Carson Kressley is everywhere – even Round Top. The Emmy Award-winning TV personality, style expert, fashion designer, and New York Times bestselling author made an appearance as a celebrity designer in support of Designer Dream Spree. Founded by Houston-based designer Julie Dodson of Dodson Interiors, Designer Dream Spree was created to attract A-list interior designers, introduce them to Round Top, and raise money for local animal shelters. Having been to Round Top previously, he brought along his “TV husband,” and co-host of Bravo’s Get a Room with Carson & Thom, Thom Filicia, a top interior designer, TV personality and author, who also participated in the spree, for which designers shopped the fields and venues all around Round Top to create vignettes.
“Market Hill was our first stop,” Filicia says. “It is this indoor-outdoor almost agricultural building with a big breezeway. There was a mix of antiques dealers, art dealers, vendors with old signs, vendors bringing things from all over the world. They hosted a big lunch for us. There was this Southern shrimp cocktail in a mason jar. Everything was thoughtfully and beautifully executed – very Southern in its hospitality and presentation. It was a great springboard for our visit.”
“It’s gigantic,” Kressley says of Market Hill. “Such a large space filled with so many treasures, antiques from Europe, pieces of Americana. It feels like you hit the jackpot.”
“One of the myths I busted in Round Top,” Kressley adds, “is that it’s hard to bring things home. That is absolutely not true. I found a great pair of wooden tables with marble tops. I used them in my designer vignette and had to have them. There are great high-quality shippers. The tables arrived by truck to my home in Pennsylvania a month later. Any time someone asks about them, I happily tell them they came from Round Top.”
“It’s a world’s fair of people and things,” he says about this special place. “You have these really high-end designers, and you’ve got the local flavor. It’s something unusual, very unique. One vendor had a longhorn outside of their exhibit, so there’s a photo of me riding a longhorn. That is something that would only happen in Round Top.”
“Everywhere you turn, there’s a surprise, and a feast for the eyes,” Kressley says. “There are plenty of places to stay; there’s great food and hospitality. I always try to bring someone who’s never been. It’s so fun and friendly. Everybody is your new best friend.”
Speaking of new friends, Thom says one afternoon over Mexican food and Margaritas, he and Carson started inviting people to a local watering hole. They decided to throw a party that evening, totally off-the-cuff, hoping 10 people would come. They had 50 people show up, and they sang karaoke until 2 a.m. Again, only in Round Top.
Carson and Thom can be seen on Bravo’s Get a Room with Carson & Thom, which returns this spring. Carson also returns for Season 11 of VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race. Follow their adventures on Instagram, @carsonkressley and @thomfilicia.