by M. Diane McCormick
Ted Hanson: Atmospheric Accents
“So, I was in ReStore one day and saw something and thought, ‘Wow, they only want $15 for this? That’s amazing.’”
Ted Hanson holds up a pewter-toned chandelier. “I’ve no idea where I’m going to use it. If it’s $15, you buy it.”
Perhaps, he thinks, it could go over the spiral staircase in the apartment he’s renovating behind his Harrisburg home.
Hanson is a champion scrounger, living in the city’s Old Fox Ridge neighborhood. The apartment and Hanson’s Victorian home, once devastated by the 1972 Agnes flood, are decorated with finds from antique shops, thrift stores, going-out-of-business sales and discount stores.
“It’s all about context,” he says.
If it accents the atmosphere, he displays it, such as the hall-light globe that became a sort of hurricane lamp over a centerpiece. If it repurposes old building materials, he’ll use it. Bricks from the basement formed a backyard grill island. The ornate columns installed during a living-room renovation, acquired from a former furniture store and kept on hand for 20 years, appear as natural as if they came with the home.
In the apartment, a door turned sideways is becoming a headboard for a Murphy bed. The door’s old key holes are concealed behind a heading of crown molding, accented with dentil molding. Put them together, and it’s a stylish accent for what would otherwise be a bare space.
“It’s basically playing with the molding and seeing what you come up with,” says Hanson. “Don’t be afraid to try things in new ways.”
Hanson also owns the house next door and spent only $6,000 to convert it into a stylish Airbnb. Some of the furnishings were rental furniture sold after they’d been removed from circulation. Beautiful wall hangings were closeout pieces from a Mechanicsburg home-décor supplier.
The theme unifying all these spaces is ReStore, the Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Harrisburg Area’s retail store. Hanson is a regular customer. The Airbnb dryer, holiday coffee mugs for guests to enjoy, an antique crystal banana stand, doors throughout the apartment, an “instant collection” of oil lamps, a green marble strip accenting the apartment’s wet bar, baseboards and quarter-round molding and that $15 chandelier all came from ReStore.
“I’ve also given ReStore a lot of stuff,” Hanson says. “If it’s re-usable, someone can get some use from it, instead of it going to the dump.”
In the kitchen of his home, Hanson installed a light-toned ReStore cabinet to contrast with older, dark cabinets. The exterior Shaker design didn’t suit the Victorian space, but Hanson discovered that the cabinet’s interior door is recessed, just like many of the home’s original doors.
“It comes off, you flip it around to show the recessed panel and it becomes a much better match,” he says.