By: Shilo Urban
Rosie Case’s creative procurement game is strong. Call it a talent for unearthing hidden gems or a passion for newly found things; there’s no denying the New Jersey native has an originative propensity for filling her home with the desires of her heart. Old, eclectic, impulsive, vintage, unusual — all standard words when it comes to defining the Case interior. And that’s just the way Rosie likes it.
Formerly a copywriter at Vogue in New York, Rosie took up freelance copywriting and editorial work after she met her husband, Jon, and moved to the Lone Star State (of which she’s grown quite fond). Jon is an Army pilot and often rises early, so when schedules allow, the couple savors their morning brew together — preferably in their favorite spot — a comfy curved cream settee in the parlor. Rosie scored the ’80s find from Home Interior Consignments in Georgetown near Austin — the Case’s first post in Texas where they rented a home for three years. On sleepy Saturday mornings, Rosie and Jon settle into the sofa to sip their Texas Pecan coffee, a favorite from Central Market, while also drinking in the view. The parlor connects via an arched opening into the living room, where a large set of windows looks out over the backyard. Beyond the patio space and ongoing pool installation, there’s a thick grove of trees and expansive vistas — one of their favorite things about the Aledo home.
But it wasn’t all pretty at the start. “It was like a technicolor dream house,” says Rosie of the foreclosure’s original state when they purchased it in 2014. The first home ownership for the family of four — daughter Rosie is 5 and their son, Jasper, is 9 — the 5,000-square-foot space had closed-off rooms, outdated fixtures and too-bold color combos, including black paint and mirrored walls. “There were green rooms, yellows rooms, murals on the wall. The carpet was lumpy,” Rosie said.
So the walls were painted Clear Moon by Behr, and all the first-level flooring was replaced with wood-grain porcelain tile in Tabula Cappuccino from Floor and Decor. Squared-off doorways were rounded into soft arches, mimicking the curved staircase and its rounded landing upstairs, for a modernized appeal.
Transforming a forlorn foreclosure built in 1995 into their forever home was completely indicative of her aptitude to give old things renewed purpose. But there’s no formula, no pattern and no rules. “I don’t care about era at all. If I like the shape of something, I’ll buy it,” she says. “With a few exceptions, everything you see is Craigslist, thrifted, antique malls and then peppered with doses of HomeGoods, T.J. Maxx. I’ll shop anywhere.”
Turns out that shopping “anywhere,” when done with a keen eye, can result in remarkable finds, like a pair of pencil reed pod chairs from Furniture Buy Consignment on Hulen Street in Fort Worth. They sit across from the parlor’s cream sofa, separated by a heavy travertine coffee table. A hot air balloon sculpture sits atop it, a piece Rosie loved at first sight from Cooper Street Antique Mall in Arlington.
“I’m probably in thrift shops about five times a week, which is the key to finding things,” she says. Those discoveries also include a vintage entry table from The Eclectic Den in Dallas (to which she added a custom-made acrylic top) and a waterfall bench in the kitchen from Shop Vintage Dallas. Another waterfall bench sits below a mirror in the entry. “A broken clock is right twice a day, and it’s the same thing for thrift shops. Even a bad one will have something good.”
Though her foraging expeditions and methods are multifarious, the results play nicely — even if Rosie admits she’s not afraid to force pieces to live together. A vintage C. Jere bird sculpture from eBay shares parlor wall space with a Nate Berkus for Target gilded mirror and an ink and watercolor framed drawing by Canadian artist Marcel Dzama. Opposite, two oversized canvas paintings — they hang above a lovely credenza she scored on eBay — tout Rosie’s clever skill with a brush. It’s her own inspired version of artwork she loved but couldn’t quite obtain. “When I was finished with them, I was actually pleased because I can be hard on myself,” Rosie says of the canvas pair. “I was even more impressed that I hung them properly!”
The thrifting maven keeps the home’s overall look unified with light, neutral tones throughout. Another curvy cream sofa, this one sourced by New Jersey-based vintage dealer Rafael Contreras of The Beau Ideal (@thebeauideal), anchors the living room. A sheepskin rug from Costco and a curvaceous coffee table Rosie snagged on Craigslist add a cozy element, while artistic touches abound like an elongated acrobat sculpture from HomeGoods atop a large brass pedestal from Azle Antique Mall. It’s all airy and bright without being monotonous, bathed in natural light by that wall of windows.
