Local boy Bryan Batt
as Salvatore Romano
on the AMC show Madmen
The show has the best mid century
clothes and sets filled with great furniture
New episodes start in July!
Hazelnut - more yummy photos HERE
Come to my B & B so you can go to this
store and many, many more HERE
You're a successful actor in L.A. playing Salvatore Romano, the art director on the hit AMC series Mad Men. But you also run this stylish home boutique in New Orleans. What's the story?
I was born and raised in New Orleans, and I still live here part-time—and having a shop was always a dream of mine.
How do you film in L.A. and still run Hazelnut?
Life is not an either/or proposition. You can do many things—you just have to be organized! And thank God for Tom Cianfichi, my partner in life and in the store. We both love design, entertaining, and giving just the right presents, so that's why we've focused on gifts, furnishings, tabletop objects, and beautiful home accessories. Everything is new. There's a lot of color, and a sense of whimsy. I love things that make you smile.
What are some of your favorite wares?
Alison Evans's line of oyster ceramics. They have raku-style glaze in shapes like oyster shells. I'm also wild about our Byzantine leaded Italian crystal decanters and glasses with a 14-karat- gold Greek key around the top. We have a white ceramic elephant side table that's really fun. And there's a collective called Art Department, a group of Russian potters in Massachusetts who do ceramics. We have some of their vases and their little houses, all hand-painted in bright colors.
You seem to make animated conversation with anyone who pops in.
I run from stores where salespeople act snooty! I want people to have a good time and be visually stimulated. The first thing that happens when anyone walks in is that they're bowled over by the marvelous Japanese quince perfume of Seda France candles, which are, funnily enough, made in Texas. 'What smells so good?' they'll ask. I always say, 'It's me.'
Okay, why the name Hazelnut?
It's after my grandmother, Hazel Nuss. "Nuss" means nut in German. She was a well-known New Orleans dance maven—she had three dancing schools—and I just adored her!
- Batt's own fabric designs: Pontchartrain Beach, a collage of Louisiana motifs in Palm Beach-y pink, yellow, lime; and New Orleans toile, featuring such classic images as a courtyard, a streetcar, St. Louis Cathedral (both $36 a yard).
- The charming accessories (trays, guest towels) handmade from Batt's two fabrics by local craftspeople (from $15).
- The fabulous selection of tabletop items like silk flower napkin rings ($6), and mother-of-pearl salad servers ($64), and the alligator place-card holders ($32 for a set of 4), and crab bowl ($125).
- Reverse decoupage plates and platters by artist Laurel Wilder. Her creations could upstage your canapés, but you can also hang them on walls (from $82).