Finding decorator solutions at The Caring Place
To paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, “The game was afoot.”
Tera Hampton, owner of Sensible Redesign, slipped into detective mode as she accepted a challenge: Decorate a room as completely and economically as possible using “repurposed” items from the stores at The Caring Place (TCP).
Tera saw the task as “one-hundred percent doable,” noting that “purchases at TCP help the community and help my clients.” This particular project offered a blank slate, an empty sunroom in her daughter’s new home. Tera described the room as “about ten by twelve feet with several windows and one wall open to the adjoining room, neutral walls, basically plain, an open identity.”
As a customer familiar with “fabulous finds” at TCP, Tera came with few preconceived notions, but she did have a color scheme in mind—“green, white, and blue with pops of orange, bright without being overpowering.”
Within moments, she spotted some orange silk flowers, tall dried stems, and a classic metal lantern. These went into the shopping cart, but Tera generally prefers to choose core pieces first, “the strong bones that define a room,” so the thrill of the hunt began in earnest. She and her assistant, Pam Emmert, immediately zeroed in on an attractive wicker seating group, only to find a red “Sold” tag attached. Though this was disappointing, the manager of TCP stores, Ann Lind, mentioned that such pieces are donated fairly often and that Tera might find something similar at a later date. Four bentwood chairs with cane seats, $15.00 each, were the next purchase, but only after Tera checked their sturdiness. For a snack/game table to accompany the chairs, Tera claimed a forlorn, round metal card table for $10.00. In her mind’s eye, it was already spray-painted, and the scruffy center was stylishly covered with chevron fabric. She praised the versatility of lightweight, functional pieces that can be easily moved within a room.
Tera next selected an entertainment center with clean, modern lines, visualizing it minus the doors and painted white. Voila! Open storage shelves for board games ($2.50 at TCP), lush plants, baskets, or books were the next find. Finally, she decided on a “super cool coffee table, with brass inlays on top and claw feet. I’m not crazy about the color, but I know it can be transformed.” This piece would be refinished with a gel stain.
Then, from stacks of curtains on a bottom shelf came an “Aha! moment,” one that unified Tera’s evolving plan. There lay two panels, eighty inches long, $3.00 each, richly patterned in navy, green, and white, just waiting for her creative touch. They were good quality, unique, and easily a focal point for the sunroom. The panels were easy to overlook, but Tera’s practiced eye saw the possibilities.
Small accent items for the sunroom came last. Tera targeted a hammered metal bowl, a $2.00 metal planter, and an interesting white metal lamp. Other incidentals, such as white pottery plates, some candlesticks, navy napkins, and three packages ($2.00 each) of white wooden curtain rings, also made the selection cut. As the shopping spree wound down, both Tera and Pam were drawn to a whimsical metal wall decoration, a many-leafed tree that made them smile.
The sunroom components came together in only a few hours for under $500.00, even though Tera still had days of work ahead. She loves creating comfortable, attractive rooms for others, something she did even before starting Sensible Redesign nine years ago. Seeing practicality, beauty, and savings in things overlooked by others is a gift—and maybe even a good philosophy of life.
The Shops at The Caring Place
2000 Railroad Street
Georgetown, TX 78626