Nationally-known designer Lucy Penfield on her way to Boca Grande

January 23, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

BY CATHERINE BALLMAN – The tagline “live colorfully” can be found on Lucy Penfield’s website. Poke around a bit on the site ( and your eyes will be dazzled by color and enormous light. It would be a cheap trick to simply pop her into the whimsical category, despite the white Mongolian fur-covered bench pulled up to a vintage upright piano. She’s got a strict eye and a discerning, curated style. Color in her work is a punctuation mark, maybe even an interrobang.

The award-winning decorator based in the Twin Cities is on her way to Boca Grande for all the usual reasons – sun, sand and friends … and one more thing: She will be a special guest lecturer of the Boca Grande Garden Club.

On Wednesday, March 10, Ms. Penfield will give a very personal “behind the scene” workshop that showcases her knack for taking this and taking that and to put them together to make something pretty and meaningful. In this case, it is two tabletop vignettes that highlight “Lucy’s 8 Lucky Charms” that infuse her decorating. From tabletop to whole houses, Ms. Penfield uses these principles to shape her vision.

One of the fundamentals is to “show your wild card.” Create your drama and your joy, she urges. “If everything is all pink and blue, break up the perfectness of it with a bolt of citron. Create conversation.”

Photo courtesy of Lucy Interiors and Mark Brunetz

Another proposition is to “be a maximalist,” her own preferred style. She describes this as mod style falling in love with vintage. As for the other six, Ms. Penfield will describe and apply them at the workshop.

The tabletops are themed “Soiree in the Garden” and “A Night Under the Palms.” Each tabletop will be set up on 8-foot tables and each will include 100+ objects. “You won’t be able to see the table when we’re done,” she laughs. Attendees will receive printed menus to match the small stories each table tells. Because “it’s a party within a party,” she says, attendees can also expect party favors, guest cards and swag bags.

Flowers and greenery from Boca Blooms, tabletop from Newlin’s Gourmet and the Easter Egg colors of the Boca Grande vernacular architecture are all part of her inspiration for creating a dream world.

Location, cost and number of attendees are still being decided and will be published in a future edition of the Boca Beacon or keep checking with the Garden Club for new updates.