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Martha Stewart Living

Martha Stewart Living September 2020

We've expanded our magazine to bring you more of the ideas you want for organizing, entertaining, cooking, and decorating- all in one place. Plus, our special Gardening issue, Entertaining Issue, Decorating Issue and Holiday issue are all yours to enjoy as a subscriber.

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United States
Meredith Corporation
10 Issues

in this issue

11 min.
power washing

10 WAYS TO WIN THE LAUNDRY GAME 1 FOLLOW THE RULE OF THREE Try to wear jeans, other pants, and loose tops—items that don’t really get sweaty—at least three times before throwing them in the hamper. In between, spritz them with a bacteria-and-germ-killing sanitizer, like Tide antibacterial fabric spray ($7.25, target.com); or a bottle filled with plain old vodka, which is naturally odorless, says textile expert Patric Richardson. Let dry, then place them right back in your closet or drawer. Then, of course, launder underwear, socks, T-shirts, and workout clothes after each wear, says Procter & Gamble scientist Jennifer Ahoni. It actually helps them last longer: “Your body produces skin oils that end up trapped on clothes and break down the fabric,” she says. Skip the dryer to extend their life further…

3 min.
the refined eye

Sheila Bridges Interior designer and author, New York City Despite her perch in the highest echelon of American interior design, Bridges is truly grounded. “I believe in beauty, of course, but never at the expense of comfort and functionality,” says the Harlem-based designer, who is renowned for her modern-classicist aesthetic. A native of Philadelphia, Bridges studied sociology at Brown Univer-sity, but fell hard for decorative arts during a year abroad in Rome. She launched her own firm before turning 30 (one client of note: former president Bill Clinton) and went on to author books, host a tele-vision design show, and create an iconic wallpaper—Harlem Toile de Jouy—that’s in the permanent collection of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. She is also one of the founding mem-bers of the Black Artists + Designers…

8 min.
step outside

AS STAY-AT-HOME mandates switched on in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus, many people complied by parking on their cans. Fitbit, the company that makes smart activity trackers, shared data a short while later showing that users of its devices across the U.S. were suddenly taking 12 percent fewer steps per day, on average, than they had during the same period in 2019. In the months since, however, many of us have gotten up off our couches and started going for walks again, since it’s a safe way to exercise in fresh air and reconnect with ourselves and others. Science backs up just how good this feels: Getting our steps in, as we love to say, not only can improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle tone, balance, and blood-sugar regulation; it…

5 min.
ask martha

How Do I Choose an Area Rug for My Family Room? —Debrah Ayoub, via Instagram The right choice adds depth and softens a space, inviting people to gather. Because it’s a long-term investment, you should also factor in your furniture setup, says Living home editor Lorna Aragon. “If it’s a large room that will be split into a couple of seating arrangements, a few small rugs can help define each one. If you want to unify the room, one large rug will do the trick.” Consider these other details, and roll out a winner. SIZE To scale your rug to its setting, use your furniture as a guide. Lorna prefers that sofas and chairs at the edges have either all their legs on the rug, or just the front two. The first option is…

5 min.
dahlia fields forever

IF THERE IS A HEAVEN, this is what it would look like,” says farmer and florist Erin Benzakein. She’s describing the sea of dahlias she grows in Washington State’s Skagit Valley, where late-summer days start foggy and cool, with plants covered in dew, and the sunrise seems to sprinkle everything in glitter. “When you’re in the middle of it, everything else fades away.” As she strolls through 93 rows of the plants, harvesting, taking notes, and snapping pictures of specimens, she often comes across bumblebees sleeping right inside the blossoms. That’s the wonder of Floret Flower Farm, a family-run operation focused on seed production, breeding, research, and education that is also a thriving seed-and-bulb business (and a 2014 Martha Stewart American Made winner). Says Benzakein, “We wait all year for…

24 min.
bake like a pro

1 THE CHAMP A great chocolate-chip cookie contains multitudes of each main ingredient. For leavening, some recipes use only baking soda, but editorial director of food and entertaining Sarah Carey prefers a combo of soda and powder—it provides more rise between two pan bangings (done during baking to make the cookies fall and get a bit wrinkly and crispy-edged; hat tip to baker-blogger Sarah Kieffer for that move). Two forms of chocolate give ours extra gooeyness: Chips hold their shape; chopped shards melt into ribbons. Mixing sugars lends dimension, since white is neutral and brown has a caramel flavor. When it’s time to bake, use a quarter-cup scoop for the optimal ratio of sturdy edge to chewy center. KEY INGREDIENTS Best Basics The staples our editors always have on hand. FLOUR Most of our recipes call…