“To Make Living Itself An Art. That Is The Goal.”
- Henry Miller
Hi Everyone! Welcome to my home here at Lyonslifestyle, a place where I am excited to share with you my passion for the art-of-the-home and inspire you to make life inside your own home just a little more special. Lyonslifestyle celebrates entertaining, party planning, cooking, food styling, table designs and all things beautiful that make my heart skip a beat! I will take you on a journey to the places I live and love, from our home on the historic island of Nantucket to the sunny climes of Florida and everything in-between, and share with you the places I shop and the multitude of resources and handy style tips I’ve discovered along the way. Whether you live in an apartment, a condo, a cottage or on a houseboat, you, too, can have fun planning a dinner party menu, styling a perfect bar cart vignette (you know I’m Instagram #barcartobsessed!), laboring over a monogram font for your cocktail napkins, selecting a lovely candle scent or choosing the right music to waft through your party for the ambiance you wish to create. Most importantly, I want to show you how you can do it all within your budget. North or south, east or west, my hope is that you will be excited by how the littlest things can create the BIGGEST style!
Just a couple of girls enjoying life on beautiful Nantucket!
As a former United States Ballroom Dance Champion, entertaining for me is like a Broadway play on opening night. I toil to the last minute, working as hard as I can to be ready for the curtain to open for what I always hope will be a winning performance! I continuously test myself to the max, working hard to make everything as beautiful as I can, often biting off more than I can chew, but doing it and doing it well, in spite of myself. I always cook something new for guests, something everyone will tell you never to do! I will invite more people than I can seat, but so what, we stand up! I will often make a quick run to the market an hour before guests arrive, because something pops into my head and I just have to have it! The Food Network show, CHOPPED, has given me such confidence through the years, teaching me how to hone my food-emergency skills! For me, there is such a palpable excitement in creating a vision and seeing it through to its fruition. For me, its SHOWTIME!
MAKE YOUR HOME YOUR SANCTUARY and fill it with the things you love. When we satisfy our five senses of sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste, our minds are in a better place, uncluttered and unencumbered. My study in our Florida home is my favorite place to write and create. This quiet and peaceful environment complete with the faint sound of a waterfall in the distance , provides a Zen-like calm which keeps my creative juices flowing. The walls are painted a soft, enveloping, muted shade of pink, which rise to meet a 10 feet ceiling, allowing me to surround myself with my greatest treasure, a gallery wall of my children's childhood portraits. My desk faces an oversized sunny window which looks out to the beautiful greenery of a swaying palm tree, reminding me everyday that we are in Florida! I like to listen to classical music when I am working and always have a scented candle on my desk. In my 20's I discovered that flowers in my home make me feel happy. So I am always sure to have a bouquet of something in a vase at all times. And, of course, last but not least, the loving warmth of our new addition, Charlotte, who sits on my lap and stares at me while I work! I use these five senses as a guide when planning for guests; a party, a dinner or an overnight stay...
Just a couple of girls enjoying the Florida lifestyle!
Charlotte in Nantucket giving me some advice on styling my sideboard!
We don't just tablescape. We "scape" anything with a flat surface....even the top of a car!
Let the Games Begin…
Monogramed pencils add a little something extra and just "make the ordinary extraordinary".
For the past 35 years, I have loved planning parties of all kinds, from a dinner party for 800 at the home of Martha Stewart, to many black tie events in my own homes, to the quiet intimacy of a small fireside dinner in the middle of a snow storm, to a lively dinner for twelve in the kitchen, to our Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes for 25 and to the many crew team regattas I catered on the riverbanks that stretch from Massachusetts to Delaware, serving crowds of 90, a time in my life when I fell in love with Costco! But my biggest party-planning joy of all has been the recent, exquisite weddings of two of my three children and the upcoming wedding of our daughter! Boy oh boy, there is nothing in the world that tops that level of excitement and adrenalin pump! That joy inspired me to do this work....
Lyonslifestyle will showcase my signature style, chronicling decades of good advice, crazy experiences, lots of bloopers and affordable design tips. My blog will be filled with ideas and experiences I hope you will love and that will make you laugh with joy as you “make it nice” one event at a time, creating your own signature style and making treasured memories that will last you a lifetime!
