Martha Stewart: Furniture & Accessories

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Barely skipping a beat. Martha Stewart's latest catalogue, currently named Martha Stewart: The Catalogue For Living, just arrived in mailboxes all over the city, giving us the chance to officially add Martha to our Stores Guide. First off, some history. Just as Martha was beginning to get dragged through the legal system over a year ago, her first major furniture line (with Bernhardt) was nearing completion, and everyone was holding their breath over a very big investment. Would it be any good? Would anyone buy Martha's name anymore? It is now out and, you be the judge. We think she is a little fusty and traditional at times, but basically, her design team is ON FIRE. With her signature chutzpa, Martha now has an immense line of products at both high and low price points, and is nipping at Ralph Lauren's heels.

Online Catalogue
The catalogue is an excellent selection of home furnishings, tableware and seasonal items. While it gets a little suburban, and has too many decorative throw aways for our taste, the tableware, lighting and bedding is outstanding. For example, check out the Araucana Blue Gourd Lamp for $189 and Martha's Favorite Glasses, which are thin and stylish (bad pic).

Signature Collection
This is the new collection of high ticket items including furniture, paint, fabric and flooring that are all made to work together. While the fabric and the flooring seem lost in the 90's, the furniture collection includes some great, classic shapes that I haven't seen, and her paint colors are always amazing (this is one of her stongest talents). I would check out the Bryce Lawson Armchair and the Seal Harbor Four-Poster Bed.

Everyday Collection
Found only at Kmart, this is Marthikea. Looking for bedding and towels for a summer house? Or for kitchen storage supplies for the city apartment? The textiles, glassware and paint colors look really good and are pretty well made. Like Ikea, everything is made overseas and won't last forever, but if you do some solid browsing you will find gems at low prices. Kmart is a pain in the ass to deal with, so go early in the day. Check out the Egyptian Cotton Towels for @ $5 and the Glass Storage Jars for $3.59.

One more note of caution: despite liking the items, we have had bad experiences with delivery and ordering. The company seems to either have growing pains or is really really suffering from Martha's personality. MGR

http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=shop-cat&id=cat8&rsc=sc31359

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.