Hazel Tree Happenings

Greetings from behind the scenes at Hazel Tree Interiors. We’ll be opening our doors in just under one month and we are getting so excited!

If you’re new around these parts, Hazel Tree is the studio that I am opening along with my picture-framing husband and partner, Jon Haidet. (Opening day is on 7/10/10, Grand Opening Celebration is on 8/7/10!)

Hazel Tree Interiors will be located in the old Norka Futon building at 143 West Market Street, just up the hill from downtown Akron. The building is a beautiful, historic gem that will now be in its third generation of housing businesses dealing in home furnishings.

For our generation, Jon and I will move his custom picture framing business and my interior redesign business under one studio roof. In addition, we also happen to have a lovely amount of showroom space, where you will find things like:

-examples of how our growing network of artisans can give a fresh look to existing pieces through redesign

-locally-made furniture and home decor items

-local art

-eco-friendly and USA-made options in furniture, lighting, wallcoverings, fabrics

-local resources for whatever custom pieces we can dream up for your home or business…either from scratch or designed around your favorite existing heirloom or item.

It is all coming together nicely, as a potpourri of unique and beautiful home decor options under one roof. Can’t wait until we see you there!

So, today I thought I might share some of what has been going and who has been working on the studio space with us since we started.

First: what do you do when you’ve got a 15′ X 32′ wall that has 40-year-old textured wallpaper with highly-visible seams and countless patch marks, that has been painted multiple times and removing the paper is not an option? Well, here’s what our answer was. Below is a beginning shot of working on the wall we have affectionately called “Gigantor”:

Now, the wall is shown here not even close to complete, the finished look is really amazing…but I wanted to show you what it was when we got started and a hint of what it was becoming. That’s 100+ year-old newsprint of a publication called “The Youth’s Companion”. The pages date back to the late 1800′s, and the thought of what the printing process was back then, well it just blows my mind when you look at it and think about it. As we’ve worked on it, the thing that has taken the longest is stopping to read what we’re cutting out and pasting to the wall! The old ads and illustrations are really entertaining and we’ve learned a lot of history along the way. We can’t wait for you to stop in and read some for yourself.

Where did I find these papers, you ask? Well, the stack of these thick, perfect papers was located just down the road from Hazel Tree at one of my favorite places to be on the planet: Stagecoach Antiques! Any time I’m on the hunt for anything specific, I can walk in there and Eileen, Leo or Donna can always point me in the right direction. This paper was the perfect solution for multiple reasons, but most importantly, we used an existing material and we can add as many more nail holes as we need to over the coming years and this time, they’ll be camouflaged! Can’t wait for you to come in and read see the end result.

We get by with a little help from our friends

As the evolution of the building has progressed and we’ve gained clarity of what all Hazel Tree can be, we have had the amazing support of a lot of people. Some have lent elbow grease, some business advice, some design input, but all (and there’s many more than I can blog about in one sitting) have had a part in helping us in some way.

To all the people who have helped us as we’ve gone along…whether it be with an hour of time, some words of wisdom, or being game for an idea and running with it…a million thanks for your time, care and elbow grease!

And the people I’ve spent the most time talking and working with:

There’s John Wilkie of Revere Refinishing (and his new venture Repurposed Relics) who has been a huge supporter and collaborator. John has helped us with everything from painting walls, calling me when he comes across great pieces that I really need to buy up, planting flowers, lending an ear, spreading the word about Hazel Tree, to working on pieces that will be on consignment in the studio gallery. Thanks John, for everything!

Michelle Alley from Pieces Fine Furniture Consignment. I have her to thank for introducing me to some key people, sharing her experiences with me as I navigate the many decisions along the way, and for the little gem of pushing me to always focus on answering the what before the how.

Kathy and Bernie and Uncle Rick and Aunt Ruth and Mom and Dad, thanks for always saying yes when we call!

Jim Lewis of Jim Lewis Construction. Jim is helping us out in lots of little detail ways around the studio and is always there when I have a general “do you think this is possible” building question or idea. Plus, he calls me Sunshine…and reminds me to be that way on the days when I’m stressing more and shining less.

Ed Lewis of Lewis Quality Interiors is an old contact who I am back in touch with because he installs the most delicate of wallpapers! I’m very happy to reconnect with him, as we are now collaborating on pieces to sell on the studio gallery floor, and also cooking up some possibilities of new design services we can bring to Akron.

Kelly Tighe, who I go waaaay back with from my days as a producer for Carousel Dinner Theatre, will be arriving in a little while to revisit his Akron roots. We’ve had many a telephone pow wow so far and pretty soon, if you drive up and down Market Street, you’ll be seeing him up in a boom lift painting a pretty picture on the side of our building. Can’t wait to be back in the same room with this man. Serious magic and fun happens when we get together.

And then there’s Linda Red Luscombe…my dear friend who has an impeccable sense of what needs to happen first before the next thing comes along and who is helping in countless ways as we approach the opening. She has been working with us on projects large and small and is always a great sounding board for ideas and thoughts as well. On top of being awesome for the reasons I just mentioned, she’s a welder whose work you will see at Hazel Tree along the way.

And, you! Seriously! :) Thanks to you for your interest and support for our new venture and for reading this long post to the end. We appreciate your excitement and we thank you for spreading the word!

Make it a great day,

Karen

P.S. If you or anyone you know is an artist or artisan whose work falls in the bullet points listed above for the type of work we’ll have for sale in our showroom, get in touch and we’ll discuss the possibilities. We’re accepting deliveries for consigned items beginning the week of 6/28.