A Blue & White Nantucket Summer

A Coastal Home lends itself with ease to decorating in nautical blue & white especially in a kitchen and family room flooded with sunshine!  

Blue & white decor carried outside to our garden furniture.

The décor of every room in our Nantucket home shares some version of this color scheme to provide a cohesive and restful palette for island living.  It’s a cool combo for summering on the island, and a neutral palette that beautifully receives changes of accent colors throughout the year; my favorite are autumnal corals and oranges at Thanksgiving and bright yellow at Daffodil time in spring.


Blue & white porcelain and cobalt extends to the family room.

Creativity begins with inspiration

My inspiration for this tablescape came from a Facebook friend whom I do not know personally.  She sent me these beautiful porcelain globes accompanied by a lovely note and a print of Nantucket. It was one of the kindest gestures I’ve ever experienced. She taught me the importance of paying-it-forward, which I have done many times since.

Step out of your life for a few minutes each day and be gentle to the world around you…

As I began to “gather my nuts”, I knew these precious globes would take center stage. I placed them in the center of each bowl. To keep them from rolling around, I hot glued (my favorite tool!) hydrangea leaves to the bottom.  When guests and family members were seated, they were easily removed as a single unit.


My personal treasure and inspiration for this tablescape.

For this summer’s no-muss, no-fuss family vacation, I decided to freshen things up with the use of a tablecloth to add a huge punch of fun to the epicenter of the house, the kitchen.

I usually use placemats for the ease of upkeep for everyday use.  But, I’ve gotten into using tablecloths recently, a FUN divergence.  And boy, does it change the scape of not only the table, but the whole room.  I love it!  I left most everything else white to keep the eye restful, except for the addition of new accent pillows for the five Family Room club chairs.  Best deal on the planet! These 100% cotton (look like velvet) Pottery Barn pillows were delivered in a week to the front door. They arrived with an exquisite quality custom monogram, A C K, in bright white, the aeronautical symbol for the Nantucket airport! The deep rich color of navy astounded me. The pillows were $39 each with a 20% discount code and an additional $8 for each monogram. They were far more than I had anticipated and looked a lot more expensive than they were. And did I say they are washable? Love a summer deal!

Swapping pillows from room-to-room is allowed!

The table was designed for a light summer make-ahead dinner served after a long day at the beach.  I love straw anything; chairs, ice bucket, casserole dishes, placemats and every other thing you can see here, including the family room coffee table which you can see below.

Straw accessories spell warm weather and carefree living, and are a fun change from the winter when everything turns to more formal silver.

The casserole dishes go from oven or refrigerator to table, and look great against the blue & white. The straw ice bucket has been a keeper for years. We use it for chilled wine or Prosecco, or simply for ice.  And last, but not least, my favorite purchase of all, the beautiful blue & white porcelain wine stopper from The Nantucket Hospital Thrift Shop I found for $5!  There are always birds, boxwoods or pineapples somewhere in my tablescape designs.  I used small boxwoods which I placed in blue & white porcelain containers I found years ago at Whole Foods. They were planted with Paper Whites at holiday time. I scooped them up knowing I would have them forever.

And of course, cobalt…

What’s a blue & white tablescape without something cobalt?  I love it for its richness of color and the magical way it receives sunshine. If you look closely, you will see that I alternated stemware styles to jazz it up a bit, and used my high vases in both the kitchen and family room to draw the eye from one end to the other.



A treasured gift from a friend, a serving piece I use for crushed red pepper or grated cheese and Pottery Barn pillows custom monogrammed.


Best summer find! Blue & white porcelain wine stopper from Nantucket Cottage Hospital Thrift Shop, $5


Meet Charlotte my Havanese

49 Shades of Grey

~Nantucket Island~

Tablescaping in elegant shades of grey on the Grey Lady

I happened upon this beautiful collection of Turkish dishes while shopping at THE LION’S PAW on Nantucket. I was immediately attracted to them for their, refreshingly new coastal tones, simplicity of style and versatility of use. My vivid imagination could see them used in a variety of ways; a Bahamian style setting with burlap table covers, giant palm fronds and bamboo chairs, or a circus themed birthday party of vibrant printed cloths in pinks, oranges and turquoises, Birds of Paradise and Phillip Stark Ghost chairs, or a Truman Capote(esque) Ball in black, white and silver with black table linens, hundreds of black, white and metallic silver balloons, red roses at each place setting and silver ballroom chairs. The possibilities are endless…

There is never one way to do anything. These delicate ferns are gorgeous and add such beauty.

