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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Behind the Scenes at The Martha Stewart Show

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A few weeks ago, I started my day at the TV studio where we film The Martha Stewart Show. Getting ready to be filmed on live TV is not as nerve-wracking for me as it once was, but it's still just as exciting! I thought you might like a behind-the-scenes peek at what goes into filming one of these episodes. So today I'm sharing some pictures of the process.

This episode focused on promoting Martha's new book that you've heard so much about, Martha's Entertaining, but it also included a cooking segment and a feature with yours truly on fall flower arranging. It was a great audience that day and a really dynamic episode, so I hope the images project that! Has anyone had a chance to get the new book? It is gorgeous!

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A glimpse into my dressing room at the Martha Stewart Show.

1 A glimpse into my dressing room at the Martha Stewart Show.

My hair stylist Anthony Sorensen coifs my 'do, while Producer Barbara Fight makes sure he doesn't miss any stray hairs. Getting ready for TV can be so laborious!

2 My hair stylist Anthony Sorensen coifs my 'do, while Producer Barbara Fight makes sure he doesn't miss any stray hairs. Getting ready for TV can be so laborious!

Barbara and Kyle Ramdeen, a Production Coordinator at Martha TV, pose for a minute with me and the new books!

3 Barbara and Kyle Ramdeen, a Production Coordinator at Martha TV, pose for a minute with me and the new books!

This image gives you a pretty good idea of all the nuts and bolts that turn a studio into a stage. These lights are the reason you absolutely must wear TV makeup when shooting.

4 This image gives you a pretty good idea of all the nuts and bolts that turn a studio into a stage. These lights are the reason you absolutely must wear TV makeup when shooting.

Barbara subs in for Martha during our staging takes, so the camera men can get an idea of where and how to shoot. Petite as she is, Barbara needed a footstool, so I decided to hop on one as well!

5 Barbara subs in for Martha during our staging takes, so the camera men can get an idea of where and how to shoot. Petite as she is, Barbara needed a footstool, so I decided to hop on one as well!

We talk through the script. During this episode, Martha and I prepare a set of fall flower arrangements, so we're probably discussing who is going to be talking about what, and when.

6 We talk through the script. During this episode, Martha and I prepare a set of fall flower arrangements, so we're probably discussing who is going to be talking about what, and when.

The TV studio has various sets that can be used for cooking, gardening, and interior home shoots, plus lots of the furniture moves around during production. Here I've swung into the kitchen to discuss plans for my Halloween dinner party with Chef Pierre, who was also there for the Book Launch episode.

7 The TV studio has various sets that can be used for cooking, gardening, and interior home shoots, plus lots of the furniture moves around during production. Here I've swung into the kitchen to discuss plans for my Halloween dinner party with Chef Pierre, who was also there for the Book Launch episode.

We recreated this table setting from the pages of Martha's new book just for the TV special. Martha loves the faux bois tablecloth that's draped under everything.

8 We recreated this table setting from the pages of Martha's new book just for the TV special. Martha loves the faux bois tablecloth that's draped under everything.

Looking into the test kitchen before filming, all the cooks are wearing black. And look under the counter–remember the big pickle jar my colleague Yvette found in a flea market? I told you Martha loves them!

9 Looking into the test kitchen before filming, all the cooks are wearing black. And look under the counter–remember the big pickle jar my colleague Yvette found in a flea market? I told you Martha loves them!

This is the set where I filmed the flower arranging segment for this episode. It's meant to feel like a greenhouse with a view of the city in the background; it works, don't you think?

10 This is the set where I filmed the flower arranging segment for this episode. It's meant to feel like a greenhouse with a view of the city in the background; it works, don't you think?

These orange Chinese Lanterns and Dahlias are some of my favorite flowers to decorate with, especially in this season. Remember them from the arrangement at my dinner party?

11 These orange Chinese Lanterns and Dahlias are some of my favorite flowers to decorate with, especially in this season. Remember them from the arrangement at my dinner party?

