Casual Entertaining With Style

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Casual Entertaining With Style!

(My blog from The Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror)


Hi there, this is the first of many blogs I’ll be writing on lifestyle trends. Right now I’m in Key West, Florida where I spend two and a half months in the winter. There are lots of Nantucketers here and we see each other often when we’re not working as hard as we do on Nantucket during the summer. Dress formal is wearing shorts and a clean shirt.  I’ve got casual (translation: easy) entertaining down pat. Here are 10 of my favorite ways to set a table and serve a meal that translates from tropical lifestyle to Nantucket summer get-togethers.  Read More

Ready, Set, Entertain

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I have a lot of “foodie” friends. It is always fun to go to their houses because you know you’ll get a good meal without fuss. I do not call myself a cook and fall into the category of making my guests feel celebrated by how I set the table. My meals are simple and I disguise this fact with a lot of smoke and mirror. For me, the fun begins when I set the table. A beautiful table, whether for two or a crowd, sets the mood of the occasion. It’s easy to set a creative table with things you may already have around the house. One of my most successful tables to celebrate the arrival of spring, – and no, it doesn’t have to be more of a reason than that – is to line clear glass Mason jars down the middle of a bare table and fill each one with a cut spring flower. Using the flower colors as the theme of the table, it’s easy to dress up plain linen napkins by tying each one with grosgrain ribbon holding a small bud under the bow. Placemats can also reflect the color of the flowers. Plates should be white. So simple, so easy! Read More

Yard Sale Mania

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I asked my friend Patrick if he’d found any good stuff lately? He’s an inveterate yard sale devotee as well as a dumpster diver. “The other day I bought an electric transformer,” he told me and described an item you could never find if you had gone in search of it. But that’s the fun of yard sales. Collecting seems to be an American passion. Everyone who likes to go antiquing, rummage around at a flea market, or scour the paper every Saturday for yard sale locations is probably not looking for anything they need. Most of us scroungers are simply hoping to uncover a treasure. Read More

Preserving Memories

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Once you’ve chosen the date of your wedding and secured a place for the reception one of the first things you do is to choose your wedding invitation. This is an important part of the process and once you see your names together in print the reality and finality of this momentous occasion becomes more real. All the invitations are sent out and what happens to them? Yours may go into your wedding album but wouldn’t it be nice to preserve it and to have on view all the time? Read More

Inspiration for Decorating an Island Home

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I’ve been writing a weekly column about home style for over twenty years. So it isn’t unusual to encounter readers on the street or customers in my store who ask how I come up with a topic each week. My standard answer is that I’m working on it in my head at all times and my antennae is up, always aware of what style changes are in the wind. Most weeks I have no problem coming up with an idea, but there are those Friday mornings when I sit at my computer wondering what in the world to write about. This is one of those mornings. What to do? It doesn’t take long to find inspiration, especially when you’re surrounded by much beauty and creative activities on the island. For example, in June our local film festival was practically played out right under my nose, as my store is directly behind the Starlight Theatre where most of the films were presented. I had a lovely week talking to film buffs about their favorites, both past and currently being shown. It got me to thinking about the films I most enjoy and was surprised to find that period pieces like those produced by Merchant/Ivory are among my favorites. I love to see lavish sets and can watch films like Gosford Park or Remains of the Day, over and over, finding details of design I hadn’t seen before. Read More