Based in Fort Worth, Texas, writer and influencer Rosie Case (@Rosie.Case) is a true vintage hunter. After moving from New York and finding her dream home in the Lone Star State (which, needless to say, was much larger than her NYC apartment), Case had a whole new opportunity to decorate. We took an exclusive tour of her spaces and spoke with her about how her style has evolved, how she trusts her gut when it comes to shopping, and her top tips for finding the right vintage pieces — and knowing when to walk away.
How would you describe your personal style when it comes to design?
I think the words I would use to describe my style would be sculptural, theatrical, and neutral.
What initially prompted your move to Texas, and what did you love about this house when you originally walked in?
Well, we needed to move to the area because my husband needed to transfer to Aledo, TX. He was an army pilot and flew out of the naval base in Fort Worth. We came across this house online and I became obsessed with it. It was on the market for a long time. It had gone into foreclosure and there were all kinds of issues with it. It was actually really hard to get in to see it at first, but I became focused on it.
What drew me to it was that you can’t pin an era to it. It does not scream 70s, 80s or 90s. It has a French look; it’s very symmetrical, and I was very drawn to that. It didn’t have any of the telltale 90s touches that the neighborhood has lots of. I thought this one was kind of special.
Did you immediately have a guiding theme or vision that you saw when you first visited the home?
I’m not sure if I necessarily had an overarching vision. I just felt so much potential because the architecture of the house is not typical of what is around here. It’s not a particularly open concept house — it’s more of a traditional house. But I liked that there were delineations of rooms that I can play with.
Has living in Texas influenced the way you decorate your home in any way?
Yes! I can fit a lot more stuff! I spent 11 years in New York apartments and then when I met my husband and we got married, he lived on an army base in New Jersey. So I would say that’s the one way that living in Texas has influenced me — it’s not style-wise; it’s my ability to acquire. I do try to cycle through it!
When you were living in New York apartments, did you feel like your style was the same? How do you think it’s developed?
I really don’t think I’ve changed a ton over time. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to things that were unique and not necessarily traditional. And I have been doing a lot of acquiring since then. Even then, I did a lot of thrifting and I would cycle through things. The only difference was that I just didn’t have endless places to put stuff. Over time I have honed down my color palette, but I still have things that I bought way back when and that have just traveled with me from apartment to apartment that I’ll never get rid of.
When you’re shopping, is there ever anything that you tend to avoid, whether it be some kind of damage or something needs re-upholstery, or are you just game for anything you run across? Even if it needs a little work?
That’s a mixed bag. I have definitely made huge mistakes in that capacity before. I’ve taken on something that was a good price and then gone to have it reupholstered and found out that it’s a very extensive job. Then I thought, do I even really like this thing? I’ve definitely missed steps in that way.
I think it can be intimidating for people who aren’t familiar with thrifting to know when to walk away. So I always love to ask an expert in that field and get their take on it. There’s also just a gut feeling. If you’ve come across something and you fall in love with it, it’s really simple. Just buy it. It’s that easy. If you’re not sure, then walk away.
What do you love about designing with vintage pieces in general?
I love that they’re typically better made. I love that they have history and uniqueness. Newer things can lack character and workmanship. Those are all the things that give a space soul. Even in a room full of new furniture, if you throw in some kind of antique piece, there’s instant interest and soul and all the imperfect imperfections that come along with that.
Do you have a favorite vintage piece in your home?
It’s a watercolor dated 1972 of three people. It’s pictured with the sofa I purchased on Chairish.
And what do you love about shopping on Chairish?
I love Chairish because it’s so beautifully curated. It has such a high-end feel, while at the same time things can be surprisingly affordable. You know, all of the items that I purchased from Chairish were, in my opinion, very affordable and exactly what I wanted at the time and were delivered quickly. I liked the shipping aspect of it; the way it’s already mapped out for you is nice. You don’t have to figure out shipping or coordinate that. The breadth of what’s offered on the site is also pretty phenomenal. There are so many different styles and so much to choose from. I just find it to be a pleasure to look at it.
What are your best tips for buying vintage?
- There’s pretty much no place where I won’t shop, and I don’t always know what I’m looking for, either. I just go and see what’s there, and if there’s something interesting, I buy it. If there isn’t, I don’t. That’s my rule.
- I truly try not to bring things home that I am absolutely not in love with, because that’s when the clutter happens.
- Leather pieces can be a good bet if they’re in good condition because you can wash them with regular cleaner.
- A little chip is no big deal. But when things have truly been put through the ringer, I try to avoid them. At the end of the day, it’s better to walk away if it’s going to end up being junk in your house.
- If the upholstery of an item is in A-plus condition, I’m onboard.
All photos by Laurey Glenn