In 2003, Bryan Batt and his partner opened Hazelnut on Magazine Street in New Orleans. Hazelnut offers a variety of home decor goods like fabrics, dinnerware and pottery. Batt, also known for playing Sterling Cooper’s art director, Sal Romano, on AMC’s Mad Men, joined us for a quick interview.
What’s your store’s style?
Hazelnut’s style is a fresh, eclectic mix blending the classic and modern together. I love to hear the customers’ compliments on the feel and ambiance as well as the products offered in Hazelnut. I never tire of hearing it.
What do you personally design in your store?
I designed the “New Orleans Toile” fabric, which features the historic icons and great architecture of this wonderful city.
“New Orleans Toile”
Also, another fabric called “Pontchartrain Beach,” which is a Palm-Beach-meets-the-Mississippi celebration of the Gulf South. Plus, all of the products fashioned from the fabrics, like trays, ice buckets, totes, frames…
I also teamed up with the artisan Shelley Venema of the Laurel Wilder Company to create reverse decoupage glass trays using historic maps of New Orleans, and antique Harper’s Weeklies.
What is your favorite piece(s) in your store?
This is a toss-up — I love the “Audubon Muse” and the “Flambeaux” glass trays, but equally great is the “Oyster pottery” by Allison Evans.
How does New Orleans play a part in Hazelnut’s existence?
New Orleans plays a huge part in Hazelnut, but we also love to bring in other elements that blend with the New Orleans style of decor. We do a nice web business and many visitors are repeat customers, so something is working well!
How (if at all) is your style affected by Mad Men?
My suits are a little slimmer these days — but I better lay off the delicious food down here or it’s not going to be pretty.