All of these wines are under $30 per bottle and are available at Pasanella and Son, Vitners, located at 115 South Street in New York City. (www.pasanellaandson.com)

12 All of these wines are under $30 per bottle and are available at Pasanella and Son, Vitners, located at 115 South Street in New York City. (www.pasanellaandson.com)

Barbara fills in for Martha again, in our seating arrangement for the opening segment of the episode. She, myself, Deputy Creative Director Ayesha Patel, and Chef Pierre Schaedelin sat at this table to discuss our favorite images from the new book.

13 Barbara fills in for Martha again, in our seating arrangement for the opening segment of the episode. She, myself, Deputy Creative Director Ayesha Patel, and Chef Pierre Schaedelin sat at this table to discuss our favorite images from the new book.

The studio audience starts to file in before the episode airs live.

14 The studio audience starts to file in before the episode airs live.

In this image, I'm filming what's called a

15 In this image, I'm filming what's called a "bumper shot," which is when the camera pans on you coming back or heading to a commercial break.

Action! Now that the episode is being filmed live, all the kitchen workers have suited up in purple shirts. Martha is all about the details.

16 Action! Now that the episode is being filmed live, all the kitchen workers have suited up in purple shirts. Martha is all about the details.

The wonderful Joey Kola works the crowd during commercial breaks.

17 The wonderful Joey Kola works the crowd during commercial breaks.

Joey had everyone in fits of giggles between takes; he roamed the audience, handing out freebies and keeping spirits high.

18 Joey had everyone in fits of giggles between takes; he roamed the audience, handing out freebies and keeping spirits high.

Martha makes her entrance and welcomes the crowd. This book is such a personal one and you can tell she's thrilled to present it.

19 Martha makes her entrance and welcomes the crowd. This book is such a personal one and you can tell she's thrilled to present it.

We've now launched into our favorite book segments, and here I'm describing one of my favorite photos, in which I'm passing off an enormous flower arrangement to Martha.

20 We've now launched into our favorite book segments, and here I'm describing one of my favorite photos, in which I'm passing off an enormous flower arrangement to Martha.

The flower arranging segment begins!

21 The flower arranging segment begins!

Martha's arrangement was small, composed and leafy, whereas mine was (per usual) loose, sprawling, and colorful.

22 Martha's arrangement was small, composed and leafy, whereas mine was (per usual) loose, sprawling, and colorful.

I love that this image captures us in-between takes; cue cards and direction from Barbara are indispensable when filming live!

23 I love that this image captures us in-between takes; cue cards and direction from Barbara are indispensable when filming live!

The four of us have reconvened at the dinner table (note the rollers to move it around) to discuss that particular party from the book: the wine, the food, and what a great time we had.

24 The four of us have reconvened at the dinner table (note the rollers to move it around) to discuss that particular party from the book: the wine, the food, and what a great time we had.

Thanks for coming! Pierre, Ayesha, myself and Martha take a few question rounds from the audience at the end, and that's a wrap!

25 Thanks for coming! Pierre, Ayesha, myself and Martha take a few question rounds from the audience at the end, and that's a wrap!

The entrance doors to the TV set were decorated like the cover of Martha's book. Stunning!

26 The entrance doors to the TV set were decorated like the cover of Martha's book. Stunning!

Martha, Ayesha and I pore over a particular spread in the book.

27 Martha, Ayesha and I pore over a particular spread in the book.

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Comments (2)

  • Hi Kevin, I watched the show online and enjoyed it. Amazing flower arrangment from you and beautiful table styling from Aysha and delicious recipe from Piere. Looks like an amazing book. I would love to add it to my Martha Stewart library of books. I wish I could purchase a signed copy! Is it possible Kevin? Thank you

  • Thank you for this interesting look behind the scenes! Also, may I say that I would love to have the faux greenhouse, but for real of course, in my own home. The view would not be a cityscape, but it would be wonderful nonetheless. The Martha Stewart style has been a source of inspiration to me for years; and I'm sure it will be for many more to come.

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