Minimal Accents & Expense For Major Impact

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

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.

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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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Add Character to Your House

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

            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.

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Stage Your Home

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

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.

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Be Mine!

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

Using a holiday as an excuse to make gifts is great. You already have a theme or color scheme. Since it’s Valentine’s Day this month think red and white and hearts. Think romantic! There are lots of projects that take very little material and cost . Best of all they are quick!. I’ve written many tips books. Depending on the times, some have addressed money issues and focused on projects that cost next to nothing. At other times “easy” was the focus like “Leslie Linsely’s Quick and Easy Decorating Tips”. At another time I wrote, “Leslie Linsley’s High Style Low Cost Decorating Ideas”. Everyone wanted, and maybe still do, a great look for little money. But right now everyone is time conscious. Saving time, instant gratification, but great results! Today in the New York Times I read that the high-powered business lunch in a fine restaurant is dead. No one wants to take the time. And after a two-hour lunch they have to devote twenty minutes to catching up on twitter and emails and such. Seems a lunch at the drugstore counter (ideally with your computer along) is the way to have it all: lunch and business on the go. Sure doesn’t beat a lovely, slow lunch at the Centre Street Bistro.

Crafting and quick gratification seem to be an oxymoron. However in the spirit of the current sentiment I’ll try to respond accordingly. The following projects were designed to be easy, quick, money-saving and satisfyingly good enough to give as a gift. Make something for yourself. These are good winter projects. These craft projects are good for any time of year. But, since it’s Valentine’s month why not make something red and white from the heart?

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Crochet vs Knitting

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

Today I had lunch with my friend Gretchen. It’s a monthly ritual to can play catch-up and to celebrate our birthdays – two weeks apart. We always go to Miacommet Golf Club. In summer we sit out on the patio and watch the putters. In winter we’re often the only ones in the dining room. At some point we began to talk about creativity. Gretchen does many things. In spring her gardens take most of her leisure time. In the winter she crochets. “When I don’t have a project,” she said “I’m a little off kilter.” Most people who do a craft feel this way. Creativity in your life makes it fuller. When I’m in my studio doing decoupage I literally lose myself for hours at a time. I imagine many people who work on a computer feel the same way. The creative process does involve concentration whether on technique or during the design process, but when you get good at it, you enter a calm zone with time for thinking. Crafting relieves stress..

When I decoupage I design by instinct because I’ve been doing it for so long. Sometimes I have conversations in my head with my deceased mother who taught me the craft, or my grandfather who made the original boxes I am still working on. It’s an interesting little “time out” from everyday stuff.

Over the holidays I met a knitter. I asked if she also crocheted. I always think of crochet as a craft from another generation, perhaps our grandmothers’ or their mothers. I also think of crochet as something belonging to women in the Midwest. The woman I spoke to she herself was from Racine, Wisconsin. “Two things matter out there,” she said. “Crafting and sports. No one misses a high school football game.” And most women are familiar with crochet. Crochet and knitting instructions are reduced to the very basic form of communication, much like mathematics. For this reason I’ve never really liked designing projects or writing about that craft although I have often. I’m too wordy.

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Think Pink!

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

            The other day I was thinking about colors that change our mood, in particular pink. Pink comes in so many shades. It’s such a happy color. So many products rely on color as their reason for existing. Think lipstick and of course, paint. Cars could be all black and white and still sell, But – would you buy a box of black and white crayons? Would you be happy to wear black and white all your life? There’s an entire industry of “professionals” who create shades of color for products and a slew more that make up the names. What a cool job!.

While natural textures and shades of white are soothing, most people need color to be happy. Even those with all white rooms eventually add colorful paintings and accessories.

The absence of color is really hard to accept in an interior design, but it’s extremely difficult to keep this way. Color creeps into our spaces whether we want it to or not. Most people want flowers in their home. Floral fabrics or paintings dominate and create a pretty room. It’s as simple as that. I like my dose of flowers to come from the real thing. But most people don’t find this a satisfying quotient of “flower power.”

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January: A Good Month To Create

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


January is my favorite month. AND I’ve heard from others who feel the same way. It’s just a great month to play catch up. We’ve got a clean slate. The outdoors isn’t beckoning the way it is in spring. That means we spend more time indoors. And that means we can organize. There’s a reason for January being white sale month and catalogs appear filled with closet organizers. But in the world of retailers, this is also trade show month. There are gift shows all over the country but I follow the Craft and Hobby Association Show because that’s the one I’ve attended for many many years. Lately I haven’t gone, but luckily I still get all the email information. It’s a great time of year to take up a craft or go back to one you haven’t done for a while. Remember when needlepoint was such a big craze? Now it seems to be knitting. Read More

Cozy Up

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


WOW! IT’S 2015. Didn’t the year fly by? Do we say that every year?

The sun is shining and this morning I took a walk out along the Washington Street town pier. I counted three little boats in the harbor but the seagulls were out in full force. The pier was littered with broken shells, a testament to the ingenuity of the gulls. How did they all figure out exactly how to get a meal. At what height do they have to fly in order to drop the shell so it will open? Sounds silly but it’s what I was pondering as I watched them. Most of all I marveled at the stillness – No seasonal energy. I’ve lived here most of my life and never tire of this time of year.

Since I live in town I don’t consider it a neighborhood. In a neighborhood , it’s assumed there are neighbors. Windows are shaded or shuttered closed until summer. I’m used to it and don’t find it weird, unless a winter houseguest comments about it. Hooray! The holidays are over. Time to regroup. Reorganize your space. Here’s what could sound pathetic. My daily walk to do errands is like a social life. I bump into at least three or four people I know and a little chat in the supermarket is like going to a cocktail party. In ten minutes you catch up with whatever needs catching up with.

If you’re on the same page, you’re embracing January as a sort of selfish month. Need some cozying-up ideas? Make your home the best place to be. No more December brouhaha. I finished my new book before the very last day of the month. – a big goal! The layout is complete thanks to Jon and it’s off to the publisher. That said, cozy, charming, cottage style is on my mind. Here are some ideas for a little warmth, Nantucket cottage style.

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