Martha opens up her doors and shares how she tackles her organizing obstacles and makes her homes run more smoothly. Put her clever ideas to work in your home.
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Come on In
At Martha's Maine home, Skylands, guests can hang their coats, remove their hiking boots, and try on a pair of comfortable slippers in this hallway mudroom.
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In Martha's Bedford kitchen, the servery space includes freezer drawers for storage, plus an ice maker and warming drawers for entertaining. Two dishwashers ease clean-up, and the marble floor can be vacuumed and washed with a damp mop.
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Martha's kitchen office functions as a media center. There's a large-screen television for watching programs and DVDs, plus a computer, printer, and scanner for email, projects, research, and accessing recipes. Several small cubbies hold messages, paper, and supplies. At the desk, you'll also find telephones and a Sirius satellite radio.
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Two islands in the Bedford kitchen offer seating and storage. An overhead steel rack keeps pots and pans reachable but out of the way.
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Martha did not want the cupboards at her Bedford home to look like ordinary built-ins, so she designed a pair of long counters with marble tops; on one of them are glass-sided cabinets. They look so light and keep the space airy in appearance.
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Really "making" a bed into a comfortable, gorgeous place to lie down actually takes quite a bit of designing, careful craftsmanship, some excellent fabrics, beautiful linens, and common sense.
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In Martha's Craft Room -- actually, her attic in her Bedford home -- Martha uses glass jars to store spools of colored waxed-linen twine, a basic acrylic box to dispense seam binding, and small galvanized buckets to hold colored pencils.
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In the crafts room, thin metal shelves slide out easily on old-fashioned bird's beak supports (the small notches on the sides), giving Martha easy access to papers in a range of colors.
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Boxed Crafts Supplies
Fabric-covered boxes contain a variety of scrapbook papers. Martha stores the boxes in a row on a bookshelf.
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Slice-and-fit acrylic dividers keep scissors and other small tools in order. A graduated spice rack organizes the many jars of glitter.
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Martha's guests know that a warm welcome and an organized stay awaits them. At Skylands, she has a schedule of weekend activities printed and placed in the rooms to keep guests informed about hikes, tennis schedules and the time of breakfast each morning. Of course, the rooms also have necessities like alarm clocks and stationery.
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Bathrooms are always stocked with necessities guests may have forgotten: pain relievers, mouthwash, a fresh toothbrush, and a dark towel for removing makeup.
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This packing system works well and is easy to incorporate into your next trip. Martha hopes that you will find it as useful as she does.