TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Cynthia Gipson Ray has been a fixture in the Tyler interior design and antiques community for about 14 years now. She is excited that the latest incarnation of her Gipson Girl shop is kicking off on September 5 and 6 with a grand reopening, complete with hourly door prizes and refreshments.
Cynthia has a style that many East Texans have embraced so much that they've invited her into their homes to help them figure out how to bring her special touch to their homes, whether massive old Azalea District mansions or smaller, more humble homes. In fact, she says that she loves the challenge of decorating a home with some not-so-great-looking spaces. She says she has always loved taking something plain or damaged and making it something beautiful and exciting to live with.
"I've always been a 'make it the best you can' girl. I can paint that wall and do something great and people won't see the 'ugly' part there anymore," she says. "It's not about the amount of space you have, you can make the best of a lot of things."
Cynthia's style is elegant, opulent and even quirky. Every corner of her shop is filled and displayed in creative ways. Atop an antique loveseat you will find over the top pillows, including one featuring dogs. On a gorgeous old dresser you'll see a pillow from Hawaii and a mannequin adorned with a vintage hat. It's fun to slowly walk through and take it all in.
"Sometimes people come into my store and say 'I'm on overload, I can't see anything, there's so much to see!' But I say if you can see the detail you'll eat this place up and love it. You'll hone in on one or two items that you love and that you can make a place for in your home. Use lots of color, and enjoy it," she says.
Cynthia's style is a mix of vintage pieces, reupholstered pieces, and "blinged" pieces. As you explore the shop you'll see beautiful lamp shades, pillows, handbags and more given new style with the shop's beautiful trims and fabrics. Cynthia and her "sidekick" and store manager Whitney Lade work together to embellish practically anything you can imagine, including fish tanks that they've encrusted with crystals, old jewels and fringe. They don't just make pretty decor, they make art. Cynthia sews and then she and Whitney both do the handwork of trimming out the beautiful (and sometimes quirky and fun) pillows, handbags, lamp shades and more. She calls it "revamping."
Cynthia offers some of her interior design tips that you can use in your home:
1. Don't be afraid of color. Enjoy it! Get help from someone with a great eye if you're not sure how to use it.
2. If you have children, it is best to keep coffee tables, end tables or other surfaces uncluttered, because the moment a toy or a school book get placed on your perfectly arranged table, it looks cluttered.
3. If you want to keep surfaces uncovered, utilize shelving to display your favorite things so that you can still see them, but they're protected from little hands (or paws).
4. Don't think you have to spend thousands to get a great look in your home. Enjoy the hunt; visit upscale shops to get ideas, and then go to resale shops and flea markets to find things to revamp and reuse in your own similar fashion.
5. Reuse pieces you already have instead of buying something new. "I have recovered my ottoman from the '60s multiple times to give it a new lift," she admits.
Head over to the Gipson Girl this weekend to feast your eyes on all the gorgeous eye candy and have some food and drink while you're there. You might even win a door prize!
The Gipson Girl is located at 602 S. Broadway in Tyler, on corner of Front Street and Broadway just south of downtown. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Call 903-526-9975 or visit
to find out more about Cynthia's design services or with other questions.