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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Catching Up : a post by Regeneration Interiors

So, it's been so very long since my last post here. I've been extremely busy, both with work and personally. I've moved to a new home, which is a story in itself, but not for this occasion. My last post was about a new venture I was starting; it didn't go quite as I expected, but it also wasn't a bad thing.

I'm extremely passionate about rehabbing old furniture. For all of the reasons I stated in my previous post, I have not only spent a great deal of time doing pieces for clients, but I've filled my new home with {re}freshed pieces!! I'm finding that the more I do, the more I love it and that brought me to using other old items in my decor. Over the next few posts, I'd like to share some of the work I've been doing and some unexpected items I've used in my "new" home's decor.

This first piece was for a friend who owns a plant and gift shop. It's called The Urban Planter and it's one of my favorite places to go. I've put plants and planters in, nearly, every room of my house and they come from there, so when he asked me to create a piece for his shop for display, I was thrilled.

I found this, once, very formal piece of furniture at a thrift store, it was in pitiful shape, but I knew the quality was there and I had a vision. Because it was for display, I added a light inside and painted the interior cream, but because the moldings were missing and broken, I knew it had to be painted to hide it's scars. I used burlap fabric with a floral pattern to give it less of a formal feel and to nod to the use in the plant shop. I just cleaned the original hardware and used it in it's less-than-perfect state.

He is thrilled with the end product and so am I. It was hard work and I had lots of help from my wonderful Dad. The best part for me is that a piece of furniture that was most likely destined to gather dust in the thrift store or headed for a land fill, is now being used and living a new life.

Before: missing molding, no shelves, chipped
veneers and extremely dirty.
Before and After hardware

The details
And finally...

At it's new home at the Urban Planter

Watch for more projects coming soon! And find out more about The Urban Planter here.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

{re}fresh decor, by Regeneration Interiors: Spartanburg SC

COMING SOON: {re}fresh decor, by: Regeneration Interiors

Yep, that's the big announcement! Regeneration Interiors is branching out!

If you know me, either as a client, friend or family member, you know that I'm always buying furniture, lights, lamps and other decor at Thrift and Second-Hand shops. I make it over and turn it into beautiful things for my home. I get lots of requests for help with buying good, second hand furnishings and ideas on how to make it over for your space. So, I've decided to add this to my business. I've been buying up great quality pieces that need some updating or refinishing. I'm gonna be giving them a facelift and will be offering them for sale on my FaceBook and in a few brick-and-mortar shops in the area.

There are several reasons why buying and rehabbing vintage, second-hand, antique or "used" furniture is a good idea! *I LOVE the creative process of "up cycling" old stuff. *They just don't make quality stuff they way they used to! *You can make it uniquely yours! *There's a history and character that you can't buy new! *Great stuff at great savings! I'm a huge believer in all of the above, but my favorite is the cost savings.

That's not to say that just because something is used, old, antique, etc. that it's a good buy, nor a good piece to salvage. I've developed a skill for  buying well-built, good-bones kind of pieces and I have a regular schedule of shopping my favorite places for great buys. I also watch trends in design and decor and shop carefully to find items that can be altered slightly to give the same look without the price tag.
I've furnished every room in my house with, not exclusively, but mostly my "treasures". And after some encouragement from a few clients and friends, I've decided this is a natural progression for myself and my business.

I will be shopping and assembling "collections", that is, rooms put together from various places, and made over to make a set. I'll be adding in accessories, lamps... whatever I think will make up the best "look", then selling it as a grouping. I'll also sprinkle in a few odds and ends that would be good compliments to anyone's existing decor. I'll also do custom pieces... if you have a need and like a certain style, I'll shop for that and design it for you and with you in mind!

I hope that you all will like what you see and will look for my lovely treasures online and in area shops. (and, of course, buy some for your home!)

 Just look for the tag or door cling sporting this logo!

~Ginny Ezell

Friday, June 7, 2013

Beechwood Completed (so what's next?): Spartanburg, SC

It has been such a long time since I have written anything new on my blog, that is because I've been so busy designing, I had no time to write about it. The project at Beechwood finally completed last month and will be featured in At Home Magazine, which comes out June 21st. I'm very excited to see my work published and to share this awesome project with the rest of the upstate. (Look for more here after the release if you don't live in the upstate.)

