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Bright Ideas

By Kelly Twedell

Turning unwanted used furniture into treasures with hand-painted whimsical details is Sharon Cooper’s specialty. Her eye for combining bright colors and unique designs breathe life into old pieces — that’s what has made her Home Accents business thrive since 1996 when she first opened her doors on Ramsey Street.

Moving downtown to 300 Hay Street in 2004, Cooper loved the natural lighting the corner building offered with the space to display her creations after she transforms them in the back of the shop. The bustling location brings her many new visitors, often out of town visitors, as they attend downtown events like Fourth Fridays or other festivals throughout the year.

“I love being downtown in the historic district near the other shops, the people and just the sense of community,” Cooper said.

On any given weekend Cooper takes her truck and browses estate sales, thrift shops and yard sales as she envisions what could be made of solid wood chunky tables, old entertainment centers or dining room buffets popular in the 1960s that people have inherited. She said her greatest finds have been the antique pieces that she happens upon. “Most people are trending toward getting rid of their oversized entertainment centers and want slimmer profile pieces for their plasma televisions to sit upon,” she said.

Cooper has been gifted with her artistic abilities since she was a child and has always loved bright colors. Her love of furniture, decorating and being creative set her dream of owning a business into motion. For 16 years Cooper has been doing what she loves while making others thrilled with their purchases and custom designed creations.

“I have to concentrate when working on the pieces, so I prefer the quiet,” she said. “It seems the fall and spring seasons are my most creative times when I draw inspiration from nature.”