Martha redecorates Skylands, her rugged summer home on the coast of Maine, and reveals the basic principles of her deeply personal style.
A pergola covered with fruit-bearing kiwi vines on the western terrace.
Every home needs a heart. You might expect it to be the fireplace, but a circular table, 9 feet in diameter, dominates the Great Hall and serves as the hub of Skylands. Nothing smaller would have even made an impression in a room that measures 28 by 42 feet. Seven stools were collected from the far corners of the house and upholstered in the same wool damask that covers the sofas. The stools are enough alike to look good together, but different enough not to feel too formal and planned.
Martha transformed an ordinary card table by covering it with a floor-length tablecloth made from pumice-colored leather, and trimmed with antique silver-mesh ribbon at the seams; hand-tooled white gold details the edges. A game of Scrabble is never hard to initiate at Skylands.
The basic elements in each bedroom are similar, yet different enough so each room has a distinct personality; a consistent and subtle formula keeps them simple and inviting. A lustrous four-poster is dressed with a cotton voile canopy, Belgian linen, cotton matelasse, striped woven wool, and a skirt like a taffeta ball gown.
Martha never forgets the big gesture. Skylands' first-day book, a hybrid guest book and scrap album, is so enormous, at 30 by 36 inches, it needs to rest on two tables when open. Soldierlike, a tall brass floor lamp stands guard; the silk shade with antique ball fringe designed by Martha softens all that brass.
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