Martha Speaks!
Janel Laban
May 1, 2009

We zipped down on the brown line to hear Martha's presentation this morning at the Merchandise Mart. She was there to kick off the International Antiques Fair and boy...does she ever know how to make an audience happy. In a room full of interior designers and their clients, antique collectors, press and lots of Martha fans, she stuck to what she knew we would like to hear about - beautiful stuff in beautiful rooms. She took us on an hour long journey through each of her homes...

...from the elegant vintage apartment on Riverside Drive that she and her husband lived in as newlyweds (for $250 a month!) to her grand home in Maine. She dished a little dirt, told lots of anecdotes and showed slide after slide of the rooms and pieces she's enjoyed throughout the years.

She's obviously a shopper, starting off with the tale of a $50 sideboard (her first antique purchase - which she sold for $800 and then later saw going for $21k) and ending up with the story of the above-mentioned home in Maine (purchased 3 hours after viewing it, over margaritas). This is a woman who has an eye for quality and relishes a smart (or at least a passionate) purchase.

With a bit of self-deprecating humor, she positioned herself as the "older generation", jokingly sharing stories of her daughter's disinterest in her collections, yet, in the next breath, she admonished the audience for the lack of hands when she asked how many of us were "twittering". "Not enough!" she said. "It's the future - I've gotten 520,000 followers in just 10 weeks!"

Rock on, Martha.

Info on the fair (on through the weekend): International Antiques Fair

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