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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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As the calendar flips, experts in every field have opinions about how we should reassess, re-evaluate, and generally improve ourselves. The word “resolutions” begins to feel like pressure. Even garden bloggers, radio hosts, and news columnists assail us with shoulds. It can be daunting, and makes me ask, “Who am I to say how you should change your ways, make a better…

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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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In this season of generosity, sentimentality, and often good times, we might stop to consider the needs of another close relative: Mother Earth. I am happy to see that many retailers are doing that to some extent, offering products related to reducing, reusing or recycling. From garden centers to trendy gift stores (Thin Ice on Elmwood Avenue among them) you’ll see gift…

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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…

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Renata Toney never expected that one day her home address would change from North Buffalo back to the East Side. But circumstances change, opportunities arise and sometimes – after living elsewhere – one feels a pull to a place from the past. Five years ago, after living in North Buffalo for more than 20 years, Toney bought the East Side home that had been in her fam…

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It’s been 10 years since The Buffalo News asked readers to share their most memorable holiday mishaps – what we called the calamities, chaos and close calls that happen despite good planning and best intentions, especially when entertaining. The headline was “Wreck the Halls” – and did we receive stories! We heard about a cooked roast landing on the kitchen floor, dr…

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Holiday home tours are a tradition around here. Here are three favorites from which to choose this month: Secrets of Allentown Tour of Homes The Secrets of Allentown Tour of Homes is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 8, with starting times at noon and 1 p.m. It is presented by the Allentown Association and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site. …

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The Junior League of Buffalo and The Buffalo News are seeking proposals for proceeds from the 2019 Decorators’ Show House, which was held last spring. Qualified not-for-profit agencies in Buffalo and Western New York may apply. A preliminary application is required and must be received at Junior League headquarters by noon Dec. 4. Application and details for submitting …

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At last it’s time to spread the winter mulch, if you have some to spread. In an ideal end-of-season sequence, gardeners often gather mulch materials, stash the bags nearby, wait until the soil freezes, and then spread it over the dormant perennials or the woody plants’ root zones. Unfortunately, neither professionals nor homeowners usually have the luxury of such timing…