interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: sandra soss

by Grace Bonney

sandra 1
today is a special sneak peek monday because we have two special peeks today (the second is coming up at 2pm!). our first sneak peek belongs to chicago artist, sandra soss (better known as ‘sosser’ online) of bricolage life. sandra is a wonderful artist who focuses on handmade accessories she sells from her etsy shop. but rather than handmade goods, today sandra was kind enough to share her home with us. her descriptions and photos are above and below and as always you can click here to see full-sized (and many extra) photos of her home. enjoy!

sandra 2
[my home is a reflection of my work; a bricolage of thrifted, gifted, homemade and hand-me-down pieces that i put together in a way that feels pleasing and comforting to me. i tend to rearrange and repurpose everything fairly often, rather than move. it’s refreshing! the photo at the top is my living room mantel with paintings (left to right) by tim anderson, a thrifted portrait signed “willa”, a print by kevin riordan, collages by me. thrifted pottery, ceramics by karin ericksson, lotta jansdotter and my mother’s cousin (candlesticks). the fireplace doesn’t work, it is full of $1 prayer candles and an old mirror from my husband’s uncle’s house. chairs from a cafe in paris by way of a cafe closing here.]

[bedroom above: i love this poster. it’s from a teatr polski production of a play called “love and death”. it always hangs over our bed in every apartment we’ve lived in. thrifted vintage lamp and bedside shelves, the ubiquitous ikea red floral duvet on the almost-made bed]

sandra 3
[kitchen: i covered this old cabinet with broken tiles and a plate for use as additional kitchen countertop space. the picasso tile in the corner is almost completely worn away from use. it stands next to the stove and serves as our main work station]

sandra 4
[this is our sunroom where we have coffee together every morning. the yellow wall is a ralph lauren color called chamois, the blue from martha stewart. we got this jens risom chair at an office closing sale. i made the pillow cover from a scrap of antique hand woven fabric and hung these toile cotton shower curtains found at an outlet store. with seven windows to cover, they were the best bargain i could find!]

sandra 5
[plate wall at the end of the dining room table. i bought the blue plant stand at a yard sale for $5 and use it to hold our collection of marimekko trays (and one vintage tin tray with a map of the usa from the 40’s). yellow hoganas keramik honey pot and mugs, red fokus latte mugs from marimekko, vintage red pitcher from hall usa (a valentine gift from my husband). old plates from various garage sales and thrift shops. i love this corner]

sandra 6
[image above: two walls in our living room. the left shows an oil painting by my son, spencer, above a stack of ikea cd boxes that i covered in maps and paper collage. a print by elsita sits beside thrifted red glass and blue ceramic vases. the cracked wood and woven lamp was rescued from my nephew’s trash. the right shows an unsigned portrait i found for $4 in a thrift shop, set in a frame found in the alley. the wooden birds are from spiel & holz design, a wonderful german toy maker. i used to own a toy store and still love beautiful toys. they are all over the apartment. the green fabric box was a birthday gift and the japanese paper boxes hold tiny tin jars of buttons. ]

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  • The link to more photos doesn’t seem to be working. It directs me to a private flickr page saying “Oops! You don’t have permission to view this page.”

  • These photographs are truly breathtaking! Your home is so warm and inviting. The mantle is to die for.

  • very cozy place!
    I love the maps on the ikea boxes. I’m gonna do that. Love the display shelf w/ all the tiny treasure boxes.

  • sandra has been an inspiration to probably thousands of chicago folk through the years. her shop, sweetpea, was a magical place, a place of natural made-to-last-forever toys and classic often out-of-print books. she not only has an unerring eye for design, but for much of how to live a life. she transformed my mothering, and by that gave my children an heirloom childhood, one removed from the modern-day buzz and blinking lights, one as peace-filled, and full of natural light as is her home you never want to leave……

  • thank you for featuring a very special glimpse into the home of a dear friend. sandra has terrific taste and an exceptional knack for putting collections, rooms and artwork together that is so inviting and unique. if you ever were to visit her home in person, you would feel so very comfortable there!

  • I heart miss Sosser.. and her house is lovely.. and i can’t wait to have a cup of tea (from beneath one of her lovely cosies) as soon as i can!


  • I love the broken-tile and plate work surface for the kitchen!

    What a great idea…I was thinking about tiles today, and wishing I could redo our backsplash – but since we rent I thought I’d have to put my tile fantasy on the backburner…maybe not!

  • thanks meredith!

    i’m a renter, too, so i feel your pain. maybe a painted handmade stencil of broken tiles on the back splash would do the trick!

  • Hey there, this is a lovely, lovely home. So inspiring to see what you came make of a home with one’s finds. I was wondering, in the extra photos, there is shelf of dishware and i was wondering if Sandra could share were she got the red teapot set with two cups at the very top? They have white handles which is very unusual. Thanks grace for a great sneak peak as usual!

  • bukola, thanks for the kind comment! the red ceramic pitcher, creamer and sugar set that you mention are vintage pieces by HALL’S USA. you might try a search on ebay and etsy vintage… good luck!

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