Archive - September 2010

Karen Starr

I love a good wallpaper

Posted September 27, 2010

One of the things I love most about having the retail space at Hazel Tree is the opportunity to showcase hard-to-find designer wallpapers and make them easily available to all of you for purchase. Before I was a designer and could get my hands on the good stuff myself, I was always frustrated by my limited options for finding unique wallpaper. There really wasn’t anywhere I could go around town to get my hands on interesting and unusual designer samples. Sure there were design firms around that had the styles I wanted, but I didn’t need any design service past that…I just wanted the wallpaper.

There were plenty of places with everyday paper choices, but I was on the hunt for something with some oomph to it. Personally, for my home, I tend to prefer a soft and comfy overall base to my surroundings, then add some complexity and interest with accent choices. (Note here: As a designer, I do have access to softer, everyday wallpaper choices and specify those for my clients all the time, but there is another place in town best suited for finding everyday papers. The folks with the huge on-site selection of those (and all sorts of specialty papers and paints too) are just down the road at January’s Paint and Wallpaper. I love them over there, great folks.)

(P.S. Buy local!)

So when we were in the early stages of planning the space over at Hazel Tree, I saw the big white brick wall as the perfect way to display some of the latest designer wallpaper styles. We ordered large samples from our paper designers and companies, then Jon framed them in black, reusable frames (so we could shuffle the samples after a while to show you more of what’s out there.)

I am happy to report that we now seem to be getting known as a place to get wallpapers with some pow! It took a little while for word to spread but now we are seeing more and more people each week because they are on the hunt for interesting papers! (Side note: Thanks to all of you folks who helped spread that word for us…we are so appreciative of you telling others about Hazel Tree things like these wallpapers.)

And if you’d like to know my general thought as a designer and how much paper is too much paper, here’s my most common take:

I tend to use patterns/colors with a lot of impact or interest sparingly…for me it’s all about scale. So, sometimes the drama of a patterned paper needs to be on all the walls in your dining room, and sometimes it’s just on one accent wall (and sometimes, if the mood is just right, it needs to be up on the ceiling. Oh yeah…)

So, just know that you can buy one roll or one hundred rolls of the stuff! You can line a bookcase with it; paper a small powder room something fun; spice up a foyer entrance wall. Possibilities are endless. And if you need the name of a trusted installer, we can provide that for you too!

The image above shows some of the framed wallpaper samples at Hazel Tree. Each of the patterns is available in multiple colorways, and each colorway can completely change the look and feel of the pattern that you see on the wall. So if you like a particular pattern, but want a more neutral coloration for subtlety, most likely you’ll find it. Also – what is shown above is just a small portion of what I have available through sample service.


Karen Starr

Little Gestures

Posted September 18, 2010

A client gave me a gift yesterday that was so thoughtful and pretty. I cutting from a plant in her garden called Love Lies Bleeding. It’s sitting on top of a mantle here at Hazel Tree and will stay there until it dies off. When that happens, I’ll lay it in the flower bed next to the store and hope it comes back next year from seed.

There are so many things I love about her little gesture and also love about the beautiful and interesting plant. I think my favorite thing though is the fact that if it comes back next year, it will grow right alongside the other flowers and plants that have been given and shared with us this year. Split from perennials of a friend’s grandmother, or from my mom and dad’s yard, from a client’s garden, from our garden at home…

I love this. The sharing of beautiful and interesting things, and the smallest gesture made can bring up smiles for years to come now. Thanks, C!

Happy weekend, everyone! Hope it’s a good one.

Lots of love,

Karen