Trey LaFave

Trey LaFave is a producer and production designer for the film Paradise Garden: Howard Finster’s Legacy. Having been raised in Georgia, LaFave has always had a passion for all things Southern, an avid collector of Southern furniture and art.

LaFave is a graduate of The Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Interior Design and a Masters Degree in Classical Art & Architecture. He studied furniture and art with experts such as Israel Sack, Sotheby’s, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and architecture with professors from The Prince of Wales’s Foundation and The Institute of Classical Architecture.
Historic preservation, especially southern architecture, was always a passion of Trey’s from a very young age. His parents bought an old home in Americus, Georgia built in 1850 with only the first 4 rooms still standing after a fire had destroyed the remainder of the home 40 years earlier. They fell in love with the floor to ceiling windows and heart pine floors underneath all the years of debris and went on to restore their home. Volunteering with local and state-wide preservation societies, LaFave is an advocate for historic preservation–also applying the principles in his own practice when approaching renovation and restoration work for historic homes.

Also from a young age, Trey was no stranger to southern art and southern music coming together to make a great story. His father Donny LaFave was a musician from Athens, Georgia and was a drummer for a band, The Swinging Medallions, recording the hit song “Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love)”.   After making a career in banking, he worked to finance deals for entertainers such as Kenny Rogers and REM.  This was all a perfect imprint that would spark an immediate connection to Paradise Garden later in life for Trey.

LaFave had become good friends with fellow preservationist, Jordan Poole. He watched as Poole struggled to get people invested to restore Paradise Garden. After seeing a play produced by the University of Georgia called Hidden Man, written by Pamela Turner with Russell Blackmon, set at Paradise Garden, LaFave was left touched.    He was invested in Howard’s words that shined through in his sculpture and art work.  LaFave phoned film director and long time collaborator, Ava Leigh Stewart, who he worked with on a feature film entitled, South of Southern. He spoke with Stewart about the possibility of going to Paradise Garden in hopes that she would be as touched by an idea as he was–and a film was born about Howard and Paradise Garden. LaFave felt it was a story about preservation, music, and art that needed to be told.

Currently residing and working in New York City, LaFave has been involved in a diverse range of award winning projects that have been featured in magazines, books, and he is a contributor on CNN.com.  His work includes residential homes, multifamily dwellings, restaurants, art and antiques, film production, and production design.    If you want to contact Trey, you can reach him at treylafave[at]aol.com

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