Creativity can save you some bucks!


I spent the first four years of college pursuing the dream of being one of the greatest interior designers EVER.  Well…that didn’t  happen.  However, I still get to “try” and “pretend” that I am ha,ha.  “Sassy Cassie’s Collection”…no… “CC’s Design Studio”…no…”Chappy’s Interior Design” …nope.  OH well.  Without a financial backer to start my own interior design business, I have saturated the market of one, and have become my own personal interior designer.  Just like almost everyone else in America, we have had to cut back on spending.  Like spending money on beautiful persian rugs, Swarovski crystal chandeliers, OH and EVERYTHING out of the Restoration Hardware catalogues.  So instead of moping around because I can’t have the beautiful new things I want, I got busy.  FYI, T.J. Maxx and I have a very hot and heavy relationship at the moment.

In the next few posts, I am going to show you what I have done to turn boring rooms into something you can be proud of, without breaking the bank.  A punch of color on the walls, shinny pieces, beautiful window treatments, and fixing up old pieces of furniture that you thought, “hmmm…will the garbage man take that?”, are the only things you need to turn that ugly room upside down.  I did all of these projects under two hundred buckaroos.

When you walk into our house, the foyer is pretty grandiose.  To the left there is the dining room that is a piece of art…literally.  An artist painted a mural (walls and ceiling).  She basically brought the outside, in.  It is beautiful.  When you look straight ahead there are windows that look out at ridge line fading into ridge line…stunning view.  As you look to your right, you hear the record screech to a halt.  I don’t really know what that room was until this week.  The piano is in there and that’s about all I can say about that.  Bella, (our dog) decided she hated the skirt on the, what used to be a beautiful couch, and ripped it off…being picky as to which section though.  Not being able to afford having the entire couch reupholstered, I decided to get crafty.  I think Bella was onto something.  The skirt actually dated the beautiful olive green couch.  Snaps for Bella!

Thanks Bella!

I threw around some ideas and decided to run over to Jo-Ann’s and look for some inspiration.  The stars aligned and they were having a 50% off sale on all fabric that day! WOOT WOOT!  I snagged four yards of black taffeta, with a paisley design for twenty-seven dollars, and ran like the wind.

Gary helped me flip that bad boy over and I was scissors, staple gun (with LOTS of staples), measuring tape, fabric pencil, and some rockin’ jams, to contemporary couch bliss!

The flooring is a cream travertine so any type of depth would do that room some justice.  That’s why I went with black for the bottom of the couch and all my accent pieces that I will discuss in a bit.  The walls are done in a red faux finish.  So the olive green couch is the perfect compliment color.  The gorgeous onyx grand piano perfectly sits in the bay, floor to ceiling, windows.  There is an antique secretary shoved in the corner with a simple but elegant fireplace.  This room could be and should be AMAZING.  After all, we are in the music business.  The music room should be a place of inspiration.

After I measured, cut and stapled the taffeta around the entire bottom of the couch, it gave it a whole new life.  It gave it a sharp, elongated edge and tied in with the  piano so well.

Fabric stapled on

*When working with a patterned fabric, be sure to look at each piece of fabric you cut before placing it on the piece that you are working with, and check that the pattern is going in the same direction and is matched up with the previous piece you tacked on. Trust me this is a pain in the butt if you do not follow this.

I took the six terrible throw pillows off and replaced them with two rectangle black pillows for the arms of the couch.  I bought them at Ross for ten bucks a piece.  I felt the previous pillows made it look bulky, not to mention they were pretty ugly.  My mother had made me, years ago, a black faux fur blanket, with gold trim.  So I placed it on the back of the couch giving it more of an edge.

Moving onto the accent pieces…

As I scoured through the new Restoration Hardware catalog, I found a fireplace that resembled ours.  So I rummaged through my house, found a black and gold mirror and placed it on the mantle.   In the catalog it had a horse bust and some picture frames that accompanied the mirror.  So shopping I went.  I found some pretty black and gold frames at T.J. Maxx, placed in the frames pictures of my late Grandma Piersol and Grandpa Nokes.  As I always tend to wonder around T.J. Maxx I found a horse bust, just like the one in the catalog.  I couldn’t believe my luck!  I also found an area rug for a hundred dollars, that tied in all the colors of the room.  See why I love me some T.J. Maxx!


  • Here is some useless knowledge…A horse bust represents “wealth”.  A pineapple means “welcome”. Darts and egg pattern (typically seen on crown molding) represents “life and death”.

For the secretary…

I opened it up and will be placing a guest book with a chair I am currently redoing.  I am gold leafing just a plain old chair and using the leftover black taffeta to cover the seat.  It will be the “shiny” object the room needs.

See…you don’t have to spend a fortune on new things.  Take what you have and get crafty.  A staple gun, fabric, and an open mind will get you far.

To be continued…




5 responses »

  1. You inspire me so much! I live in a very old (not cool old, like wood floors and … that stuff lol) but 1972 old, townhouse. Luckily there is no shag carpet here, but since my furniture is all hand-me-down (and some handed-down twice! From grandmothers to my bro to me), i’ve really been hoping to spruce it up a bit here. I rent, so i can’t do much painting or a million things i would love to do – so i will definitely be checking out your posts! If you have any thoughts about a love seat that looks like a thousand pound man has been sitting on (aka sag-ging!), i’d love to hear it! 😀

  2. I love it!! Great work. Gabby decided she wanted all black furniture in her bedroom. So we have found a few things at Goodwill but then the rest she is slowly painting black. I have a sofa I need to do something with can you come over and take care of it for me?

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