Martha Stewart recently sat down with Bravo’s Andy Cohen for an on-stage chat at New York’s 92nd Street Y. We sent Nancy Lazarus to glean lifestyle lessons from the indefatigable 71-year-old, whose latest book, Living the Good Long Life (Clarkson Potter), is “a practical guide to caring for yourself and others.”
Martha Stewart has been called a lifestyle mogul, domestic guru, and design maven. Whether making a stylish court appearance to testify in the contentious Macy’s-versus-JCPenney case or dishing about her recent foray into online dating, she creates intrigue wherever she goes.
She didn’t disappoint her devotees attending New York’s 92Y event last week. Andy Cohen, Bravo’s development and talent EVP, interviewed Stewart on assorted topics and fielded several audience queries. Below are selected “mottos” that Martha lives and works by. Since she’s so organized, we’ve outlined them as a numbered list (print, laminate, and save!). While the principles are straightforward, adopting them for one’s everyday life might be another matter entirely.
1. “Use your homes as your laboratories.” She brought back hanging nasturtiums from the Himalayas to reproduce in her greenhouse. Her favorite residence is Skylands, a 1925 Mission-style granite house in Maine.
2. For decorating, “edit and put together a home that reflects your own style.” Conversely, she warned not to “over-reach and copy others’ designs, or you may miss the point.”
3. When entertaining, “plan ahead and stay in your comfort zone.” Make place cards and menu cards with unique typefaces for guests to take home. Ask about food intolerances and serve familiar recipes. Her favorite is borscht made with beets from her garden.
4. Be conscious of the environment. For example, she uses white birch logs when making a fire, since they burn cleanly.
5. Embrace social media, which means updating Facebook pages, Instagram photos, Pinterest pins, and tweets. Not that anyone’s counting, but she has 2.8 million Twitter followers to Cohen’s 1.1 million.
6. Have multiple electronic devices, and be adept at using them. How does she define multiple? She has two Blackberries, one iPhone, two iPads, and a Sony tablet.