Thanks for stopping by!
What People Are Saying…
“Penny, a former dance champion, has brought all her training and discipline to creating a lifestyle that embodies a sophisticated elegance as well as a relaxed ambiance. As a guest in Penny’s home, you are invited to cozy up to the crackling fire, kick your shoes off, rest your feet on one of the white-damasked-covered ottomans, imbibe Grey Goose and Saint Germaine in an etched martini glass and indulge in a delicious home-made eggplant rollatini hors d'oeuvre served on leopard-patterned china.
Christmas at Penny's home is spectacular: crystal and silver sparkle, ten-foot trees are bedecked in colorful festive ornamentation, and gracious rooms are decorated from top to bottom in various themes of fantasy. The infectious laughter of little ones, the tantalizing abundance of refreshments and the heartfelt joy of the invited is palpable. Christmas is a magic wonderland at the Lyons' home!
Penny's creativity is exemplified in all aspects of her life: fashion, beauty, health, decor and food. Over the twenty-five years that I have known this exceptional woman of exquisite taste and style, she has been an inspiration to her family and friends and has shared a wealth of information regarding her lifestyle, which is extraordinary.”
"Penny’s taste very much represents who she is as a person: bold and elegant, yet approachable and FUN! She celebrates bounty and can conjure a festive mood like no other. She creates food and decorations that lift you out of the mundane regularity of life, and up into a wonderful realm of luxury and adventure. Her love of color and beauty are sincere and authentic, unencumbered by any tradition or school of design. This gives her aesthetic a liberated/ anything’s possible feel.
I grew up dressed in Ralph Lauren, witnessing dinner parties that looked like F. Scott Fitzgerald novels, surrounded by exquisite antiques, fresh flowers, and gourmet food. From a young age I’ve seen how she is tuned into what makes people feel good, and this desire to create joy is her lifestyle. From large cozy chairs with cashmere throws, to seasonal arrangements placed in areas where people gather, to chocolates cakes so beautiful, one shudders to make the first cut. Every Halloween she would design and make our costumes - she turned me into a Jack-in-the-box one year and my little sister into Dorothy complete with a balloon rainbow over her head. She has always put in the extra time and effort to make her world and the experiences of everyone in her world special.”
“Have you ever had someone in your life who could so naturally take an everyday experience and make it that much more memorable? The same person who has hosted events, big or small, that could not be compared and where no attention to deal detail is ever lost––whether it’s a major holiday, a day at the beach, or even sharing a pot of tea for two on the sofa. The person who helps set the stage for creating memories and imparts the importance of your everyday surroundings for your overall comfort and well being. The person who inspires and encourages you to do the same in your everyday life: your family, your home decor, your cooking, your entertaining, and your travels. I can’t imagine a person more fitting to impart her style and wisdom than Penny Lyons. I’m so thrilled that she will now be inspiring others as she has inspired me for my entire life. She will open your eyes to the simple yet thoughtful details that help create a world of love, memories, and happiness.”
- Amy Lyons, Editorial Director, Globe Pequot Press, & Niece
(Travel, Cooking, and Lifestyle books)
"Growing up, my mother truly made every day of our childhood not only feel extraordinarily special and exciting for us, but she always made it a celebration. Her motto to us was, “why dress down, when you can dress up,” which to this day is still very telling of the ways in which she “doesn’t just do it, but makes everything nice.”
No matter what day of the week it was, whether it was our entire family of five or just the two of us sitting down to dinner, the table would be beautifully set and our meals elegantly garnished. She taught us not to do anything simply out of practicality, but to take the extra few minutes to make it feel that much more special. As a young adult, I have tried to adopt this approach in my own day to day art-of-living."
"During the past thirty-three years that we have known Penny, we have enjoyed many beautiful events created by this gracious and generous hostess. Penny’s gatherings always combine a great sense of beauty and flair, with a true warmth and conviviality. Years ago, my husband coined the term 'Lyonize'. That's it in a nutshell, she "Lyonizes" everything she sees!"