Mid-Century Modern door escutcheon on front
door, and nothing says MCM like Orange!
I've attached a sneak peak here, but you'll have to wait until after the magazine hits the newsstand to see the inside! This project was such a joy for me for many reasons, and even though there were some trying days, it is soooo rewarding seeing the completed job. What we originally thought would be a three month job, turned into eleven months and we're still working on the guest house!

So, now that this part is over, what's next? Well, I've done a few other small projects during the time I was working at Beechwood. I have been blessed to get to help my cousin with her house, as well as another cousin with her tattoo shop. I'll post some photos of those later on. In addition, I've slowly been trying to complete my house remodel.

If you've been following my blog, or FaceBook page for a while, you know that I bought "My Chesnee House"* about two years ago and started an arduous remodel. I like to refer to it as "Ginny's House" like "Sarah's House" on HGTV; but with a much smaller budget. Well, the first round of remodel was to make the house habitable; this round is the fun stuff... wait, did I just say it was fun? Well, the pretty stuff, is more like it. It's been a night mare, as anyone who's completed a remodel can tell you.

I've had a very exciting time finding and re-making vintage light fixtures and lamps. I even bought and am reusing a vanity top and sink from the Habitat ReStore for my new bathroom. I've rehabbed furniture and even accessories to fill my spaces! I love the idea of using something instead of throwing it in a landfill, but even better, I LOVE the savings I get from shopping there AND!! the best part is, it looks GREAT!

As you may remember, I planned "13 for '13" this year. I wanted to visit the last 13 US States that I hadn't. Well, I'm not sure if it's the fate of a designer/remodeler/homeowner, but I have decided to put off the travel until my house in finished. That includes my 2nd bathroom gut job, furnishing the entire house, and upgrading some of the finishes we used when we initially did the remodel. So, I'll get in some travel this year, but Alaska and Hawaii have been shelved for future years and besides, they're not going anywhere!

I can't believe this year is nearly half over. It makes me feel old, but I just don't know where the time goes! I've feel so blessed to be here in SC and working and settling in with my family nearby and making new friends. I'm looking forward to what the next months (and years) are going to bring here.

Thanks for following along on my journey!

* "My Chesnee House" is not a local business, it is just the page I set up for my house so that I could show off my projects.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Beechwood Continued: Another Great Design - Spartanburg, SC

I thought I'd share a few "during" shots of the Beechwood Project. The exciting stuff is happening! Stay tuned.

During: playing down the dome in the ceiling... see what's next!

The chandelier was in pretty bad condition, after a complete renovation of it's own.. it's is a show stopper! (watch for upcoming information on this transformation).

Is the black, white and gray color palette boring? I don't think so! It reminds me of a black tie event complete with the silver accents of the knobs and sparkly backsplash tiles. Very classy and elegant!

Before: the green walls and beige cabinets were dull.
During: cabinets are light gray the walls are white and the tile
is gray, white and black with "sparkle"!

Before: 300 gallon fish tank and "wall" in the middle of the floor.
wall and tank removed... gorgeous!

During: the new color and sparkle of new hardware,
it's coming to life!

The knobs are not vintage, but I was so wonderfully surprised to find these gorgeous ones in stock! They are both vintage looking and modern at the same time. We didn't plan to leave the walls white, but when the primer went on, we loved the look; some design happens by happy accident!

The house is now finished and has been photographed by At Home Magazine for the summer issue which will come out in June. Check out the whole story there!

Friday, April 19, 2013

home  noun \ˈhōm\

- one's place of residence
- a familiar or usual setting
- a place of origin

 As a residential designer, I use the term “home” quite often.  This week that word has such a personal meaning to me. 

Just over a year ago my husband and I came to South Florida from the Boston area to spend the winter.  We loved it so much we purchased a place.  Since then I have enrolled in school here to continue my Interior Design education.  We have since sold that place and bought another one, but Naples has become my home.

 The events that have transpired this week in Boston have caused me to re-evaluate my personal meaning of the word “home”.

I grew in North Carolina, where I met and went to high school with Miss Ginny, and most of my birth family still lives there.  That is my home.

After high school I moved to Atlanta, Key West, and eventually Boston.  All of these were my home when I lived there.

I have lived in the Boston area for more than half of my life.  I went to school there.  I fell in love there.  I married my soul mate there.  And my family through marriage is there.

