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.

I’ve been helping a few of my friends stage houses for sale. One of the apartments I’m staging is in a converted steamplant. The apartments in this industrial building is very sleek, modern and oversized loft-like, more suited to New York city than Key West. It has 30-foot ceilings and oversized gray slate floors with floor to ceiling windows and glass doors opening to decks that expand across the entire facade. Each apartment has a private pool on the roof. It is sparsely furnished and needs some hominess- if that is at all possible. I was armed with lots of lists and ideas for where we could get what we needed without spending a lot of money.


Not interested in learning a new craft this winter? A fun, shut-in project is staging your home. It’s a fun game. Pretend you are a potential buyer. Take a critical look at things. Have fun refining your spaces. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started:


  1. Look through some home furnishings magazines or on-line sites for rooms that appeal to you. Write down what you like about them.
  2. Jot down ideas.. Keep refining your lists.
  3. Look at each of your rooms with a critical eye. Does each room do what you’d like for your lifestyle? Our tastes change. Has your home kept pace with your needs?
  4. Edit personal clutter. Find interesting ways to organize personal stuff.
  5. Buy new lamp shades. We forget, that replacing these can give a room a lift.
  6. There’s always something that sort of bothers us about a room. We live with it thinking we’ll replace it “someday.” Now’s the time . Spend a day window shopping on-line.
  7. Change bedding. Buy puffy white comforters for all beds and large Euro size pillows with white covers. Beds should look sumptuous and this won’t cost much.
  8. It’s snowing! Again! Move furniture around for a new outlook.
  9. Declutter the bathroom. Buy a new shower curtain and a few towels in colors to go with the room. Add an orchid in this room and a new soap dish and scented soap. Light an aroma candle in the bathroom. A pine scent is divine.
  10. If upholstered furniture is shabby distract with a few new throw pillows.
  11. Neaten up the kitchen. Absolutely nothing that doesn’t look good on counter tops!
  12. Fresh flowers on a freezing cold day! Fill a great looking container with lemons and limes. Pearce one of each to release the fresh scent.
  13. Set a beautiful table for dinner as if company is coming. Change the artwork. Do whatever it takes to make your home look new to you.
  14. You’re spending more time indoors. Make it the coziest place to be.