Interior Design

DIFFA KC Dining By Design: Passion Comes to the Table

Amy Thurston of Edit Home Styling speaks about the plans for her table at DIFFA KC’s 2014 event

April brings a host of things to look forward to, including one of Kansas City’s favorite (and best-looking) annual philanthropic events, Dining by Design. The signature fundraiser for the Kansas City chapter of Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids (DIFFA), this year themed “La Dolce Vita,” highlights some of the area’s leading creative talents, who create spectacular dining environments for the gala’s guests.

All of the designers who participate in the event are passionate about the cause, but for some it’s especially personal. We spoke to Amy Thurston ( of Edit Home Styling about how she got involved with DIFFA and what she is planning for her table at this year’s Dining By Design, which takes place Saturday, April 26, at The Gallery event space in downtown Kansas City.

To purchase tickets to the DIFFA KC Dining By Design 2014 event, click the image below.

Q: What is Edit Home Styling?

A: Edit is really about collaboration and creative direction. I have found that most of my clients have an idea and concept for what they want their home to feel like but are paralyzed by the decision making process. Often my time is spent rearranging their home, emphasizing the pieces that have meaning and taking away the excess. My job is to be sensitive to their needs and offer realistic solutions that mirror their way of life that are comfortable and aesthetically appealing.

Q: How/why did you get involved with DIFFA?

A: I reached out to DIFFA for a few reasons. My eldest sibling has been living with AIDS for 25 years; it has not been an easy journey for him, and he inspires me daily with his perseverance. I also had the opportunity to live in South Africa, a country with devastating AIDS statistics.

I saw how the culture I lived with dealt with AIDS day to day, how their community leaders struggled to educate the elders and how infected mothers would skip the medications offered, passing them to their children instead. It was an eye opening and life-altering experience. Starting a design business a year after moving here, I thought this would be a way to meet Kansas’s community of designers and market my business, which has been extremely effective on both fronts.

Influenced by her personal experiences and the materials available, Amy Thurston of Edit Home Styling created this stunning table at last year’s Dining by Design event using a linen duvet cover, a scrap of African mud cloth and unique items from her travels, such as ostrich eggs, baobob pods, weaver nests and pottery.

Q: What was your inspiration for your table at last year’s event?

A: My experiences really fueled the design direction I took. Also, part of my business is to use what you have, so I did that wherever possible. I used a linen duvet cover as my tablecloth with a scrap of African mudcloth placed over it. All the china was my own. The ostrich eggs, baobob pods, weaver nests and pottery I brought back from South Africa. I had the DIFFA mission (Educate, Fight, Prevent) silk-screened onto flour-sack towels by Valerie Johnson as a takeaway for those who dined at my table. I tend toward the natural and the elegant, and this table was a true representation of that.

Q: What are you planning for this year’s table?

A: My 2014 DIFFA table will be very different. I’m so pleased that Ranch Mart Ace Hardware has agreed to sponsor me this year, and I am challenging myself to use unconventional items to create an elegant tablescape. There are so many fun possibilities—it has really captured my imagination, and I cannot wait to get started.