In this issue of Fool's Paradise Style, Martha Stewart shares with us her tips for decorating a 10 x 20 foot space.


The News That's Not

The first thing to consider in a decorating job of this kind, is how long you think you will be occupying the room. Ninety days, six months,a year. With the way the parole system works these days, it can be hard to predict. One thing is certain - however long your stay, you're probably going to spending a large part of each day looking at those same four walls, so you might as well be comfortable in your environment and, as far as the inevitable restrictions allow, create a space that expresses your personality. It's never a good idea to skimp on materials, so give it everything you've got. With a positive approach and a few simple tricks you can turn even a life sentence into a lifestyle.

Let's start with that window. You're going to need something to cover up those bars. A rouched curtain has the advantage of folds that will come in handy for hiding cigarettes, drugs or other little nick-nacks for bribing guards and buying off over-enthusiastic butch roommates. Try a light green or beige color, that won't clash too much with the institutional  paint scheme. Of course, you can't keep the curtains drawn all the time, so try draping the bars with tinsel to create a festive mood.

More News That's Not

Poets' Corner

A real challenge  .

...but with a little imagination...

There are few things more likely to disrupt the harmony of a room than the starkness of a metal commode in the corner. Offer the warden a few thousand shares in K-Mart for permission to paint it a pink or peach shade or a light green to pick up the shade of the curtains.

Sadly, you're going to have to come to terms with the fact that entertaining on a grand scale will have to wait until your attorney has dug up some dirt on the appeals court judge. Nevertheless, it is possible, within your reduced circumstances, to have a social life that is not completely devoid of taste and sophistication. Try holding a shooting-up party. These are very popular and completely acceptable in today's correctional circles. A centerpiece of syringes on the table makes an original and amusing alternative to hard-to-get flowers.

Personal care is important now more than ever. I recommend a prescription treatment for crabs placed somewhere that it can't be missed by Karen.

Next Week - Make your own personalized license plate.

Try turning your slopping-out pail upside down to make a desk. You'll need somewhere to spread out your smuggled copy of the Wall Street Journal. After all, where better to catch up on your insider trading than "inside?"

Now, how about that bed? You want it to look cozy and inviting, but not too cozy and inviting if you have a 6 foot 2 inch roommate called Karen, with a voice like Barry White. I recommend sewing a silk sheet to a prickly material like burlap in such a way that you have just enough room to sleep in comfort if you squeeze up against the wall but Karen doesn't feel like drawing out her nightly visits too long.   

Impound Cake
1 Cake
1 File

Insert file into cake. Mix well with crowd on visiting day.  Hope for best.

Decorative toilet paper brightens up the spartan sanitary arrangements.