Walk Now, Act Now, for Autism Speaks

A recent letter from Suzanne and Bob Wright, co-founders of Autism Speaks, included a quote from Vietnamese author Thich Nhat Hanh: “Compassion is a verb.” Taking compassionate action is what makes a real difference in the world, and that kind of active support has allowed Autism Speaks to make great strides forward this year.

 Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi

A few of the organization’s achievements:Fifty thousand people honored loved ones with autism on April 2nd for World Autism Awareness Day, with rallies, candlelight vigils, and awareness games at professional sports events. The United Nations held a special panel on autism. As night fell, more than 18,600 monuments, buildings, places of worship and homes glowed with a beautiful blue light in 142 countries on every continent for Light It Up Blue.


There’s a genome project with Google to provide more data to scientists. The ABLE Act (Achieving a Better Life Experience) is now underway in all 50 states. The Autism Cares Act was passed and signed into law by President Obama in August 2014. And the first global conference on autism was held at the Vatican with an audience afterward with Pope Francis, where he called upon every Catholic to accept and support all people with autism.

 Pope Francis with Bob and Suzanne Wright at the Vatican

I’m a fervent believer in the work of Autism Speaks, which is why I wholeheartedly support their important work. I’ve written before about autism (you can read my posts here, here and here), and as a sponsor, I’ll be walking with my husband, Frank, and our three little Bichons, Tuffy, G.G. and Ellie again this year on Nantucket.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks begins at Jetties Beach on Saturday, August 15. It’s a two mile walk and community resource fair with lots of family and child-friendly activities, in addition to raising much needed funds for autism research, and generating awareness about the increasing prevalence of autism.

If you’re not on Nantucket, then go to this site to find out when there’s a Walk Now event in your area.


Autism Speaks.It’s time to listen.

Come See Me On Nantucket!

I’m excited to have two wonderful events coming up on Nantucket the first week in August. If you’re on the island, I hope you’ll come by and say hello. At both, I’ll be talking about my favorite topics: green design, healthy living, and being kind to planet earth. I welcome your questions and am looking forward to celebrating summer with all my island friends!


On Wednesday, August 5th,please come to the panel discussion on Eco-Friendly Building and Design, hosted by Audrey Sterk’s Nantucket Color & Design Studio at 18 Broad Street.


I’ll be appearing along with my good friend Tom Ayars, a renovation and restoration expert with 35 years of experience, from 5 to 6 p.m. Tom will talk about how restoration and renovation can be “green,” too. If it’s a nice day, we’ll be outside on the patio.


On Friday, August 7th, I’ll be helping to celebrate the Dane Gallery’s 20th Anniversary with a Comfort Zone book signing from 6 to 8 p.m. Please join us for refreshments and great conversations at 28 Center Street. I’ll be answering your questions about healthy homes and green design, and what I mean by “eco-elegant.” (You can have a beautiful, sophisticated home, and have it be “green,” too!)


Hope to see you all there!

Time Travel: Antiques in Design

Using antiques to create distinctive interiors for my clients is a longtime signature of Dujardin Design Associates, Inc. Striking, original looks can be achieved by blending old and new, traveling across time to access the most beautiful furniture, accessories, objets d’art, paintings and rugs.I believe that every room has space for something old, a one-of-a-kind treasure that speaks of our shared past. Above, we used a wall hanging composed of 18th century Tibetan Buddhist prayers written on bamboo to bring Far Eastern calm to a contemporary space.


My favorite thing about using antiquesin my interiors? They’re the ultimate in green! Repeatedly recycled over decades, these pieces have been made from old-growth wood, protecting today’s forests, have long ago completed any off-gassing from the finishing process, and slow the resource intensive cycle of new production. Above, contemporary lamps, sconces and tables blend elegantly with an antique German Beidermeier armoire and mirror over the mantle.


There is beauty in contrasts. Rather than trying to achieve a single, monotone look, give your living spaces the dash and dazzle of opposites. In this Nantucket home, we paired a 19th century gilt mirror with 21st century whale art in hand-blown glass by Raven Skyriver.


Just as you might add a fabulous piece of vintage jewelry to complete an outfit, your room can use some jewelry too. The room above is bejeweled with the Tang Dynasty horse on the shelf near the window and the 18th century Chinese cocktail table, along with other priceless Asian artifacts.


I love the look of this marine-encrusted, glazed stoneware storage jar, dating from the 15th-17th centuries and found in the South China Sea.

One way to showcase old pieces is to use them in unusual ways . Here we took an antique rug and hung it on the wall as a stylish piece of art.

Juxtaposing a sleek white bedside table with an elaborately carved antique bed from the West Indies is a beautifully soothing contrast.

Don’t be afraid to use color to enliven an old piece. Unless it’s a priceless treasure, go ahead and paint it, refinish it, change the drawer pulls, and make it your own. Or let it keep its timeworn patina. Either way, it’s a fascinating addition to your living space.

Let your antique collections add fun and a little surprise. These small articulated artists’ models are the whimsical touch that brings this space to unexpected life. Another wonderful thing about antiques is that they add a completely unique look to your home. You won’t find these models available in catalogs or at mass market retail stores.

Ready to go shopping? Don’t miss the The Nantucket Historical Association’s annual Antiques and Design Show, this year from July 29th to August 3rd. Maybe I’ll see you there!