Julie Dodson’s Designer Dream Spree Returns to Fall Round Top Antiques Fair

Julie Dodson Round Top

Kevin Isbell with Julie Dodson at the Round Top Designer Shopping Spree 2016. Photos courtesy of Julie Dodson.


Twice a year, 2,000 dealers and over 100,000 shoppers from all over the U.S. flock to Round Top, midway between Austin and Houston, for the Round Top Antiques Fair. It’s a shopping extravaganza showcasing European and American antiques, architectural elements, and collectibles.

Texas’ own designer Julie Dodson hosted a special event at last year’s fall show that was such a success she’s returning for a reprise this year. The Second Annual Designer Dream Spree, to be held September 26-29,  will include shopping the dealers of Round Top, a designer panel discussion on “Exceptional Discoveries,” and an array of social gatherings, from wine tastings to fine dining featuring cuisine prepared by notable Houston chef Travis Lenig.

We wrote about the Houston-based proprietor of Julie Dodson Interiors this past August when Julie was one of the elite designers participating in the Hampton Designer Showhouse in Sag Harbor, New York. The fanciful Alice-in-Wonderland-themed room she designed utilized an elegant Italian chest and wooden urn she found through Brian Kelley, an Atlanta-based dealer she connected with at Round Top.

Julie Dodson at Round Top

Round Top finds which graced the room Dodson-designed contribution to the Hamptons Charity Showhouse this past summer.

Named one of “20 Young Designers to Watch,” by Traditional Home Magazine and a “Leader in Design” by The Houston Design Center,” Julie has long tapped Round Top for pieces utilized in her signature “casual glamor” design style. She founded the Designer Dream Spree in 2016 to bring top designers from across the U.S. to experience the fair, providing the show national recognition as a destination for serious antique trading.

The inaugural Designer Dream Spree which took place in September 2016 featured celebrity design experts Michelle Nussbaumer, Barry Darr Dixon, Mary Douglas Drysdale, and Kevin Isbell in a panel discussion which was moderated by Anne Maine, the editor-in-chief of Traditional Home Magazine and Amy Elbert, Traditional Home‘s architectural editor. Each designer selected one item from a dealer on site and explained to the audience why they considered it a special find and how they would use it. Following the discussion, the group spent the day perusing the various barns and enjoying Texas hospitality amidst social gatherings.

Julie Dodson at Round Top

Julie Dodson (lower left) with the 2016 Designer Shopping Spree celebrity participants at Round Top.

A sampling of the treasures to be found in the vast array of merchandise offered at the fairs.

A sampling of the treasures to be found in the vast array of merchandise offered in the four-day fair.

Julie Dodson at Round Top

A Neoclassical chest at the 2016 show.

Julie Dodson at Round Top

Barry Darr Dixon touring vendor offerings with Julie at the 2016 show.

The team she put together for this year’s panel includes Emmy-award winning TV celebrity, style expert, and New York Times best-selling author, Carson Kressley; award-winning interior designer Kathryn Ireland of Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Decorator and Property Envy; as well as Beth Webb and Aaron Rambo. The panel discussion will be held at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, September 27, at The Compound (2550 South State Highway 237, Round Top). Tickets will be available to the public for $30, with proceeds benefiting the Gardenia E. Janssen Animal Shelter.
Sensational Emmy-Award winning TV celebrity, style expert, and New York Times best-selling author Carson Kressley will join LA-based award-winning interior designer Kathryn Ireland of Bravo

Following the Panel Discussion at 4:30 pm, Carson Kressley will sign copies of his latest book, Does This Book Make My Butt Look Big? A Cheeky Guide to Feeling Sexier in Your Own Skin and Unleashing Your Personal Style, a playful look (with a serious message) on building body and fashion confidence.

Round Top-bound? Pencil it in on your calendar. We’ll keep you posted on how to sign up to attend when details are announced.