Before Martha Stewart became a household name, she was a stylish caterer assembling herb garden centerpieces in her Connecticut kitchen equipped with crocks, baskets, spongeware, and a cast-iron cookstove. Turkey Hill, that beloved country home, has since been sold, but her appreciation for country style remains. “I think of it as homey. It’s about being comfortable,” she says.
When she renovated her circa-1925 farmhouse in , Martha embraced time-tested country staples along with a few modern updates. Here, 10 must-haves for a classic farmhouse kitchen—from a woman who knows a little something about staying power.
A pot rack: The overhead kitchen centerpiece is now a family favorite. "My daughter—who always hated them—just put one up because she finally realizes how much easier it is to find what you're looking for!"
Heavy-duty appliances: "This is a working kitchen, and I have a bank of heavy-duty equipment. We're able to serve about 200 people at Christmas."
Cake stands: "We have maybe 50 different cake stands in our housewares line. I use my collection—milk glass, pottery—as prototypes."
Warm hues: “The custom paint color was inspired by shells," says Martha. For a similar look, try "Stormy Monday" by Benjamin Moore.
Rolling island: "I like using restaurant rolling carts topped with marble. I have three, and they're useful for moving around heavy equipment."
Deep sinks and durable materials: "Deep sinks are so much more effective," she says of the Vermont statuary marble sink. Martha also used marble for the countertops and chose lacquered poplar with hardwood veneers for the custom cabinets. "They're really hardy; I've had them since 2002."
Open cabinets: "I don't like opening and closing doors. I want to have all my tools in view. The only things behind doors in my kitchen are pantry items."
Copper cookware: Martha got hooked during a 1962 trip to France. These days, she buys closer to home. "I'm an inveterate tag sale-goer. People don't want to polish their old copper, so that's where you go for the very best value. I always bargain."
Top-of-the-line tools: "I buy tools that will last forever," says Martha, who drinks one cappuccino a day from her restaurant grade cappuccino maker. "The rolling pin that I bought on my honeymoon is still my favorite."