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Antiques lovers and dog lovers benefit during idea cottage event

April 11, 2017 GMT

Julie Dodson’s idea cottage in Round Top had its coming-out party - and aced it.

The Houston interior designer, along with The Compound owner Mark Massey and builder Lewis Tindall, gave new life to an early 1900s farmhouse near Round Top. It was open for touring at the annual spring antiques event in late March, and Dodson and Massey hoped to raise $10,000 for animal shelters in Brenham and La Grange.

“We raised more than $10,000, and donations are still coming in,” said Dodson, who owns Dodson Interiors in Houston.

Not only did they raise money for vaccinations and other health care for rescued animals, they also found homes for a handful of pups they had at the idea cottage.

A mutt named Belle took a liking to Massey, and they’re now close companions - and Belle loves her new job as mascot of The Compound.

A sad dog, who’d looked like he wanted to be anywhere but in a cage in a shelter, is now with an animal rescue volunteer. And Brothers Tank and Shadow will be reunited with their new family in Colorado. One had been adopted earlier, and when the family learned their dog had a sibling, they wanted him as well.


Another dog they took to The Compound had simply been separated from his owner. When the owner saw him, she got him back.

Funds were raised from the 1,000 people who paid $10 each to tour the 609-square-foot storybook cottage. The cute cottage was sold on the event’s first day to a family with property in Round Top who will use it as a guest house.

Not only did the house sell quickly, but many of the items inside it sold as well. That meant Dodson made her rounds finding replacement items more than a few times.

“The real hit was an old antique bench that you flipped over to be a bed. It’s in the breakfast room with the table. Everyone loved that bench,” Dodson said of a piece from artist and antiques dealer Adele Sypesteyn.

Another item that drew raves was a pair of old shutter panels with cutouts. Dodson knew there was a window in need of attention, so she used these panels to turn them into something pretty.

Other favorites included smallish chandeliers spread throughout the home. The living room had one that was more of a traditional antique, the bedroom chandelier was made from a large jar turned upside down (by ReworksHOME in Austin). And the dining room fixture dangles a little more sparkle over that quaint and lovely room.

“Honestly, in my style I like the mix of antiques with other things and that a room doesn’t have to be so serious,” she said. “I like having one or two special pieces with an edge, or something unexpected - something with character.”

One trick she used that other homeowners should try was using a gray-blue-brown deck stain on the wood ceiling and on its beams. That it’s meant for exterior use doesn’t mean you can’t bring it indoors.

When it was over, Dodson and Kathy Johnston, production director of The Compound’s antiques event, took a pile of cash to a bank to turn it into checks for the animal shelters.

“When we got those checks, we both started crying. I can’t tell you what the experience meant to me. It meant a lot to me to have support from community,” Dodson said.