jump to michaelpenneystyle.com
RSS Feed

‘Classic Martha’ Category

  1. Easy Console DIY

    February 24, 2012 by admin

    Love this classic Martha Stewart Living DIY console!

    Perfect for your entrance way, this demi-lunce console is actually something you can create at home!

    1.  Start with a round or oval dining table with leaves.  Check your garage, attic or thrift shops for the perfect candidate!

    2.  Separate the table where the leaves are usually inserted.  Remove any additional hardware that protrudes beyond the straight edge of the table.

    3.  Using a mounting cleat or heavy duty L-brackets, mount the table flat edge against the wall (connecting with a stud or using strong anchors).

    4. Leave the table natural or paint depending on your look and you’re done!

     

    Happy Weekend Everyone!


  2. Mail Order Martha! NEW Book – Martha's Entertaining

    January 6, 2012 by admin

    Last night after a verrrry long day (12+ hours actually) I came home to something very special (and that’s besides the candle-lit dinner from the still on vacation Sara).  It was a magical cardboard package waiting on the dining room sideboard.  I immediately said, “OoooooOOoooh!”  because I knew what it was – the NEW Martha’s Entertaining book!  It’s one of three books I recently ordered online with some Christmas gift card funds and I couldn’t wait to tear it open.  After the candle-lit dinner of course!

    Almost, “brown paper packages tied up with strings”.  Well tied up with packing tape.

    Yaaaaaayyyyyy!!!!  It’s here!!!

    Now this is really breaking one of my rules (not peaking ahead but instead, reading cover to cover) but I cracked it open for your benefit.

    Okay if this old car shot isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is!!!

    So I’ve only read a tiny bit (twelve hour day doesn’t leave much time to read!) but I love it so far.  Here’s why:  although I’m not the biggest foodie and this is an entertaining book, it gives many a glimpse into Martha’s own homes.  The dinners, breakfasts and parties photographed weren’t set up as a ‘story’ but were real events she had over three years and captured on film.  The photography style is loose and natural, and the light is incredible.  I’ve been a little let down by the photography/light/staged-factor in MSL magazine for the past few years  - the oldies from the 1990′s and early 2000′s are the best – and this book feels like a return to that style.

    If you want to pick up a copy (the shipping is free!) try amazon.ca or indigo.ca.  It’s going to be a well used classic!

     


  3. Happy Halloween!

    October 31, 2011 by admin

    I’ve been so busy I almost forgot to say Happy Halloween!

    Styling by Stacey Smithers; Photography by Michael Graydon; House & Home Magazine

    Wishing you all a spooky, thrilling good time tonight trick-or-treating or whatever!

    And now for some scary-good ideas from the dream team of holiday decorating… the editors at Martha Stewart Living…boo!

     


  4. Decorating with Antiques

    October 24, 2011 by admin

    As the air grows crisp and cold, we all start living more indoors.  Layering our homes and adding a bit of time-worn patina seems right somehow. And for this, there’s nothing better than something antique!  Below are images from a beautiful story from Martha Stewart Living in 1999.  This story was all about American colonial furniture but so many of the pieces and ideas are applicable anywhere.

    Created by Stephen Earle & Scott Schy; Photography by Jason Schmidt, MSL Oct 1999

    Framed silhouettes look graphic and mysterious clustered together this way.  I love the pea green walls and the secretair has been faux painted to create a finer grain.

    Created by Stephen Earle & Scott Schy; Photography by Jason Schmidt, MSL Oct 1999

    Above is a stylish glossary of colonial motifs including finely carved ball and claw feet, the gate leg table, tilt-top tea table, chippendale drawer pull and comb-back windsor chair.  Keeping an eye out for these classic motifs at thrift shops and flea markets is a great way to add substance and history to your home.

    Created by Stephen Earle & Scott Schy; Photography by Jason Schmidt, MSL Oct 1999

    Now isn’t this a cozy living room?  A mix-and-match approach to upholstered pieces feels curated and interesting.  I love the variety of colours and the interesting silhouettes of the pieces.  And hey, that chandelier makes me feel good about my own little vintage one!

    Created by Stephen Earle & Scott Schy; Photography by Jason Schmidt, MSL Oct 1999

    Three of my favourite dining chairs in one space – the windsor chair, the shield back and the chippendale.  All good ones to consider pairing with your own dining table!

    Created by Stephen Earle & Scott Schy; Photography by Jason Schmidt, MSL Oct 1999

    Created by Stephen Earle & Scott Schy; Photography by Jason Schmidt, MSL Oct 1999

    Yes to the quilt!  Yes to the constitution mirror painted white!  Double yes to the white painted chest of drawers with dark chippendale-style pulls!  If your space is feeling a little too show-room new, consider adding something antique – painted or not.


