How to Make the Most of Your Nantucket by Design Experience This Summer

2021 Nantucket By Design event at Hadwen House Garden. Photography courtesy of Nantucket Historical Association.

Nantucket has long been a favorite summer destination, thanks to its history, stunning scenery, and singular design aesthetic. And while the cobblestone streets and breathtaking beaches are always worth the trip, the return of Nantucket by Design makes the first week of August an especially enticing time to visit for design lovers. 

The Nantucket Historical Association’s premier summer fundraiser, Nantucket by Design highlights the island’s unique influence on American design through an impressive roster of keynote speakers, insightful panels, a preview of The Nantucket Summer Antiques Show, and more, making it a sought-after event for the design-minded set. Chaired by Stacey Bewkes and Olivia Charney, this year’s programming will center around the theme “Celebrating Home”—an acknowledgment of how our relationship with our personal spaces has evolved over the past two years—and include intimate master class breakout sessions on topics such as floral design and entertaining.  

With the recent release of the event schedule and lineup of luminaries who will be presenting, we took the opportunity to speak with Ashley Santos, associate director of marketing for the Nantucket Historical Association, and Stacey Leuliette, editor of The Scout Guide Nantucket, to find out how to make the most of your 2022 Nantucket by Design experience. Here, they share everything attendees need to know, from not-to-be-missed programming to how to enjoy Nantucket like a local during your downtime.

2021 Nantucket By Design event at Hadwen House Garden. Photography courtesy of Nantucket Historical Association.


For the full Nantucket by Design experience, plan to arrive in time for the opening night cocktail party, which will take place at a private estate on Wednesday, August 3rd from 6 to 8 p.m. (you’ll need a leadership level ticket to attend). Guests will enjoy refreshing drinks with the design luminaries who will be presenting during the coming days.

Thursday, August 4th, keynote speaker Alex Papchristidis, who has appeared on both the AD100 and Elle Décor A-List, will kick off the programming with a presentation and conversation with Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence at the Opening Keynote Design Luncheon, held in the ballroom at the iconic White Elephant from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Later, The Nantucket Summer Antiques Show Preview Party at the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club will offer a special first look at the show from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

On Friday, August 5th, Veranda Magazine editor in chief Steele Marcoux will host a panel of interior designers and tastemakers from 10 to 11 a.m. in the White Elephant Ballroom that includes event designer and planner Tara Guerard; tastemaker and event designer Keith Robinson; artisan and author Christopher Spitzmiller; and New York City-based decorator Ashley Whittaker. In addition to the lively panel discussion, a series of master classes will be offered throughout the day, during which attendees can learn about entertaining and design from experts in small-group settings. In the evening, plan to head to the Nantucket Whaling Museum for a rooftop cocktail party from 6 to 8 p.m. complete with spectacular views, and don’t miss the special exhibits inside. “We are excited to host an evening event in our museum, where Nantucket by Design attendees can truly see what this array of events supports and how history is an integral part of experiencing Nantucket,” Ashley Santos, associate director of marketing at the Nantucket Historical Association shares. 

On Saturday, August 6th from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Nantucket by Design will feature a runway for the first time, with a design fashion show at a private estate that will undoubtedly make for a memorable afternoon.

2022 luminaries from left to right, top to bottom: Alex Papachristidis, Steele Marcoux, Tara Guerard, Keith Robinson, Christopher Spitzmiller, and Ashley Whittaker. Photography courtesy of Nantucket Historical Association.


Nantucket by Design is one of my favorite events during the summer season,” says Stacey Leuliette, editor of The Scout Guide Nantucket. “It’s a wonderful week celebrating the island’s design influence, and we look forward to all the festivities this year as well.” If you’re planning on attending, she recommends booking early; located 30 miles out to sea from the mainland, the island is accessible only by ferry or flight, and it comes alive during the summer months. 

A highly sought-after destination, Nantucket has a variety of excellent places to stay. Some of Stacey’s favorites include White Elephant, a luxurious resort right on the harbor that offers many options for water sports, a phenomenal spa, and a central location. As an added bonus, some of the Nantucket by Design programs will be held on-site (see above). Stacey recommends Harborview Cottages if you’re visiting with family in tow, as the cottages allow guests to have their own place to relax while enjoying all the amenities of a hotel. For a design-focused stay, Stacey suggests Hotel Pippa, which has the perfect quintessential Nantucket vibe with incredible style, in addition to a busy restaurant. Meanwhile, Faraway offers delightfully eclectic, maritime-inspired rooms, plus a chic café and bar lounge that serves up Mediterranean-inspired cocktails and fare.


In addition to the Nantucket by Design programs and parties, be sure to take in some of the lovely local scenery and shops. Stacey recommends exploring the island by bike—one of the most popular Nantucket pastimes—via one of the many trails. “Be sure to ride up to Millie’s restaurant and head to Madaket beach,” she advises. Other must-visit beaches on Stacey’s list include Galley Beach (perfect for taking in the sunset), Steps Beach, and Squam Beach.  

If you’re looking to shop local, there are plenty of boutiques on the island to fill an afternoon of browsing. Some of Stacey’s favorites include Current Vintage, a must-visit local favorite offering a curated selection of vintage pieces, plus wine and cheese; Samuel Owen Gallery, which is always filled with incredible eye candy for the art connoisseur; 28 Centre Point, a home furnishings store that carries Nantucket-chic accessories; and Wheat Boutique, a destination for classic, comfortable, and stylish everyday apparel.

Leadership Tickets on sale now. Purchase your tickets here

This article was produced in partnership with Nantucket by Design. The Nantucket Historical Association is featured in The Scout Guide Nantucket.