Round Top’s Marburger Farm is one of those shows where decorators meet dealers in manicured booths, furnish houses on the fly, and then load up their trucks in a precarious game of Texas-style Tetris—all before noon. I’ve made three trips to Marburger: years ago, I led a guided flea market tour; later, I shopped it for my old column in Southern Living; and this time I was invited to sign books on opening day!

 

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But before the shopping officially began, before the decorators did their deals, I was lucky enough to preview the show, putting my official stamp of approval on everything I loved. If only I could have loaded up a truck of my own, furnishing Edgewood Hall would be a whole lot easier!

 

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That’s the draw here: you might have to pay a little more, but you’ll find a great selection of quality things. Walking the tents, putting signs on picks, I got to play dream decorator for the day. Here are the makings of two “instant rooms” with furniture, lighting, art and accessories all from Marburger.

 

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First up: a dining room with colors inspired by vintage chintz curtains in a gorgeous floral which, by the way, did come home with me. For a sideboard, I’d use this wooden chest with crest keyholes topped with twin yellow lamps on acrylic bases with shades covered in a light blue, green, and white ikat. I’d do a mix of Queen Anne and Chippendale chairs, all in red, with the same seat fabric to tie them together.

 

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For a dining table, I’d find something new with clean lines, like a Parsons covered in grass cloth, lacquered a pretty flax and topped with this gorgeous smoked Venetian glass chandelier from the show. I’d do dark wood floors with a Chinoiserie Art Deco rug, painted walls in a denim striae, and a high gloss ceiling to match the trim.

 

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And when it comes time to party, there would be plenty of jewelry for the table, anchored by a figural set of pheasants I’d use for a centerpiece, adding whimsy to the room.

 

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Now onto my next project as dream decorator for the day—a living room mixing traditional and modern furniture, art, and objects with dramatic appeal. Rugs make great beginnings: fall in love with a palette or pattern and you’re well on your way. Even though this one’s vintage, it has a cool, modern vibe with colors I can easily borrow for the room.

 

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As a backdrop, I’d go dark—almost black—for a cocoon-like effect, varying value and sheen throughout. I’m thinking stained black floors, black walls in a matte and high gloss stripe, and a high gloss ceiling. I’d flank the modern chrome sofa with Chinoiserie parchment side tables topped with blue-and-white lamps and oxblood shades. This antique secretary stopped me in my tracks.

 

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I love the idea of using it against dark walls, paired with a crest back side chair in a rich royal blue. I would do modern art above a fireplace, flanked by these brass and glass console tables with Italian gilded tassel benches and Venetian glass mirrors to bring light into the room.

 

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Finishing touches are always my favorite part of decorating. Here, I’d use this faux painted malachite and brass cart loaded with decanters, a great pair of foo dogs to animate bookshelves, and a brass and Lucite planter with big, beautiful orchids in a deep magenta.

 

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All of this decorating may have been just a dream, but those curtain panels definitely came in handy for the book signing. We were just about to wrap up Round Top when…

 

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…this happened!

 

Photo Mar 29, 10 21 08 AM (1)

 

I guess even Sheriff Ron wanted to wrangle up some decorating inspiration.

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