  5. Blue Ceramic Art

    August 16, 2011 by admin

    So sorry everybody – it’s been a slow week post-wise!  I really do apologize as things have been rather crazy for me lately.  I’ll tell you all about it soon…but in the mean time…

    Have you ever been stumped about how to decorate the space above your fireplace?  Check out my blog over at houseandhome.com here for some colourful and unexpected suggestions.

    marthastewart.com

     

    How gorgeous is this collection of blue and white plates, saucers and delft tiles?  Such a clever idea!

    marthastewart.com


  6. Classic Martha: Decorating With Maps

    August 3, 2011 by admin

    Here’s another Classic Martha decorating story, perfect for this time of year. When the summer months roll around, I think we all want to lighten things up in our decorating scheme. Adding a nautical touch with maps is a great idea and maybe will even remind you of fun summer road trips, camping or sailing. This is also a fantastic idea for a kid’s or teen’s room or a cottage. Take a look at this gorgeousness from 2002 – still absolutely perfect!

    Created by Yu Mei Tam Compton, Matthew Gleason, and Sophie Mathoulin; Photography by William Abranowicz; MSL August 2002

    Created by Yu Mei Tam Compton, Matthew Gleason, and Sophie Mathoulin; Photography by William Abranowicz; MSL August 2002

    Created by Yu Mei Tam Compton, Matthew Gleason, and Sophie Mathoulin; Photography by William Abranowicz; MSL August 2002

    Created by Yu Mei Tam Compton, Matthew Gleason, and Sophie Mathoulin; Photography by William Abranowicz; MSL August 2002


  7. Classic Martha: Making Sand Candles

    August 2, 2011 by admin

    Here’s a perfectly summery DIY idea you might want to try.  They’re called sand candles and when you’re done the candles have a lovely beachy feeling to add some casual breezy summer style to your table or mantle at home.

    Created by Yu Mei Tam Compton and Hannah Milman; Photography by William Abranowicz; MSL August 2002

    I think a large part of the success of this Classic Martha Stewart craft comes from the colour palette.  You won’t see any bright bold hues here – just serene bottle glass colours that make sense with the beachy direction of this look.  I also love the idea of using old glass bottles as the moulds!

    Created by Yu Mei Tam Compton and Hannah Milman; Photography by William Abranowicz; MSL August 2002

     

    The rough how-to involves:

    1) melting parafin wax from a craft store in an old pot (or coffee can),

    2) adding some colouring,

    3) using a tub, sand and some bottles or glasses to create your candle mould,

    4) using a candle wick and little metal wick base (also from a craft store),

    5) pouring in the coloured, melted wax,

    6) letting it cool completely,

    7) unmoulding and brushing off excess sand.  And voila!

    Created by Yu Mei Tam Compton and Hannah Milman; Photography by William Abranowicz; MSL August 2002

    This is a really pretty tablescape with candles the colour of sunset.  The small glass pedestals and saucers are a nice touch and add height to the arrangement and keep a nice organic up and down going on.

    Created by Yu Mei Tam Compton and Hannah Milman; Photography by William Abranowicz; MSL August 2002

    You can also experiment with sea shells, tea light holders or juice glasses and create your own sand candle masterpieces.  Give it a try!


  8. Classic Martha: Summery Decorating With Canvas

    July 27, 2011 by admin

    I’m sorry to say it’s been a while since I posted a Classic Martha post!  Scanning can be time consuming especially when you have an outdated computer like I do!  Well I hope this is some worth-the-wait eye candy for you!

     

    Classic 1990′s Martha Stewart + Decorating + Easy Summer Living = ahhhhhhh….

    Created by Stephen Earle, Christopher Maya, and Scot Schy; Photography by Gentl & Hyers; MSL July/August 1999

    Love the beach house backdrop – so natural, so serene, not trying too hard…

    Created by Stephen Earle, Christopher Maya, and Scot Schy; Photography by Gentl & Hyers; MSL July/August 1999

    Simple loose flowers and summery natural light…

    Created by Stephen Earle, Christopher Maya, and Scot Schy; Photography by Gentl & Hyers; MSL July/August 1999

    Delicious sherbet-y colours mixed with muddier hues (so classic Martha!)…

    Created by Stephen Earle, Christopher Maya, and Scot Schy; Photography by Gentl & Hyers; MSL July/August 1999

    Yup.  Pretty.  Perfect.


  9. Martha Stewart Visits Toronto 2011

    June 8, 2011 by admin

    Well guys, I got to see Martha Stewart last night – in person! I got a pretty good seat last minute (since I only heard she was in Toronto THAT MORNING) and was in row G on the floor – so what’s that, like seven rows back? The event was hosted at Roy Thompson Hall as part of a lecture series with all different types of people with fascinating lives.

    This was my second real-life encounter with my decor/lifestyle mentor Martha – I actually got to meet her when she came to Canada Blooms. Here I am with Martha.

    I was more than a little nervous, but there she was being just herself and chatting us up about paint and all of her exciting new products at The Home Depot. At the time I gushed about how I had always appreciated the way she mixes clean, fresh colours with muddy ones for her signature combinations to which she replied, “You get it, you get it”. Apparently lots of people don’t, so I was more than a little chuffed.

