Welcome to Turkey Hill: See Inside Martha's First House
Martha Stewart lived on her gorgeous Turkey Hill farmstead in Connecticut from 1971 to 2007. What started as a reasonable $46,750 purchase of a farmhouse, ultimately became a four-acre property that included all of the lots on the street. As Martha's first house, one where she lived with her then-husband and her daughter, Alexis, it occupied an important place in her life. "Turkey Hill was a dream place for my family and me for many years," she wrote when she sold it. "It taught us, it nurtured us, it fed us, and it occupied us in so many wonderful and instructive ways. I would not be who I am today without the vast knowledge I gained there, on that small bit of paradise."
Turkey Hill had many distinctive characteristics that made it a wonderful home. It was filled with antiques, had meticulous landscape design, all-season gardens, a vegetable garden, a greenhouse, and more. Most importantly, Turkey Hill is where Martha wrote several of her cookbooks. In fact, both the original and paperback editions of "Entertaining" show her dining room, complete with her grandmother's china, her mother-in-law's silver, Depression glass goblets, and garden poppies. The farmhouse needed a lot of work when it was first purchased—it underwent two renovations—but, as Martha writes, it gave her "an appreciation of the old and antique—the materials and methods used in our house's construction had withstood the ravages of time better than any new house ever would—and an appreciation for craftsmanship."
Want to get the full tour of Turkey Hill? Martha takes us inside for a look.
"An early photograph of the farmstead, which had been rented out before we bought it."
"We did lots of excavating and sculpting of the land after we added another two-acre parcel in 1975. We constructed a barn, a chicken coop, a garden shed, and a free-standing garage."
"Little by little, the farmland took on a more designed appearance. The pool was walled in—as seen here in the snow—the roadside was protected by a beautiful stone wall, and many of the trees and shrubs, steel trellises, and tuteurs were added for symmetry and to establish an axis of vision for the four-acre property."
"My work eventually paid off in all-season gardens that had structure, texture, and wonderful, varied plant material."
The Front View
"I laid the wide path of old brick that led to the front door and planted a broad allee of boxwood on both sides; after the house was painted the color of Drabware, it settled into the landscape nicely."
The Center Hall
"I once painted the hall with a mural in the style of Rufus Porter, but never completed it. In 2002, Eric Beare created this grisaille mural."
"When we bought Turkey Hill, the smokehouse (a closet next to the north chimney) still smelled of country ham."
"We converted one of the four bedrooms into a closet; each of the remaining three had a four-poster bed."
"The kitchen underwent two major renovations—the first by Andy and me and a more professional one in the late 1990s."
The First Kitchen Renovation
"Andy and I originally concentrated on creating a large kitchen with a dining area. The Sycamore wood for the cupboards came from Massachusetts, and I found the pot rack at a tag sale—a nearly identical picture was the opening spread of my 1982 book, 'Entertaining.'"
"In the late 1990s, I finally had the kitchen professionally renovated. The new color scheme of white and pale green was a welcome change."
It's a Wrap
"The dining room's French chandelier will hang in the summer house in Bedford. The Irish Hepplewhite chairs served as a prototype for the ring-back chairs in my line by Bernhardt, and many people now have copies of these beautiful chairs in their homes."
"The brick-floored mudroom at the rear of the house was constantly transformed by the Living decorating team. Here, it is a wicker and chintz sitting room."
Another Version of the Mudroom
"Here, the mudroom is set up for a dinner."
An Updated Dinner Party
"For the paperback edition of "Entertaining" in 1998, we reshot the cover, using the same chairs, room, and location. The only thing really different was me.
The Original Entertaining Table
"The original cover of "Entertaining"; the table is set with my grandmother's china, my mother-in-law's silver, Depression glass goblets, and garden poppies."
An Early Version of the Center Hall
"The center hall underwent several transformations: The mural was changed, and the floor, first stenciled by me with dark-green diamonds, finally wore so thin it was replaced with new, plain pumpkin pine boards."
"The wide center hall was one of Turkey Hill's nicest features. The stairway was long but nicely proportioned and easy to climb."
Tending the Vegetable Garden
"I spent a great deal of time in the vegetable gardens, originally attempting to grow all that our family would need during the long growing season."
"The flower borders grew abundantly, as seen here in 1997. I never tire of trying new plants and experimenting with new varieties."
My First Greenhouse
"This small 16-foot lean-to taught me a great deal about four-season gardening, and I ultimately added two larger freestanding greenhouses."
The Chicken Coop
"The chicken coop was home to about 80 excellent laying hens and roosters; the eggs made all the labor and tender loving care they required more than worth it."
Cutting Flower Garden
"After my divorce, I found that I didn't need vast amounts of vegetables and began transforming a large vegetable garden into a cutting flower garden."
"The vegetable beds behind the house have become perennial borders with spring bulbs; summer-flowering iris, peonies, alliums, and lilies; and fall's monkshood, asters, and clematis."