I tend to be a more formal, and thus decided to surround these beautiful dishes with silver and crystal for a formal dinner party. A step away from the predictable nautical colors, these beautiful shades of grey speak elegance to me, and conjure up a feeling of richness, like a grey Armani suit or graphite Mercedes Benz, perfect for entertaining on Nantucket Island, our “Grey Lady”. As I began to gather my nuts, which, as you know, is the way I begin a “scape”, I closed my eyes and created a vision board of textures and interest: white Irish linen, mercury glass, fine cut crystal, silver, antiques, luminaries, greenery, coral and a touch of whimsy! And of course, there had to be a “grey” culinary selection, which I knew would be none other than my favorite, a plate of oysters in shades of grey!  Grey became the theme of the design and the menu! I always try to remember our five senses when preparing for guests: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste....

Shades of grey in our friends from the sea, accented with an exotic green

Oyster shells at each place set the theme for both the design and the menu

I first chose the nautical clock, a gift from our children, inscribed with: “THERES NO TIME BETTER THAN NOW”. 

It inspires me to think BIG, to GO FOR IT, to DRESS UP instead of dressing down, to be aware that LIFE IS NO DRESS REHEARSAL and to remember that EVERYDAY IS SPECIAL. I hoped it would inspire our dinner guests, too.

My signature style always includes a boxwood, which I perched on top of a silver ice bucket, and weaved with a gorgeous “Nantucket” embroidered ribbon from Nantucket Sewing and Design, where I’ve been buying ribbon for 27 years! Adding antique elements creates table conversation, and for this, I used my 17th century bun warmer and 18th century silver and crystal inkwell. The more you add to your setting, the more interest it has, and the more inspiring it will be! The ivory and silver flatware, also from THE LIONS’S PAW, worked beautifully with these neutrals, and are really perfect for any place setting. I think they are a must have!  I pulled from my collection of coral and used a piece at each place setting with a small kraft name tag tied to it as the place card. 

My signature piece,  a Boxwood, weaved with embroidered ribbon

I like to have place cards for guests. It eliminates the awkwardness of selecting a chair when they come to the table. It purposely allows for the opportunity to mix up your guests, and it says, “hey, I’ve thought about this and this is what I think is going to make for a fun and convivial evening!”

Lighting on dimmers and lots of candles is always a "must" as it sets the mood!  My new favorite is this large grey mercury glass votive candle with an octopus cut out. You can’t imagine how fabulous they looked all lit up at night. Another conversation piece! Clever!

Candlelight by octopus! Quite fabulous in the dark.

And last, but certainly not least, is the tiny vase I filled with mini-calla lilies at each place setting, another signature style for me. There is something special about each guest having their own little floral piece. 

I used a tiny vase from my collection of home infusers! Home infusers last anywhere from 4-6 months and usually come in lovely etched bottles which I save and use for small scale vases at place settings! 

***My husband once said to me, “sitting down to one of your tables is like sitting in your own little comfy, beautiful house for the evening”… And that, is always my goal when you come to dine with us! 

Visit my blog on THE LION’S PAW at www.lyonslifestyle.com/florida-nantucket/ to learn more about this iconic Nantucket home décor store I’ve been shopping at for 27 years. And better yet, visit THEM! They SHIP!   www.thelionspawnantucket.net  (508.228.3837)

The Lion's Paw
30 Main Street
Nantucket, MA 02554


  • Dishes: The Lion’s Paw Nantucket
  • Octopus Mercury Votive Candle: The Lions’ Paw 
  • Silver Charger:  Personal collection
  • Marine Clock:  Personal collection  (Gift from my children)  Freedman’s of Nantucket
  • Octopus Candle:  The Lion’s Paw Nantucket
  • Flatware:  The Lion’s Paw Nantucket
  • Rabbit Napkin holders:  Personal collection (Gift from my nieces)
  • Silver Ice Bucket:  Personal collection
  • Coral: The Hub
  • Name Tag: The Lions’s Pawn
  • Antique Bun Warmer:  Personal collection
  • Antique Ink Well:  Personal collection
  • Mercury Tall Candle Holder:  Pottery Barn
  • Crystal: Saint-Louis “Tommy” Personal collection
  • Monogrammed Irish linens:  Personal collection
  • Boxwood:  Personal collection
  • “Nantucket” Embroidered Ribbon:  Nantucket Sewing and Design
  • Calla Lily Vase: Anthalusa Home Infuser Bottle (save them when done!)
  • Mini Callas: Flowers on Chestnut Nantucket
  • Greens: Flowers on Chestnut
  • Oysters: Straight Wharf Market