    At Canada Blooms we had a great meeting on behalf of House & Home and she spoke so well and wowed her Canadian fans when she spoke. Alas, last night I was not able to get an interview, although believe me, I tried! Next time Martha!

    Last night’s speech (accompanied by great slides and some very funny videos) was all about how, as Martha put it, “Martha Stewart happened“. I have to admit I knew almost all of the details in her speech because I’ve followed her career for so long, but it was so great to hear them from Martha herself. She told lots of funny jokes and was very warm and friendly, while still being in control and self-assured.

    There were her humble beginnings in Nutley, New Jersey in a family of eight where she learned how to garden with her father and how to cook and sew and craft with her mother (big Martha as she was called). The two shared a special bond that reminds me of mine with my maternal grandmother and a special aunt.

    Martha told the crowd all about her first real job (after babysitting) as a model in New York city – a job that would help her pay for a university degree in architectural history and economics. Funny how I found myself studying art history and especially architectural art history at Queen’s University.

    If this photo isn’t foreshadowing I don’t know what is!

    After modeling and marrying Andy Stewart (an up-and-coming lawyer), Martha tried her hand at Wall Street as feisty stock broker.

    But she soon found herself fostering her domestic talents and renovating first an old school house and then a gracious center hall American Colonial farmhouse in Westport Connecticut. This was to be the famous Turkey Hill.

    Here Martha cooked and crafted and gardened and even turned her talents into a business selling gourmet pies to the likes of Paul Newman and Robert Redford at an upscale clothing boutique (where Ralph Lauren first sold his wares). The pie-selling enterprise would grow, flourish and turn into Martha’s first big business venture, a catering company called, “The Uncatered Affair” which would go on to service New York and the surrounding areas.

    The Uncatered Affair was run out of Martha’s renovated farmhouse at Turkey Hill and she worked her tail off to be the best and set herself apart from the the competition with her signature style and panache.

    Martha explained how the catering business turned into an opportunity to write her very first book entitled simply, “Entertaining” in 1982. She was 40 years old and just getting started. The book would revolutionize the genre by combining detailed instructions with mouth-watering recipes and lush, full-colour photographs of parties she’d catered. Martha created the book she wanted to read but couldn’t find. And the rest, as they say, is history.

    And I’m sorry but that table looks just as lovely today as it did in 1982 – THE YEAR OF MY BIRTH! We would be happy to create something so beautiful today at the magazine! Those poppies are so luscious and unusual and the turquoise glassware is totally current.

    After the success of Entertaining, Martha would continue to promote herself and hone her skills as an expert in the field of homemaking, and making that noble genre something to take pride and yes, even pleasure in. Martha was able to elevate what seemed like everyday chores to others and make them something worth savouring. Soon she had the big idea to create a whole magazine dedicated to teaching the art of (what else?) LIVING.

    Martha Stewart Living premiered in 1990 when Martha was 50 years old. At the event last night she described herself as a late bloomer. She said it was actually a wonderful time to kick-start a career because in your 40′s and 50′s you certainly know who you are, what you want and what you don’t want. She assembled a dream team (many of whom are still with MSL) and partnered with Time to launch the magazine. Of course the magazine launched an army of products, television shows, websites, a radio channel, blogs, twitter, facebook page and so much more. Martha’s brought good taste and a can-do attitude into our homes and shown us, with her own two hands, how-to-do-it.

    Martha’s talk at Roy Thompson hall was totally entertaining, full of wit and charm and warmth. She spoke candidly about her time in Alderson prison and made no bones about the fact that it was a useless waste of time. Someone asked if she believed that everything – even the bad things – happen for a reason. Martha answered, “No.” There was nothing to do but she dust herself off and get back to the work of teaching and inspiring us all.

    I’ve long been inspired by Martha and the beautiful world she and her team have created for us to dream about. Today when I look around my home, it’s far from perfect, but I see her influence everywhere. I find myself taking some time to enjoy my life and the world around me and to cultivate something just a little bit better or more beautiful to live in. You certainly don’t have to do everything Martha does – she’s never suggested it. Instead, she’s taught us to be mindful of the lives we lead and to take care with the small moments and pleasures that can mean so much.


  10. Going To See Martha Stewart Tonight!!!

    June 6, 2011 by admin

    Well it’s been a strange day, with a bumpy beginning (car troubles, missed train etc) but things are looking up!  As I posted at lunch, Twitter alerted me to the fact that Martha Stewart, one of my all-time favourite decorating and lifestyle mentors, was in Toronto TODAY!

    Fast forward a few hours and I’ve purchased a ticket to see her speak at 7:30pm at Roy Thompson Hall.  I can’t wait and I got a pretty good seat too!  Hopefully I can take pictures and tell you all about it!

    Her books, magazines, television shows and products have inspired me for years – particularly her books, Gardening Month By Month and How To Decorate.  Hope this evening is all I imagine it to be!