Salvage Style

Salvage Style

By | Books, Creative Ideas, Decorating, Entertaining, Lifestyle, Uncategorized | No Comments

My new book, “Salvage Style” has just been released by Sterling Publishing.. The subject is decorating with recycled and reclaimed materials. For the second time I partnered with Country Living Magazine. The first book with Country Living was Aged To Perfect. Salvage Style is filled with photographs and interviews with homeowners all over the country who are passionate about recycling and repurposing material and objects to infuse their homes with character. Read More

Is It Really December?

By | Entertaining, Holidays, Leslie's blog from the Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror | No Comments

How did this happen? November came and went in a flash. And now we’re into the Christmas month with too much to do. But before I get onto Christmas stuff, here’s a rundown of the Lightship Basket Museum Yard Sale. If you missed it this year put it on your calendar for next year and if you’re off island make it a “next year must do”. I have a summer friend who returns to the island with three or four friends for a ladies weekend that centers around this big event.
To put my money where my mouth is, I actually followed my own advice and took stock of my chair situation before turkey day. I was shy one chair. I got a sweet little wooden side chair with a perfect caned seat for $10 bucks! Bought 4 Lloyd Flanders wicker chairs for $15. Each. Perfect condition!
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Outdoor Living

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There’s always so much going on during the season that it’s hard to decide what to do. Kitchen tours, house and garden tours, red tie galas, Boston Pops at the Jetties, lectures, musical events, author readings and book signings, art gallery openings, the triathlon, and then of course all the outdoor fun like biking and tennis and golf and beaching that’s always available. But wait, Nantucket weather can be fickle so you have to reserve indoor activities like museum tours for those overcast days. So much to plan and guests too!

Vacationing can be work, for those of us who live here! It’s often hard to fit in the fun things we’d like to do, enjoy our guests, and meet up with friends we may only see in the summertime. Time is precious. I like to entertain casually on my deck. We start with drinks and apps outside and then, as the weather cools or gets a bit damp we move indoors for dinner. I can safely say I’m the only house in my neighborhood that has trees decorated with fairy lights.
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4th of July

By | Creative Ideas, Entertaining, Holidays | No Comments

It’s the fourth and time for a red, white and blue celebration. Have a party. Dress up your table. The following are some quick and easy tried and true tips.


  1. When planning the food think color. For example there is nothing better than a white bowl filled with bright red strawberries and blueberries.
  2. For a barbecue use washcloths for napkins, white with blue or red stripes. Roll each one around the utensils and tie with a flag ribbon. Insert the rolled cloths into a bright red or blue paint bucket. This is one time when paper or plastic is totally acceptable.
  3. Another napkin idea is dishtowels. The over size is great for a barbecue and easy to launder. Choose the linen dishtowels in a red or blue check.
  4. For a table cover, I love to use quilts. A red and white or blue and white quilt is perfect for this holiday.
  5. Red roses or geraniums with blue Bachelor Buttons in a white pitcher for a centerpiece. Tie red, white, and blue grosgrain ribbon around the handle.
  6. My friend Rose always serves a salad Read More


By | Creative Ideas, Entertaining, Leslie's blog from the Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror | No Comments

At Home

When working on a book we always take a lot more photographs than we ultimately use. We look for 8 good shots in a house so we have choices for full page shots and detail shots as well as intimate shots of rooms. But ultimately there are always cuts just as the words also get edited for space. My books are usually 224 pages. There are always sacrifices. Do we make photos smaller so we can include more or do we cut words to make photos larger. The process of putting a book together once it’s been written and the photo have been taken is an exercise in compromise.

When I was in grad school, I had one of those teachers you remember all your life. She said, “If you want to be a writer, you have to learn to be an editor” So, you do the creative work and then you put all emotion aside and become the editor. The more unemotionally and professionally you can do this the better the finished project. It’s always hard. What’s worth keeping? What has to go?

I have a file of the photos that weren’t used in all of my books and now, with this blog I get to select from this group whenever I need an illustration.

The other day I was trolling through that file, One of Terry’s gorgeous photos popped up. It was taken on a beautiful summer day on the back deck at Ginny Kinney’s house on Silver St. Her daughter-in-law Lief had styled a table to suggest a lazy afternoon party. I think it would be a delightful theme for a bridal shower – “Come for cupcakes, strawberries and lemonade”.
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Set A Pretty Table

By | Entertaining, Leslie's blog from the Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror | No Comments

Daffodil weekend is coming but even more exciting, we are on our way

to spring.. While in Key West this winter we entertained a lot and we were entertained. It’s a social town and it’s fun to be able to eat outdoors. Even in the summer in Nantucket it is hardly ever warm enough to have dinner outside.

Entertaining begins with a beautifully set table. I love setting the table almost more than anything else having to do with having guests for a meal. How you set a table sets the mood. You might pick a color scheme, a season, a holiday, or a special occasion. Or, you might just be in the mood. Setting a table is a most satisfying creative endeavor. A beautifully set table, no matter how simple, makes guests feel special.

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St. Patrick’s Day

By | Entertaining, Leslie's blog from the Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror | No Comments


Holidays are my least favorite subject for a column. There’s not much that hasn’t already been written in past years and by everyone. When writing about home décor it’s hard to ignore the color associated with the holiday, My friend Patrick used to own an Irish bar. He embraces this as HIS day and we always make sure to celebrate him on March 17. Reminding him of the religious connotation or any mention of the early St. Patrick for which the holiday originated falls on deaf ears. He does the day proud with his shamrock suspenders and everything green.

Think Irish, think green. This particular shade of green comes from the green harp flag used by the Irish Catholic Confederation. The phrase “wearing of the green” comes from a song of the same name.

So, putting all the religious association aside and embracing it as a fun-loving day, it seems a good excuse to “go green” and really overdo it. Set a table in green and white. It’s the only thing I could to do without being a hypocrite and pretending to like the color and the whole idea of a day devoted to drinking green beer. Any holiday is a good excuse to set a table for friends of all persuasions.

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New Years Eve

By | Decorating, Entertaining, Holidays | No Comments

Every year I hear the same question, what are you doing for New Year’s eve? I’m not much for celebrating anywhere but home. It’s the last weekend to enjoy the Christmas decorations and somehow it seems all the more special knowing that it will all be taken down very shortly. Like many people I’ve talked to I have my own rituals although there are many parties and events around town for celebrating with friends on the island. The Nantucket Hotel event has turned into a very exciting one that is talked about in the months preceding the evening. It’s an opportunity to dress up and go dancing in a wonderfully exciting space. Gwenn and Mark Snyder have done a great job in making this a spectacular tradition. Those who are having dinner parties at home have shared some of their decorating ideas that you might find useful if you’re planning a get together tonight.

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June is Wedding Month

By | Creative Ideas, Decorating, Entertaining | No Comments

June is wedding month on Nantucket. Every weekend in June there might be as many as ten weddings filling all the churches and popular wedding venues including the various beaches. Let’s face it, can you think of a better, more romantic place to be married? Your guests will remember your special weekend as their special weekend as well. What inspires wedding themes? NANTUCKET FLOWERS! Read More