I Can’t Shut Up About: Deep dives into my online obsession of the week.
Martha Stewart is known as a woman of particular tastes. She famously loves peacocks and infamously hates mugs. She shamelessly enjoys pumpkin-spice coffee and covering the red bottoms of her Louboutins in black Sharpie. So while it is perhaps no surprise to you that the first self-made female billionaire has an entire shed dedicated to her collection of wicker baskets, I cannot read the words “basket house” and say nothing.
Over the weekend, Stewart updated her Instagram followers on her self-described basket house, sharing that the outdoor structure where she keeps her “hundreds and hundreds” of baskets finally got a new roof. (I know what you’re thinking. Say it with me: It’s about time!!) A basket house, in concept, is pretty self-explanatory. It is simply an entire structure, separate from your primary residence, where you keep your extensive collection of baskets. Although it bears a resemblance to Kris Jenner’s dish room (where she keeps all of her fancy plates), Stewart’s basket house seems both more opulent and more accessible. Do you, like Jenner, own a $600 teapot? Probably not. But a basket? A container of the people! (So long as those people have their own staff to help maintain a little home for their baskets.)
In a time of stealth wealth, Stewart is openly displaying her bounty of riches. But as pedestrian as a basket may seem, owning a basket shed bigger than some studio apartments is undoubtedly a marker of having money. At the very least, she seems to be using the baskets! Unlike with Jenner and her dish room. The documentation of Stewart’s basket home feels less performative and more like a (wealthy, slightly out-of-touch) aunt proudly showing you her knicknacks. Cool, Aunt Martha! I’m glad you’re enjoying your baskets!
Although some of us may be too uncouth to have ever heard of a basket house, this is not the first time Stewart has spoken about hers. In 2020, her blog published a post about how she organizes her basket house. It opens with this gorgeous line: “I love baskets — baskets of all different kinds.” The nearly 700-word post includes fun facts about baskets (e.g., “The oldest known baskets have been carbon dated to between 10-thousand and 12-thousand years old”) as well as descriptions of various types of baskets (e.g., buttocks baskets are “named for their shape”). Along with her Instagram posts, Stewart documented the process of updating the roof of her basket house and cleaning and organizing the baskets with two entire blog posts. And a process it certainly is — the baskets must be dusted, sorted, then “reassessed” by Stewart herself before they are returned to their proper place in the basket house. If there’s one thing Stewart loves, it’s Snoop Dogg. But if there are two things Stewart loves, it’s Snoop Dogg and baskets.
Few famous people are doing Instagram as well as Stewart is. Her personal account (@marthastewart48) is perhaps the world’s most public celebrity finsta. Until you’ve witnessed Stewart’s thirst traps, you do not know what a thirst trap really is. And when Stewart isn’t posting updates on her basket house, she’s sharing four variations of what is essentially the same selfie. Or she’s posting inspirational quotes that are “encouraging” and “very depressing.” Or she’s letting her followers know that she’s still in the market for “a pair of white pea fowl” to add to her personal menagerie.
Martha Stewart, like her Instagram, is best when she is at once chaotic and polished. She is at her most endearing when she indulges the two wolves inside of her: the one that organizes her basket house, because she owns enough baskets that they require their own home, and the other that drinks margaritas out of a measuring cup during a panel. Bravo, Martha. I hope your PR team never lets you stop posting.
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