Eight Years of Elegance

When I read that it is the eighth anniversary of the partnership between Martha Stewart and Bernhardt furniture this month, I really understood the fleetingness of time. I couldn't believe it had been that long since the debut of the Lily Pond Lane and Skylands collections, which were in stores by the summer of 2001. Five more collections have followed since: Turkey Hill, Opal Point, Katonah, North River and the newest addition, Rosebridge, which will be in stores this spring. Also being introduced this spring will be the eighth furniture collection, whose title has yet to be announced.

Below are some of my favourite pieces from the various collections. I think each collection is worthy of study, but my favourite is Opal Point with its breezy, West Coast feel. I think it is the most modern of the collections and also the most fresh and versatile.
My favourite piece from any of the Martha Stewart Signature furniture collections is the Whitney Serpentine Sideboard from the Opal Point Collection. Its Sable wood front follows the form of rolling waves, accentuated with simple drop pulls. Inside, the case is beautifully outfitted with removable bottle partitions, a silverware drawer, tray drawers, and shelves that hold everything from wine to soup tureens to tablecloths; all of the components needed to set an elegant table can be housed in this gorgeous piece.
My second favourite piece is also from the Opal Point collection: The Huntington Bibliotheque. (Bibliotheque is French for library, by the way.) It is finished in maple veneers with black finish. The center frieze area and the bottom four doors have silver-leaf glass with a frosted, etched design. The top section has four wood-framed doors with beveled glass, eglomise-mirrored back, beveled glass curio ends, nine adjustable and removable wood-framed shelves with plate grooves, one fixed wood shelf and three halogen lights with a touch dimmer switch. The hardware is made of polished nickel.
From the Katonah collection I adore the Byram Chinoiserie Sideboard. (I've got a thing for sideboards, apparently!) It is designed in a typical Federal style with tall spade legs and block front, copied from a piece that Martha has in her dining room at Cantitoe Corners. Beneath the raven exterior, with its hand-painted gold ruling and plated 22-karat gold acorn knobs, is a spacious cabinet ready to house treasured serving pieces, new and old.
I love the cohesive look of this North River furniture tableau: subtle, muted neutrals in a light-filled room with dark, bold accents and the faux-bois rug, which is also a Martha Stewart creation, available through Safavieh. I like that Martha's furniture lines can be mixed and matched, since they are so classically designed.
Gorgeous chinoiserie details on this Tides Turn side table from the Lily Pond collection make it wholly unique.Some of Martha's guest rooms at Lily Pond Lane feature antique furniture made of bamboo. This bamboo Tides Turn bed is nearly an exact replica of one of the styles at her home.The dark and rustic elegance of Skylands, Martha's home in Maine, is beautifully mirrored in this tableau above featuring various pieces from the Skylands collection. My favourite piece here is the Collector's Cabinet, shown partially at right, which features 20 individual drawers for storing various items. Each drawer is fitted with a gold-plated label well for easy identification.
When I first saw the Irvington Nickel-Plated Bed from the Turkey Hill collection, I knew I was in love.
Also from the Turkey Hill Collection is the Westport Kitchen Island, which features a marble top, six built-in drawers, a lower shelf for storage and hidden, pull-out cutting boards and serving shelves for extra workspace.


Kenn said...

The catalogs are indeed wonderful to browse through (the entire set has its rightful place in the 'museum'). A local furniture store has an entire section devoted to the collection and it's so beautiful to see up close. Happy 8th!

David said...

Indeed, where has the time gone? Personally, I instantly fell in love with the Ravenscleft chairs that are a facsimile of Martha's hepplewhite dining chairs (they're exquisite). I also used to love the Westport Kitchen Island, but what happened to it? I don't own the catalogs, but I bet they'll become collector's items.


David, the catalogs are easily attainable. Simply follow the link on my blog to place an order. Each item of furniture is listed and depicted in full colour as well as in beautiful room settings. (The Ravenscleft chairs are gorgeous, yes!)

Alan said...

the Irvington Nickel Bed is my pride and joy -- and look stunning in all dressed up in MSE Hazelnut sheet collection from KMart - or the Faux bois sheets from Macys ...

Brent said...

I have to vote for the Nickel Bed, too
We sleep on it every night at the farm

Anonymous said...

I am trying to find a picture of a Matha Stewart kitchen island that might be the Westport but not sure. It had a marble top, open bottom shelf and the drawers and a cutting board opened to both sides of the island. Any help is greatly appreciated!


Anonymous, I've added the photo of the Westport Kitchen Island to the post.