A wide archway opens into the kitchen, where more light pours in by way of another set of oversized windows. The room’s magnum opus is a brass-based table and sculpture-esque chairs, both found separately on Craigslist. “They always get a lot of attention,” adds Rosie. The centerpieces are crane lawn ornaments, naturally, that she picked up at T.J. Maxx then painted white. And a very large triangular plywood mirror by local carpenter Derek Reyna casually leans against the wall, adding a dose of dimension. “I want to enjoy our surroundings. It’s just more fun to look around and see things you like than to keep saying, ‘Oh someday, someday.’”
The kitchen is, arguably, the very reason that Rosie’s love affair with sculpturally inclined, neutral-toned design came to exist on social media. The makeover prompted her to join Instagram to share the process online, which began in the spring of 2015, and she soon discovered fellow design-savvy Insta-individuals like Angela Chrusciaki Blehm (@angelachrusciakiblehm), Erin Williamson Design (@sterinwilliamson) and Atlantis Home (@atlantishome).
Rosie and Jon had the existing kitchen cabinets painted white and the walls in Sherwin William’s Alabaster. The counters were reconfigured to a more open arrangement and cloaked in a marble-esque granite top. A built-in bench was removed to expand the walk-in pantry as well. Rosie kept the fixtures sleek and simple, with a pair of pendant lights from Overstock and white barstools from Wayfair.
A walk-through butler’s pantry connects to the dining room. The eye is drawn to the Anewall “Shaded Landscape” mural that’s accentuated by the chandelier — one of the home’s few original things Rosie kept. A mirrored Ello buffet from eBay holds court against the mural, bedecked with sunburst mirrors from HomeGoods. The lucite chairs were another eBay score (Rosie had the cushions recovered in a faux croc vinyl), and the table is from Craigslist.
Though neutrals reign supreme, there are a few pops of color, found mostly in the bedrooms. The downstairs master, sheathed in more abundant rays of sunlight, is a large space with equally substantial pieces, like a vintage Henredon canopy bed from Craigslist. And Rosie stalked the oddly shaped black chaises on eBay for years before casting the winning bid. A beautiful Lane brutalist dresser, part of a set Rosie purchased from a dealer in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, years ago, holds many small treasures. There’s also a Vladimir Kagan for Room and Board sofa from Chairish that Jon frequents. “He is unbelievably patient with my furniture choices. Because, I’ll tell you what, that sofa is not comfortable,” laughs Rosie.
Long ago, Jon became accustomed to Rosie’s impulsive decorating and honed-in style. It didn’t surprise him in the least to walk by one day and see his wife of nearly 12 years hand painting a mural on their current bedroom wall. “He just lets me do what I want, and it’s so freeing.”
Meanwhile, Rosie admits she might have to make peace with a few requested additions to her children’s sweet spaces as they get older. The clouded mural wallpaper from Anewall in little Rosie’s bedroom perfectly matches her beautiful white canopy bed. A tall Lane brutalist dresser from Rosie’s set resides nearby, as does an Italian garden snail stool from a local estate sale and a charming bench from HomeGoods.
Jasper’s room is a study in all things boy, with a fun-loving football player motif — a Goodwill find — above his log bed from eBay and a metal dog sculpture sourced from T.J. Maxx.
The kids also enjoy lounging on the comfy Barrett sofa by Palliser in the upstairs TV room and often prop their feet on the “Chiclet table” as Rosie dubbed it (it’s indeed shaped like a Chiclet), a piece her parents shipped to her from her childhood home. There’s not a room in the house that’s short on visual interest, and there’s a gratifying amount of unique wares here. A pink lips chair from Goodwill puckers up in one corner while tortoiseshell floor lamps from Montgomery Antique Mall bookend a console table hovering over a brassy gold Sarreid chest from Craigslist. A large white-and-black artwork, another Rosie original, delivers a graphic punch. And neatly tucked beneath a table backing one side of the sofa is a pair of short, white tooth stools that Rosie ordered from a dental supply company on a whim.
With no end to her inventive ways, Rosie “somewhat aspires” to design professionally, exuding a clear passion for creating interiors that elicit joy and happiness. Though since she’s not classically trained as an interior designer, Rosie wonders how she’ll interpret the style of others. For instance, she worries about the possibility of a client that requests everything in red — a color to which Rosie maintains a strong aversion. But arguably, it’s these very factors that make her such an asset to any space waiting to be infused with something special.
For now, however, Rosie is excited to source pieces for her newly opened booth at The Historic Camp Bowie Mercantile in Fort Worth. Plus there’s always another project on the docket at home. The pool needs to be finished; the exterior of the home painted; and the guest room and bathrooms are soon to be revamped. But in between perfecting her space one room at time, Rosie continually enjoys the happiness that her surroundings bring and slow Saturday morning coffee sessions.
By: Shilo Urban