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
It can’t possibly be the end of summer. It doesn’t feel like summer is over, but we who live here know that the best part of the season is about to begin. The days are dryer, a bit cooler and best of all, less traffic everywhere. Jon and I went down to the Jetties late day on Sunday. We walked down the boardwalk by the Galley Restaurant , dubbed “the Gaza Strip” by locals many, many years ago. Right away we ran into familiar folks enjoying the less crowded beach and a swim in the calm water there, always warmer than the ocean.
Reflecting on the photos I took while away this summer, I came upon several of the Napa Valley Wine Train taken from my car window. Train travel seems like such a civilized way to get from one place to another. When I was a child we often took the train from Connecticut to visit my grandparents in Florida. Back then it was an overnight trip and seemed very exciting sleeping in the pull-down berths, and eating in the dining car.
I returned home from California to Nantucket’s best kept secret – end of summer. By the last week of August right through Columbus Day, the weather on Nantucket is spectacular! The ocean is warm enough to swim and it’s not too hot to do anything outdoors. My garden is thriving, even after this scorching summer thanks to Sally Obremski who’s kept it looking good. So now I’m enjoying some last days on the beach. One of my favorite spots is Stone’s Beach on Surfside. It’s still the way it’s always been, no perceivable erosion here. But the thing that always makes me smile is the little “free library.”
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.
Last week I wrote about staging a home. The motivation for this might be a desire to rent or sell your home. Then again, it’s a fun winter project. We have no control over the weather. But we do have control over our nest. AND, changing your interior can give you a lift. Think spring! Yes it’s cold and snowy outside, but it can be spring inside.
I was helping a friend style a huge loft-like apartment for sale when I wrote my last blog “STAGING”. With very little money I was able to make this cold space look a bit lived in. The idea was simply to suggest how it might be used. So here’s what we did.
Is your house new? Is it of no particular style? Want to give it some character? When I wrote my book, “Aged To Perfection” it was all about giving a new house character. But now it seems that any house, not just a brand new one can benefit from these ideas.
New houses usually have more space and features than older homes. But new houses often lack the character of an older home. Rooms in newer homes might not have any particular architectural details to make them interesting.
Think of your home as a blank canvas. It’s waiting for you to infuse it with “older home appeal.”. It’s with paint and a few interesting finds. Handcrafts and art can do the trick too. In Key West the houses ooze charm. Old houses in Nantucket feel like they’ve been lived in for a long time.
Wherever I am I start nesting and right now my home is in Key West. My neighborhood is like a mini Nantucket. I run into friends daily, from home and here. Key West is a similar community. Yesterday morning Steve and JoAnn Marcoux picked up their café con leche at the Cuban market on my corner and brought it over. The next day Liz Winship arrived on her bike, coffee in hand. If you read the travel section of the Sunday New York Times two weeks ago you saw an article about the coffee shops in Key West. Five Brothers is my neighborhood.. Steve and JoAnn get theirs at Olivia Street Market and Liz and Todd get theirs on their street at the Old Town Bakery. It would be great if we had a little market on every corner in Nantucket like here.
Socializing here is more casual than in Nantucket. The rule is, if the gate is open you can stop by uninvited. Terry Pommett called to say he had one foot out the door for the Philippines as fast as possible.
Key West is more crowded than in past winters and there is way more traffic. When I read the Key West Citizen I could almost believe it’s the Inky. Affordable housing is a BIG problem- a brutal situation for resort towns. Long time local Key West residents are selling their homes and moving to more affordable places. The quality of the town will ultimately change as it has on Nantucket. Gentrification in any cool place is inevitable.
From my blog in the Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror
I know I’m not alone. My heart races with excitement when I’m in a hardware store. All those possibilities! A few weeks ago I spent an hour in Ace Hardware in Key West. Did- Not- Need- One- Thing!! So, why was I there? I love to browse the aisles for inspiration taking pictures of things with possibilities to ponder at my leisure. Then I go back to get the materials for the projects worth doing. Great inspiration! Here’s a primer. The following are the results of one visit. Read More