Regina Garay of Garay Artisans
Regina Garay launched Garay Artisans, an Orlando, Florida-based decorative painting and faux finishing firm, in 1998. The company is owned by Regina and her brother Jason Rosales, and since its launch has grown into a respected and creative team of decorative artisans. Their fresh approach brings a client’s vision to life, marrying masterful techniques with beautiful color combinations. Their experienced team of artists are distinguished by their superior reputation and service.
In the 2008-2009 year, American Painting Contractor awarded Garay Artisans the Grand Prize in their national competition, the Top Job Awards. In the 2009-2010 year, they won the Top Jobs National First Place Award (commercial division) for their work in the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville, NC. In addition to their private commissions, their decorative painting and antique mirrors have found their way into the following beautiful locations, among others: Orlando International Airport, Hilton at Walt Disney World Resort, The Bohemian Hotel at Savannah Riverfront and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel (Universal Studios).
In 2007, WFTV, the Orlando-based ABC affiliate and Central Florida’s most watched television station, chose Garay Artisans as their Local Expert for Faux Finishing and featured the firm in their newscasts and website.
Regina also pens the Fauxology blog and is happy to be active in online forums and social media.
Tell us about your business.
Garay Artisans started as a decorative painting firm out of my garage. When the paint materials started taking over my home, we secured a nice studio space. This studio space has enabled us to branch into hand-crafted wallpapers and antique mirrors, both which use all our decorative painting skills. Those we can produce on site and ship around the world. It has been a creative blessing to have a space to call our own and go home and enjoy our individual personal spaces as well.
What inspired you to pursue this business?
The business was a “true love” situation – I was exposed to it by a roommate who was a film set designer, and it was love at first sight. I knew this career was “The One”. The Fauxology blog started because I talked about faux and design incessantly,and it was driving my family crazy. To save those relationships, I started writing down all my observations, and the information I came across as blog post. Blogging was an amazing and cathartic solution. It floored me when I received my first comment, who knew I even existed?
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
My favorite is to go to the library and sit for a few hours perusing their research books within the design categories. I will do this even when I travel to other cities and write down the book information to order from my own library. I nearly dance to the local library when they call me to inform me that my inter-library loan book has arrived. Inspirations from different designs and textures come together from this research. I then purchase the books I can’t live without and have those in my personal library for reference.
Tell us about a favorite home decorating or remodeling project.
A lot of the work we do is in the hospitality industry (including hotels, boutiques and restaurants). We recently won a national first place award for the work we did in The Grand Bohemian in Asheville, NC. I’d pick that as my favorite project because it reiterated the value of teamwork and how important it is to adapt to changes quickly and gracefully. We did both antique mirrors and decorative artwork for the project – two months work of mirror patinas, glazing, fine cabinet work and gold leafing. The best part is that I find weddings pictures online that were held in the hotel, and I see people having the time of their lives in those spaces. It’s surreal and yet so magical. So, definitely a favorite!
Regina dishes on her favorite things (from left to right): Margaret Braun Cakes – Oh, my…I’m sensing a theme to my likes. Ms. Braun creates extraordinarily artistic cakes. She uses a beautiful blend of colors and design styles. Marcel Wanders – The product design and interiors are sleek and paired with serious design sense and a touch of whimsy. Delicious. Maya Romanoff – It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Mr. Romanoff’s papers. Their quality, consistency and artistic value are beyond sublime. I met him once — it was a happy moment in my life. Laduree – Not anything to do with interior design but their artistic bakery creations have always inspired me, color-wise. Plus, who wouldn’t love to sit and enjoy their macaroons? Paulin Paris – I love anything left of center and I love the artistry of Paulin Paris. I wonder what he would dream up artistically for my home if I were to hire him.
What’s your favorite color.
I’m not loyal to any color for any length of time — I have no shame, LOL! Currently, Antique Copper from Modern Masters ( ) is my favorite. In our new antique mirror patinas line, we have created an aged mirror with an allover damask pattern and we’re using that color for the samples. It creates such a delicious tone through the mirror – I just want to eat it!
What are your five favorite pieces of home décor from your home or elsewhere?
I don’t know about five-my husband and I bought our current home in 2005 and we thought “We’re going to buy grown-up furniture now”. Out went the hand-me-downs! If I do love anything in our home, it’s all our furniture from the dining room to the master bedroom. Some of the furniture pieces have crocodile texture, others are elegantly distressed. I adore them all.
What’s your favorite room at home? Why is it your favorite?
I like the master bedroom. I asked my husband what color he wanted brought in and he said “Black”. (Inwardly, I said “Oh, no!” but, I had already opened Pandora’s Box.) I set about creating an accent wall with an ebony luster-like plaster as a base and had bamboo drawn on it with variegated gold leaf accents. The rest of the walls have the same luster-like plaster in a neutral parchment color. I still haven’t tired of it and my husband loves it. I should set up my bedroom one day and photograph it, since I keep talking about it.
Who are your favorite designers?
I do like Kelly Wearstler’s style. I recently saw a show featuring Thom Filicia, Richard Mishaan and John Saladino and they did incredible work. Also, I do so love Albert Hadley, his designs are timeless. Someone stop me!
What’s your personal design style? Has it evolved over time?
I think my style has always been quirky and colorful, somewhat bohemian. I believe I’ve stayed true to this style for some time.
Many of us have a product we bought for our home-that now makes us think-”what was I thinking” - do you have one?
I wish I would have put more time thinking “overall picture” before picking the fabrics for my window treatments.
Describe your dream room.
I would use inspiration from the set designs of Tim Burton’s films and add a dash of residential elegance to all that quirkiness. I very much like the unexpected, but I don’t like venturing into weird. I hope I’m making sense!
What are your favorite blogs or home design/improvement websites?
- Art’s the Answer – Theresa Cheek is a fellow faux finisher with a degree in art history. I love how her posts combines her expertise in the decorative arts, and seamlessly mixes in her knowledge. It’s a blog of beauty and precious information from a wonderful person to boot!
- Color Buzz - The Beehive Studio brings their considerable expertise in color and techniques, and mixes it up with history and charm. I love their photos and suggestions. This site is perfect for pros and DIYers alike.
- Design Inspiration – Helen Morris writes from England with wit, verve and a beautiful design touch; all revolving around her amazing stencil company and life in Europe. The images alone would lead me there every day.
- Home Workshop – I’m a monthly contributor to this blog that’s all about design, decor and achieving the perfect look for your space. Kathy Barlow, the site’s Chief Design Junkie, always makes sure there is ample information, great images and even inspires her readers to create something beautiful via her ongoing challenges.
- Sara Baldwin Design – Sara runs an incredible mosaic company and is a superb artisan and businesswoman. She has such a great eye for beauty and design.It’s a pleasure to read her blog and find out all about her life, her business and the gorgeous art of mosaics.
What are your favorite books, design shows and/or magazines?
- Magazines: World of Interiors and Phoenix Home & Garden.
- Books: Anything published by Rizzoli.
- Television Shows: I do appreciate the shows Ovation Television airs.
Do you have a decorating, design or remodeling tip you’d like to share with The Decorating Diva.com readers?
If you have two colors that are not working together, add a bit of each to the other and they will start taking on elements of each other. They will start working together like magic. And one more – never be afraid to paint the fifth wall: your ceiling. Even a creamy neutral makes such a difference. Life is too short for white!
The Decorating Diva, LLC would like to thank Regina for sharing her beautiful faux treatments, her encouraging advice for painting your walls and ceilings, and giving us a glimpse at how she finds inspiration within the pages of design books at libraries where ever her travels may take her.