Higher Education

UofSC Fresh Greene’s

Fresh Greene’s

University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC


Renovation of the University of South Carolina’s Fresh Greene’s revived the second-floor formal dining room long known as Preston’s. Located in the University’s Russell House Student Union, Preston’s served as a reservation-only dining room for faculty, staff, and select students. Beige walls, heavy trim profiles, faux Corinthian columns, and traditional inverted pendant lights lent Preston’s an air of formality. Preston’s interiors communicated its place within the hierarchy of campus dining but lacked the energy of contemporary campus experience. Seeking to enliven the space and improve the dining experience, the University undertook a comprehensive interior renovation inspired by the popular local weekly farmers’ market.

New non-slip luxury vinyl tile (LVT) in the serving area incorporates slate and wood patterns. The existing ceiling grid and exposed ceiling are painted black to create an illusion of height. A new amorphous drywall soffit hangs below the painted ceiling, suggesting organic circulation through the space. White and gray subway tile on structural columns and serving area walls provides an easily cleanable and visually interesting surface throughout. Cool wood laminate bar fronts and quartz bar tops elevate the serving area.

New LVT in the dining area mimics the organic pattern of burlap. Oversize round pendant lights in vibrant colors brighten the white acoustical tile ceiling and dampen the reflection of sound in the dining room. The dining room ceiling is further brightened by new ceiling tiles and grid and new white paint on the existing ceiling trim.  The dining room now includes seating for more than 90 people at banquettes, bar counters, and small and community tables.  Cushioned chairs and bar stools in bright organic colors provide soft, moveable seating grouped around white round and rectangular tables. Soft booth seating against the wall includes inset electrical outlets for charging laptops and cell phones. Penny & Lucy Lou Art consultants provided acoustical artwork featuring images of local agriculture. Canvas prints reinforce the farm-to-table concept that inspired the refreshed interiors. 

interior image of Fresh Greene's artwork
interior image of Fresh Greene's artwork