When Andrea Siwiec moved into her Georgian Colonial, she never imagined her journey to turn the house into a home for her family would draw such enthusiastic attention on social media. Nestled in one of Buffalo’s Olmsted Parkways, Andrea’s more than 100-year-old house had “great bones” but needed what she called “a major refresh.” So, the creative mother of three teenage boys began an extensive home makeover. Three floors and over 6,000 square feet later, Andrea was surprised to find her renovations had inspired over 40,000 followers.
“Traditional with a touch of glam”—Andrea’s signature style—found its voice in her first apartment. “I didn’t have a big budget, but I still wanted to create a designer look. I scoured design and décor magazines and books for inspiration and did what I could.” Although not a professional designer, self-taught natural Andrea has always had an eye for decorating and the passion to go with it. The opportunity to transform the classic, three-story Georgian was an exciting challenge.
“We started restoration work on the first floor and worked our way down to the basement. It took us almost two years to complete the project. We were finally ready to start entertaining again, which we do often, then COVID hit.”
More time at home prompted Andrea to share more photos of her gorgeously finished rooms, and suddenly a following sprang up on her Instagram. Her account is called Acquired by Andrea, a nod to a key component of her design: acquiring classic pieces. “My home is filled with antiques and vintage pieces. I’d much rather buy an heirloom-quality item for my home over a new one. Antiques have history, soul and tell a story. I enjoy going to local antique galleries, estate sales, flea markets, and consignment shops to find one-of-a-kind pieces for my home. There are so many other wonderful and unexpected sources for finding unique and beautiful pieces, such as FB Marketplace and thrift stores.” One of her favorite finds? An antique crystal chandelier which hangs so naturally above her dining room table people think it was original to the house.
In fact, her historic house has inspired several of Andrea’s décor decisions. “The city of Buffalo has so much history. We live in a historic neighborhood and our home is located on an F.L. Olmstead Parkway. Looking out our front window you can see people picnicking, families playing ball, or folks cross country skiing.” Wanting to pay homage to the rich history of Buffalo, Andrea has brought many elements of the city into her home. To do so, Andrea sources many of her pieces from local makers, selects art from local artists, and decorates with Buffalo-related books. Buffalo is even on the walls of her bathroom with Queen City Toile wallpaper by Red Disk. “It depicts 7 of Buffalo’s most iconic buildings and is a great way to bring Buffalo into our home.”
Andrea is a big believer in turning an ordinary day into a special one. With more people spending time at home, creating memorable family moments has become a priority. If you walk into Andrea’s home on a random Wednesday evening you will find candles lit, jazz music playing, a bottle of wine open, and the entire family taking part in cooking the meal. Andrea says you do not have to wait for a special occasion to celebrate and elevate! Eat-in your dining room, use cloth napkins, and take out your favorite china and crystal stemware.
Another “special occasion” item Andrea considers a must-have are fresh flowers. No matter the time of year, greenery is always available. “I love bringing the outdoors in! I bring in clippings from our garden, small branches from flowering trees, and blooms from local florists, area stores, and farmers markets to always have fresh flowers in my home. In fact, my hostess gift is usually fresh flowers…along with a bottle of wine!”
Feeling inspired to redecorate but don’t know where to begin? Andrea suggests starting small. Consider wallpaper in one of your rooms. If a bedroom is too intimidating, try a bathroom, an entryway, or even an accent wall. “Wallpaper has always been classic, and people are looking to put it up once again.” Paint your ceilings with color. “Life is too short for white ceilings!” Browse shops—and your grandmother’s attic or basement—for antiques and vintage items, even ones not typically used as decorations. “You would be surprised by how beautiful these things can be as décor items. They have history, soul, and a style that lasts.”
Want that vintage look in your new build? No problem! “Think about the classic features of older homes, such as moldings and wainscoting. These can easily be added to your newer home to give it that vintage feel!”
For more home inspiration by Andrea check out her Instagram Account @Acquired_by_Andrea.
Bring the outdoors in with Acquired by Andrea!
Choose seasonal blooms- I am all about blooms throughout the seasons, whether the lighter buds and blossoming trees of spring, vibrant flowers of summer, rustic yellow and orange blooms of autumn, or the holly reds and evergreens of winter.
Greet your guests with flowers- Don’t forget to place flowers in the entryway to give guests something fresh and beautiful to see and smell as they enter your home. It makes me feel happy, and I want my guests and family to feel happy, too!
Dine with blossoms- My dining room is my wow room, so I will almost always have flowers there in very unique ways, whether an arrangement in a vintage vessel in the table center or a few stems in goblets at each place setting. Keep your eyes open for unique vases and other vessels to display your flowers!
Use other greenery- Incorporate houseplants and potted flowers for continuous greenery as well as for blooms. I even have a lemon tree which flowers all the time.
Maintain your outdoor gardens- I have started plants from seeds in my house so that I can have a cuttings garden. I also keep container gardens. We have lilac bushes and many beautiful things, but there is a time to get rid of some of the older and overgrown plants to bring in something fresh.
Acquired By Andrea