A Martha Stewart Home of Your Own

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The decorating doyenne has teamed with KB Home to produce the first Stewart-branded community. Do they make the grade with architecture school dean Mark Robbins?
In March, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia unveiled the first Martha Stewart-branded community, co-created with Los Angeles-based homebuilder KB Home. (Stewart is seen here with KB's chief executive, Bruce Karatz.)
The 150-acre neighborhood in Cary, N.C., known as Twin


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The decorating doyenne has teamed with KB Home to produce the first Stewart-branded community. Do they make the grade with architecture school dean Mark Robbins?

In March, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia unveiled the first Martha Stewart-branded community, co-created with Los Angeles-based homebuilder KB Home. (Stewart is seen here with KB's chief executive, Bruce Karatz.)

The 150-acre neighborhood in Cary, N.C., known as Twin Lakes, features variations on three basic home designs, all inspired by Stewart's personal homes and priced between $200,000 and the mid-$400,000s. The homes contain one or two stories, with floor plans beginning at 1,500 square feet and stretching up to 4,000 square feet. Prospective buyers can view model homes on site, decked out with Martha Stewart-branded products.

The Lily Pond series of homes is based on Stewart's shingled Hamptons home. The Katonah series resembles her two colonial homes in Westport, Conn., and Katonah, N.Y. And the Skylands series evokes her brick home in Maine.

But how do they stand up as architectural or interior design projects? BusinessWeek Online recruited Mark Robbins, dean of Syracuse University's School of Architecture, to offer a critique, as he regularly does for his architecture students. Robbins is also the author of the forthcoming book Households (Monacelli Press), a look at the less-than-glamorous realities of home ownership via portraits of real-life homeowners. The book serves as a counterpoint to the glossy, idealized homes featured in shelter magazines like, um, Martha Stewart Living. Take a peek at the Martha Stewart Homes from Robbins' point of view.

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