Share this article

print logo

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.


Alisia Mayes recalls the cache of fragrances found throughout her grandmother's home. Spices simmered in the kitchen; dried hyacinths, roses and lilacs were aromatically displayed through the rest of the house."She made her own potpourri and she taught me how to preserve the beauty of the flowers," she said.Today, Mrs. Mayes sews draperies, pillows and decorative acce…

WHOSE STYLE do today's style-makers admire most? Designers at the recent Men's Fashion Association were pulled aside and asked who they think dresses well.Culling from such worlds as politics and entertainment, here's who they came up with:Luciano Franzoni, stylist for Confezioni Riserva: South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela."He's very stately. He's a ma…

Wearing a sport jacket over jeans or a dress shirt without a tie hardly can be called a fashion revolution. People have been mixing tailored and casual looks for years. Sometimes unintentionally.But at the recent fall preview of the Men's Fashion Association, such pairings were prominent."We like the idea of a city jacket you can wear for business but also for the wee…

You don't have to be a skateboard or windsurfing champion to wear them, but Killer Loop sunglasses hardly are designed for those whose idea of action is swinging in the backyard hammock.Introduced by Bausch & Lomb at last week's press preview at the Men's Fashion Association in Rye Brook, the line features a lightweight, wraparound shield design in innovative color co…

To many, fancy faucets may sound like a drippy idea. A faucet's sole function is to turn the water on and off. Who cares what it looks like, right?But now, in this design-conscious society, consumers find that high style has come even to the banal faucet. Whether remodeling a room or simply replacing a faucet, homeowners who seek the out-of-the-ordinary will find a wi…

Forget, for a moment, the 3-D boxer shorts from Joe Boxer. Or the Nubbiest Nub Nub socks by E.G. Smith. Or, for that matter, the tan sweater covered with M & M candy appliques at Marienbad.Fun? Yes. But what the fall season really is all about is what Esquire magazine describes as discreet dressing.This calls for a friendlier attitude in tailored clothing, trendsetter…

So you're 4 years old, and you've got these sneakers, you see. They carry a trendy label, all right, just like the ones attached to the feet of the kid sitting next to you at preschool.But you're an individual. One-of-a-kind (Mom and Dad always tell you that). At your age, you want to express your sense of style.So how do you show off those summer sneaks? With snazzy …

NOTED fashion designer Geoffrey Beene once said, "A man's personality is reflected in his necktie."Ha!What can one assume about the man dressed in a navy blue tie scattered with Kelly green frogs, or -- we're stepping out on a limb here -- buffalos?Or the man wearing a tie spattered with last Friday's Manhattan clam chowder?Or, and those of you who do this know who yo…

WHEN JACK C. Anthony used to send his three daughters off to summer camp and later to college, he always made sure there were letters waiting for them in the first day's mail.It was just one way that Anthony, director of Cradle Beach Camp in Angola, made the transition away from home a little easier for all concerned.For many young campers -- especially those going aw…

From the Boston hillsThomas W. Stender's contemporary hardwood furniture is gestural and graceful, yet functional. It's also a lot of fun to look at.Two new pieces include "Canilune," a chair designed from padauk, lacewood and bird's-eye maple, and "Walking Twill," a table available in either light or dark woods.Stender, of Boston, N.Y., designs one-of-a-kind and limited…

FOR THOSE who find clicking their Bics totally unsatisfying, behold the return of the fountain pen.Sales of the luxury pens have doubled in the past few years, according to the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association, which keeps track of such things.Never mind that you can't make carbon copies with fountain pens. The point is that when connoisseurs pick up a lux…

Just as a scarf can pull together an outfit, a woven throw can blend softly into a room's decor -- or offer a striking contrast.It isn't surprising, therefore, that rectangular throws made the rounds at home furnishings and accessories markets this spring.In fact, no interior setting is complete, it seems, until a throw is tossed over the side of a sofa, draped across…

"All marvelous parties share three things in common -- imagination, a desire to dazzle and delight, and a transcendent guest list." -- Aileen Mehle, gossip columnist, from "Tiffany Parties"WHEN BUFFALO artist Pamela M. Palma and her friends entertain, there's always a gimmick.Last fall, it was the potluck party. Then came the hat party. This summer, it's the mismatc…

WHAT DO Western New York homeowners want in landscapes? They want big. They want it now. And they don't want to have to take care of it.And, oh yes, they want their yards to be unique. Not like the Joneses.Like fashion and interior design, landscaping, too, is tied into trends. Weeping plants are "in" right now. So are dwarf trees and interlocking brick patios. Decora…

Designer Richard Mishaan calls his shade "maize."Alexander Julian labels it "banana."Charlotte Neuville opts for a spicier "mustard."Yellow is the color most associated with spring. This season, it shows up on a whole lot more than daffodils. From men's silk ties to women's linen chemises, yellow makes impact.But it's been a long time coming. Yellow -- the prejudicial…