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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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Name: Evelyn Kessler, 42. Who she is: Founder and president of International Child Advancement Inc., "a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower orphans and underprivileged children worldwide through education, vocational training, and mentoring." (ICA is holding a wine and chocolate tasting fundraiser March 21.) Her family is originally from the Democratic Repu…

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Paper hearts displayed in the windows. A Valentine's Day wreath hung on the front door. “Love" pillows tossed on the couch. We want to see how you adorn your home for Valentine’s Day – whether you go all out decorating or add just a few heartfelt touches. Please email high resolution images (in JPEG form) to homeandstyle@buffnews.com so we can share your ideas in a p…

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Name: Charlene Minx, 33. Who she is: Owner/stylist, Salon de Coquette, 484 Connecticut St.  Founder of Haircuts For Those In Need, a community service she started in 2018 that provides free haircuts by local hairstylists and barbers for those who can't afford one. "We are at Friends of Night People the second and fourth Sunday of the month at 5 p.m.," she said. Come war…

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We recently wrote about Donna Stepien and Ignacio "Nacho" Villa’s 462-square-foot home made from shipping containers in Buffalo’s Black Rock neighborhood. After publication, readers posted a few questions and observations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We reached out to Stepien and Villa via email for their answers and responses to a few of them: 1. Isn’t it …

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Two days after Christmas, Alexis Mucha submitted photos to Home & Style of her parents’ home in Lockport – a three-bedroom ranch transformed, as she described it, into a Santa wonderland. Her parents, Jim and Lesley Mucha, have spent close to 30 years building a collection of more than 200 Santas from a variety of artists and sources, such as Germany, Sweden, Russia…

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Name: Molly Worth, 35. Who she is: Owner/designer, the Factory Buffalo, a product development and apparel manufacturing company on Kenmore Avenue. She has a background in women's wear design, starting her own domestically produced, ready-to-wear apparel line, Once And For All, in 2014. She also works as a stylist. The 2002 Clarence High School graduate earned degrees in…

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Donna Stepien and Ignacio “Nacho” Villa’s previous home was a 200-square-foot “tiny house” on wheels in rural Vermont. Now living in Buffalo – Stepien’s hometown – the couple has upsized to a 462-square-foot “little house,” made largely from repurposed shipping containers. In keeping with their belief that one does not need much space or many belongings to live “effecti…

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It's winter. Nights are cold, and Western New Yorkers have to dream up the best way to create a comfortable and cozy place to slumber. So many decisions. Flannel sheets or cotton percale? Down comforter or polyester fill? Electric blanket or handmade quilt? Throw in a number of other factors – room temperature, budget, bed linen preferences of sleeping partner – and …

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Name: Michael Poczkalski, 56. Who he is: Principal designer and co-owner of room, a home store at 1400 Hertel Ave., and Michael P. Design, an interior design firm, started in 2005. The Buffalo native has a master’s degree in architecture from the University at Buffalo. He served in the Navy for six years and was a nuclear mechanic on ballistic missile submarines. He is …

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Nancy A. Gaglione, who runs Interior Design & Space Planning, calls her ranch home of three years in Snyder "a dream." Here is how she described the place for The Buffalo News "Home of the Week" online feature, her second home since downsizing in 2013: "Being in the design world is great fun. It's challenging and exciting to fulfill your clients' needs. "Doing…

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Name: Rachel Stepien, 34. Who she is: Owner of the Plant Shack, which opened in November at 618 Main St., East Aurora. The Plant Shack’s first location at Knox Farm State Park opened in July and is now closed for the season. The Plant Shack sells houseplants, grown locally or in Texas and Florida, as well as gifts and home decor sourced locally or from global small busi…

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Our latest "Home of the Week” online feature does not highlight an entire home. Instead, we feature the master closet. It’s January, after all, and many people have resolved to do some organizing around the house – with closets at the top of their list, no doubt. This is no ordinary closet, however. Below you will read about a two-story walk-up master closet at a hom…

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Two signs are prominently placed at the home of Joe and Angela Vacanti. One reads “Gathering Room” and hangs above the fireplace. The other – “Vacanti Villa” – is displayed in the backyard near the pool. Both signs drive home the point that the Vacantis really enjoy bringing together family and friends in a welcoming, fun environment where nothing is “hands off.” For…

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We recently asked readers to share their most memorable holiday mishaps – those unexpected happenings that occur despite best intentions. Here are a few of the early responses, some edited. (It’s not too late to share your own. Just send an email to smartin@buffnews.com. Please include your full name and the city or town in which you live.) Here we go: From Shanno…

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Buffalo native Alycia Ripley has a lot of nice things to say about the home that her mother, Maria Rizzo, has created in Clarence. Among her mother’s many DIY projects: installing the faux-tin ceiling. Recycling an old damaged mantel and buffet and refinishing them. Crackle painting the breakfast buffet. Performing a plaster treatment on the kitchen and foyer walls befo…