The terrorist actions on Monday really hit me hard.  Terrorists struck MY home.  And they came within minutes of striking my family.  A Facebook post by my sister-in-law showed her and my niece and nephew standing at the point of the second explosion.  Then there was silence.  Because of the cell phone blackout and public transportation being shut down, we were unable to confirm their safety for hours.  I have not felt this kind of helplessness since 9/11.  Luckily, they had walked away just after the picture was taken.  My sister-in-law is an amazingly strong woman and protected her children as best she could under the circumstances.  The children are still confused and upset by the chaos they were involved in.  They have experienced fear and emotions that no one, especially children, should ever have to experience.

This is MY home.  This is MY family.

This brings me back to the definition of home.  We have all heard the saying “Home is where the heart is”. Home is also where your family is.  I’ve realized that I have many homes.  North Carolina is my home.  Florida is my home.  Boston is my home.  Most importantly, America is my home.  And America is my family.  When terror strikes in our country, regardless of location, it is striking MY home and MY family. 

And though my heart aches for those that have been injured or killed, as well as their families, I will not let the actions of a few misguided, evil people impart fear into my home or my family.

Home IS where the heart is.  And my heart is with all of my family and friends in the Boston area, and with all of my friends and family in this great land.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Online Shopping: in Spartanburg, SC

I wanted to post a note about some great online resources I've found. Being in a fairly small market in South Carolina, I've not found the kind of lighting, hardware and fixtures that we need for the house at Beechwood, so I've resorted to a lot of online shopping. I've also been using a couple of great social bulletin board sites for communication purposes. I wanted to share them all with you so that when you are in a pinch, you might get assistance this way too!

First, Houzz and Pinterest have been terrific tools for communicating ideas. I've set up boards and ideabooks where I can post photos to give visual picture for my clients and for contractors. Some people see this as modern, and what I was meaning was this, so it helps when I can pull out my phone and click on the Houzz app (also available for adroid, iPad and online) and show to whomever I'm speaking, exactly what I'm talking about. And the best part is I can share my ideabooks and boards with others and my clients can pin to them as well, it just eliminates confusion when we are all talking about the same thing.

Second, I have discovered and I actually "discovered" them because I sat next to one of their account service professionals on a flight from Vegas last week. Mid-Century Modern is not very prevalent in this area, so we've been finding great lights, fixtures and furnishings all in one place and shipping is free! (and I've done most of the shopping in my pajamas!)

Third, I have been looking for wallpaper and fabrics and it can take hours to go through books, and most of them don't have even one paper I need. I've found that the best way is to search for the exact description of wallpaper I'm looking for online and then peruse the online shops. Most are by manufacturer and all I've found will send you a sample in just a couple of days, usually for just the cost of postage. It's much easier to carry around that sample that it is to lug around large wallpaper books for just one page. The same goes for fabrics, but of course, nothing substitutes for touching and seeing them in person, and you might get a few duds that just aren't what they looked like online, but I've probably ordered twenty samples of fabric and wall coverings in the past month, and I've only gotten three that I just threw in the trash because they weren't even close to what I thought they'd be. And while they cost about $2.00/ea. to mail, it's still cheaper than my gas to run all over searching for them.

This does not scratch the surface of the number of websites and resources I've used in the past month, but they are the big ones. I've grown to rely on them so heavily, I thought I'd share! Hope you find them useful and if you have ideas of other resources, please share. Happy "surfing"!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Special Kid Spaces: Color Selection for Children with Autism

     I want to start this article by saying, I'm in no way pretending to be a expert on the information I'm sharing here. I'm simply going to share what I've learned in the past twenty-four hours on the subject. I'd also like to say that I'm not making any recommendation about the education, therapy nor care of children with Autism.

Yesterday I was contacted by a friend  who has two children with Autism. The non-profit school, which they attend, is relocating to a new facility and they were seeking advice on colors for the twelve classrooms and the reception area. I was thrilled that they had contacted me, so I started digging to learn all I could about the special concerns, if any, for the precious little ones.

While choosing colors and understanding the effect of color on our senses in not new to me, what is new is the way it affects people with autism. I found a plethora of information about how colors, patterns, shapes and light affect those who fall on the spectrum of Autism. Let me say, that I learned that there is a very broad spectrum and that not all of the information will be applicable to all children. While my purpose for this project is just to suggest the group of colors (they requested that each space be different), I'll share some of the other findings.

