Archive - August 2013

Karen Starr

Buffalo Project - The "Before" Pictures

Posted August 27, 2013

Exterior of the building. Isn't it fantastic?

This past weekend, I shuffled off to Buffalo (literally) to begin work on a project in a historic building in nearby North Tonawanda.

The building had been broken up into office space, but the new owner is taking it from drab 1970's commercial, to a fab studio with workroom on the first floor and two stylish apartments on the second floor.

The entire project will take many months to complete...there is a lot of work to be done by contractors before it will reach it's "after" picture stages, as you can see below. But this weekend, we made the selections of all that goes along with the pretty "after" pictures...tiles, flooring, cabinetry, lighting. We had a great time and made some really sharp choices (if I do say so myself!)

I am so happy to be involved in this project, for someone I did work for when she was here in Akron. We have designed many beautiful things together in the past, and I was honored she asked me to be a part of this project in her home town.

(Have skills, will travel!)

I am looking forward to showing you the completed project when the time comes!



Some of my favorite details...the front door and this lovely oval window in the stairwell.

She wants the ceilings as high up as they can go; some walls on the right will be removed to open up the space; her workroom will be in the back.

Imagine dark floors and crisp, light walls...ooh la la...

The first of two apartments upstairs will have an open floor plan, except for the bedroom and bath. The kitchen will be on the back left of this area, the dining area on the front left shown, and a living room area will be around the corner on the right.

Just look at all that natural light!

What will be the second apartment upstairs. The area on the left there is where the kitchen will go. Through the doorway will be a living area, laundry, bath and bedroom.

Karen Starr

We finally have a parking lot!

Posted August 21, 2013

Our new parking lot!

First a story...

For the past couple of years, my friend and fellow entrepreneur, Michelle Riley of All About You Signature Landscape Design, Inc., has heard me wish (repeatedly) that we could make a parking lot behind the store. What kept us from it was the cost of taking out the half-dead trees, regrading the land because it was too steep, adding gravel and stones and plants, etc., etc., etc...

So Michelle calls me up in the Spring and says that each year her company chooses a project to get involved in, for free (!!), just to help someone out and this year she'd like to help Hazel Tree make a parking lot!!

We were blown away by her generosity at the thought of this! Little did we know, she was just getting started. She then proceeded to bring in almost a dozen local companies to the project that each donated time, machinery and even some materials to the project.

Can you believe her generosity? Incredible...

We are probably years away from it being completely finished...with the plants designed as Michelle would design them, had we been able to let her go crazy with the design in her head. As it looks now, these are all free plants that just kind of landed where they landed because we did that part. :)

But, we have a wonderful foundation to begin and we couldn't be more grateful!

Thanks a million to Michelle and her team, to the companies who donated, to Elaine at Chin's Place for splitting plants to help us fill it all in, and to our friends and family that helped move rocks and who planted things with us: Monique, Eric, Jan, Karen, and Kay!

Here are some before and after pictures as well as the list of each of the incredible companies that said, "Yes!"

Thank you again are such an incredible person and landscape concierge! (If you want to check out Michelle's website, click here. She writes a very informative weekly column about landscaping and plant care in Northeast Ohio. )

We didn't get a picture before the half-dead tree came down, but trust us it looked much worse than this!

That tree stump was very difficult to remove. Ugh!

As they excavated, many sandstone foundation stones from the houses that used to be on the lots were unearthed. They now line the parking lot on two sides.

All of the wonderful companies that donated to the project!