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Buzzbin Magazine - A Tree Grows In Akron

April 18, 2011

By Anne Snyder

"The bright, three-story painting of a tree on an exterior wall piqued my interest, drawing me into the old Norka Futon building on West Market in Akron. There I met Karen Starr, a cheerful, well-spoken woman and half the business team behind Hazel Tree Interiors. Starr, a designer, works with her husband, Jon Haidet, a certified picture framer.

Open since last July, Hazel Tree has since attracted national attention, including a recent profile, “Reclaimed Art and Design”, on Apartment Therapy (apartmenttherapy.com). “I fancy myself as an interior re-designer,” said Starr. “We rethink, reuse, refinish, reupholster and rearrange — all those ‘re’ words. I try and maximize what people have through design consultations.” In an industry that relies on selling shiny new things, Starr’s philosophy is unique, and certainly REfreshing.

The showroom is a testament to Starr’s design vision: an end table made of an antique metal shopping basket, a lamp with a tree-trunk base. It’s a visual treat just exploring the showroom.

Everywhere I looked was something new to examine, from candles poured in Depression era glassware to a sofa made of reclaimed materials. Local artists and artisans make everything. The beauty of Hazel Tree, according to Starr, is “that people like us are making things right here.”"

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