Most of us are aware that color can affect us in various ways. Bright colors are used to elicit a stronger reaction, that's why they are used on logos and for sports teams. Softer or pastel colors tend to be calming and soothing, we associate them with nurseries, hospitals and spas. These are very general rules, so I wondered what else is there to know... if we want these kids calm, then we just paint every room in a pastel color, right?

Add caption
Well, what I learned is this, children with autism actually "sense" colors differently, and that bright and stimulating colors can actually "feel" painful for them. I read that the color red can actually seem fluorescent for a child with autism and even tend to glow or "move". Can you imagine how distracting that would be if you were in a room with a large "glowing, moving" wall?

While I wasn't particularly surprised that red was not the best color to use, I was surprised to read that yellows can cause some children with autism to have feelings of anger. I did not find out why it is thought to do so, nor does it seem that all shades of yellow cause the same feelings. You'll see that in my collections of colors, I have included yellows, but it very light tones. I've also included lots of shades of pink and lavender, not what you'd expect for a school that only has three girl students, but I read that in a study, most kids with autism gravitated toward objects that were baby pink. The purple shades, I chose because purple is thought to stimulate creativity and learning.

Pattern can also be very distracting for these kids. Stripes, even pastel stripes, can cause them to fixate. They tend to have a need for order and symmetry, so an uneven number of stripes or those of varying widths can go against that "need". Even pattern created by the sun shining through the slats of a window blind can be a distraction, so to eliminate that problem it is suggested to use solid colored walls and roman or roll shades.

A few of other short points and I'll move on to the scope of my job...
     * tables and shelves should be at a level comfortable for the children (this is only common sense in a space for kids) and book shelves should be at the same height or in equal increments to the tables. In other words, if the table is 24" tall, then book shelves in 48" or 72" heights will "balance" the space for the child.
     * toys, books and other "manipulatives" should be stored away from view. If they can't be put in closets, then they should be in solid colored bins so that the items inside can't be a distraction.
     * floors should not have patterned tiles, and should have soft finishes that are comfortable for sitting or lying on.
     * furniture should be heavy and made of natural materials because children with autism are very tactile, so metals and plastics can be very cold and lack texture, which they crave.
     * natural lighting or LED lighting is preferable for their spaces because florescent lighting is not only harsh, but even the sound that they make can be uncomfortable.

Boy! I could go on and on, but I will, instead, list the resources I used at the end of this article in case you'd like to read more on your own.

Now, on to my opinion of color selection. In any design, regardless of the person or persons occupying the space, I recommend that rooms in a single home or office have flow from one to another. That can be achieved through colors that are similar in shade or in tone. For example, we've all seen a color deck in a paint store. The colors on the same tab are similar shades of the same hue, but the ones in the same band of each tab are of similar tone. The farther down the tab, the more saturated the color, the top of the tab, the colors are very pale.

In most cases, I would suggest that colors from room to room be along the same band. It just "feels" better to me. Not everyone shares that opinion, and that's OK, if it works for you! In this case, I'm  recommending that all of the spaces be close in saturation, but that in rooms where the children will be playing that there be a slightly deeper tone. The idea behind this is that in spaces where you want them to exert energy, the colors will be darker, thus encouraging them to release it in the appropriate place so that when they return to a learning environment, they will be settled down for learning.

more "natural" colors
more pinks and lavenders
the softest palette
For children who are higher functioning and have the ability to distinguish color and/or give an opinion, it was suggested that they be given options of colors to chose from, however, in a school, that's not feasible with so many different children to consider. But, if you're reading this and you are considering color for your own child, it might be worth a try. I have put together five different color collections, they are very similar, but with slight variations. In a couple I've included a few brighter tones. I hope that the school will see a group that is pleasing to them.

full spectrum of colors,
including darker tones
a mixture of pastels and natural
with some darker tones
I've certainly enjoyed learning about the special design needs and considerations that go in to making well-fit spaces for all types of situations. For children with Autism, as well as, in educational environments. I'd like to thank the writers of the articles I consulted, as well as my daughter who is an educator and who has a love and passion for teaching all children, but who has a very big spot in her heart for her students with Autism.  I am, also, very grateful for the opportunity to put this together for my dear friend and her beautiful children.

*** The articles I pulled information from are following:

* Designing for autism, by Ginger McGuire
* Autism Facility Designed to Calm the Mind
*How to Design a Calming Room for Autistic Kids, by Chris Chagaris
*Reactions to Colors, by