Home of the Week: The Sember House in Clarence: “A Gallery of Our Travels” | Home & Garden

Brette Sember, a local freelance writer and author, has traveled the world and enjoys displaying the handmade and other items she has collected over the years. She and her husband Terry live in Clarence with their two golden retrievers. They have two adult children.

That’s how she described her home in an email for The Buffalo News’ Home of the Week feature. See more photos at the end:

“Our home in Clarence has been shaped by travel. The inspiration piece is the world map that my grandfather used to record all of my grandparents’ travels. This precious family heirloom hangs in our family room.

Brette Sember’s grandfather’s map listing all the places her grandparents visited.

Photos courtesy of Brette Sember

“Her travels and my grandmother’s collections (dolls and souvenir spoons I bought in every country she visited) influenced me so much that our whole home is now a gallery of our travels.

“All of the art in our home was bought on our travels and I have collections of pottery, sheep, baskets, sand, magnets, glass, bookmarks, travel books, landscape paintings and more. There is a photo gallery wall with family photos taken while traveling. We have our own maps showing where we’ve been as well as a door that I’ve decoupled with maps of places we’ve been.

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basket collection

The basket collection by Brette Sember.

Photo courtesy of Brette Sember

“I look for unusual, handcrafted objects on my travels, such as a woven belt from the Peruvian rainforest, a silk-printed landscape framed by a piece of an old lobster trap, art glass, a shell made from a Barbadian conch shell, a Nantucket lightship basket , a ceramic tide pool, boxes inlaid with gold from Japan, a French lace bookmark and more.

“Every room in the house is a testament to our travels.

Semester home office

Many of the bookmarks she collected on her travels can be found in Brette Sember’s home office. The colourful, pompom-like piece of jewelry comes from Peru and once hung on the back of a llama’s collar. The piece on the door frame is a Hawaiian lei made from shells and nuts.

Photo courtesy of Brette Sember

“Since we moved here 22 years ago, our home itself has undergone extensive remodeling and additions to accommodate my travel collections,” she wrote.

Do you love your home? Share it with us.

The Buffalo News is exploring other local houses and the stories behind them for the House of the Week digital feature on BuffaloNews.com.

In the past we have featured townhouses, townhouses, a farmhouse, cabin, penthouse apartment and many others.

Now that the warm weather and gardening season is here, readers have a chance to show off not only the inside of their home, but their outdoor spaces as well. Decks, porches, balconies, barns, gardens, ponds… so many possibilities.

Here’s what you need to do if you’re interested in submitting your home for Home of the Week: Tell us about your home in about 150 words and email 10 high-resolution pictures (in JPEG format; horizontally preferred) via E -Mail to homeandstyle@buffnews.com.

It’s okay to split the images across multiple emails. Please enter your name and place of residence. A phone number is also helpful.

Those selected for BuffaloNews.com will be contacted by Home and Style Editor Susan Martin. Single-family houses, condominiums, lofts and apartments are eligible.

We will contact the selected individuals to be featured. We will record your first and last name and the city or town where you live, but not your exact address.

For this digital feature, we will publish some or all of the photos you submit.

Questions? Having trouble submitting photos? Please email Home & Style Editor Susan Martin at smartin@buffnews.com.

More photos of the Sember House and its collections:

Sember living room card

The Sembers pin the places they’ve been to on a world map that hangs in the living room.

Photo courtesy of Brette Sember

September card

Another map of the Sember showing their travel destinations.

Photo courtesy of Brette Sember


A collection of works of art.

Photo courtesy of Brette Sember

Books for the semester trip

A collection of her travel books.

Photo courtesy of Brette Sember

Sember gallery wall

A gallery wall of family photos taken while traveling.

Photo courtesy of Brette Sember

Sember home office collections

Spice jars filled with sand from beaches around the world hang on the cupboards in Brette Sember’s office. She has 90 glasses. More of her bookmarks hang on the wall.

Photo courtesy of Brette Sember

sember kitchen

Three framed Maine and Oregon tiles hang on the wall next to a bookshelf in the kitchen.

Photo courtesy of Brette Sember

Collections of semester trips

Collectibles in a cabinet on the left include a pink bowl made from a conch shell. Middle, a large collection of magnets. Right, a door they decoupled with maps of places they’ve been.

Photo courtesy of Brette Sember


A belt from the Amazon in Peru hangs in the upper floorboard.

Photo courtesy of Brette Sember


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