Since 1991, the Friends of Longue Vue has presented the Essence of Style Design Symposium, featuring top speakers in the fields of design, horticulture and art. With proceeds benefiting Longue Vue House and Gardens, the symposia serve to inspire and educate locals interested in interior design while providing a significant source of funds toward maintenance, operations, educational programs, and art exhibitions of a National Historic Landmark.

For its 25th anniversary, the November 2016 Symposium features Dutch Master Designer, René van Rems. Chaired by Suzanne Krieger and Kathy Weidner, the three-day event begins with a Designer Reception to welcome van Rems to New Orleans. The Luncheon and Lecture will take place at the Audubon Tea Room and finally two floral centerpiece workshops will be led by van Rems.

For sponsor options, please contact Lydia Vaughn at 504.293.4722. Purchase tickets for one or more of the events here.

Designer Reception
Thursday, November 17 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Enjoy cocktails, cuisine and conversation with René van Rems in a private home. Tickets are $150.

Lecture and Luncheon
Friday, November 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
René van Rems will present “Flowers, Foliage and Botanicals: European Season Interiors, Events and Weddings” at the Audubon Tea Room, complete with a luncheon, silent auction and book signing. Tickets are $100 members and $125 nonmembers.

Holiday Centerpiece Workshop
Saturday, November 18 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.
Learn to create a stunning centerpiece for just in time for Thanksgiving. Tickets are $150 for members and luncheon attendees; $175 for nonmembers.

About René van Rems


René van Rems is a world-renowned ambassador of the floral industry. Originally from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, René has called San Diego, California, home for over 20 years. He is a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), The National Speakers Association, and the Professional Floral Commentators International (PFCI).

René was formally educated in the entire spectrum of Floriculture/Horticulture through his studies at the Rijksmiddelbare Tuinbouwschool at Aalsmeer (Floral Institute). He has led design shows, workshops, and seminars throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia on the styling of fresh-cut flowers.

A frequent speaker at leading art museums including the Minneapolis Art Institute and San Francisco’s de Young Museum, René has also been featured in numerous national publications like California Florists, Sunset Magazine, Flowers & Magazine, Floral Management, Florist Magazine, and Flower News. René’s design work has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens as well as the Florists’ Review publication of 101 Wedding Bouquets.

René and his work have been covered on television (HGTV), particularly for his European influence on trends in American floral design. In 1995, the American Horticultural Society awarded him the Francis Jones Poetker Award, and in 2001, Van Rems was the recipient of the Los Angeles Flower Market’s first annual René van Rems Award for excellence in design education. In 2009, René was recognized with the American Institute of Floral Designers’ (AIFD) Award of Distinguished Service to the Floral Industry.

Table Sponsors

  • Adrea D. Heebe




Contributing Sponsors

  • Louis J. Aubert, ASID
  • Patricia Brinson
  • Dr. and Mrs. Robert L. Carter
  • Tony and Kathryn Chauveaux
  • J.P. and Erin Fleming
  • René Fransen Landscape Architect, LLC
  • Jan Gardener
  • Marian and Lawrence Gibbs
  • Mr. and Mrs. John W. Hall
  • Dr. and Mrs. Charles William Krieger, Jr.
  • Pat and Dianna McCurnin
  • Stephen H. Myers and Laura Myers
  • Sally E. Richards
  • Mimi and Claude Schlesinger
  • Ms. Stephanie Stokes and Mr. Dan Shea
  • Dr. and Mrs. Charles Rodney Smith
  • Catherine Tremaine
  • Kathryn and David Weidner
  • Lucie Whitley