Bearish gay home guru Roger Hazard returns to Texas … in style, of course
For a while, it seemed home style guru Roger Hazard and his partner Chris were back in Texas for good. They proudly tweeted and posted from their Austin home, giving the public hints of their latest venture, Love Decades, a line of hand-made upholstered furniture and décor that is both affordable and stylish.
Then they opened a showroom … in Sharon Springs, N.Y. (also home to Amazing Race winners The Beekman Boys). But that doesn’t mean the two are gone for good.
“You never know. We have many friends in Texas and continue to work with a few companies there,” Hazard says of the move. “Worst case scenario: we’ll be back often to visit and grab some good barbecue!”
Still, Texans don’t have to wait until he’s hungry to see Hazard; he returns to the area for the Collin County Home and Garden show in Allen next week, dispensing advice, talking up Love Decades, his new venture with Custom Cupboards and his A&E show, Sell This House: Extreme. And, of course, he’ll be on-hand in a tight shirt, making all those musclebear admirers swoon.
With all his knowledge and experience, Hazard says that trending topics for his appearances never change: Kitchens and wall colors.
“Kitchens are the big-ticket item for any home owner with dozens of choices to make like countertops, appliances, drawer pulls — it goes on and on,” he says. “And wall colors are always tricky. People are trying to find a middle ground between stylish and safe and there’s no perfect answer. Every home is different, so that always makes for an interesting discussion. I also do a lot of negotiating between couples because one loves blue, the other hates it … that sort of thing. Being an interior designer is a lot like being a therapist.”
Hazard appreciates talking up procedure, but in a half-hour show (read: 22 minutes), the how-to often gets overlooked. That’s why he and Chris created the web series The Grey House, which details the renovation of their Sharon Springs home, as well as giving Hazard freedom to provide more.
“We came up with the idea because, in 11 years of TV, I never had a chance to dedicate five minutes to explaining a project, or really dig in to complex design issues. With the web series, we’ll have videos, blog posts, lots of images, and step-by-step guides so we can take the time to explain what we’re doing with our house renovation.”
With his TV series and a budding social media empire (their Twitter feeds are just short of phenomenal) and the web series, is there such a word as downtime in Hazard’s busy life?
“I don’t know about it being too much. It makes for a pretty full plate, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he admits. “But we’ll run to the gym to clear our heads, catch up on reading or sneak in an episode of Drag Race. And we spend a lot more time socializing in a village of 500 than I ever would have guessed.”
Having his life partner as his business partner has worked in his favor. Love Decades has been a labor of love for the couple as they handle all the dealings from customer consultations, order processing and developing new product lines, but the plan is to make the company a major player in home décor by growing beyond what they started offering just last summer.
“We’ve poured so much of ourselves into it so when people email us telling us how much they love the website, or our showroom, that’s a great feeling,” Hazard says. “We felt like the two of us, by connecting with the right craftspeople, had the ability to pull something like this off. We’ve started out with classic furniture designs that are very solidly made and should last for decades, so it was important that they be timeless and lasting as well. We have a great selection of statement pieces, so now it’s time to focus on developing furniture for smaller homes. I’m very excited about this, because the trend is moving toward smaller homes, and that market has been unfairly ignored by furniture companies for too long.”
So who sleeps on the sturdy, timeless couch when disagreements happen over a swatch or a particular hue?
“I trend toward a rustic look and Chris prefers a more modern style. It makes for a fun dynamic, because we’re constantly pushing each other outside of our respective comfort zones,” Hazard says. “But believe it or not, we’re in agreement most of the time.”
Yeah, they’re that couple.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 8, 2013.