Christine Terpening
Contributing Writer

(Photo by Christine Terpening)


A home is a haven. Shouldn’t this space be the most welcoming environment in your world? Horner House Interiors has been making homes a beautiful refuge since 1987. Owner Cathy Cowles began her business specializing in window treatments, for shade, privacy and beauty, but has since grown into whole house renovation. “I specialize in window treatments, but I sell everything for the interior,” says Cowles.
Cowles began her business in 1987 with window treatments, incorporating her mother to help sew. Having outgrown her original space, she took a chance and purchased her current location. The move came one Thanksgiving when she had years of craft belongings to move. With the help of family already gathered for the holiday, Cowles relocated.
That move was a turning point, but also a financial risk. “I had no real money to work with,” she explained. The new location at what was the old VFW post was spacious and had plenty of parking, but the new building had no furnace, no functional windows and was in deep need of renovation. Cowles was in need of hiring contractors to make her space customer ready and thought, “Oh my gosh, why don’t I do this,” and so she did. In order to advance her business to offer full interior design Cowles needed to hire a kitchen designer, buy a line of cabinets, special software and numerous other materials which was a huge investment. That emboldened move has served her and her community well.
Horner House Interiors also sells countertops, wall coverings, flooring, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, tile, and rugs. Another service provided is custom upholstery. “It’s hard for people to find a service like that,” said Cowles, who has a large selection of upholstery fabric. No matter the service needed, when Cowles gets the call, she runs right out with her tape measure and gets down to business.
Everything Cowles sells gets installed, from hanging blinds to laying tile. Free estimates and free design service is an added feature that comes with doing business with this creative talent. Start to finish restoration is a part of ensuring happy, repeat customers.
Cowles says she has had many repeat customers during her career. Often, people who remodeled their home decades ago are doing so again in their 70’s and 80’s. Knowing the value of a fresh space at any age has them coming back to Horner House Interiors. “It’s never too late to freshen up your home,” she said.
Homes are not her only workspace. Cowles has had her work hung in the Michigan State Capital during Governor Rick Syder’s term. “They wanted to use a small business, so we were commissioned to make window treatments for the governor. That was a big thing to do. It felt important,” Cowles humbly offered. They also had her make a custom tablecloth for the conference room table. This was a feather in the cap of this small businesswoman.
Though she has been known to travel 80 miles away for a job, Cowles prefers small town people. “Everyone has a little story and I love that part of it. I should write a little book,” she quipped. Having raised her family here and being raised here herself, Eaton Rapids fits her like well-made drapes.
Horner House Interiors is located at 123 N. Main St. in downtown Eaton Rapids. To make an appointment to spruce up your space, call Cathy at (517)231-7226.