IM Blog Archive


By Leslie Linsley

Contributing Writer


(Dec. 29, 2014)

Every year I hear the same question: What are
you doing for New Year’s Eve? I’m not much for celebrating
anywhere but home. It’s the last weekend to enjoy the Christmas
decorations and somehow it seems all the more special knowing that it
will all be taken down very shortly. Like many people I’ve talked
to I have my own rituals although there are many parties and events
around town for celebrating with friends on the island. The Nantucket
Hotel event has turned into a very exciting one that is talked about
in the months preceding the evening. It’s an opportunity to dress
up and go dancing in a wonderfully exciting space. Gwenn and Mark
Snyder have done a great job in making this a spectacular tradition.
Those who are having dinner parties at home have shared some of their
decorating ideas that you might find useful if you’re planning a
get together tonight.


• Pure white and silver is a great color scheme
for this night. Bring out all your silver and use it to create a
centerpiece on the table. Put a silver Christmas ball in each
champagne flute and tie pure white linen napkins with French wired
silver ribbon. Use white tulips, paperwhites or lilies in clear glass
or silver vases. Be creative with tinsel. Surround the flowers on
the table with silver balls scattered about. The white, silver and
green represent winter magic.


• Think red and white or even black and white.
Use lots of red or white tulips for your centerpiece, red napkins and
linens with pure-white chinaware. Fill a silver bowl with shiny
bright red balls dotted with sprigs of holly. Put a red ball in each
champagne flute.


* Artist Donn Russell once had a New Year’s
party and set the table with items from his collection of English
memorabilia. Small tins were filled with candies, he used souvenir
plates and arranged a centerpiece of little figurines of the royal
family. While you may not have such a collection, whatever you
collect can be the basis for a table setting that’s personal and


• A designer I once worked with in New York
always set an elegant, artistic table from ordinary materials. She
often covered the center of her dining table with green moss then
arranged shiny balls and votive candles on top, keeping everything
low. Like me, she loves bare branches as a bouquet and sticks tufts
of fluffy quilt batting on them to look like snow.


• Another designer friend uses all metallic
colors on his dining table but first lays a strip of brown Kraft
paper down the center and puts a pen at each person’s place. During
the meal everyone is asked to spontaneously decorate, doodle, write
messages and resolutions on it. How fun is that?


• A friend who loves red spray-painted bare
branches with glossy red paint and created a sculpture of sticks
stuck into a container filled with moss. He used black candles for a
masculine edge. The sticks are lined up in the center of the table
and the overall effect is like gazing through an enchanted forest.


• If you have the items, setting a very ornate
table can be exquisite. You cannot overdo. Not everyone has the
china, silverware, candlesticks etc. to do this but from the many
yard sales, auctions and antique shops I’e been to on the island,
I’d say there are a fair amount of us who have inherited things
from another era. This is the time to bring it all out.


• Some items that are easy to make to decorate
the table: 1. Wrap drinking glasses with metallic tape in a spiral
pattern to hold candles. 2. Pile a cake plate with lemons and sprigs
of leaves and silver balls. Keep everything on the table yellow and
white. Fill little baskets with lemon drops for each guest.


The point of decorating and entertaining for
New Year’s Eve is to make it special. Your home should feel like a
celebration. If an intimate no-frills evening is more your speed it’s
still fun to make it special with a favorite meal, a good movie or
music, a fire in the fireplace, a good bottle of wine and maybe even
getting out of your sweats and into something a bit more festive.
You might even start now making a list of resolutions to share with
those or the one you are spending the evening.


Don’t forget candles. It’s the easiest way
to make your home romantic. Every New Year’s Eve is an opportunity
to make the evening memorable so you can look back and remember what
you were doing on the night that 2014 turned into 2015.


Even if you plan to spend New Year’s Eve
alone you can make the evening your very own by getting a good movie,
playing your favorite music, planning a favorite meal and popping a
bottle of champagne. And whether you dress up to be home with a
significant other or surround yourself with good friends, have a
happy, healthy, joyful and wonderful new year.


For up-to-the-minute information on Nantucket’s breaking news, boat and plane cancellations, weather alerts, sports and entertainment news, deals and promotions at island businesses and more, Sign up for Inquirer and Mirror text alerts. Click Here.