Flea Market Décor - - Great Finds -

their per­son­al­i­ties, their tastes and their pas­sions. In­te­rior de­signer Suzanna Santostefano, along with her hus­band, Mick, and their chil­dren, has cre­ated just such a home, filled with stand­out vin­tage finds and brim­ming with cre­ativ­ity. Suzanna’s home and firm are based in Austin, Texas, where she and Mick both work as artists and de­sign­ers. Suzanna works across var­i­ous me­dia, with a sculp­tural fo­cus on fibers, weld­ing, wood­work­ing, ce­ram­ics and in­stal­la­tions. “I’ve al­ways loved work­ing with and bal­anc­ing dif­fer­ent tex­tures,” she says. And it shows through­out her oak-shaded, 1958 ranch-style home. “Our home isn’t large and, be­ing built in the ’50s, it didn’t have a lot of mod­ern-day func­tion­al­ity. So it was ex­tremely im­por­tant for us to make it func­tional and work for a fam­ily of five.”

After liv­ing in the home for seven years, Suzanna con­tin­ues to call it a “work in progress.” Var­i­ous ren­o­va­tions have been com­pleted in the space, in­clud­ing up­dat­ing the kids’ rooms, gut­ting the shared kids’ bath­room, adding use­ful stor­age and start­ing a closet over from scratch. When she cre­ates in­te­ri­ors for clients, Suzanna de­scribes her aes­thetic as “ca­sual, liv­able and lay­ered”—some­thing that comes across in her own home. Al­though there are nods to mid­cen­tury style,

Suzanna mixes in other styles also. “I love to have a bal­ance in style, and too much of one thing drives me a lit­tle crazy,” she says. “I have lay­ered our home with many eras and styles, hope­fully cre­at­ing a bal­anced aes­thetic.” The heart of the home is un­doubt­edly the vin­tage trea­sures through­out, span­ning his­tor­i­cal pe­ri­ods and ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tions. “What I love about vin­tage is that it is the soul of the room. It’s that layer that adds all the char­ac­ter and brings the warmth. You could cre­ate a pretty ster­ile space, but layer it with vin­tage and an­tique pieces, and it comes alive.” Many of the home’s pieces she tracked down at flea mar­kets. She’s es­pe­cially par­tial to Texas’ famed Round Top An­tiques Fair. “Go­ing to flea mar­kets is so in­spir­ing,” Suzanna says. “I love look­ing at pieces and think­ing about how they could be used for dif­fer­ent func­tions. Also, the way flea-mar­ket ven­dors put the spa­ces to­gether or up­cy­cle ob­jects is in­spir­ing and re­ally gets my cre­ative juices flow­ing.” The rest of the fam­ily’s dé­cor was found on Craigslist, in­clud­ing the Bald­win piano for $75, two mid­cen­tury arm­chairs, a kilim rug, Tolix chairs, a vin­tage chalk­board and more. Al­most all the art­work in the home was cre­ated by Mick, friends and lo­cal ar­ti­sans. Suzanna has also wo­ven in what she

calls “heir­loom pieces,” like the Korean chest in the liv­ing room. “We picked it up in South Korea when our fam­ily lived there when I was in 7th grade. I love this piece so much; it ac­tu­ally in­spired me to briefly work in a shop in the ’90s restor­ing sim­i­lar an­tique cab­i­nets from Ja­pan.” She also cher­ishes an Ira­nian rug bought for only $1 “way back in the early days of ebay.” Another keep­sake is the Henre­don Chi­nois­erie cam­paign dresser, found by Suzanna’s mother at an an­tiques store. “It’s in nearly per­fect, orig­i­nal con­di­tion. We drove two hours one way to snag it.” Suzanna shares that when guests walk into her home, they of­ten say it feels “so hos­pitable and wel­com­ing,” a re­sult com­pletely in har­mony with her goal: “It’s im­por­tant to us that our home is cozy and it’s a space that in­spires cre­ativ­ity.” With its many con­ver­sa­tion pieces, art­ful use of color and many pops of per­son­al­ity, the home cer­tainly achieves the mis­sion.

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