As a realtor® I get to see many gorgeous houses. One thing I have noticed about truly great home design is that every room should have one antique in it. But how can Grandma’s mahogany sideboard fit seamlessly into your Pottery Barn dining room? Enter Hazel Mae Home, a Westfield, NJ custom furniture painting company whose slogan reads: “Vintage finds . . . redesigned.”
Hazel Mae Home (HMH) was started by Westfield resident Kristin Stellingwerf in 2013. Kristin had just moved into a beautiful house and found that some of her family’s heirloom furniture wasn’t quite fitting in with the paint schemes throughout the home. She attended two workshops studying chalk paint and began painting some pieces, including a vintage oak dresser for her daughter’s room. Friends saw the dresser and other furniture that had been transformed by Kristin’s deft painting and refurbishing, and the rest is history.
HMH uses Annie Sloan chalk paint on furniture. It is a very thick paint, and once you see furniture painted with it, you’ll recognize it from a mile away. The term “chalk paint” is actually a
registered trademark of Annie Sloan. Kristin says, “I love Annie Sloan’s color palette, and that her colors can be mixed easily to make custom shades.” That’s good news for clients who have a specific color in mind for a piece of furniture, such as one client who hired Kristin to paint a kitchen cabinet in a unique shade of orange.
I asked Kristin to tell me what inspires HMH, and she replied: “I like taking things that are old and unloved and making them new and beautiful.” She knows her way around garage and estate sales (and even so-called junk left on curbs); she finds what some would consider throwaway pieces and gives them the HMH treatment, creating furniture and accessories that double as artwork and become statement pieces. Worn, gilded photo frames have become shabby chic jewelry displays; threadbare chairs have become stunning accent pieces reupholstered with vintage grain sack (yes, HMH does a little upholstery work too!). Kristin keeps a running list of items that clients are searching for, in case she comes across them at a sale.
Most of Kristin’s sales are from commission pieces, and I love seeing the”before” and “after” photos of clients’ furniture on the HMH blog. My personal favorite was the transformation of a client’s dated side table into a grand serving tray worthy of high tea. I also adored her gray nesting end tables so much that I purchased them for my son’s room! And I’ve noticed that Kristin adds surprising little touches to her work–for example she placed the sweetest printed shelf paper inside the drawers of a client’s dresser, which added a delightful layer of feminine whimsy.
If you have an antique that has seen better days but that you just can’t part with, don’t hesitate to contact HMH. In addition to her painting services, Kristin can do minor repairs from fixing cracks and wobbles to repairing scratches and gouges. And because she has a strong design background, Kristin can help clients who don’t have a clue what their furniture should look like; Kristin will go to their home and analyze the space to come up with an appropriate design plan.
You can follow the HMH blog on the website http://hazelmaehome.com/ and on Facebook. But beware–you might start taking an inventory of all the furniture in your house and wanting it all to look like Hazel Mae Home!