aiello said of both how the room turned out and how the public reacted to it.
To illustrate just how popular the room was, Lisa Blecker from Resource Furniture, which sponsored the room along with Manhattan Magazine, was able to take an entire photo album of other people taking pictures of Aiello’s dining room. And each onlooker after the next remarked on how striking was either the room as a whole or took the time to note one or several individual pieces in the room.
Lawrence Levy, who recently joined MADS as principal and designer of the firm, commented, “Great design comes from when there is a strong center idea that is fully realized, and this was realized.”
He said while standing near the MADS dining room he kept hearing people say how cohesive the design was and how the room just sparkled in every meaning of the word.
“There was a strong central concept constantly being enforced by every element,” Allen said, “and to hear how many people got it was really satisfying.”
“The effect is dazzling,” reported Tom’s Eye View, which went on to call Aiello “one of NYC’s most talented designers.” http://tomseyeview.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/diffa-marie-aiello-goes-nano/ and was only one of many blogs and press agencies to cover Aiello’s design, including The New York Times and next month’s issues of Architectural Digest and Manhattan Magazine.
“Everybody worked hard to make sure their part of it really worked,” a grateful Aiello said, noting her sponsors and the kind generosity of the many who donated their talent and/or pieces to the room. She says, “Every person and piece contributed to the ‘wow factor’. The NanoLumens screens were powerfully engaging but every piece down to the rock candy stood on its own along side it.”
Ron Barth, owner of Resource Furniture said, “We had such an amazing experience working with a designer who is so talented and so nice.”
“And the innovation of the room she designed was truly distinctive,” Barth said.
And to each one of those people that Aiello overheard who stopped to take pictures or remarked on the design that shined at this year’s DIFFA event, Aiello had one overarching thought for the day.
“I just wanted to say, ‘Thank you for getting it,’” she said.