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Susan Martin

Susan Martin is Home & Style Editor at The Buffalo News. She is a native of Western New York and graduated from St. Lawrence University and Syracuse University.


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I recently had one of those weird moments when I wondered if something was happening for real or if I dreamed it. In this case it’s for real. I did not wake up one morning and say, “Wow. I had the strangest dream last night. People are putting their books on their bookshelves backward.” Turns out, they are turning their books around. It’s been going on for some time …

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On frosty days, local interior designer Mark Taylor dreams of decorating a sun room. It would be big and bright – and very uplifting. “I would love to use yellow right now because I’m already sick of winter. I would love to do a sun room with oranges, yellows and greens to remind us that spring is coming,” he said. When asked what colors she would choose when decorat…

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Beth and Craig Downing bought their Buffalo townhouse in January 2016 and moved in nine months later. It was a challenge but Beth Downing's sister, Lynn Hayes, and niece, Kelly Zimmerman, stepped in to help with everything from choosing the materials to decorating. In an email, Beth Downing, senior director of finance and administration for Buffalo Olmsted Parks Cons…

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It’s going to be a fashionable year for your porch, patio and garden. Some of the trends appear to have crossed over from the runways and maybe even your own closet. Dotted foliage? Very chic. Velvet? It goes beyond holiday parties (and sofa upholstery). The Proven Winners website shows a petunia called ‘Royal Velvet’ and a begonia named ‘Velvet Red.’ And who can res…

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Federated Holland Garden Club will meet at 11 a.m Jan. 17 at the Brink Memorial Community Center, Legion Drive, Holland. Following the business meeting and luncheon, members will discuss and plan for their 2018-2019 yearbook as well as the club’s May flower show. New members welcome. Call 537-9710. Western New York Rose Society will meet at 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at St. Stephen…

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Martin and Janeen Burruano moved from their home in North Tonawanda, where they raised three children, to a ranch in Wheatfield that has a main house and an apartment. In an email, Janeen Burruano described what motivated them to move and offered additional details for our online Home of the Week feature: “I feel our home is unique in that it offers hope to families …

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Whether it’s organizing the closets, shopping for new lamps or rearranging the furniture, people often feel motivated to spruce things up around the house come January. For many people, cleaning out the clutter and organizing top the list. This time of year I always get in the mood to move stuff around. Lamps, artwork, pottery ... nothing is safe when I enter a room. …

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Jaime Wolniewicz is a big fan of HGTV's "Fixer Upper." It's where she copied many ideas for the home she bought in February 2016. "You grow up hating how your mother has HGTV on all the time  - and then you become that person," said Wolniewicz, direct marketing manager at Seneca Gaming Corporation. She bought the four-bedroom, two-bath Cape Cod in West Seneca at age …

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When Adam and Heidie Buffomante moved from their starter house to a new larger one, they didn’t need to hire a moving company – or even rent a U-Haul. Their new house is located right next door to their old one. “We carried things across the lawn,” said Adam Buffomante, dean of students at the Charter School for Applied Technologies middle school. The Western New Yor…

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After years of living in Craneridge near Kissing Bridge, Donna Evans-Deyermond and her husband, Calvin Deyermond, decided to move to Buffalo. After renting an apartment on Richmond Avenue for four years, they decided city living was indeed for them. The house they bought just over two years ago has two other apartments in it. It also has a large yard. This was a must si…

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It’s winter. It’s cold. For many, it’s turtleneck time. “I’m a turtleneck kind of person,” said Vania Escauriza, 37, a Buffalo-based designer who runs Vania & David, 1007 Elmwood Ave., along with her husband David Martinez. For others, it’s never turtleneck time. “I never wear them. Neither do my friends. My mom wears them, and my older aunts wear them,” said …

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Goodbye greenery. Hello ultra violet. Pantone Color Institute has named this shade of purple its color of the year for 2018. All this talk about ultra violet got me thinking about shades of purple in general. I recall the day my mother hauled off and painted the master bedroom a shade of purple. I was probably age 5 or 6, but if I close my eyes now and try to picture…

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Sometimes people fall in love with a house when they aren't even in the market for one. Such is the case with Steve and Maureen Bowen. They were living in Toronto at the time ... but not for long after seeing this house up for sale. Moving was nothing new to the couple. Steve Bowen, a now-retired information technology executive, was often transferred during his career.…

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People who enjoy interior design and fashion usually enjoy having books on the subjects displayed around the house, within easy reach and view. More time spent indoors during the winter months means more time focused on the rooms and spaces in one’s home – including the clothes closets. Who doesn’t get in the mood to weed out, organize and rearrange the furniture come Janu…

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There’s nothing new about ugly Christmas sweater theme days, contests and websites. People have been throwing ugly sweater parties for years. In fact, Dec. 23 is the date of the 16th Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party in Vancouver, B.C., which has been called “the birthplace of the original ugly holiday sweater party.” So with National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day arrivi…