Susan Mathison: Mentors in Design

February 5, 2013

About a year ago, I enrolled in a one-day “Marketing Your Interior Design Business” seminar at North Shore Community College, taught by Rachel Hazelton of Rachel Hazelton Interior Design in Middleton, Mass.

Rachel Hazelton in front of an inspiration board. Photo courtesy of Rachel Hazelton

As part of my ongoing interior design certification studies, I thought the class would be a great jumping-off point for marketing my fledgling design business. I had previously met Rachel while enrolled in a “Textiles and Materials” class, and it was clear from the start that she has a vast wealth of design knowledge and experience, a passion for her craft and a willingness to share that with her students.

A dining room designed by Rachel. Photo courtesy of Rachel Hazelton

A black-and-white living room. Photo courtesy of Rachel Hazelton

It was during the marketing seminar that Rachel suggested (no, insisted) that we should be using social media to tell our story, sell our products and market our ideas. On that day, I learned the ins and outs of Blogger and WordPress, Facebook pages and Twitter, as she assisted me in designing and developing the blog that was to become Country Design Home.

So, when I had the opportunity to see Rachel in action, I jumped at it, meeting her at a client’s home. As I watched Rachel at work, where she was putting the finishing touches on a master bathroom, I truly began to understand the breadth of her talent. Stunning finishes, custom cabinetry and exquisite lighting are all part of Rachel’s signature style. With two marbled vanities, a large soaking tub, two dressing closets and a separate glass-enclosed shower, this bathroom was any homeowner’s dream.

The entrance to the master bath. Photo by Susan Mathison

One of the marble vanities. Photo by Susan Mathison

The bathroom sparkled in the afternoon sun, with reflective, opalescent glass backsplash tiles, marble countertops and flooring, and nickel fixtures throughout. This homeowner stated that every day, when she entered the bath through her double pocket doors, her first thought was “I really cannot believe this is mine!” And isn’t that ultimately the desired reaction to any designer’s work?

One of the many thoughtfully chosen finishes. Photo by Susan Mathison

A detail shot of the new nickel-finish faucet installed in the client’s bathroom. Photo by Susan Mathison

If you are interested in learning more about Rachel’s interiors, you can check out her blog or designer pages on Or perhaps you can enroll in one of the interior design classes she is presently teaching at North Shore. Not only will you learn so much about beautiful design, you will also be fortunate to meet a true professional who loves her work.

-Susan Mathison 

Susan Mathison is a lifestyle blogger from the north shore of Boston. Although her life’s work has been in the health care industry, her life’s passions have always been art and design. She is a folk artist and quilter, an avid D.I.Y.’er and presently studying interior design at North Shore Community College. In her blog, Country Design Home, she writes about the joys and trials of owning and refurbishing an 1850’s farmhouse and barn while decorating with a simply casual country style.

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